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Interview with Gottfried Hofstädter owner of 3D Company


NEWS: How come that you started producing Minigolf balls?

GH: I played competitive Minigolf for decades. When I became head coach of the Austrian National Team, I tried to optimise the team in every field, from nutrition, mental power to the equipment. It happened very often these days, back in the early 90´s, that the ball material was the limit. I started to experiment myself, by sanding the balls, putting different lacquer on it.

I had no commercial interest at that time. I wanted to improve our results on the course, being more successful with the team than the rest. Especially when it came to perfect circularity of balls, I was not satisfied with lot of balls on the market.

In 1993 I started my own production of Minigolf balls in the garage of my home. Players from all around created a big demand and the commercial interest came to my mind.

In 1998 I moved the company to Gumpoldskirchen in a dedicated company building and ten years later I am proud to be the market leader worldwide when it comes to market share in production and sales of Minigolf balls.

NEWS: Why should I buy a 3D Minigolf ball?

GH: My roots come from have being an elite player and coach. I know the requirements and standards needed for a top Minigolf ball very well. It all centres around raw materials, lacquer and perfect circularity. We were the first company on the market producing balls without a nipple on the surface after being lacquered. The first mover will always stay first (laughing).

NEWS: You were also the first company producing "BOF" (Ball of Fame) Minigolf balls. They are a worldwide success.

More and more players wanted Minigolf balls customised to their individual needs. The idea of "BOF" was born. If you win a national or international title, acknowledged by your national federation, or WMF, you are qualified to order the production of a "BOF" by 3D.

NEWS: Does it mean, I have to order, pay and sell this ball on my own, but also the profit stays in my pocket?

GH: That's exactly the idea behind. You can order Minigolf balls at 3D from a minimum of 300 pieces each. If you are not a Champion, no problem, we will produce a ball for you. But it will not be a "BOF" (laughing).

Besides these balls, that are doing 50% of our production, we produce our famous series with the three numbers printed on. They stand for: How high the ball is jumping, shore and weight. It's a very simple, very effective, and unique system to judge a ball.

NEWS: There are so many different new Minigolf balls coming out each year. Aren't there too many?

Balls are mostly made out of living material like rubber. They change their specifications a lot during time, sunlight and heat. Think about your car tires. You must change them after some years, even if the profile is still good.

After years your favourite ball at lane x on course x doesn't work anymore, because it has become much harder. We are very active in Research & Development. Materials and machinery is constantly changing.

NEWS: You are known as a generous sponsor of the WMF, national federations and clubs. Why is that?

It is important to me that there is an industry in Minigolfsport. Our products cannot live without the sport and the sport cannot live without our products. The WMF needs money for doing their work. That's why I agree to ball license fees.

NEWS: Thank you for this Interview!

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