The ModGolf Podcast

Creating a New Type of Golf - David Hinkle and Rio Valeriano with T36 Golf

March 17th, 2024

David Hinkle and Rio Valeriano with T36 Golf are flipping the script on traditional golf and redefining the sport for a new generation of golfers. Their revolutionary "Double Loop" design lets you experience a full 18-hole game with a smaller environmental footprint and shorter playtime.

T36 Golf's unique "Double Loop" layout at Baytown Texas amplifies the player experience while reducing time of play by an hour and the land required to around half of that of a traditional 18 hole course.

"I decided to go down to Key Largo and took my significant other Dina. We walked into this place called The Raw Bar and we sit at the only two seats available next to another couple and we order a drink called a "Dinarita". It's a margarita with a good tequila, splash of Chambord, no salt. So they say "Those sound great! Get us two of those." That struck up a conversation with this gentleman that was involved in golf. Three weeks later, I called him and said "I've got this course, 118 acres. I know we can't do an 18-hole golf course. What can we do?" He said "Actually you can build an 18-hole golf course on that acreage. Let me introduce you to somebody". That led us to a golf course architect which was that "AHA Moment" that ultimately evolved into T36 Golf."... Co-Founder Rio Valeriano

Join our mission to make golf more innovative, inclusive and fun!

As the creator and host of The ModGolf Podcast and YouTube channel I've been telling golf entrepreneurship and innovation stories since May 2017 and I love the community of ModGolfers that we are building.

I'm excited to announce that I just launched our ModGolf Patreon page to bring together our close-knit community of golf-loving people! As my Patron you will get access to exclusive live monthly interactive shows where you can participate, ask-me-anything video events, bonus content, golf product discounts and entry in members-only ModGolf Giveaway contests.

I'm offering two monthly membership tiers at $5 and $20 USD, but you can also join for free. Your subscription will ensure that The ModGolf Podcast continues to grow so that I can focus on creating unique and impactful stories that support and celebrate the future of golf.

Click to join >>

I look forward to seeing you during an upcoming live show!... Colin

Episode Chapters
[03:00] How and when Rio and David were introduced to golf
[08:00] How David and Rio met each other and the "AHA Moment" that started T36 Golf
[11:30] Rio shares the "Dinarita" cocktail story at a Key Largo bar that led to meeting the right person at the right time
[15:00] How and why they decided to build the first T36 Golf course in Baytown Texas
[21:10] The "Double Loop" course layout explained
[26:00] course design considerations to ensure the playing experience is fast, safe and fun
[28:00] David talks about their target demographics and how they take a Blue Ocean Strategy approach to their business model
[34:20] Their branding exercise and how they landed on the name "T36 Golf"
[37:30] The importance of supporting youth golf at T36 Golf and Troon
[39:30] How they have created a community gathering place for the people of Baytown
[42:00] amplifying the customer experience through the restaurant, menu and lounge design
[44:30] future expansion plans for the T36 Golf brand

You can also learn more about Rio and David on thier bio pages.

Want to check out T36 Baytown (located 30 minutes east of Houston Texas) and perhaps book a tee time? Have a look at their website to learn more.

We want to thank our Episode Presenting Partner Golf Genius Software who have supported 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