The Hollrock Story
The Hollrock family has been in the golf industry since the early 1970’s.
The beginning of Rick Hollrock’s interest in the range business dates back to his college days when he worked at a golf course during his summer breaks. “I came home one day and mentioned to my father that I had seen people collecting golf balls by hand from ponds,” says Hollrock. “My Dad suggested I should try my hand at inventing and building some sort of a machine that could do the same,” adds Hollrock. A tinkerer by nature, Hollrock came to realize after building a few prototypes that it was a lot easier to build and then sell these new ‘ball retrieving’ machines than it was to manually extract balls by hand from ponds.
Based on some early success, Hollrock decided the industry was ripe for new ideas and products. Incorporating Hollrock Engineering in 1974, he started to produce and patent products with applications in the golf range industry.
As the golf industry picked up steam through the 1980’s and 1990’s, Hollrock Engineering released a number of innovative products that enjoyed quick acceptance by the industry. More patents followed as Hollrock Engineering released a popular ball washer called the “Scrub Tub” Country Club Golf Ball Washer. Other ball washers included the 38K Commercial Duty Golf Ball Washer and the golf ball WJ3 Prewash Sorter Machine. One of Hollrock’s more intriguing designs was something he called the “Ball Shooter”. This was a ball conveyance system that was based on ‘blowing compressed air’ through pneumatic tubes thereby transporting range balls through these tubes from a Hollrock washer to a ball-dispensing machine. Hollrock adds, “I also developed something called the ‘Dumper Hopper’ golf ball handling system which allowed my ball pickers to come in loaded with picked range balls and then unload these balls without actually lifting the baskets out of the unit.”
Hollrock even opened a full service golf driving range where Hollrock products can be fully tested under actual playing conditions. Hollrock is the only golf range equipment manufacturer in the world to operate a full service driving range. This facility, The Western Massachusetts Family Golf Center, is located just down the road from Hollrock Engineering in Hadley, Massachusetts.
Hollrock Engineering and the Western Mass Family Golf Center truly are family run businesses. Rick’s children grew up working on the golf range learning the ins and outs of the golf industry, using the equipment, and developed a love for the game of golf. Now two of his children, Lynn and Rich, continue to be heavily involved in Hollrock Engineering and enjoy working along side each other and their father- continuing to grow the business.