Furry friends from Daphne's Headcovers add personality, charm to any golf bag
Jane Spicer’s not afraid to go against conventional wisdom.
At the end of 2011, Spicer, the president and co-owner of Daphne’s Headcovers, made a philosophical decision that left her business advisers uneasy. She returned manufacturing to the company’s Phoenix plant again after a 10-year absence.
Spicer has been going against the grain since she was an overzealous 16-year-old, trying to raise enough money to purchase her first car. How could a teenage girl who knew nothing about golf or sales sell handmade animal head covers in a sport dominated by an old boys club?
By sheer determination, that’s how.
Spicer and her mother (the company’s namesake) founded Daphne’s Headcovers 34 years ago. I met Spicer at January’s PGA Merchandize Show in Orlando. She’s been traveling to golf’s biggest circus every year since she was age 18.
The company’s furry friends have grown into a major cultural phenomenon in golf. She created the iconic “Tiger” made famous by Tiger Woods. When Woods won the Masters in 1997, business grew 400 percent in one quarter. The company’s head covers now sell in 75 countries.
Spicer estimates her head covers decorate the bags of more than 200 LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR players. Ernie Els has his Lion (the one I’m currently sporting in my bag that is pictured above) and Aaron Baddeley has his Koala. Bubba Watson brought out a bare-foot, overalls-wearing redneck version of himself at the 2012 TOUR Championship. Spicer said she’s always looking for new ideas.
“I don’t have an exact science (when I create new ones),” she told me in January. “It depends on demand and how creative I am feeling. I do a lot of hiking. That’s where I get things done. And I draw on a lot of napkins.”
Daphne’s features more than 175 animals in its inventory. There are 25 breeds of dog compared to five different cats. Spicer said it took her five years to design the perfect Boston terrier. She’s got a regular zoo in her warehouse, too, with monkeys, gorillas, turtles, alligators and more. New in 2012, according to her website, are a Wolverine (just in time for the University of Michigan’s run to the Final Four) and Sasquatch.
The farm animals are quite cute, especially the chicken that lays an egg. I used to have multiple bulls given to me by the staff at FarmLinks Golf Club, a great course built on a former bull farm in Alabama. One by one, I lost them over the years, like so many others of my favorite head covers (read about it here). I keep replacing one pet with another because I’ve always liked having a little personality in my bag. For more, visit Daphne’s website here.
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