Evnroll Putters Sold
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Evnroll Putters Sold

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Evnroll Putters Sold

News dropped late last week that Guerin Rife’s Evnroll Putters has been sold to the Korean high-tech firm CREATZ, the parent company of the Uneekor golf launch monitor company.

First reported by Pulse News of Korea, the deal calls for CREATZ to acquire a 70-percent ownership stake in the Carlsbad-based company. Rife will remain as CEO and chief designer. The existing management team will remain and sit on the board of directors.

The selling price is an estimated $15.2 million.

a picture of Evnroll putters

CREATZ, Uneekor and Evnroll

CREATZ is a growing Korean tech firm with a reported $50 million in sales in 2022. Its subsidiary, Uneekor, accounted for $17.6 million on its own.

“We feel that Evnroll, as a 100-percent U.S. milled and technology-driven putter line, is a great fit for Uneekor’s precision analytics in the launch monitor space,” said Eddie Lee, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for CREATZ. “Together, UNEEKOR and Evnroll will represent the highest level of game improvement, encompassing the full spectrum of performance-enhancing technology from tee to green.”

The Pulse report says the acquisition was motivated in part by the January 2024 launch of TGL, a technology-infused simulator golf league founded by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. Additionally, CREATZ hopes to leverage synergies with TGL, Uneekor and the growing popularity of home golf simulators.

a picture of a Uneekor golf launch monitor

According to Pulse, CREATZ plans to develop putting analysis features and putting practice programs for Uneekor.

Growing Korean Presence

CREATZ is the latest Korean company to gain a foothold in the U.S. golf equipment market. Last year, Doal Private Equity acquired Super Stroke. In 2021, Centroid Partners bought TaylorMade. A year later, Centroid invested in Concert Golf Partners, owners of 25 high-end golf clubs in the U.S.

In 2011, FILA Korea Ltd. purchased Acushnet for a reported $1.23 billion.

Pulse reports that Evnroll putters are a big seller in Korea, ranking second in putter market share. The deal gives CREATZ and Uneekor a foothold in North America.

“Evnroll was founded on delivering forward look, real innovation and technology that enhances every aspect of putter design and performance,” Rife said in a statement. “Uneekor has the same vision for full-swing analytics.

An image of a Uneekor golf launch monitor

“We’re excited for the future and what this positive injection of resources and knowledge will do for both our businesses.”

A Sensible Acquisition?

A technology and launch monitor company buying an equipment manufacturer is, at the very least, intriguing. Uneekor and CREATZ obviously believe its upcoming putter analytics technologies will help sell both putters and launch monitors. Additionally, off-course and non-traditional golf is growing in North America. The National Golf Foundation says the off-course market grew nearly 13 percent last year. And COVID helped spawn significant growth in the home golf simulator market.

Rife developed a reputation for putter designs in the early 2000s. He started life as an advertising executive in Chicago before moving to Florida and starting his own agency. He did some work for Disney but his first foray into golf was designing a putter training aid with David Leadbetter.

a picture of new Evnroll putters

That led to Rife’s first design, a cavity-backed mallet called True Blue. The mallet featured a milled-out area in the back to scoop the ball up. That milling had the unexpected effect of creating a low CG and extreme heel-toe weighting.  And that design led to his idea to put grooves in the putter face to create a more consistent roll.

In 2003, Rife introduced his famous 2-Bar putter which quickly became a mini-blockbuster hit on the Champions Tour. However, rapid growth and the need for more investors meant Rife lost control of his company. He sold it to a Seattle-based company in 2009.

Rife introduced Evnroll Putters in 2016.

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John Barba

John Barba

John Barba

John is an aging, yet avid golfer, writer, 6-point-something handicapper living back home in New England after a 22-year exile in Minnesota. He loves telling stories, writing about golf and golf travel, and enjoys classic golf equipment. “The only thing a golfer needs is more daylight.” - BenHogan

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      Tila

      10 months ago

      As an Evnroll user i hope to see the top 5 players of liv and pga golfer use them…

      Reply

      Devin

      10 months ago

      I’m really hating the idea of another American company selling out to Korea of all places. Soon there’ll be another putter listing of fleabay!

      Reply

      Adam Burton

      10 months ago

      This has me intrigued. As I’m currently in the market to upgrade my in-home golf simulator. I’m between a GC3 or the Eye-Mini. Both offer equal ball and club analysis. However, does this mean that the Eye-Mini will be providing putting analysis. To bring it to another level, at a smaller price point?

      Uneekor definitely has the best pricing in the industry in terms of golf simulators. They offer 3rd party software more easily than Foresight does as well. Which also puts it ahead in the game. Obviously their Eye-Mini is unproven at this point. However, my guess is that it will exceed expectations.

      Time will tell!

      Reply

      Peejer

      10 months ago

      Hate to see a successful American company, who still builds their clubs in America, sold to a foreign company. Seems like we barely make anything in the US these days, almost everything is out-sourced. As a proud owner of a EVNROLL putter, hope they don’t move the manufacturing to South Korea and change the engineering and quality process in place today.
      Yes, they say they’re retaining staff – but how long will that last?

      Reply

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