Nothing in golf has quite revolutionized the game publicly than the sector of Entertainment Golf. Don’t know what that is? It’s the corner of the golf world where TopGolf lives. Where Popstroke earns its revenue. Where the social aspects of bowling mesh with the gentleman’s game of golf.
The simulator golf world is smack dab in the center of Entertainment Golf, and one of the successful branches of simulator golf is a brand called Five Iron Golf.
The upstart company that launched just four years ago in Manhattan has spread to seven cities and 10 locations around the world, and just this week secured a $30 million investment from golf-behemoth Callaway. Not much detail about the investment was shared, but CEO Chip Brewer did hint at some aspects of it in the press release.
“Five Iron Golf has built a strong brand and leadership position in the evolving indoor golf market by creating technology-driven, eye-catching venues appealing to avid golfers, pure entertainment seekers, and everyone in between,” Brewer said. “This innovative business aligns with Callaway’s belief that the future of golf will be more accessible and inclusive. The partnership includes a non-exclusive marketing agreement that provides Callaway the ability to continue to develop relationships with golfers wherever they engage with the sport and a valuable opportunity for strategic collaboration that will benefit both brands.”
That last line is an important one. Callaway has made continuous strides in recent years investing in brands like the aforementioned TopGolf where Callaway can continually be inserted “wherever [golfers] engage with the sport.” Want rental clubs at Five Iron? Callaway’s nicest and newest equipment will be part of the offerings. And perhaps much more than that.
At its core, Five Iron Golf was launched as a simulator bay- and instruction-focused business, but it now also doubles as an engaging events space with club-fittings, adult leagues and memberships. In addition to the 10 worldwide locations already established by Five Iron, seven more are on the way, including on in downtown Chicago and another in Seattle.
As for Callaway, this is just the latest investment that company has made in golf brands it sees potential in. Other brands like OGIO, Odyssey and TravisMathew are included under Callaway umbrella.