NGF TOP 100 BUSINESSES IN GOLF
Full Swing Golf
Ryan Dotters, Chief Executive Officer
Ryan Schroeder, VP of Finance & Operations
Jason Fierro, SVP of Sales & Marketing
Full Swing is an industry leader in cutting edge golf simulator technology, providing an accurate and truly realistic indoor golf experience. The company’s simulators, which are able to measure ball flight indoors, are found in the homes of major champions like Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods, Jason Day, Jim Furyk and Padraig Harrington.
Woods and Spieth are the company’s most visible partners and have helped bring more attention to the simulator space in the U.S.
Full Swing was founded in 1986 by Floyd Arnold, who was selling other golf simulator brands at the time and saw a need for a more accurate and durable simulator than what was available. It took several years of work – not to mention Arnold’s life savings – to create Full Swing’s Patented Dual Tracking Technology.
The company sold its first six simulators in 1991. To this day, the first tracking systems are still in use at the Bunker Indoor Golf Center in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Full Swing simulators are also found in about 200 DICK’S Sporting Goods stores around the country, while Topgolf will use Full Swing products in its Topgolf Swing Suite lounges.
All Full Swing simulators include the company’s dual tracking technology which combines high speed cameras and infrared lightwave tech to produce realistic ball tracking data. Ball flight is measured in real time, providing unmatched ball feedback, with the new in-home simulators retailing for about $20,000. Other simulators in the Full Swing collection range in price from $30,000 to $50,000.
Full Swing has experienced its most significant growth and success over the past three years under the leadership of CEO Ryan Dotters, who previously held sales roles in the golf business with Callaway, TaylorMade and Adams. Dotters took over as CEO in 2015 while simultaneously signing a partnership deal with Woods.
“For us, it starts every day with product. Our product is really good,” says Dotters. “We don’t get the partnerships and endorsements and deals that we do without the product being very accurate. So that’s where it starts.”
Dotters also spearheaded the acquisition of Virtual Green (indoor putting technology) in 2015 along with a partnership agreement with Alisports, a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group, the world’s largest online and mobile commerce site.
As part of those partnerships, Full Swing is creating Woods branded golf simulators and looking to use his popularity (and its technology) to further grow the game in China.
With simulators becoming an increasingly popular form of off-course participation, Full Swing Golf has the benefit of significant visibility from its major partnerships with tour players like Spieth and Woods. It’s also aligned with companies like DICK’S, Topgolf and Disney Cruise Line, has almost 100 championship courses in its virtual library, and does activations with major club companies such as TaylorMade and Callaway.
From practice to instruction to entertainment, Full Swing is making indoor golf a reality in homes, businesses and at golf courses. Beyond private use, the company has been appealing to golf professionals, looking to equip them with the opportunity to extend their teaching season throughout the year, regardless of weather conditions.