Move To Burnaby Gives Haywood Golf Room To Grow

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

It all started six years ago in a friend’s garage, which is where Haywood Golf built its first clubs. Back then, the Vancouver-based company was a one-club specialist that produced wedges only. Lots has changed since then.

Haywood can now fill your golf bag. They manufacture full iron sets, drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, a driving iron and putters. Oh, they can now sell you that golf bag, too. The company’s remarkable growth forced Haywood out of that garage four years ago and into their own facility in North Vancouver. It was tiny, but it was a place of their own.

Now, Haywood has moved again into larger digs in Burnaby that company founder Josh Haywood says better fits its needs for the future.

“Our business needs didn’t really fit in that space anymore,” Haywood says. “This new space just allows us to grow our business more efficiently.”

Haywood’s new location on Holdom Avenue in the Brentwood area of Burnaby features a much larger shop area for club-builders Steven Diack and Ryan Gowling, as well as a simulator used for club-fitting, a putting green and a social area with couches and a television to entertain clients.

“The whole goal was to create a much larger build shop,” says Haywood, who runs the company with business partner and fiancé Haley Lloyd. “We can now easily have two people going full time and not backing into each other, not disrupting one another’s work. There is more space in the back and it allows us to just be more efficient overall, especially as the amount of orders that we are seeing is increasing significantly year over year.

“It also allows us a bit more of an opportunity to have social events where you can bring people in. Trying to fit 20 people in our old location, it just wouldn’t happen. We have plans to utilize this space in a more customer-friendly way.”

While it remains a direct-to-consumer company, Haywood is offering custom club-fitting services at its new location by appointment only.

“The fitting aspect for us has been wildly successful here,” Haywood says. “On our website, they can find our calendar and book a day and a time. We have a flat rate fee of $50, which is very reasonable. And then they come in here and we go through all of our fitting matrix with them, learn about their game, where they are at and what they are trying to achieve. We use our launch monitor and make sure we are finding the ideal fit for where their game is at and then we build them a set of clubs. Right now, that takes about two-and-a-half weeks.”

Haywood sells its clubs all over the world, but 85 percent of its sales are in the United States and Canada. Canadian sales now account for about 40 percent of its business, up from about 15 percent in 2021.

Haywood credits word of mouth and the company’s price point — generally 30 to 40 percent less than the big brands — for that bump in Canadian sales. The fact Haywood’s clubs perform very well in tests against its big brand opponents and aesthetically are very appealing are also major factors in the company’s success at home and aboard.

“Somebody from Vancouver saying ‘hey, have you heard of Haywood, go check them out,’ that helps,” he says. “We are starting to see a lot of sales out east and I think it’s just a combo of us being Canadian and the fact that we build everything in-house, so it’s as Canadian-made as a golf company can get. And with our price point, it’s just an easy win for us to gain customers who are like, it’s Canadian-based, it’s custom to spec and I am going to save 40 percent versus buying something from any of the big brands.”

Haywood’s driving iron has been a huge seller and the company is preparing to introduce two new sets of irons in the coming weeks, including a revamped version of their popular Signature irons called SV.2.

“Our product life cycle is very different than Taylor Made who are releasing a product it seems like every six months,” Haywood says. “Our Signature irons have been in circulation for four years and are still performing as well as the new models our competitors have come out with. There really is no performance difference there. For us, it took us four years to create a different product that performed a little bit better. Is it going to be life-changing? No, but it gives an extra mile and a half an hour of ball speed, it has got a little more muted sound and feel, it’s foam-filled, so it’s just the next progression for us.”

Haywood is also set to introduce a completely new line of Players Distance irons called PD.1. They are designed to be more forgiving than a blade with stronger lofts.

“We are really excited about these new additions,” Haywood says. “These will be catalysts for us, we expect to see a significant surge in sales once we release them.”