"I got sick for a few years and I was getting tired of being in bed thinking about what I wanted to do. So I sent out a focus group study to golfers that had been on a list of mine from my previous business and it was a survey asking them multiple questions about what their pain points were in the golf industry. What I heard was the frustration around not knowing what club to buy, feeling like every club was marketed as better. Marketing had started to become more important than performance. The balance was out of whack. And in a moment it matched with my moral compass. My grandmother taught disabled children her whole life. I was around these kids and I didn't like seeing them being taken advantage of just like I felt golfers are being taken advantage of. I looked at my wife when I was still in bed and I said, "I'm going to start the Consumer Reports of golf" and she instantly said, "yes you are!". So I got my ass right out of bed and got to work."
"The Golf Digest Hot List was the bible to tell golfers what to buy as a print publication at the time and they had staked claim to that. But they had yet to lay claim to the digital world, so like the wild west I wanted to put down my flag down before they did. I wanted to build trust with the most hardcore golfers out there, create a place where they could come and trust anything and everything that we put out there. Something that was honest and had integrity behind it rather than run by the manufacturers. I thought it would be 3-5 years before the manufacuturers got on board with it. I knew it would be a bit of a rub but man, was I ever wrong."
We want to thank our partner inrange® for presenting this episode of The ModGolf Podcast!
inrange® is a radar-based ball-tracking company that enhances the driving range experience by offering the most engaging gameplay and precise ball-tracking on the market. From private clubs and standalone commercial ranges, to multi-storey “Big Box” entertainment venues and limited-flight ‘compact’ ranges, Inrange® creates unparalleled experiences for every type of player - and unleashes your business’ growth potential. They are also the only software in the world offering a bay vs bay link up feature - allowing large groups to play against one another in teams across the entire venue. To learn more check out www.inrangegolf.com.
"The manufacturers not only didn't like MyGolfSpy, but they hated everything that we stood for. They tried to sue us and use any angle they could to shut us up. Manufacturers keep a lot of the small media companies quiet because of one simple thing: the small media companies and blogs didn't have a legal team but we did. I had a group behind me that knew what I was after and stood up for me as a legal team. None of these manufacturers didn't have a leg to stand on with any of these potential law suits and they knew it, and they wanted to threaten us to keep us quiet. But as soon as we fired back - and our biggest weapon was "if you want to sue us, great. But we're going to make it public and every letter you send us we be public record". To this day MyGolfSpy has never been sued and we have never taken an article down."
"The golf consumer saw that someone who was fighting for them, which is exactly why MyGolfSpy became successful. We put the consumer first and the companies last. I don't care about the corporations, I care about the golfer and how they spend their hard-earned money. I don't want golfers spending more if it does not help them improve compared to what they already own. This is a philosophy that companies are not accustomed to because it has been engrained in us that we need the newest club that comes out."
Click on the image below to watch our extended conversation with Adam on our Youtube Channel!
"When I first created MyGolfSpy my vision was to make the cream of the crop rise to the top and have all the junk go away. In order to do that there were small companies like Sub70, Vice and EvenRoll who now have bigger names partly because we leveled the playing field and we gave them a place to be heard about. Golf Digest isn't writing about these small companies because they are not getting paid to do so. We said "here's what we're willing to do. If a product performs in the top X percent of our testing and we believe that that product or service is a standout we will then spotlight them to help amplify the messaging to keep these brands who deserve it on the tip of golfer's tongues through content marketing."
"We had to diversify in the beginning in order to survive for the long term. I looked at MyGolfSpy as a Proof of Concept. This wasn't something that I did for the money. I did this to try and change an industry that I believed needed changing. It had gotten out of hand. So I said, "I'll give it a few years to see if it works and if it does I'll reinvest my own money to go to the second phase and build our own test facility. But if no one likes this or cares, I'll move on and do something else". We have grown every year with the reader and the consumer. It's a testiment that proves that the golf consumer has an apetite for this information. So to create something sustainable for the long term we could not rely on the advertising dollars. I see MyGolfSpy as a 100 year business that survives long after I am gone."
[03:00] Ice-breaker question: Tell us about your first golf experience and who invited you? - and why we should play more par 3 courses
[05:00] Adam's background and experience that led up to the creation of MyGolfSpy
[09:25] The MyGolfSpy "AHA Moment", the business strategy and first release of the platform
[13:30] How did you land on the name MyGolfSpy?
[15:30] The MyGolfSpy business model and how they generate revenue
[21:35] How MyGolfSpy tests equipment and the story of their first testing lab
[25:30] How MyGolfSpy acquires equipment so that their testing and reviews remain unbiased
[28:20] The evolution of MyGolfSpy reviews to position the messaging for various golf consumer groups
[31:00] Discovering the diverse demographics of the MyGolfSpy audience and how they connect with each of them
[33:30] Who are the MyGolfSpy equipment testers?
[35:05] The MyGolfSpy "Most Wanted" awards and why they created them
To learn more about Adam and MyGolfSpy, check out their website.
And his other business True Fit Golf.
You can also connect with Adam on his bio page.
We want to thank our sponsor partner Golf Genius Software for supporting The ModGolf Podcast since 2019!
Golf Genius powers tournament management at over 10,000 private clubs, public courses, resorts, golf associations, and tours in over 60 countries. So if you’re a golf professional or course operator who wants to save time, deliver exceptional golfer experiences, and generate more revenue, check them out online at golfgenius.com.