Ken Christopherson, Inventor
As a worldwide medical imaging consultant and Master Club Fitter with an analytical drive to help clients improve their swing and handicap, the road to Ken Christopherson’s invention of Acculine Golf Pucks was a natural.
Ken’s common tools for analyzing clients’ swings has always been alignment rods and a camera, but he found alignment rods on their own to be so clumsy and cumbersome that they seemed like a handicap to his work. They were a hassle to move, adjust and especially to repeat. Additionally, the 48-inch-long rods often got in the way of clients’ feet and golf balls. When he searched far and wide for a device that could lock the sticks together in various positions, he found nothing.
The seed was planted: Ken decided to invent the perfect alignment rod system that would be easy to use and give golfers the feedback required to build the correct muscle memory and achieve their best swing. He would soon find out, however, that he had to invent so much more than the Golf Pucks alone.
“It’s amazing how much detail goes into taking an idea from concept to commercial product,” Ken observed. “I wouldn’t have come this far without so many people telling me it’s a great idea.”
The process of invention
Once his pro club fitting work prompted his desire to create the perfect alignment guide rod system, he stopped his medical imaging consulting and club fitting work so he could focus completely on his invention.
His first “proof of concept” Golf Puck was carved from wood, followed by metal, Delrin plastic, nylon and finally polycarbonate; this material is so light and impact resistant that it’s commonly used for fighter jet windshields. The translucent ultra-blue Golf Pucks feature multiple alignment rod holes that offer a wide variety of rod configurations. The Golf Pucks also feature alignment markings that make it easy to repeat setups, and handy screws to easily lock in those settings. More holes in each corner allow the pucks to be anchored with standard golf tees, or users can insert alignment rods vertically into the holes. The final design was completed in November 2018 after a year of refinement.
“Everything was a variation on a theme,” Ken related. “It was an evolutionary process.”
Next came the guide rod design; Ken already knew that 48-inch rods were too long. To keep them from getting in the way, Ken created five lengths of 18, 24, 30, 36 and 42 inches.
“The whole thing is infinitely adjustable,” Ken explained of his Golf Pucks system. “Multiple guide rods can be used together with several Golf Pucks to check for alignment, posture, distance from the ball, foot position, target path, downswing path, clubface alignment, backswing position, takeaway angle, hand position at address, and hand position during a video assessment of the swing.”
The stick diameters are smaller than other guide rods, too, so Ken’s rods and Golf Pucks are lighter and take up less room in a club bag and pouch.
Once his Golf Pucks and rods were complete, Ken realized he needed to design all the packaging as well. He started with the goal of avoiding throwaway plastic and Styrofoam. He designed a sturdy cardboard box for shipping and a clear long-lasting tube for storing the rods in a golf bag, then found a perfect pouch for storing the pucks. A carabiner hook on the pouch lets it easily attach to the outside of a golf bag, or on the eyelet of the removable silicone cap on top of the rod storage tube. Ken even designed a special tool to bend and fit the boxes, and another to insert information cards into the tubes. He always focused sharply on utility as well as convenience.
Ken also went out of his way to get his parts made in the USA. For example, the stainless steel Golf Puck bolts are the only ones of that size made anywhere in this country, so he has to special order them. One of the top injection molders in the USA, based in Sacramento, makes the pucks themselves.
Ken supports his community with his business in many ways. The products and shipping/storage containers are assembled by adults with disabilities who work at Yavapai Exceptional Industries in Prescott. Ken also employs a local printer, marketing expert and wordsmith.
The completed Acculine Golf Pucks system is “brilliantly simple,” as one experienced coach described it.
“Acculine is the conjunction of the words accurate and alignment, which is precisely what the Golf Pucks system is designed to accomplish,” Ken explained. He’s so confident in his revolutionary product that he offers a 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee on all purchases.
Now that he’s scored an ace, Ken is focusing on getting the word out about his Golf Pucks. He’s already hearing praise from a growing list of golf pros and college coaches. And he’s been pleasantly surprised to learn about all the different ways that customers have found to use his product.
“There are more benefits than I expected,” he related. “It’s a lot more effective than I ever thought it could be.” Golfers use it to improve everything from pitching to chipping to bunker play to putting.
“It’s not limited by anything but your imagination,” Ken explained.