The Invention of Windage
Removing the Pain — Improving the Game
When Brian Trachsel, an avid golfer, had his first knee surgery, his golf game suffered because of the pain he felt in bending up and down to get the ball. It hurt to bend down to pick up a handful of grass before a shot, tossing it in the air and hoping to see the grass swirl one direction or another to tell wind direction. Plus, the grass toss method slowed play and was imprecise in measuring slight or variable winds.
Why not a simpler, more accurate way to judge the wind? Trachsel got together with a golfing buddy David Healy. They worked over the next several months to develop and refine their product a golf ball sized plastic container that could be squeezed to release a puff of powder that revealed wind direction as the powder floated in even the slightest breeze. Windage was a solution to the problem of bending down and a product that actually had much more precision in reading the wind than the traditional grass toss method.
After others started trying Windage, more and more people began asking for it. Pros said they would definitely recommend it, because it worked and because it sped up play. Windage overall makes the game more fun and enjoyable.
The golf ball sized Windage container has one flat side suitable for imprinting; it is perfect for a colorful logo, marketing slogan, or advertising message. (In retail sales, that surface will be imprinted with the Windage product name.) The design features a carabiner clip attachment to make the product easy to use and package. The team worked with manufacturers to keep the product under $6.00 retail, putting it in an affordable category for shoppers looking for that “extra something” to improve their games.
The Windage design received a patent from the US Trademark and Patent Office in 2005.
About Windage’s Creators
Brian Trachsel President
Trachsel is president and co-owner of Windage LLC with partner David Healy.
An owner of an orthodontic appliances business, Trachsel Dental Studio, Trachsel has always found time to both work and enjoy the sports and activities he loves. He is a committed fisherman, hunter and of course, an avid golfer. He’s also a great baseball fan and was active in amateur competitive softball play for many years.
None of the above activities were a problem for Trachsel until recently when he found his knee pain was the result of two torn meniscus along with bone spurs. It took working through pain plus multiple knee surgeries to get him seriously interested in a new product that would keep him from the constant bending down that was detracting from his enjoyment of golf. The answer came from the field of hunting, where staying downwind of the animals is critical to success.
Trachsel has been golfing more than 20 years and has a handicap of 12. He lives in Rochester, Minnesota with his family.
David Healy Vice President
Healy is vice-president and co-owner of Windage LLC. He is a sports and outdoor enthusiast with particular love for hunting, fishing, hockey and golf. Yes, he admits that both playing and watching hockey does provide a fine diversion from golf in the coldest months of his native state, Minnesota. Healy is also a partner in Healy-Holm Promotions, a successful advertising specialty firm based in Minnesota with a roster of blue-chip clients.
In his work providing marketing specialties to corporations for their loyalty and recognition programs, Healy learned that golf is the number one category when it comes to the most popular corporate gifts. This knowledge was much on his mind when he and friend Brian Trachsel (Windage president) designed a product to help read the wind without the nuisance and imprecision of the grass toss. Not only would Windage work well on the course and be an easy carry-on suitable for checking the wind at every hole, it was a perfect corporate gift for employees or clients. Once the product was designed for total effectiveness in reading the wind, Healy made sure it was also well designed for a corporate logo, slogan, or company name. A product was born.
Healy continues to enjoy his favorite sports along with his work for Windage LLC. Healy has been golfing for about 20 years and is looking for a number well under that for a handicap. He insists, however, that he is playing for the love of the game.
Healy lives with his family in Orono, Minnesota.