The ModGolf Podcast

Embracing Lessons: Wisdom Gained from Failure - Igor Vainshtein, Founder of

June 4th, 2024

"It was a simulator venue that had six bays with lessons and it was going out of business. In the building I worked in there was a space for lease on the ground level. We ended up buying the business and moved it there for five years. An Indoor Golf Centre with 10 bays, an indoor bunker, massive putting green, a bar and a cafe. It did okay but the rent we were paying was huge so in the end we have to get out of there."

"Shortly after that I had an idea to pivot. 24-hour gyms were really booming in Australia at the time. Why don't we have a 24-hour golf simulator place where you can go and practice anytime? We built two bays and it did well. Then I opened a second venue and that one nosedived and just blew up. I closed it down, lost a lot of money with the four simulators that I had there. I put them on Facebook Marketplace and they sold in a week. I'm like "hmm, this is interesting." So I bought five more simulators to sell. Why am I busting my chops with these venues when I can just bring them in, sell them, make my money and never hear from the customer again? It was great. I pivoted the business. Ended up closing down my second venue and just went completely e-commerce." ... Igor Vainshtein

"At the time it is horrendous. It feels horrible to lose a ton of money. I lost my money, I lost my parents money, which I borrowed from them and they had to bail me out again. It was embarrassing and as you are going through that pain, it's very difficult to see how you will come out of it. But if you're a true entrepreneur, perseverance and grit, you may not know how you're going to get there. But you've got to believe that you will get there. That's part of the job as an entrepreneur to find the "how". But if you don't believe that you'll get the you will never get there."

You can also learn more about Igor and connect on his bio page. And download the GolfTrak App for free at the Apple App Store for iPhone.

"I had extremely disastrous blow ups in my career. Moments where I thought there's no way I'm coming back from this. But if I look back now, I wouldn't change a thing because all those little "sliding doors moments" is why I'm here today. And I didn't go through the pain, maybe I wouldn't be able to appreciate the things and I would take things for granted and I wouldn't have the fun and the joy that I get out of life these days. For anyone who's experiencing that who's in that pain right now, I would say "You just don't know". There's a phrase "that it's gonna be alright in the end and if it's not alright, it's not the end."

Episode Chapters
02:40: How and when Igor took her first golf swing and who introduced him to the game
04:40: The story of Igor's family immigrating from the USSR to Melbourne Austrailia
06:20: Igor's early days as an entrepreneur and the experiences that have shaped his approach to life
08:15: Igor's return to golf and the creation of his 24-7 Golf venture
15:00: How a phone call with GOLFTEC CEO Joe Assel over the brand name grew over time into a flourishing collaborative partnership
18:00: The virtue of failure and how to learn from the experience and move on
22:00: We learn about the GolfTrak App, a "golf simulator in your pocket"
25:10: The camera technology and frame rate required to accurately track ball flight data
30:00: The business model behind GolfTrak App and the customer segment they appeal to
33:20: The GolfTrak App customer acquisition strategy
38:35: Igor shares his experience at the Golf Pitch Challenge and Mastermind Event in Orlando

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