I started Upright Golf shortly after I developed a very unique product - Joe's Original Backtee – for a great person, an incredible Dad & 'Grandpa Joe', a friend to all that ever met him, a successful business man, community leader, and an avid golfer...my late father, C. Joe Egli, from the small town of Manson, IA. In his late-70's Dad was really having problems with his artificial hip joints (of 25-26 years), and then, at age 79, he also had to have a couple vertebrae in his lower back fused together. The net result of the back surgery was that physically he could no longer bend or stoop and to him the most devastating thing was that he could no longer bend down to 'tee his golf ball up' - and to make it worse, the former WWII fighter pilot was too proud (and maybe a little too stubborn) to let his golfing buddies 'tee it up' for him! Before I learned the full extent of his post-surgery physical limitations, I remember calling him one morning and during our conversation I asked, "How's your golf game been Dad?" and when he replied, "Well, not so good. I've had to quit playing golf because I'm no longer able to bend down to tee my ball up". I have to admit that it brought tears to my eyes! I was devastated for him because I knew what that meant for the overall quality of his life! He was one of those guys that, no matter what physical issues or challenges he was having to deal with, if he could play golf...life was good!
After that phone conversation, I started doing some brainstorming, I visited with a couple of really-creative friends, I experimented with a couple of wooden prototypes, and I made a couple of drawings of a simple 'teeing device' that could be clipped on/off of the golf grip on whatever club Dad was using to tee off with. I got a small block of milk-colored plastic from a local company and I took everything to a local CNC machine shop here in rural lowa...and about 2-1/2 hours (and $250) later, this incredibly talented machine operator had created what would ultimately become the original teeing device for my Dad. I spray painted the little device a yellow-gold (for his Iowa Hawkeyes) and gave it to Dad for his 78th birthday in May, 2000! Within days Dad was playing golf again and life was much better. In late fall, Dad would leave Iowa and head to Florida for 5-6 months where he so enjoyed being able to play golf (with a little help from his teeing device)! We'd talk every week or so and he'd always tell me, "You should start making these teeing devices and selling them...most everybody down here has some type of bending issue and the people that see it love it...you could really help a lot of older golfers play longer and more often!".
Well, that certainly wasn't the first time nor was it the last time that I took my Dad's advice. I invested in a plastic injection mold, we started manufacturing the teeing device, and I demonstrated it while introducing it to the golf world from the Hornung's Golf Products' booth during the 2002 PGA Golf Merchandise Show in Orlando, FL. When it was time for the teeing device to get its name I figured that since I'd made the device for my Dad ‘Joe’, gave him the 'original' one, for his ‘bad back' issues, and because it could be used to 'tee' a golf ball up without having to bend or stoop...l'd call it Joe's Original Backtee to help tell the story - and as of today, our little Joe's Original Backtee teeing device is being used by thousands of golfers not just in all 50 of our United States but by golfers all over the world (in 41 foreign countries to date)! I couldn’t have ever imagined how many golfers would want/need the device! How a crazy looking little plastic device that was originally made for a 78 year old golfer from Iowa would become one of the most incredible playing aids in the world!
Since that 2002 PGA golf show, Upright Golf has continued to develop a wide variety of 'playing aids' for senior golfers and/or golfers of any age that want to make the game easier and more enjoyable - and specifically if they wish to eliminate some or all of the repetitive bending and stooping in the game. Upright Golf has developed the most comprehensive line of easy-to-use playing aids in the world! Several of our proprietary products are offered by some of the most prominent golf distributors, golf specialty retail stores, and on-course pro shops in the world...and ALL of them are available to you right now on this website! I would also warn all golfers that several over-seas manufacturers now offer cheap inferior knock-off versions of our popular 4-finger Golf Claw ball pick up tool on the Internet. If you see them, please know that if it doesn't have a 'spine' on the backside of each finger (for added strength and long-term durability) or our UprightGolf.com brand on it them it's not an Upright Golf product! Thank you for allowing Upright Golf to serve you, feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and always remember...WE'RE ENDING THE BENDING!