The ModGolf Podcast

Learn By Doing And Just Keep Moving Forward - Jared Solomon, CEO and Co-Founder of Five Iron Golf

April 30th, 2024

"We made a million-dollar mistake on the build-out. We thought plumbing could work one way. It couldn't. It's tough for a company that was started with the money that we had at the time, but you make those mistakes and move on, learn from it and don't dwell on it."

Jared's Five Iron Golf story begins in early 2015 with Mike Doyle teaching simulator lessons in the back of a men’s clothing store in midtown Manhattan. As the demand for Mike’s lessons grew throughout 2015 and 2016, Mike and student Jared started dreaming about an indoor facility where Mike could teach more lessons and golfers could work to improve their games — all while flipping standard golf culture on its head and appealing to everyone.

We want to welcome our new Episode Presenting Partner Synthetic Turf International!

Synthetic Turf International - also known as STI - is the industry’s premier producer and supplier of high-quality, natural-looking grass products for residential and commercial applications, both indoors and out.

I have collaborated on projects and ventures with STI for over 10 years through my Sport Entertainment company, so I have seen first hand how innovative, passionate, and creative they are.

Speaking of Synthetic Turf International clients, Five Iron Golf has installed their turf products in the majority of their venues.

If you are considering an artificial landscaped grass lawn, a putting green, golf tee lines and hitting mats, a synthetic sports field, playground turf or a dog park, then I highly recommend STI for your next project. And all of STI's grass products are crafted completely in-house and proudly made in America.

To learn more about the endless synthetic turf application and installation possibilities that Synthetic Turf International has to offer, contact them at

"At our Las Vegas location we originally had a putting green in the center. We realized that nobody wanted a putting green. And so we put in shuffleboard. Nobody wanted shuffleboard and we put in the high top tables where people could just drink and were like, "Okay, this is what people want". And I like to believe that I've cultivated the spirit with the other Founders that it doesn't matter what happened, let's move forward. We're literally inventing a concept over here. The best thing that we can do is test and fail, test and fail and move forward and take everything that we've learned and hopefully use those for the franchises and our own future corporate stores and do the best that we can."

Episode Chapters
03:20: How and when Jared was introduced to golf
04:40: The Five Iron Golf origin story. Spoiler: it involves hitting balls in the back of a Manhattan men's clothing store!
07:15: Jared explains how he and the three other co-founders mustered up the courage to launch Five Iron Golf
10:10: The story behind the first Five Iron Golf location opening in mid-town Manhattan
12:50: How Five Iron creates experiences for both the casual and passionate golfer without alienating either one of the groups
16:15: "We want our Five Iron locations to look like modern art museums". Jared discusses their design guidelines and how grafitti art became the focal point for their brand vision
19:10: How Five Iron finds and hires artists to collaborate at each of their venue around the US
20:45: Selection of the Five Iron Golf name and logo design
23:40: How Five Iron scaled from one location to 25 and counting
26:50: Jared's thoughts on starting a company and when to bring in outside investment
28:10: Franchising vs the owership model for venue locations
29:30: Mistakes made along the way and what the leadership team has learned from them
32:50: The power of partnerships and collaborating with golf brands and influencers
34:10: What the future has in store for Five Iron Golf

You can also learn more about Jared on his bio page.

Want to learn more about Five Iron Golf, find out if there's a location near you and to book a fun experience for you and your friends? Have a look at the Five Iron Golf website or email Jared Solomon at [email protected]

With Mike and Jared clueless as to how to actually execute their grand idea, the final two co-founders, summer camp friends Nora Dunnan and Katherine Solomon (also Jared’s wife) entered the scene. With Nora operating the ship and Katherine navigating through some early legal storms, Five Iron Golf was launched and open for business in mid-2017.

Five Iron has quickly re-shaped Manhattan's golf culture, growing from Mike’s original lesson crew to a re-imagined, high-tech, inclusive urban golf experience for golfers and non-golfers alike. Five Iron is for everyone.

For the serious golfer, Five Iron hosts ten Full Swing simulators, a Trackman lesson studio, four teaching professionals, lessons, club storage, showers, practice time, leagues, 100% top-of-the line clubs to use (complimentary), and in-house club fitting specialists Club Champion.

Join our mission to make golf more innovative, inclusive and fun... and WIN some awesome golf gear!

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.

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