Feb 7, 2011

Carving Out An Identity

Gone are the days when the pros just throw on any old belt. These days belts and buckles are all part of a player's personality and style. For proof, check out Anthony Kim, Bubba Watson or any other pro on tour.

With the help of companies like Identity Belts & Buckles (IBB), hackers like you and I have the ability to deck ourselves out in some pretty trendy belt and buckle combinations.  The Dallas-Fort Worth area company went live in May 2010 and are quickly becoming recognized and popular with area tour pros, as well as college and junior players.  Their belts and buckles definitely make a fashion statement.  For me or any other golf consumer, customization is the key for any golf related product.  Companies like IBB deliver with their many customization options.  For such a young company, their great vision definitely has them on the road to success.

Identity Designed Belt 7 Buckle for Ari Techner at Scratch Golf.

I had the pleasure to ask Austin one of the owners of Identity Belts & Buckles a few questions recently.

Belts have become quite the accessory for not only the Pro Golfer but the average hacker what makes an Identity Belt different from other companies who make golf specific belts?

Identity Belts & Buckles... I really believe the quality and care for the products is what sets us apart. Every part of our belts and buckles is made in the USA. We are able to manage every aspect of the buckle manufacturing. From the shape, weight, color, even the tool size used in cutting the material. We take pride in the quality of our product. The custom process is easy and a lot of fun. We have a world of options to choose from but the first thing we establish is a design. Creating designs with clients is always an adventure, whether it's from a jpeg or sketch submitted to us or from scratch. In no time at all (1-3 days on average) we create a digital rendering of a custom buckle. Our custom clients get a true look at what their dream buckle will look like. This renderings gives them a chance to choose what they like and would want to tweak in a design. We make the necessary changes and can have a buckle machined, polished, painted and out to a waist line in no time.

What's the coolest custom design you've done to date?

Tough to say... I'll let you pick from some of our all time favorites: The Bulldog was really cool -design was apart of the 2010 Brickyard Collegiate in Georgia. The Rocketship - John Rollins iB1 debut, Pebble Beach U.S. Open. Some individual custom work : Morton, Mason.

What is the most popular design from your collections?

Halo, hands down for the iB1 buckle. Plaid for the Class Six line up.

Name a Pro you'd like to design a belt for?

We have had some great opportunities to make buckles as gifts for players like; Fowler, Kim, Annika, Kerr & Mahan, in Notah Begay's NB3 Challenge. As for one specific pro... Roy McIlory.

Where do you see golf specific belts/buckles 5 years from now?

We hope to continue the growth in the club golf shops as well as expand throughout the golf industry. At country clubs or in the corporate golf offices, everyone has nice shirts... Why not have a really nice buckle to show off your organization! (In college I worked at the prestigious club in town, Miramont. Loved working with the pros and members there. Miramont is the type of club we hope to incorporate buckles as a part of staff uniforms.)

Will you design a belt and ship to Canada? Is there any place you won't ship? 
No problem. We try not to limit where our buckles go.

Give us the scoop what design are you working on right now?

Currently, we're rolling out 200+ buckles for the Texas Junior Golf Tour, Tour Championship (Feb. 11 tournament start date) We have also been busy out fitting our Tour players with new buckles and belts for the first stretch of the season. We also have some new buckle types in the works and are working to further increase our personalization/custom experience this year.

Look for Ottawa Golf Blog to do a review of some of IBB belt and buckles real soon.

2010 In Review For IBB

  • Started minimal production in May.
  • IBB stabled nearly a dozen guys on Tour in 2010, graduated Bobby Gates and Martin Piller to the big show to make it a bakers dozen to start 2011.
  • Sponsored Notah Begay's NB3 Challenge in mid August, providing custom buckles for each player.
  • Were heavily involved with the College Golf Fellowship at retreats of DL3, Paul Stankowski, and Ben Crane.
  • Displayed and retailed custom buckles in 6 club golf shops in Texas (October) Articles of several Texas golf mag and newspapers, debuted on the thegolfchannel.com in late October.

John Rollins during the first round of the 110th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 17, 2010 in Pebble Beach, California sporting an Identity Belt & Buckle

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