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Startup Feature: Offcourse Golf

Offcourse Golf is a participating startup in Batch #1 of The Accelerator, enabling golf courses to engage with customers in a meaningful and authentic way.


An interview with Roger Kingkade, Founder of Offcourse Golf

As an entrepreneur, you will come up what feels like dozens of ideas. One of the best parts of entrepreneurship is having that “a-ha!” moment when a great idea finally sticks. That’s how Cofounders Roger Kingkade and Josh Fafard met, and how Offcourse Golf began!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you ended up starting Offcourse.

We have a very organic startup story! Our Cofounder, Josh Fafard, and I met when we were working on another startup idea. As it turns out, it was a terrible idea! After that, we ended up talking over beers about how it would be great to have a smartphone app that could track our golf game.

Josh built the app and when we launched it in the App Store in March 2013 people all over the world started to download it. We had downloads coming from places like Sweden, Berlin and Dubai, which was amazing to see. Right now, thousands of individual users can download the app to track their golf game all around the world. Users can track stats like whether they hit or missed the fairway and their golf handicap.

Roger Kingkade and Josh Fafard, Cofounders of Offcourse Golf

Roger Kingkade and Josh Fafard, Cofounders of Offcourse Golf

After launching, we developed a feedback loop with our users to start crowdsourcing ideas for how we could make the app better. Our initial users helped us shape our product into what it is now, including the addition of a GPS tracking component that is free to use on 28,000 courses around the world. In the past 6 months, we have gone through a major pivot and are now working directly with golf courses to customize and white-label our app to help each course provide a unique experience to their customers. Right now, we are working with 5 golf courses in Calgary and a golf ball manufacturer in Australia.

What problem are you trying to solve?

We work in an industry constantly bombarded by negative statistics like golfers quitting and giving up the sport. I think, in all aspects of life, people are looking for richer more custom experiences. Golf courses were lacking the means to engage with their customers in a way that is authentic and meaningful. 

Please explain how you solve that problem?

Offcourse provides golf courses with the opportunity to tell stories to their customers through the app. By white-labeling our app, golf courses are provided with a gift they can give to their customers by allowing them to track their progress on the course. Golf courses are now able to speak directly with their customers, while also gaining a better understanding of who their customers really is. Instead of sending a mass email, customers can receive a push notification such as, “Hey Jim! Great game last week! Would you like to come in for a steak tonight?”

Based on some industry stats, I think we are on the right track! Millennials are 70% more likely to download applications that can be used in-store and 52% of individuals are receptive to push notifications from the brands they engage with. 

How has your experience been at The Accelerator?

It has been really really awesome. It’s great to learn from others who have had both success and failure in their own startups. Being able to work alongside them has helped me stay on track and see what I am working towards.

Our mentors Tyler Burnett and Kris Hans have helped push us and have shown us different perspectives and solutions. Pieter has also been a tremendous mentor through the events, curriculum and from just being in the space. It’s great to see someone who is working on their own companies while still giving back by always being there to answer a question or help us work through a problem.

What's next for Offcourse Golf?

Before starting at The Accelerator, we were focused on expanding our reach within Calgary. The Accelerator allowed us to galvanize our business plan and hit the pavement. Our next step is expanding our territory and reaching out to golf courses across North America.

Learn more about Offcourse Golf at http://offcourse.golf/


Want to support Offcourse Golf and other local tech startups?

Celebrate the first 10 startups to complete our 5-month program at The Accelerator at Demo Day on Tuesday, March 14 from 7:00-9:30pm at Studio Bell in Calgary, AB.