For a while they were a David among golf's Goliaths. Denver-based Yes! Golf and its C-Groove putters had an interesting technology story with its grooved face and credibility thanks to U.S. Open wins by Retief Goosen in 2001 and 2004. Unfortunately, the company could not sustain its momentum and now Yes! is out of business, with Progear Holdings (which did business as Yes! Golf), filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in United States Bankruptcy Court in Colorado.
On Nov. 18, the board authorized Francis Ricci, as president and CEO, to liquidate the assets of the company in the optimal manner, including the filing of Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Court papers dated Dec. 2, 2010 reveal a company bleeding red ink the last three years with losses of $215,942 in 2008, $1,804,713 in 2009 and $1,248,170 this year. The company listed inventory of $1,150,536 in the U.S. and another $1,235,965.11 in China. Assets in the form of personal property was $6,364,588.12, although the balance in a pair of bank accounts totaled a mere $3,031.33. The amount owed secured creditors was listed at $668,226.78.
The list of unsecured creditors numbered more than 200, with claims totaling approximately $2 million, most with small claims. However, there were some interesting names on the list, including the Darrell Survey ($6,525) and five tour players: Rachel Hetherington ($9,600); Edoardo Molinari ($8,750); Kristy McPherson ($8,150); Mikaela Parmlid ($3,050) and Rosie Jones ($2,500).
As recently as late September Yes! putters were still making headlines on the course as Jim Furyk won the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup using a used Yes! Sophia he bought at a golf shop for $39. A last hurrah for a putter company that had been part of the professional golf scene for the last decade.
-* E. Michael Johnson*