How an Iowa Farm Equipment Manufacturer Changed Golf Forever

At Standard Golf, we are proud to be the world’s top manufacturer of golf course accessories. But we haven’t always been the industry leader. In fact, when the company was founded over a century ago, we were in a completely different industry altogether. It was only due to insightful management and a founder with an eye for opportunity that we were able to grow from a local farm equipment manufacturer to the worldwide golf accessory provider we are today.

In the early twentieth century, our company was a local operation called Standard Manufacturing Company. Based in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Standard Manufacturing produced steel farm gates, boat docks, automatic hog waterers and more. The company worked tirelessly to provide farmers with the wide variety of tools they needed to put food on America’s tables. Golf never even crossed anyone’s mind. In fact, for the first decade of our company’s operation, the city of Cedar Falls didn’t even have a golf course.

The sport had been slowly spreading across America during the late nineteenth century, growing in popularity every year as more and more people began to realize the joy they could get from spending a day on the links. In 1921, golf finally arrived in Cedar Falls in the form of a beautiful nine-hole course. While it was decently outfitted, the course builders and owners encountered some early difficulty because no company offered a complete, standardized line of golf course accessories. Our company’s founder, Walter Voorhees, saw this as an opportunity.

“The idea struck me that here was a new field for an alert manufacturer,” Voorhees said when asked about his decision to change direction. “Why not develop a complete line of needs in this field, a standard line? Why not develop a product so good that it would be in demand all over the United States?”

By 1926, the company was manufacturing a complete line of golf accessories. We even drew on our history as an agricultural producer to create innovative new products. For instance, we adapted our automatic hog waterer to become the crank ball washer ubiquitous in the industry today. In the decades that followed, our line of golf products became so popular we ended up divesting ourselves of our agricultural line in 1971, and changing our name to Standard Golf just three years later.

We are still located in our hometown of Cedar Falls today, though we upgraded to a new facility in 1992. Our European warehouse opened in 1991, and we are proud to say we now have 250 distributors worldwide. Since our company created the crank ball washer, we have grown to provide nearly any golf course accessory imaginable, including many custom flags used around the world and seen on television. We continue to be successful thanks to our commitment to innovation. Just as Walter Voorhees steered us in a new, exciting direction, we too seek to create products today that continue to push us, and the industry as a whole, ever forward.

With over 100 years as a manufacturer, Standard Golf has built up a reputation for quality products and quality people. We’ve supplied golf courses in countries all over the world, and have even stocked courses on military bases for our people serving overseas. We are proud of our past, and look forward to the future of our company.

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