PitchBook April 21, 2015
Spring has sprung, and for millions of people around the globe that means one thing—it’s time to dust off the golf clubs and hit the nearest course. While golf has long been thought of as an activity for mid-day client meetings and the hobby of retirees, the fact is that the game has enjoyed a huge increase in interest from younger demographics. An illustration of this comes from the PGA Tour this year: of the 24 completed events in the 2014-2015 season, 10 have been won by golfers under the age of 30. Not a shabby start for the young guns.
One major result of these changes is that the tech community wants a piece of the action—or maybe it’s the golf community that wants a piece of the tech action. Either way, the end game is the introduction of some pretty slick technology into the industry, some of which has caught the interest and investment of VCs.
GAME GOLF, for example, backed by the likes of Crosslink Capital, ACT Venture Capital and AME Cloud Ventures, is a system that collects data about a golfer’s round with minimal interaction from the player, leaving him free to focus on getting out of the rough and not having to worry about how many fairways he didn’t hit. In addition, the app allows users to share their rounds and statistics with friends and family across the globe.
Select golf-focused startups:
Aside from the professionals, many of us could use a few (or many) tips and some one-on-one coaching to help with our game. Mobiplex is a company that has designed a wearable device that provides real-time swing data transmitted to a user’s smartphone. The motion-sensing device enables users to capture, record and analyze their swing through a 3D animation and video recording. Mobiplex has also developed a real-time live coaching platform for users to get professional instruction at any time.
The face of golf is changing, and though for many reasons it may stay just as frustrating, new technologies will continue to give us hope of getting better. So, please, keep on funding, VCs!