NGF TOP 100 BUSINESSES IN GOLF
Joe Assell, Co-Founder, President and CEO
Jeremy Beck, Senior Vice President, Operations
Chris Kuebrich, Vice President, Marketing
GOLFTEC is one of the fastest growing, most successful companies in the golf industry — the world’s leader in golf lessons and instruction. Founded in 1995, GOLFTEC’s mission is simple: to help people play better golf.
GOLFTEC has taught approximately 7 million lessons at its almost 200 U.S. locations. The renowned, global GOLFTEC coaching team is comprised of experienced professionals, most of whom are PGA professionals, and on average teach over a thousand lessons per year.
The combination of highly-trained coaches and a proprietary teaching technology has led to measureable improvement. GOLFTEC has found a 96% success rate among its students, with an average improvement of seven strokes. That comes back to GOLFTEC’s philosophy that an improving golfer is a happy golfer.
GOLFTEC had 81 of its facilities located within Golfsmith stores and lost 50 locations in a 45-day span when Golfsmith didn’t emerge from bankruptcy in 2016. GOLFTEC responded with the biggest building boom in its history, accelerating the rollout of 35 stand-alone facilities.
“Momentum is this intangible that matters in business,” GOLFTEC founder Joe Assell said. “If we were struggling, it could’ve been a much bigger issue. We seized it as an opportunity, not as a problem that could bring us down.”
While many people think the ‘T’ in GOLFTEC stands for technology given the way the company’s centers are outfitted, it actually stands for Technique. The ‘C’ represents Conditioning, while ‘E’ is for Equipment. The latter ties into the company’s next big initiative: to enhance its component club-fitting system and exploit an opportunity in the market with retailers like Golfsmith and Sports Authority disappearing. Merchandise currently accounts for about 20% of GOLFTEC’s revenue and company officials believe it could (and should) be two to three times that amount.
As part of its expansion efforts, GOLFTEC in 2017 partnered with True Spec Golf to significantly upgrade its fitting capabilities. In doing so, GOLFTEC has become one of the leading custom-club fitters in the golf world.
GOLFTEC has been one of the best success stories in the golf industry over the past two decades, with revenue increasing 98% since 2010 and seven straight years of same-store sales growth. It’s a far cry from founder Joe Assell’s original goal of operating 10 instruction centers.
GOLFTEC has gone from $10 million to $84 million in sales over the past decade and a big reason is that customers turn into ambassadors for the brand, with approximately 40% of business coming from referrals. The trajectory for the brand is one of the strongest in the sport, a clear indication that improving golfers are indeed happier golfers.