I've had a song in my head all year long. Anyone remember this jingle from The Who?: "Gotta feeling '21 is gonna be a good year." That's how it started for Steve, John and I at New Swarm. In the beginning of the year, although we didn't know exactly when, we knew FlingGolf was going to air on ABC's SharkTank sometime before summer. And we knew that appearance was going to expose this sport to thousands of new players and grow it to a level we hadn't seen before.
And it did.
On Friday, May 14, there we were, swimming with the Sharks on TV, pitching the sport we had been growing for years, and getting millions of eyeballs on a wide variety of New Swarm's FlingStick.
In those 8 minutes, the trajectory of this sport changed. And this is how:
FlingGolf is now Player Driven.
What does that mean? It means that for years we had been growing a foundation of trust with golf courses and professionals all across the US and Canada, working with groups such as the National Golf Course Owners Association and PGA Pros. Turns out most were accepting, many were enthusiastic and some, like Massanutten Resort in Virginia, Welk Resort in San Diego and American Classic in Delaware, among many others, turned FlingGolf in to a serious revenue generator.
All that while, a grassroots base of players had been steadily growing, those very early adopters who dared to buy a FlingStick from New Swarm and be the first to approach a golf course and play. Over several years, that player base played golf courses in every state and province and even in Europe, Asia Australia and South America, all the while steadily turning our course map liberation yellow, one course at a time.
And it was that foundation of courses and our early adopters that gave us the confidence to appear on Shark Tank, swim and survive. After all, FlingGolf has its own gods to appease - and they are the gods of fun, athleticism, inclusion, innovation and competition.
It is our fast growing community that is taking those characteristics out with their FlingSticks as they introduce the sport to new courses and new players every single day. That is nowhere seen better than in the FlingGolf Players Club group page, where players teach, learn and discuss everything FlingGolf. Where to play, new techniques, what balls to use, what FlingStick to get and meeting up to play are all common subjects for the group. Even virtual events during a pandemic are happening. It's a community that is willing to go out of its way to introduce and grow the sport to anyone and everyone.
Player Driven means we have players that include black belts, wheelchair athletes, veterans, families finding themselves out on the golf course together for the first time, and senior citizens that gave up golf decades ago. We have juniors that have never been to a golf course to scratch golfers that have a FlingStick in their bag just for some fun on the course.
It means that FlingGolf has been played at courses like Torrey Pines, Pebble Beach and Pinehurst, but more often than not, it is being played at your local daily fee, municipal, mom and pop course. The courses that can be the fabric of a community, the places to get outside for a few hours with family and friends.
Player Driven means that members of our military are ordering FlingSticks from New Swarm and playing on courses at US bases in South Korea, Japan and Germany as well as over 30 military bases in the US, including Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine courses.
Most importantly, Player Driven means that there is absolutely no stopping this sport from growing to new heights in the years to come. And while Shark Tank gave the sport a phenomenal boost in '21, watch out for more to come in '22!
From the FlingGolf team here at New Swarm, we send our gratitude to our entire player and course community and wish you all a Happy New Year!