FlingGolf on 'Shark Tank': What is the cost, who are the founders and how the game is a spin on golf?
If you're looking for a fun summer activity, FlingGolf might just be what you're looking for
As interesting as golf may seem, it isn't a sport that comes across as accessible. While that may the case, there is one company that's working to change that, by reinventing the sport entirely.
Enter FlingGolf, a sport that combines elements of golf with that of lacrosse, making it a fun outdoor activity for everyone. All you need is a FlingStick and a golf course to play at!
What is FlingGolf?
While golf has its own charm and appeal, it's not exactly viewed as a sport that anyone or everyone can play. That's exactly where FlingGolf steps in and the goal of the sport is simple — it reinvents the idea of golf to get more people out on the course. The concept of the game is fairly simple, think of it as if lacrosse and golf had a baby. With the FlingStick as your equipment, what players essentially do is fling the ball across the course and once closer to the hole, you can use the FlingStick as a traditional golf club.
As per the official website — 'FlingGolf is a sport that is easy to start and fun to master. You play on any golf course, but instead of hitting a golf ball with a club, you use a single New Swarm FlingStick® thrower to hurl the ball and shape every shot from tee to hole. You can even play in the same foursome as traditional golfers. Just no argyle sweaters. You’re better than that.'
As per the website, the rules are as follows:
On the Tee
Take as many steps as you like while hurling the ball towards the hole just make sure to launch before you reach the tee marker
In the Fairway
Note where your ball lies. Retreat up to 5 paces away from the hole and take your shot before reaching your previous lie.
On the Green
With the Striker Pad, putt as you would a golf putt. With the FlingNotch, push or pull the ball toward the hole without moving your feet. With the ball in the Channel, release the ball from a point no closer to the hole than the previous lie.
Who are the founders?
Alex Van Alen
Alex Van Alen is the founder and CEO of FlingGolf. As per his bio on the FlingGolf website, Alen was on a mission to make 35,000 golf courses across the world active and more and fun and FlingGolf proved to be the perfect way to do so. He established New Swarm Sports in order to do so.
Van Alen has had an interesting career prior to this. He was previously the CEO of Essex County Trail Association that worked on bringing back "sled dog racing back to Massachusetts in a major way and developing a popular running, kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking event." Van Alen came up with the idea of FlingGolf as a kid and began developing a prototype for the FlingStick in 2012.
"You only need that one stick to get on the course," he explained, while talking to WCVB "I think it’s great. It’s a good way of introducing the younger players to the game. One reason the equipment. The cost of the equipment you are only buying one club," he added. He also spoke about his Shark Tank journey. "Waiting for the doors to open was crazy, a lot of adrenaline and then once you give your pitch," Van Alen added. "It was really just a lot of fun."
He also spoke about how the game allows for more people to join in, seeing that it is far less intimidating than golf. "It kind of cuts through the old tradition of golf, we are respectful of that. It cuts through the stuffiness of golf, people go out there and have a good time," he said.
Along with founder and CEO Van Alen, company president John Pruellage also helps make the pitch. Prior to joining New Swarm Sport, FlingGolf's parent company, Pruellage worked in the advertising sector and was the CFO of Navic Networks. He was also a founder, COO & CFO of Integral Reach.
"There is an opportunity to both rejuvenate the interest of lapsed golfers’ and to attract an entirely new segment of players to golf courses looking for additional revenue." said Pruellage, while talking to CISION PR Web. "It’s like what snowboarding did to the ski industry decades ago, ultimately propelling innovation and bringing new crowds to resorts. Similarly, FlingGolf has created a way for friends and family to enjoy being outside together, on the same terrain but with different equipment."
What is the cost and where to buy FlingGolf equipment from?
To play FlingGolf, you'll need a FlingStick. You can purchase the same on the official FlingGolf website, where the FlingStick retails from $119 onwards. You can also purchase a range of accessories, such as putting slug, foam practice balls, FlingStick holders etc starting from $6 (putting slug cost). If you aren't keen on investing in a stick just yet, you can also rent a pack, which comes complete with 12 FlingSticks, rules and scorecards for $200.
Where is FlingGolf now?
Since its inception, FlingGolf has been doing rather well, seeing that it has been played on 1,200 golf courses across 27 countries. 2014 to 2019 saw exponential growth, with FlingGolf being played at 160 new courses, yearly. The brand has generated nearly $50,000 in incremental revenue yearly.
Who will steal the deal?
The sharks most likely to steal the deal are Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner. Although Cuban has said before that he is not a fan of the sport, he did invest in Golfkicks, a company that sells cleat kits to turn sneakers into golf shoes. Cuban settled on $300,000 investment for a 13% stake in the company. Lori Greiner, who passed up on that investment, does happen to be an avid golfer herself — making her just as likely to take the bait.
‘Shark Tank’ Season 12 Episode 24 returns to ABC after a week's break on May 14, 2021, at 8 pm ET. Catch the latest episode featuring products like Pluto, FloatNGrill and The Original Stretchlace on May 14, 2021, from 8 pm ET to 9 pm ET.
Missed an episode? Been wanting to catch up? Episodes can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu. Not just that, you can also watch old seasons and episodes on Amazon Prime Video and iTunes.