Steve Coulton graduated with a degree in economics from NYU where he was a 4 year member of the varsity golf team. His first job out of college in 2007 was assisting traders at Deutsche Bank, he then went on to co-found OnCore Golf. He grew up in Smithtown, Long Island, and for the last 8 years has called Buffalo, NY, home.
The Coulton Story —
I grew up listening to stories of my father playing golf at Wheatley Hills Golf Club on Long Island, and remember desperately wanting to play the game. I finally convinced Dad to get me a cut down set of irons from our neighbors garage, housed in one of those old tubular black golf bags- the setup wasn’t pretty, but it did the trick, I’ve been hooked ever since. I also worked at Smithtown Landing CC as a kid picking range balls, cutting greens, teaching summer golf camps, it was a fun work, but most importantly as a broke teenager it enabled tons of free golf.
You wake up in the morning what’s the driving passion?
Golfers are the most passionate sports fans I know, and love to share stories about their golf games so its cool to be a small part of that excitement and to be able to deliver a world class golf ball to them is just plain awesome!
What was the genesis for OnCore?
The hollow metal core golf ball IP and technology, which we have since evolved. Technology is the foundation of OnCore and thus is always evolving and changing to meet the needs of golfers.
The time frame from prototypes to actual consumer ball production was what?
One to two years at most, we have compressed the normal development cycle by having a small, hyper focused, brilliant team of engineers, that makes decision making fast and efficient.
What specifically differentiates your efforts from those in the highly competitive ball category?
Our focus on perimeter weighting in the golf ball, from day one we’ve been laser focused on that – golf balls are maxed out in terms of distance allowed by the USGA so we focus on building a more forgiving ball that conforms to the rules of golf. The feel and performance are truly unmatched.
Price point for the ball offerings is what?
$35 on ELIXR and $24 on AVANT 55. Will be lower for most customers with volume purchases and loyalty savings.
From a marketing perspective — what’s the rough percentages of your sales via online, brick and mortar retail outlets and green grass shops?
70% online and 30% retail
Who is your customer and how do you solicit feedback?
Passionate golfers, and they range from scratch players to high handicappers. For feedback we do lots of surveys and read reviews so we can adjust to feedback in real time.
The most dominant ball companies routinely tout themselves via television commercials and professional endorsements. How do you plan on competing against that?
Every year we are in business we continue to gain market share, we are in it for the long haul, better technology, better performance, great testimonials, all of that snowballs at a certain point, sometimes you just have to be patient.
If you could change one thing in golf unilaterally — what would it be and why?
The perception that it is an elitist, expensive sport. I want everyone to have a chance to try this great game we all love and for those new golfers that end up sharing our passion, I want to make sure they feel welcome and supported on their journey.
Biggest challenges facing OnCore — short and long term is what?
Just getting the word out, it’s a crowded market place, everyone is touting products that are straighter and longer, so being able to connect with golfers, have them take our ball fitting and try our products is extremely important to the success of our company. We know they will come back for more and see that we deliver real innovation and performance.
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