DIGITAL GOLF VS COACHING GOLF — a short comparison.
In all areas of business there are world famous icons.
In the golf coaching world there is no doubt Butch Harmon tops this list. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickleson, Dustin Johnson, Greg Norman, Rickie Fowler and countless others have been in his stable.
In the digital golf world, no app is bigger than Shotzoom Golf which can lay claim to over three million users and partnerships with icons such as Tiger Woods.
As a golf coach myself I thought it might be relevant to explain my approach to the business and how my mission with Dogleg Golf is similar in the digital arena.
As a relatively young golf coach I am painfully aware I don’t know it all. The game is so complex but of course humans are even more so :)
I receive positive feedback, I am busy with lessons and I can make a living out of a game I love. But I’m no Butch Harmon. Frankly I don’t know how you get there or if I would even want that fame or pressure to create results.
I hope Dogleg can achieve what I have been able to with my coaching. I hope it can stand on its own two feet financially, proves to be popular in certain areas and receives some nice reviews.
As a startup I have no interest in getting swept away on all the hype of trying to conquer the world. I don’t want to be responsible to a butch of investors. I don’t want to be the next Uber or AirBnB of industry X, whatever that could mean in golf!
With the information on websites, social media and YouTube golfers can find out about anything in the golf swing in a couple of taps. So why are golf lessons still so popular? A real live golf lesson can provide you with tremendous insight. A golf pro can process hundreds of things in one lesson and provide you with a clear path for improvement. It really is a skill to navigate the thousands of topics in golf technique to know what is most important.
As well as providing an analysis on what should be changed to get better I can also explain what the player should feel in multiple ways. I’ll adapt my language; the emphasis on certain words, the type of imagery, the level of technical detail and the level of seriousness required.
What I won’t adapt is my level of commitment for every lesson. I never want to simply feel like I’m just going through the motions. Even if a player doesn’t improve as he would like after a lesson I know he won’t be able to question my enthusiasm for trying to help him.
Being a good teacher requires an ability to be a good listener but I think more importantly to be able to read between the lines — to hear what is not being said.
I hope to transfer these aspects to Dogleg Golf. Other apps or companies may copy our messaging focus. They may imitate areas of our design. But they wont be able to imitate our user first DNA if they are chasing users or turnover to keep shareholders happy.
Dogleg is here for the long term — to be a platform that truly enriches the golf experience. We will listen to feedback, offer a deeply personalised experience, respect every golfer’s interaction with Dogleg and try and offer something original.
We may not have the most likes or downloads….but honestly who cares? If you play your best ever round you won’t care that my name isn’t Butch Harmon :)