In 2018 a new Kiwi startup started to disrupt the golf ball industry by launching New Zealand’s first premium direct-to-consumer golf ball. Volle Golf’s mission is to challenge the status quo and bring fresh ideas and innovation to the golf industry. Co-founder Kael Deherrera started the company with the goal of doing things differently.
There is an environmental revolution brewing on the golf course, and it’s all about your coffee ground discards. Waste coffee grounds collected from New Zealand cafes will be used to make biodegradable golf tees for both the local and international markets.
“We were trying to investigate and understand how golf products are made and essentially think about how we could do things differently and more sustainably,” said Kael. “It led us into a bit of a deep dive in the tee industry, understanding that plastic is still heavily used in tees at the moment, and obviously there is a problem with leaving broken plastic tees scattered around golf courses.”
While wooden tees are available, Deherrera mentioned they were mostly imported from China, and much wood is whittled down to create them. Volle started to investigate alternative materials, including sawdust-but found there were issues with durability.
To make a truly sustainable tee, it needs to be durable-it can’t break on every shot. Kael actually discovered coffee grounds were being used in a lot of furniture and other bits and pieces as a replica for wood. The Volle tees are 60 to 70 percent made from coffee grounds with other natural materials added to increase durability-including sugar cane and casein carbonate.
Compared to wooden tees, which Kael says will break on average after three to four shots, Volle’s tees would last about six to seven shots. That is about a 66% increase in durability.
While Volle is currently in partnership with a Danish company, arrangements are being made to bring manufacturing to New Zealand. All the tees currently sold in New Zealand are imported and primarily from China. Deherrera said they are hoping to create replacements for all other tees.
The tees come in a bag designed to look like a coffee packet-and they even smell like your morning cup of Joe.
“Our goal is to be in every golf shop in the country, and then look for international markets. We’re calling this the most environmental and sustainable tee on the planet and we think there’s no reason to be using plastic or wooden tees again.”
Please visit volle.golf for more information.