310 USA is a new company that has entered the pocket change arena with a thunderous bang.
We’ve focused a lot on the little things that are involved in the game of golf lately. JT’s pocket change post was a big hit and opened even my eyes to the exciting realm of creators and designers. A few months back a company by the name of 310 USA reached out to us. They asked if we’d like to check out one of their divot tools. Had that correspondence came through before JT killing on the pocket change post, I might have let the communication between us fade away.
Lucky for me I took them up on their offer. Just a few weeks ago, this stunning divot tool showed up in the mail.
Unfortunately, the time this divot tool and I spent together was short lived. More on that later
The first thing I did, after they reached out, was to go check out their Instagram account. After scrolling through the pictures on the feed, I could tell the divot tools they were making had a unique quality. I liked that. I am a fan of sharp, clean lines and precision milling but their products have a “Built it with my own bare hands.” look. And I was intrigued.
310 USA brings their unique skill set to the game.
For something so small to have so many characteristics was impressive. Yes, it’s a piece of Damascus that’s been cut and shaped. I know this isn’t the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by any means. Once I put it in my hands though, and I could feel the construction, feel the cold metal against my fingers, and see the effort put into the tool I was thrilled that Travis reached out to us when he did.
The Travis that I speak of is Travis Sessler. He’s the man behind the metal up in Lake Tapps, Washington whos making all these beautiful tools. The process he uses to construct the divot tools isn’t overly complicated, but it’s not something you’re going to knock out during the commercial breaks of a Wednesday Night Survivor episode (yeah, I’m an addict).
Travis explained to me how he does the etching, and I’m not going to lie, it’s some of the best looking Damascus I’ve ever seen. The way he is bringing out the details is stunning.
I’ve had a bunch of divot tools over the years, but I’ve had one that’s been in my bag for a while now. It’s been my go-to since the first time I took it out of the little baggie it came in and honesty, replacing it with another has never been a thought. As far as a divot tool goes, it hits all the wants and needs. It works, it looks cool and it durable.
But, when the Folsom County Divot Tool arrived, I went “Oh Crap, this is sick!”
What brought 310 USA into the divot tool and ball marker world?
Garage tinkerers, or in Travis’s case basement tinkerers, are a unique group. It seems like most of them are searching for something and end up in a completely different place. For Travis pounding away on some steel was a tremendous stress reliever. It was about a year ago that his stress relieving sessions started to turn out something useful and usable.
After showing a couple of friends what he had been working on, the interest started growing. And a lot like the other tinkerers I know, the request began coming in for more items. The choice to start making some to sell was a wise one. The feedback he’s received has been tremendous, and Travis is currently spending a lot more time “Stress Reliving” these days.
310 USA is presently making two different tools, the Folsom County Divot Tool and the Shawshank Divot Tool. And yes, not that you didn’t know, those are most definitely prison-themed names.
When a good friend of Travis that had spent some time in lockup saw the “to be named later” Folsom County divot tool he told him it looked like a prison shank. The only difference being it wasn’t made from a toothbrush. The prison theme stuck and the Folsom County Divot Tool was named.
Being the family man he is, Travis went with his sons birthday for the company’s name, March 10th, that’s where the 310 name originated.
During our conversation, Travis told me the very first divot tool he made was an error. But now, looking back, he considers it the best one he has made. You’ll never find that one up for sale; it’s a subtle reminder of where he started and a vision of where he wants to go.
Damascus. Because well, it’s Damascus.
At first, 310 USA was using scrap metal from construction sites. But as the word grew about what Travis was doing, he decided to up the ante on the metal and started purchasing from Alabama Damascus Steel. Travis admits the Divot tools are more fun to make and after seeing it first hand I can see why. What he’s producing is a gorgeous piece of metal that is as much art as it is a functional divot tool.
A friend that works in the knife industry gave Travis a few tips on the etching process and over time he has perfected the process. You can see from one of 310.usa more recent Instagram post that the results are phenomenal.
Even if you’re not a fan of a hand refined divot tool you have to admit, that’s badass looking!
From start to finish, each tool takes approximately 2.5hrs to make. There’s a lot of work that goes into the tools that I’m sure nobody would understand. Unless of course, you make them. If so then you can appreciate all the time and effort that goes into getting the Damascus to turn out this way. It’s a trial and error process, and sometimes you win, and other’s you toss in a pile to work another day. He’s on to something with his latest creations though and I think people are starting to recognize the talent.
The best was yet to come from 310 USA
Most of you that follow the blog on our Instagram page are already aware of what took place several weeks ago. For those of you that may have missed out check out this post from my Instagram page to get caught up.
As you can imagine finding out my bag had been robbed was heartbreaking. The divot tool pissed me off because I had just received it. This golf outing was the first round where I had it in my pocket. But, the thievery of my ball marker with my kid’s names on it was sad. I carry (carried) that ball marker with me where ever I go. Be it work, or golf, or just out for the night, it was always with me. But, I was distracted after the round and didn’t realize I never retrieved the items from my golf bag once I got home. Hence, it wasn’t until Monday when I realized my bag had been pillaged.
Who knows what happened? All I know is when I pulled my keys & wallet from the valuables pocket on my bag the poker chip and another divot tool I use as a backup was in the bag. When I zipped it open at home Monday morning, all four items were missing.
310 USA stepped up to the plate and crushed it!
I reached out to Travis and told him the story. I was all ready to purchase one because I liked it so much. He said not to worry about it, and a replacement was on the way. Along with a new ball marker as well.
To hear him say that was impressive. He had nothing to do with the items getting stolen and could have easily just taken my money. After Travis let me know he’d be sending me a new tool and marker my plan changed. I initially was going to do some promotions on Instagram and Facebook and help spread the word about what he’s doing with 310 USA. But, after his generosity, I decided a full article was more than warranted, and we planned a phone interview.
I’m looking forward to watching 310 USA grow as a company.
It was awesome to get to know Mr. Sessler. He’s got a winner on his hands in my opinion. Yes, the handworked and rugged look may not be for everyone. But, if you are a fan, you now have another creator out there that can get you a product that you want..
As of right now, 310 USA is selling strictly through their Instagram page. You can contact them via Direct Message and set up your purchase, Travis told me there is a website in the works, but they are taking their time. They want to get it right.
Also, look for some merchandising coming soon too. Hats, T-Shirts, etc. Travis has some great ideas and a good logo to go with it all!
Do yourself a favor and follow 310 USA on Instagram, if you haven’t already. Even if you’re not in the market for some new pocket change, it’s an excellent account to follow and see the new items that Travis will be creating.
This latest tool he sent me is even better than the one that I had stolen. The first one kicked my “go-to” tool out of my pocket, so this one for sure has a new home. And this time I won’t be so stupid to leave it alone for someone to take! I plan on having it in my bag for many years to come!