Rick Hetzel of Cape Girardeau, Mo., was writing a book, "The Traveling Golfer," to complement his business, Irish Golf Vacations, when he had an epiphany.
"I got to the section on packing," he said. "I got to the shoes part. There's just no easy way to get around packing golf shoes. I thought if there was something you could pull over your Skechers or tennis shoes. Then it dawned on me: Years ago, I'd gotten as a gift a pair of ice spikes."
Ice cleats typically fit over boots, improving traction on snow and ice. Hetzel discovered that no one had devised similar cleats for golf. So he found a company in Maine, 32North, that made ice cleats, and presented his idea.
The result: Insta Golf Shoes.
"It's a real simple idea, but has taken off beyond what I ever thought," Hetzel said. "I've been playing golf for a long time. A lot of golf shoes are not comfortable. That's a fact."
Insta Golf Shoes are lightweight for easy packing and allow golfers to use them with whatever shoes they're most comfortable wearing. "I played golf this morning and I wore a pair of New Balance shoes with my Insta Golf Shoes," Hetzel said.
Insta Golf Shoes attach with an elastomer tension-fit binding system. The cleats can be replaced same as with regular golf shoes.
A pair sells for $44.95 and for the time being are available only on the internet. However, Hetzel will officially introduce Insta Golf Shoes at the PGA Expo in Las Vegas later this month with the intention of finding retailers that will stock them.
-- John Strege