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Caddyrack 

An invention used to organise irons in a golf bag.

The Caddyrack has been used by a large number of golfers around the world to eliminate the damage to their golf clubs and to organise their golf bag in a way that had never been seen before. The original Australian Patent was issues in 1994 and followed in 1997 by the USA Patent.

 

The Idea 

Hmmmmmm?

Approaching middle age and after decades of competitive sailing and building international 505 racing sail boats that won 8 world and 16 national titles, Geoff and Terry Kyrwood were ready for a change.

Their new passion was Golf.

To win a sailing race every second counts, the control systems in the boat have to work smoothly and without fuss. Control lines and cleats had to be organised and easily operated. This mind set for so many years made playing golf a very foreign experience. The clubs were not organised and not ready at hand.

In 1993 as a result of this background the Caddyrack concept was developed in Kyrwood's fibreglass boat building factory. Balsa foam and fibreglass prototypes were produced and trialled.

The final design was the basis for the toolmaker based in Sydney to produce injection tooling ready for production.

The Evolution

 
The prototype evolution

As with any great idea, the first iteration is always based upon the current skills of the inventor(s). The first Caddyrack prototype was developed using the boat building products of Kyrwood Fibreglass that were used in the construction of their racing boats. The White Caddyrack was the first of several prototypes that were built to test the concept of a rack that seperated the clubs and held them in place for their next use.

To further the design, a fibreglass unit was hand made. This yellow Caddyrack was the second iteration of the design. Note the adjustable anti-rotation middle leg and side legs utilise a simpler mounting technique. The seperator fins are still very similar to the original.

The next notable evolution was the Fibreglass and Gel Coat unit seen here in Black. Note the improvements in the side mounting with the hook on th eoutside of the legs and the adjustable leg with its two degrees of freedom (slotted) adjuster. In addition, the seperation fins have now been straightened for use with more types of iron head design and to simplify the production molds. 

Production 

The First Production Caddyrack done specially in Red Plastic
 
Black Caddyrack First Production Run
 

Once the final prototype was tested and refined, a tool maker in Sydney was contracted to manufacture Molded Injected Plastics tooling to prodce the Caddyrack in large numbers.

The tooling was complex and quite expensive and was initially only made for a 9 slot version for right handed clubs only. The first prduction Prototype was the RED Caddyrack unit.

The final Production Caddyrack was made in black plastic and production commenced in 1994.

Patents 

The Caddyrack was Patented in several countries. Australia, USA, Canada, United Kingdom and Japan. World IP Patent Number WO1995/020999.

The Market 

The Caddyrack was marketed in Australia to begin with but soon after its inception two friends, brothers Peter and John Drinkwater became involved as partners to help with the daunting and exciting world potential of this new invention. In 1995 and 1996 the product took off. There were more than 700 a week being sold in Australia alone. An agreement was reached with Greg Norman to lend his name to the product and the Shark Caddyrack was christened. The arrangement was short lived. Hudreds of thousands of Caddyracks were sold to the golfing public in a few short years.

The Struggle 

A disagreement ensued that led to litigation for a number of years.

Birth of Kahma Golf

In the mean time, the Kyrwood Brothers decided to re-brand their invention. There were a few startups - Rack-em-up - which was used in the United States as well as Australia. Finally, a name was chosen as a play on words. It was irony on one side, where karma was not on their side in the disagreement that led to the lquidation of Caddyrack Pty Ltd and one must always remain calm when these things arise.

A new slogan was used - Play Kahma Golf. When said with a good Aussie accent it sounds like - Play calmer golf.

Along with the new found Brand came yet another invention from the Kyrwood Brothers - The Kahma Softgrip.

The Kahma Softgrip (Caddyrack Pro)

new-rack-golden-copy.jpg


Kahma Sofgrip Advertisement 2002

The Kahma Softgrip was invented in 1998 and through some extraordinary engineering and tooling design, the production tooling was developed in Sydney Australia. The new device was quickly patented in Australia, USA, UK and Japan. A World IP Patent was issued as well.

Kahma Softgrip USA Design Patent and Kahma Softgrip Utility Patent

The new product is a dramatic improvement over the Caddyrack Classic in that through some clever design, the rack grips the iron head in all directions but, allows for the easy extraction and insertion of the club into the rack. This rack was also designed to be suitable for both right hand and left hand clubs and could be quickly installed on most golf bags.

In the new century there was a change in the manufactured golf bags. Manufacturers had solved the problem of individual compartments for each club in the bag. These new bags were not suitable for the Kahma Products and sales dropped off.

In response to this, the Kyrwood Brothers began manufacturing a line of golf bags that were suitable for the racks and eventually integrated the Kahma Softgrip into the golf bag itself.

 

The Kahma Golf Bag 

 
Kahma Golf Bag - First Prototype- 2002

The Kahma Golf bag was designed and manufactured in response to the change in golf bag design that utilised 14 slots in the top of the bag that prevented the use of the Kahma Softgrip and the Caddyrack as an organiser for golf clubs.

The first bags were 6 way top staff bags where the Kahma Softgrip was installed post production. This led to a search for a golf bag manufacturer in China that could incorporate the Kahma Softgrip into the golf bag in a more permanent fashion.

There have been a number of evolutions of the Kahma Golf Bag with the Kahma Softgrip integrated leading to the current range of golf bags available in Australia, USA and Sweden.

The NEW Kahma Golf

 
The new range of Kahma Golf Bags 2012

In 2011, Kahma Golf was sold to Kent Donally in Canberra. The new owner of Kahma Golf has updated the design of the bags and has begun to re-invigorate the market and brand awareness of th Kahma Golf and Caddyrack brands.

Kahma Golf bags are available in Australia online at kahmagolf.com and in the United States at www.kahmagolf.us, Canada www.kahmagolf.ca and in Europe at www.caddyrack.golf.