Look up golf trophies on the web and you’re going to find exactly what you’d expect. Gaudy, plastic, piece of junk golf trophies with tiny gold painted figures on top that are made in China. Until now. I was out to change that when I sculpted the Mulligan golf trophy. The Mulligan was different than my other trophies because I wasn’t sculpting it with solely fantasy sports in mind. Even though there are fantasy golf fans, I knew that this golf trophy needed to cross over into the world of real sports leagues and golf tournaments. Guys would email me saying that they wanted a cool golf trophy to represent their family outing or a yearly tournament at work or with friends. Keeping that in mind, I grabbed some clay and got to work. With every design I first start by asking myself, “What would I want to play for?” From there I feel it’s a lot easier to achieve something that other sports fans would be thrilled to have. After several weeks the Mulligan was finished and I introduced it to the public. He’s gotten rave reviews from fans of FantasyTrophies.com and I can’t tell you how exciting it is when a guy says it’s the perfect trophy to represent his golf tournament, league, or even a hole in one.
See for yourself and tell me what you think.
Today was spent prepping the Throwback Fireman fantasy football trophy so that it could receive a brush-on coat of silicone. It’s somewhat a tedious process but one that needs to be done in order to insure every detail of the original sculpture is present in the final cast. You can see in the photo that the brush-on coat is very thin. We do this on purpose so that very few air bubbles appear on the surface of the sculpture and if they do we can easily pop them. We’ll let this cure for 24 hours and then tomorrow the remainder of the silicone will be poured.
The Mulligan golf trophy was released about a month ago and, by the early response, he’s definitely going to make his mark on the golf world. I’ve heard from a bunch of fans of FantasyTrophies.com that the Mulligan is the perfect trophy for their golf tournament, skins game, or to commemorate a hole in one. I knew when I was sculpting the Mulligan that I had something pretty special on my hands. One of the things that I do before I sculpt any trophy is to do some studying of the competition and research other trophies on the market. What I realized was that there is a lot of crap out there when it comes to golf trophies. Go ahead and look for yourself. Google search golf trophy and you’ll be amazed with the amount of junk you’ll discover. I knew I wanted something different and a trophy that would really speak to true golf fanatics and +10 handicappers everywhere. The Mulligan I feel is just that. And by what fans have been telling me, I’m not alone.
I just wanted to again mention that I’ll soon be taking a much needed family vacation and won’t be in the shop to fill any fantasy football trophy orders that come in. Try not to panic though, I should still have plenty of time to get any orders that come in during that period out before you have you have your draft. I realize how important it is to have your trophy for the big day and you have my word that I’ll do my very best to get it out to you by then. It’s always best to get your order in sooner rather than later though to ensure your trophy will get out my doors in a timely manner. It gets really crazy around here in late August, early September.
Father’s Day is right around the corner and people are always searching for great gift ideas for Dad. Socks and ties just don’t cut it anymore. If you want to give dad a gift he’ll no doubt remember, the Mulligan golf trophy is the way to go. If dad is an avid golfer, plays in a tournament with his buddies or a skins game with friends, or has gotten a hole in one; the Mulligan is the perfect gift this year. I mean come on, doesn’t dad deserve something more than the crappy shirt you were thinking of getting him? And don’t even think about purchasing another gift certificate to the restaurant he goes to all the time. It’s time to show dad you actually put some thought into a gift for him this year for Father’s Day. And you can even personalize his trophy by having a plate engraved for him. It’s a no brainer. The only question is do you go for the large or the small version.
I’m always trying to improve the process by which each trophy is produced. One of the ways to do this is to look at each mold and see if it can be made smaller to fit in the pressure pots. Pressurizing the resin as it sets up ensures that few or no air bubbles will be present when we take the cast out. This also lessons the time it takes to prep a trophy for the painting stage because air pockets need to be filled before a trophy is finished. Another way to improve the casting process is to streamline it in any way we can. This week my mold maker James tackled making the mold for casting the clubs for the Mulligan golf trophy. Instead of doing one at a time, he’s building a mold that will capture 10 fiberglass rods that will become the shaft of the golf club. The resin will flow down the 2 part mold into small cavities forming the club heads. It’s a time consuming process building a production mold like this but in the end it will be one more example of how we’re always trying to improve upon things at FantasyTrophies.com.
One of the biggest challenges with the new Mulligan golf trophy has been how to sculpt, cast, and attach the club. Most golf trophies you see have the golf club running down the back of the figure with it ultimately being attached to the backside of a leg. I really didn’t want to go this route and instead wanted a look and feel that was authentic and true to a golf swing. The challenge though would be that the club head would stick out away from the body and be susceptible to breaking. This dilemma would never fully be resolved because that point of the golf trophy will always be it’s weakest point. However, one way to help prevent the rod from snapping is to make the golf club out of 1/8″ fiberglass rod. This way it will allow some flex in the rod if it happens to be hit or bumped. Hopefully this small detail will prevent a number of unwanted breakages from happening. One thing I’ve come to realize is that no matter what you do, breakages will always happen.
A hole in one trophy is something only a select few have the fortune of having up on their mantle. I’m still amazed that I fall in that category. My hole in one came about 10 years ago at my buddy Bill’s bachelor party. It was on the second hole at Orchard Hills Golf Course in Chesterland, Ohio and I remember thinking it will be a miracle if we’re in any condition to even finish the round. I pulled out a 9 iron with about 130 yards to the front edge. When I hit the ball I thought I crushed it over the green and I remember trying to track the ball in the cloudy sky. Suddenly I heard a clank sound and figured I hit the top of the pin. My buddies though instantly started saying that they didn’t see the ball and thought it went right in the hole. I immediately started running for the green. When I got there the ball was nowhere to be found and I started thinking the unthinkable. Yes, a hole in one. I just got a hole in one! I started yelling like a mental patient and took the ball out of the cup and put it in my golf bag.
Orchard Hills would later give me a lame trophy with a plate stating my miraculous achievement. I think that trophy sits buried in my parent’s basement.
When I sculpted The Mulligan Trophy I had my hole in one ball in mind. It deserved better. Finally it’s time for the ball to rest on a fitting monument to my once in a lifetime accomplishment.
Doesn’t your ball deserve the same respect?
The new Mulligan golf trophy has been sculpted, cast, and finished and my guy Mike is hard at work updating the website. Now the hard part begins- getting the word out. When you have a great product you soon realize that it doesn’t matter if no one knows about it. I feel I have a pretty good understanding of many of the social platforms and what they can do for a small business like FantasyTrophies.com, but it really boils down to being disciplined and posting content about your product or service. The Mulligan now enters that realm. Reaching out to top golf blogs, celebrity golf tournaments, bars, and golf courses are all on the agenda.
If only all of that was as easy as sculpting the golf trophy itself.
My parents paid FantasyTrophies.com a visit yesterday and got to see the new Mulligan golf trophy. It was in their Cleveland garage back in 1993 or so that FantasyTrophies was born. I first started sculpting the Armchair Quarterback there while going to art school and then moved on to doing the Armchair Ace and Armchair Big Man. I bet they never dreamed that I would’ve been able to turn that first trophy into a business that I now run out of Brooklyn, NY.
Both gave their approval of The Mulligan.