These 7 Companies are Making Golf Better Now
By Michael Sneeden
When you hear “startup”, some other buzzwords probably come to mind: Silicon Valley, angel investing, and, my favorite, disruption. The tech industry in the Bay Area largely makes up what we picture when we hear the term, but the real definition is just a young company.
And in the golf industry, they’re a dime a dozen. Open the app store and there’s a new shot-tracing app, a luxury divot tool just followed you on Instagram, and, what’s that on the shelf, bartender? A golf-themed vodka? It’s tough to weed through the ones that are actually worth your time. Luckily, we’ve done it for you.
Here are the seven companies that are bringing new ideas to a very old game:
Launched in 2014, Arccos was founded by two MBA graduates from Yale who wanted to develop a comprehensive tool for saving golf shots. Touting themselves as the “only fully-automatic performance tracking system”, their app records every swing you take on a golf course (for better or worse), and spits back your own stats at you. Just screw the sensors into the back of your clubs, download the app, and get back a detailed analysis of your game.
This Southern California company is redefining on-course style, making the softest, most stylish shirts this hacker has ever worn. Linksoul was founded by John Ashworth, former head of the eponymous Ashworth, and the mind behind Quiksilver’s golf-centric line Fidra. They describe themselves as “more of a philosophy than a brand”, and it shines through with their boasting of the sweetest employee perk of all time: Mandatory Golf Fridays.
Golf Slot Machine
Yeah, true, maybe we’re biased, but as one of the only training aids on the market that can actually transform your game, the Golf Slot Machine belongs on this list. We’ve told you before, and we’ll tell you again – you need to eliminate your slice. It’s the most common fault of the amateur golfer, but there’s a simple fix. Add the GSM to your golf bag and bring a whole new shot shape to your game.
No Laying Up
Four college buddies started a blog to inject humor, levity, and plenty of snark into stale coverage of the greatest game ever played. Describing themselves as “a sublimely chill 19th hole” for like-minded golfers, their philosophy on the course echoes that of their lives. Once occupying a niche but certainly rabid audience, the NLU crew are now celebs of the press box, becoming the outlet of choice for pros and bros alike.
Even the most ardent of golf apologists can’t argue with the naysayers when they say that golf is an expensive, exclusive sport. That’s where Forelinx comes in. The California-based startup offers virtual memberships to multiple courses, using different pay tiers and a points system to grant access to courses. Right now, they only operate in a few states, but as the idea spreads, it’s hard to see the idea not expanding.
While some of these other businesses are transforming golf into something Old Tom Morris couldn’t even dream up, one company is taking the game back to its roots. The “Uber of caddies” connects junior and experienced loopers to local courses, in hopes of preserving a tradition of the game. Prospective caddies can manage their own schedule, work on different tracks, and even play a round on designated caddie days.
Bogeybox Golf Club
Everywhere you look there’s a new subscription box, but few are actually worth your time. If you’re like me, you don’t pay too much attention to your fashion choices, unless you’re at the course. Bogeybox uses a quick questionnaire to determine your style profile, then sends a shipment to your door at whatever frequency you desire. You keep what you like, send back what you don’t, and never have to leave your door.