When precision engineer Ian Raybon and PGA professional Gary Hunter met on the golf course as schoolboys, going into business together was the last thing on their minds. Gary wanted to play and coach, Ian just wanted to be a half-decent golfer.
Less than 13 years later, they are the men behind Raybon Putters: a new brand offering bespoke, stunning, high performance milled putters to suit you and your game, with a custom look at a price point everyone can afford.
Gary was working part-time in his local golf club when Ian – then aged 11 – decided to take up golf. During the week they passed in the school corridors, but at weekends they played golf together, and at only 16 himself with aspirations to become a PGA Professional, Gary was the ideal person to teach Ian the basics. Although their working lives then took them in different directions, their friendship has continued to this day.
Ian took the traditional route into engineering. After his initial engineering qualifications, he won a much sought-after apprenticeship with manufacturing company Swagelok, eventually become a fully qualified precision engineer working on projects for high pressure oil rigs, the aerospace industry and for Rolls-Royce. At the same time, Gary was playing golf, continuing to coach and obtaining his degree in Professional Golf Studies.
By 2015, Ian and Gary were playing regularly together but Ian’s putting let him down. Like many golfers he decided that it was the putter that was at fault but he couldn’t afford a new one. What he could do was put his engineering skills to good use by designing and making his own, so that’s exactly what he did.
Weeks later, Ian was back on the golf course with his new, bespoke, putter and, to Gary’s surprise Ian had only ten putts on the front nine. Always competitive and not wanting Ian to get even close to beating him, Gary asked Ian to make him his own putter, milled and personalised just for him.
And that’s where Gary’s business experience came in. He knew that anyone would want the chance to own a personalised, high performance putter designed to each golfer’s own desires and yet still affordable. And now with millions of variations from head to grip, Gary and Ian know that each putter is truly unique.
In Raybon Putters Ian and Gary have created a very special working partnership: a precision engineer and a PGA professional with relevant business experience. Just 300 yards - or two good drives for Ian - from the club where he and Gary met and still play every weekend, Ian uses the same precision he developed as an aerospace engineer to create stunning, bespoke, high performance putters finished by hand, and then boxed and delivered anywhere in the world.