There is a lot of cool gear in the golf equipment world that doesn’t always fit neatly into Most Wanted Tests or Buyer’s Guides. You still want to know how it performs. In our We Tried It series, we put gear to the test and let you know if it works as advertised.
What We Tried
Cayce custom headcovers.
Hi, I’m Chris and I’m a golf-obsessed member of the MyGolfSpy team. As the Director of Business Development, I generally work as a conduit between our staff and other golf companies. I also get to opine on our fabulous weekly podcast, NoPuttsGiven (shameless plug), and, as time allows, collect my thoughts into ramblings on equipment or other golf topics.
But, like many of you, I can’t wait for the next brown box to show up on my doorstep.
What Is Cayce?
I first came across Cayce Golf while researching potential companies to include in our annual “59 Awards.” The purpose of this list is to, for a minute, step outside our data-centric world and recognize products or brands that fit three relatively subjective criteria:
Unique. Innovative. Cool.
Maybe more than any other accessory, custom headcovers place form ahead of function. I mean, really other than not falling off during a round, the job of a headcover is painfully basic. And you really don’t notice unless something goes wrong. Basically, it’s a shoelace of sorts.
Stock headcovers are so 2005. I mean, I can appreciate the lengths to which some manufactures go to try and provide a “quality” stock headcover. But, much like stock shafts, the intention is to spend as little as possible to get something that does the bare minimum. Stock headcovers tend to be thin, poorly constructed and meant to be treated fractionally better than a disposable razor.
And not for nothing, but it’s basically free advertising for TaylorMade, Callaway, PING or whatever brand sits under that $4 sheath.
The Same But Different
You might have started down this rabbit hole once or twice. Maybe it was a diversion from folding laundry or just one of those evenings that got away from you. Regardless, myriad options exist if the objective is to add a little personalized flair to your bag. With Cayce, its distinguishing characteristics center around materials and an intentionally simplistic aesthetic approach.
Here We Go
The process for creating a custom Cayce headcover is likely reasonably close to what most consumers might expect.
Step 1 – Create a request.
Well, actually prior to submitting the request, you have to find the form. It’s one of those things that should be pretty simple to locate but I probably don’t need to tell you how many websites are cumbersome and difficult to navigate. No such concerns here. The “Custom Headcovers” link on the menu takes you to a dedicated page containing pertinent information on placing a custom order.
As part of your inquiry, Cayce suggests you upload any vector art, design assets/mood boards or cocktail napkin sketches that might help serve as inspiration.
With this sort of interface, I think the “Goldilocks theorem” applies. To clarify: a little direction is helpful but too much can be constraining. Because the designer on the other end of the interwebs doesn’t know you or your preferences, it’s best to give some clear direction. My advice: pick a single theme and stick with it. For example, “hot tubs” or “ice cream.” From there, you can treat the “mood board” section as a semi-random collage of screen shots, images and anything else you want the designer to take in to account when creating the mock-up.
On the contrary, if there is an exact look you want, Cayce is happy to let you dictate as much of the final design as you’d like. My thinking is that if I’m going to drop the equivalent of a nice evening out with my wife on a driver cover, I’d like to at least explore the creative ideas of someone else.
Step 2 – Wait.
Cayce states that someone will reach out to you within 24 hours. I’m a big fan of companies that under-promise and over-deliver so I thought this timeline might be slightly ambitious. It wasn’t. I submitted my design request in the afternoon and received a reply the following morning.
More or less, this communication served as the acknowledgment of my request. It also set in motion the design process. In a couple of days, I received several mock-ups. The drafts were close but not exactly what I’d envisioned. So, over the next four days, we batted ideas back and forth. Once everything looked to be in order, all that was left was to give final approval and pay. And then …
Step 3 – Wait … just a bit longer.
Because Cayce works with individuals and a variety of order sizes, production times can vary. It’s also 2021 and domestic shipping is a veritable hot mess. That said, five to 10 days is typical. Considering that it feels like the entire golf industry is perpetually on backorder, that’s more than respectable. As promised, about a week later, the headcovers showed up on my doorstep. And true to Cayce’s promise, they do look better in person.
Yeah, it’s trite and a pretty low bar. That said, it’s always nice when the in-person 3D version is clearly better than the high-def, 2D facsimile.
A custom Cayce headcover starts at $130. Is that reasonable? In the world of $7 lattes and $55 t-shirts, I have no idea what’s sensible. It’s futile to assess the relationship between cost and value with something as subjective as custom gear.
The DURA+ fabric concoction Cayce uses is UV and water-resistant. But more importantly, the 500D polyester textile is machine washable and gives Cayce headcovers a distinct look.
From a design standpoint, polyester is a textile conducive to certain patterns and motifs. Think Picasso and Cubism as opposed to Flack and Photorealism. The largest potential downside, however, is polyester doesn’t exactly scream “boujee” the same way that hand-cut leather might. Moving forward, I’d be keen to see Cayce collaborate with artists who might be looking to get into the golf space but need a different type of canvas. Perhaps something akin to Roly Padron and Nomad Customs.
If nothing else, it would potentially elevate Cayce and give it a clear differentiator in the market.
Maybe that happens. Maybe it doesn’t. Regardless, Cayce gives golfers some unique options in a market often ruled by minimum order quantities and stale, repetitive designs.
If you could design a custom headcover, what would it look like?