Alessandro Guazzini is the type of entrepreneur who has more skillsets than a chameleon changes colors.
Marketer. Engineer. Brand ambassador. Adept listener. Product and quality control leader. Visionary.
Quietly confident and humble, the Italian-born Guazzini stands behind what he calls a ground-breaking new grip that can be compressed to a club within several seconds.
"It is what we call the next generation golf grip," says Guazzini, founder and CEO of family-owned BRD Grips, via Zoom from company headquarters in Prato, Italy.
Its latest iteration, the X1-Grip, boasts Pure Feel Technology, based on an innovative, lightweight two-layered polymer that promotes ultra-comfort. More than that, the technology assures tackiness, shock absorption and torsional stability — all of which are underrated components of executing a seamless shot.
"It's the result of the combination of an external transparent layer and an inner polymer core, which was specifically designed to filter shocks and vibrations," says Craig Patterson, U.S. representative for BRD Grips. "But it's also to guarantee the best feedback through your swing."
The Pure Feel Technology percolated for the better part of six years. Guazzini and team conceived it after years of research on polymers. The appeal lies in its strength, resilience, resistance to corrosion and softness. In earlier models, known then as BRD grips, Guazzini indicated there was room for improvement. Between 2018-20, BRD Grips created various prototypes based on user reviews. Guazzini intently listened and absorbed the feedback.
It seemed like they were testing something new each month, then reproduced and tested again until the X1-Grip was born.
"Several years ago, we saw there were about 23 grips made between seven large manufacturers and it seemed like there was a better solution, better design, that could help improve golf games," Guazzini says. "We knew we had found a way, through our various engineering, to perfect polymer usage."
When examining the grip on a club, the large BRD (stands for Birdie) logo instantly captures the eye. However, there's more than brand awareness at play.
The multiple-layer design was constructed with smaller dimples, close in proximity, on its front for feel and durability. On the backside, wider dimples help keep the hand in place — whether an overlapping, interlocking or a 10-finger grip us used. In other words, the hands won't slip during a shot's sequence.
Heavy grips have a propensity to make a club feel heavier, especially the clubhead, and can sometimes cause hiccups in swing speeds. With the lightweight X1-Grip, it feels as though the hands come through seamlessly.
"Torsional stability can help everybody," says Patterson, a longtime golf instructor who also dabbled in PGA Tour Champions qualifying. "It really helps the better player who can feel that difference. We've had a really good response with the amateur player."
When it comes to installation, BRD Grips architected a smooth process. With a tapeless air installation procedure, golfers can test, change and reinstall as many times needed while keeping the grips and clubs damage free.
Ideally, the company would like to target the more accomplished player, generally at the junior golfer and amateur levels. Success to Guazzini and Patterson would be defined by getting it into the hands of golfers on pro circuits, with infiltration into the PGA Tour as the highest of mountains.
"Pretty much everybody I give this to loves it," Patterson says. "It needs to start on a range, have it in a golf shops. Put it in the hands of the customer and have them hit it. And then compare it to other grips. It has nothing to do with all the other grips you've ever played before."
Sold in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Europe, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, United Kingdom and the U.S., the X1-Grip runs roughly $15.99 per grip and can be found through distributors, CraigPattersonGolf.com and BRDGrips.com.