Glenn Palmer - PDF Download Click Here
I was born and raised in Riverwood, a small suburb located in the South East of Sydney, Australia. I was first introduced to golf at around 10 years of age. I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with my father who taught me everything about the game. He was a family orientated man and loved getting out and playing golf whenever he could. I can remember sitting on the back of his golf buggy and just watch him play. We play 9 holes at Moorefield’s Golf Club and he’d cut down a 5 Iron and let me have a shot or two.
At that age, Dad and I would practice putting at home in the lounge room and we would take turns putting a ball into an old silver-putting tray. I can still remember the sound it made when the ball went it. We would also occasionally put to a cup or drinking glass on the floor and use that as a target. As I got older he would take me to the park and we would spend many hours just hitting balls and talking to each other. It was a great father and son bonding time. Looking back I really value these times we spent together. Dad signed me up at the local golf club, Bexley, at the age of 13. It was 1977. I was the youngest junior member at the time. I think they actually reduced the age limit down from 14 to let me join.
Looking back golf there were two positive influences in my life. My Father and our joint love of the game of Golf. I grew up in a Public Housing estate so we were on a budget but I felt I always had enough. Being the cheeky, fun loving young guy that I was, I could have quite easily gone done a lesser path. My Father and Golf provided me through my informative years with a solid foundation for life. The values of golf were the same to live my life by. These values that were taught to me were reinforced by the club members I would meet and play golf with at my local Golf Club. It shaped me as a person and I have many memories of goods times with good mates. I am extremely grateful for those times encouraging self-belief, integrity, sportsmanship, honesty and as I found out later were actually the 9 Core Values of The First Tee.
So leaving school after year 10 I managed to become an apprentice Fitter and Turner. I was always pretty good at designing and making things. After about 13 years in the trade I realised I have a knack for sales and eventually combined the two skills.
It was when I was about 40 after many years of practicing and playing golf my knowledge about putting was quite extensive. I was still playing to single figures and always seemed to putt really well dispite the rest of my game suffering from a lack of practise. In 2005, after 25 years of working in engineering and business development roles, I decided to combine these skills with my Putting knowledge and invented a Putting Trainer called StrokeBuilder.
I managed to use what little funding I had to produce prototypes and a small production run. I booked a flight to Orlando, paid to have a stand at the largest Golf Show in the world and took 50 units to sell.
2005 PGA Golf Show Orlando - PDF Download Click Here
I sold the 50 units at the show, got several orders from John Jacobs Golf School and In The Hole Golf. 11 months of hard work had paid off. So I thought... I returned from the USA and found it difficult to secure a distributor. What’s next?
I went back into a full time sale role and continued to market the Putting Trainer in my spare time. Realising that the standard Putting Mats available on the market were really poor, I decided to design and manufacture a range of Putting Mats called ProMaster to help both beginners and experienced golfers improve their putting skills.I continued to market this range as well outside my full time sales role.
After 5 successful years of manufacturing and selling Promaster Putting Mats in Australia, I wanted to create a Putting Mat that was interactive, fun that would appeal to golfers and non-golfers, something families could enjoy.
In 2010, I came up with a new concept and put together some initial mock ups. Back then I spend many months looking for a material that I could print onto. These are the first ever drawings of Putt18.
Sample Drawings April 2010 - PDF Download Click Here
The main challenge I faced was finding the finding a putting mat material that could be printed on. This proved more difficult than I thought. Frustrated and unable to find the right material and needing to spent more time on earning an income I struggled to find the finances to develop the product any further. I put my plans for a new putting mat on hold for the next 3 years.
In July 2013, I decided to create an actual layout version in my garage using some cardboard cut outs on one of my old ProMaster 312 Putting Mats. I started to search again for a company that I could source the material I could print on.
First Matting Design (July 2013) PDF Download Click Here
I eventually tracked down a company in China, but due to funding issues and time constraints it took another 12 months to create the first prototypes of the product. I spent many hours testing various matting types. I finally found the perfect matting material for Putt18. After receiving several versions and after several trips overseas speaking with the manufacturer I finally decided on the material and layout format for the Putting Mat (Game).
Determined not to have a substandard product, I know that I have done the research and testing to find the best putting surface to challenge even the most experienced Pro Golfer. The end product is made from high quality matting, promising true roll. I wanted to reflect the effort put into this struggle to get a product on the market and that’s why I have included a 5 year manufacture guarantee.
At this point I needed a brand name. A name that would describe the product. 18 putts = 18 holes. It had to be called Putt18.
My Father - Keith Palmer
When first compiling the history of Putt18 my father was 86 and he didn’t get on the golf course anymore. We still played Putt18 and shared the competitive spirit together. Not everyone will have an opportunity to experience golf on a golf course or share the positive opportunities that I did. I really want people to experience what it feels like to putt for a par, birdie or even an eagle and actually make the putt like you would if you were playing a round of golf and share that emotion with others.
My father passed in August 2018 a little less than 2 years after mum passed. Dad was the main influence in my life and a great role model. He always offered support and guidance and help to others whenever the opportunity arose. He was an immense supporter of my journey and his legacy lives on through Putt18 today. I’m sure he would be smiling, proud and very happy that our humble putting sessions in the living room amounted to a putting game shared by so many.
Glenn Palmer, Dec 2019