Kronos, a Greek god and titan, is the inspiration for my brand name. In Greek mythology, Kronos was the father of the Mt. Olympus gods, and his reign on time was known as the Golden Age. It was a time of peace and harmony between humanity and the gods. In contrast, modern-day golf has become increasingly complex with a multitude of rules that can be difficult to follow even for professionals. This complexity is not reflected in my designs, which aim to simplify and capture the classic essence of the game. The name Kronos represents a return to the Golden Age of golf, where the world was simpler and purer, and the focus was on the game itself rather than excessive rules and regulations. Through my designs, I strive to create timeless pieces that capture the beauty and elegance of golf.
What's important to you as an Entrepreneur?
Small businesses and entrepreneurs play a significant role in our economy, despite feeling small and insignificant. Collectively, they are the innovators for bigger companies. It's important for them to continue to innovate and do what they believe in, as it has a greater impact.
When I think about theology, I contemplate whether I'm doing something meaningful and making an impact on the world. And I believe that I am. Imagine a world where people didn't get to express themselves and live their lives. If I didn't create Kronos, I'd probably be working for a company and wouldn't be enriching anyone's life. But through Kronos, I'm bringing joy to some people, and that gives me joy as well.
Being an entrepreneur doesn't always offer instant gratification, but knowing that I'm making a difference is really important. I'm also proud that the factories I work with and some of my friends from high school who work there indirectly have jobs because of my business. That feels really nice. As someone who grew up in North County San Diego, it's fulfilling to support the local economy and community.
What's important to a small business for you?
When running a small business, I often reflect on whether what I'm doing is meaningful. Initially, when I started Kronos, I had a specific vision for the design of our putters. I wanted everything to be perfect and didn't want anyone to add any lines, graphics, or stamps to my designs. However, as I've gotten older, I've realized that the putters I create are not just for me but for the people who use them, and it would bring me great joy to see them express themselves through my designs. That's why I've started doing a lot of custom work lately, incorporating various graphics onto the putters that people choose.
For example, when a friend asked for a Louis Vuitton-inspired print on their putter, I hesitated and thought it didn't match my values. But I decided to give it a try and see how it turned out. I was pleasantly surprised by how cool the design turned out, and it was also nice to see how excited my friend was about it. So now, I'm open to custom requests and enjoy seeing people express themselves through my putters.
How did you get into putter making?
I started playing golf in middle school, and my best friend's dad owned a machine shop in Oceanside where he was milling putters for a major putter company. During my summer breaks, I would hang out there and became fascinated with the putters and how they were made. We were even allowed to take the scrap putters and customize them. One thing I noticed was that the line they drew on the putters wasn't always the best line to hit the ball on.
Back then, in the 90s, putters weren't designed using computers, but rather hand-sketched, and the line on the putter was often placed at the center without much precision. Years later, when I was a grad student and playing golf in Japan, I wanted to get a putter from that era but couldn't afford it as they were collector's items. During a visit back home for a friend's wedding, I asked my best friend's family if they still had any of the putters they used to make, and they suggested I design my own and they would manufacture it for me.
So, I started designing my own putters as a hobby, and our first model was the Touch. It has a thick top line that I designed to create a better feel, and we used a fulcrum to balance it out and find the center of gravity so that we could place the line in the optimal spot.
What's your thought process for your mission when puttering?
At Kronos, we're a small company that takes pride in creating putters based on what we love and find fun, not just what will maximize sales. A great example of this is the Darcy putter that we designed with Linksoul in the past. It has an old-school look that some people compare to the classic Bobby Locke putter, also known as the Scottish Gem. Despite its beauty, it's the least sold putter in our line. However, we still make it because we believe it's a gorgeous putter and we want to offer it to those who appreciate it.
Golf isn't always about scoring the lowest score, especially when you're not competing at the highest levels. Sometimes you just want to have fun with your friends on the course. That's why we create putters for people who identify with that feeling. We want to provide cool gear that golfers can enjoy regardless of their skill level or handicap.
At Kronos, we make our putters to the highest level possible so that even tour players can use them, and we're proud to have tour players using our putters. As a small company, we believe it's essential to do something different from the big brands. We strive to enrich the golfing experience by offering unique options that cater to different tastes. Not everyone identifies with just the popular brands, and we want to provide more options for golfers everywhere.
Do you have a favorite part of the process?
One of the most enjoyable aspects of my work is when I am presented with a design challenge. For instance, I was once asked why I chose to create a long neck putter. This presented an opportunity to address the perception that blade putters are difficult to use, as they are thin and can be intimidating for less experienced players. With this challenge in mind, I set out to create a putter that would offer the benefits of a mallet-style putter, while maintaining the look of a blade putter.
I find that making subtle design changes that can have a significant impact on a golfer's stroke is incredibly satisfying. The process of tinkering, prototyping, and testing to see if an idea will work is both challenging and rewarding. Although not every design will be successful, the process of iterating and refining until you get it right is part of the fun. Taking prototypes out on the course and getting feedback from friends and fellow golfers is also an enjoyable part of the process.
What do you love about Linksoul?
Linksoul's appeal goes beyond their trendy clothes - it's their company culture and the people behind it that make them stand out. Being from Southern California, a hub of artistic expression, I appreciate how their global reach spreads the cool vibe of my home state. Linksoul's clothing is designed for both on and off the golf course, making it an easy choice for traveling. Their versatility is impressive, but it's the welcoming culture they have fostered that sets them apart. Meeting fellow Linksouldiers at Goat Hill always leaves me with positive vibes, making it hard to articulate what makes Linksoul such a cool brand to wear. It's just one of those warm and fuzzy feelings you get that's hard to explain.
What makes you a Linksouldier?
To me, a Linksouldier is someone who loves golf first and foremost. Being a Linksouldier means you're more interested in talking about the intricacies of the game rather than asking about someone's job. It's a different kind of vibe where the focus is on enjoying golf together and having fun on the course.
Even at my country club, there are Linksouldiers who are the guys that show up early and play no matter what the conditions are. I consider myself a Linksouldier because I'm willing to play anywhere in the world and in any condition. That's what being a Linksouldier means to me.