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I was nearing the end of one of the greatest golfing experiences of my life. The sun was beginning to set in Pittsburgh, Tennessee and we had just spent the day traversing golf’s latest mecca. A group of near seventy guys approached the first tee of Sweetens Cove. A course that has become the host of golfing pilgrimages like the one I was on with a group of fellow addicts from Chicagoland.
The idea was simple. Split up into squads of three for an alternate shot of epic proportions. We would all tee off on the same hole and teams would be eliminated until one weary crew remained. What unfolded over the next hour is what makes golf the greatest activity on earth. People from all walks of life shared laughs over friendly competition for the sake of fun and a love for the game. It didn’t matter who won. It was all about the experience while getting the nerves going a bit as you tried to hit a shot with your peers spectating all around you.
As we walked off the ninth green under a beautiful Tennessee night sky laughing and talking shit about the competitions of the day, I was hit with a deep appreciation of the moment. Matt Considine and Mark Colwell had created something special. Their startup golf society, NewClub, gave us all a memory we would never forget. But more importantly, they had developed a model that allowed like-minded individuals to connect in their local market and travel around this great game.
The Future of Golf Club’s In America
Picture this. You just moved to Chicago for work. You don’t know a soul and are looking for ways to meet people. You enjoy playing golf and want to explore the courses your latest stopping ground has to offer, but you don’t have a foursome to call on for your weekend rounds. What do you do? You could begin looking at joining a private club, but that can be very expensive and time-consuming. You could show up at a public course and hope to be paired with people you would get along with. But that can be very hit or miss as we all know.
What if there was a golf club that had no home course, very low annual fees, and was full of hundreds of people just like you? A club that had an app and upon opening you could message new golfing companions and book a tee time at private clubs around the city in a matter of minutes. And to top it all off, they had organized trips to some of the best golf destinations throughout the year. I would imagine for this Chicago newcomer, it would be a dream come true.
Enter NewClub, a modern golf society created to solve the problem of accessibility and affordability of golf in America.
An Idea Forms at The Home of Golf
After a trip to Scotland, founder, Matt Considine was inspired by what he had witnessed.
Upon completing his day on The Old Course, their group was welcomed into The New Club of St. Andrews, one of the oldest golf societies in the world for a post-round hang and some lunch. As Matt puts it:
“It was our experience there that sparked the idea of NewClub. We were warmly welcomed inside and given a tour of the clubhouse and its heritage. While enjoying our lunch, we watched as The New Golf Club members file through the entrance, four golfers at a time to turn in scorecards, have a bite to eat, and reminisce about their match on one of the seven links courses available to them through the St. Andrews Trust.
We met teachers, bankers, architects, and grocers. Police officers, accountants, and fishermen. I was fascinated with how much of their town was represented. In addition to honorary members such as Arnold Palmer, Bobby Jones, and Sandy Herd, The New Golf Club of St. Andrews has been a place for hundreds of years where citizens of the town, any resident in good standing with a passion for the game can call their golfing home.”
With an entrepreneurs spirit, this inspiration turned into a vision for a business and we took a few minutes out of our day at Sweetens to discuss the passion he has for this project.
What Lies Ahead
With a clear enthusiasm for changing the landscape of golf club’s in America, Matt and his business partner Mark have made phenomenal progress since NewClub’s inception in 2017. Over 300 people have joined their organization in the Chicago area with brand ambassadors to compliment from around the country.
For a new generation of golfers, NewClub is the perfect evolution of a local member-based business model in need of innovation. We live in an era of disruption where technologies and ideas breed new businesses that change their respected fields forever. Matt and Mark are at the forefront of making golf more accessible and affordable in America, and we can not wait to see where they take it. Who knows, maybe you will see a NewClub Golf Society in your city in the years to come.