Current Issue

  • Staying Ahead of the Curve

     Strategic planning for golf resort renovation is complex and challenging, with a myriad of factors to consider and implement. Creativity and vision are intangible yet critical elements that can make a lasting difference, as many resorts and destinations are discovering.Read More

  • Living on Tourney Time

     The budget forecast at Waterchase Golf Club in Fort Worth, Texas, pegs annual green-fee revenue from outside tournaments at approximately $325,000 — about a quarter of total income from golf play. A profitable year thus calls upon General Manager Jason Heitschmidt and his team to do great work servicing this category. But that doesn’t mean every outside group is a proper fit for Waterchase.Read More

  • Time to Modernize

     Change isn’t always easy. When it comes to golf, there is a gap between modern technology and old thinking. Some boards are skeptical that a modern solution will make things better at their course. They may not believe the costs are worth it.Read More


Online Exclusives

March 2019

Global “Shark Tank” for Golf Debuts at PGA Show


By Steve Eubanks

One of the most fascinating events coming out of January’s PGA Merchandise Show at the Orlando Convention Center wasn’t a product or an exhibit. It was a reality show.

The Global Sports Innovation Competition, a reality event modeled after the popular show “Shark Tank,” which airs on ABC, wasn’t new when producers arrived in Orlando this past January. The British company that developed it, Hype Sports Innovation, has been conducting the competition in other sports and airing shows throughout Europe for some time. But 2019 was the first year the idea expanded into golf.
In one of the rooms off the main floor in the convention center, 10 finalists, selected from scores of entrants, pitched their products and services to a distinguished panel of judges, which included Roberta Bowman, the chief brand and communications officer of the LPGA and former CEO of Duke Energy; Jeff Price, the chief commercial officer of the PGA of America; and Randy Chase, director of strategic marketing for EA Sports. 

The panelists listened to pitches from companies like Golf Post, a media clearinghouse (or aggregator) for golf-related content; Khelfie Technologies, which bills itself as providing golf’s first “AI-powered super-wearable;” a hole-in-one rewards company called Swing Kings; and Kinexit, a personalized, online training program for golf fitness and flexibility.

But the two most intriguing companies, which also proved to be the finalists, were an online app company called CaddieNow, which, for lack of a better description, is Uber for caddies; and GolfBoo, a Spanish-based company which expands on the online tee-time model to everything from hotel and restaurant booking to transportation to and from the course. It is, for European golf travelers, the Travelocity of golf booking sites. 

GolfBoo won the competition. But the real winner was Hype, which has a hit in a new industry. The finals will air online and in select time-buy markets in the spring.

According to Ilan Hadar, the CEO of Hype, “We have been conducting these kinds of innovative competitions in soccer, tennis, endurance, all kinds of sports for quite some time. But this was our first venture into golf. And it was a tremendous success. We are very happy with the results and very happy for the winner and all the finalists.”

Steve Eubanks is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and New York Times bestselling author.




Leave a Comment

Yamaha Umax


Featured Resource

Bright Ideas Archive

Brought to you by ValleyCrest Golf MaintenanceBright Ideas Icon 
Access some of the most creative ideas golf course owners and operators have to offer within the Bright Ideas area of the GB Archive.Read More

March 2019 Issue

Connect With Us

facebooktwitterNGCOABuyers GuideYouTube