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Launch of the Alternative Golf Association

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The original "Flogton" presentation given by the Alternative Golf Association, January 27, 2011.

The original "Flogton" presentation given by the Alternative Golf Association, January 27, 2011.

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  • 1. An innovative and logical way to grow and support the game of golf “Flogton” (“not golf” spelled backward) Alternative Golf Association 1/27/11
  • 2. The problems with golf • Of the estimated 25 million golfers in the United States, only about 5 million play 25 or more rounds per year* • Less than 20% of all golfers post/maintain a handicap* • 10-15% of all 15,000-plus golf courses are “at risk”* • Kids/Baby Boomer golfer segments aren’t growing • Country club model is broken in many areas • Most trends in golf are flat or going the wrong way* • Equipment innovations of last several decades can make good players better, but for vast majority they generate no improvement • Average score has stayed at around 100 for decades* • Fringe “nonconforming” equipment doesn’t help much, promotes cheating at USGA golf, and is considered taboo. Sources: NGF/Pellucid *
  • 3. We think golf is the greatest game in the world, but golf has issues.
  • 4. What players say • • • • • • “Golf takes too long to play” “It’s too difficult for new/occasional players” “It’s expensive” “Golf isn’t fun” “It can be intimidating for new players” “Why should I spend time and money on something that is frustrating?” Sources: NGF/ Pellucid
  • 5. What golf stakeholders say • Course operators: “What can I do to increase play?” Price promotions haven’t solved the problem. • Equipment suppliers: With sales declining, discounts not working, they ask “Where do we go for innovation?” and “Where are the new ideas?” • PGA teaching pro: “I lay awake at night worrying about how to keep my students from quitting” • Golf analysts: “Golf needs innovation, entrepreneurs,” “Something’s got to give – maybe it’s one set of rules/one set of equipment,” “Become more relevant to recreational players while protecting tradition and not alienating the core,” “Golf establishment is dysfunctional.” • USGA :“Our responsibility is to regulate and protect the game, not grow it.” Sources: actual conversations with stakeholders, analyst quotes: Pellucid
  • 6. Other sports/fields of play have multigame variants in order to grow • Ski slopes: Snowboards have saved the ski industry, operators have found ways for skiers and snowboarders to co-exist at the same facility • Baseball: Smaller diamonds, tee-ball for kids, softer/larger balls for softball and youth play • Sailing: “Lido 14,” Hobie Cats, sailboards, windsurfing, not just mono-hull yachts • Equestrian: Rodeo, western saddle, English saddle, jumping/dressage • Basketball: Lower hoops, half-court games, use smaller balls • Soccer: Smaller fields and smaller balls for youth play • Tennis: Players use larger racquets; schools offer team tennis • Ice rink: Hockey, curling, speed skating • Other example: Roller skates/skateboards/longboards
  • 7. An answer for golf? Alternative Golf Association (AGA)
  • 8. AGA’s mission • Bring new attitude, ideas and energy to golf • Create a second option to USGA golf that is more fun and relevant for “the rest of us” • Give occasional golfers a reason to play more often; give defectors reasons to come back • Respect the traditions of USGA golf while creating legitimate new game that can also be played on any golf course. Not “goofy golf” or “cheating” at golf, just an alternative for frustrated or new players • Give all stakeholders reasons to get involved • Create a “movement” on adopting new ways to play and think about playing a competitive, yet more approachable, game on a golf course • Add new fun, new revenue, new game for golf and its stakeholders
  • 9. AGA’s main goal Preserve the great characteristics of golf while growing the game for everyone.
  • 10. AGA’s plan: 4 elements 1. 2. 3. 4. Introduce new games and rules that are considered legal – legitimate, playable, competitive and accessible games that can be played on any participating golf course. Introduce innovative equipment that actually makes it easier and more fun for people of widely varying abilities to play, and that can be used instead of or with existing USGA conforming equipment. Introduce a new, more fun style and set of social standards that are in step with the norms of today’s society. Jeans ok, cell phones/PDA’s ok, talking and laughing while playing ok. Create an online media community with social networking features to educate, connect, excite and celebrate the news: Finally, a more playable game for the rest of us.
  • 11. AGA: a new brand of play • Is active, healthy, distinctive and competitive to symbolize a major change in play standards that are more flexible, make the game more fun and frankly, make more common sense today. • It’s different from USGA golf. A new look, feel, attitude and style. It isn’t golf as defined by the USGA rules, but a new game and a new way of playing on a golf course that is more relevant today. Eliminates the “stigma” associated with USGA golf. • The AGA seeks to collaborate with selected consumer products brands (i.e. beer, energy drinks, cosmetics, automotive, apparel, resorts, etc) to leverage their marketing assets and target growth in various player segments (kids, college students, women, seniors, resort guests, highhandicap golfers, disabled golfers, charities, etc) in organized course events.
  • 12. AGA equipment • Clubs: Designs exist or can be contemplated that can make it easier to swing/square up to the ball, control flight/spin of the ball, get correct grip on the club for people of normal ability. • Balls: It is possible to make golf balls that travel much farther on impact, are more accurate on fairways and greens (could be three different balls). • Brand/design: AGA branded equipment will be distinctly different in appearance, design/color and will be clearly differentiated from USGA conforming equipment. Unlike current nonconforming equipment that encourages player to “cheat” at the USGA game, AGA equipment will be designed and will be legal to play the different games. • Unlike USGA conforming guidelines, AGA will have an open source philosophy for equipment development that will encourage invention and innovation.
  • 13. AGA rules • Initial rules modifications have been suggested by AGA advisory group. • Encourage further rule suggestions by members of AGA social network community and vetted by wiki-style stakeholder advisory group before being adopted/published. • Have the games/rules rated by players who participate in AGA social network. • Rule/segment variations will target different objectives. To improve speed of play, 6-9-12 as well as 18-hole segments may be allowed. • Course operators will determine how to integrate AGA play into regular play to result in the best use of their facilities.
  • 14. AGA online • Create vibrant and engaging online community enabling users to connect, learn, stay current, share experiences. • Offer demonstrations, digital games, real-time apps for posting scores, uploading photos, videos, monitoring pace of play, distances, scores, calories burned, etc. • Features will include “first to xyx” acknowledgements, “here is the AGA game we play,” course/tournament locator, book tee times, discounts on equipment, travel assist, online retailer, etc. • Growth strategy for AGA games will be through viral trial and adoption by players and courses promoting this more playable alternative.
  • 15. AGA increases playability, reduces scores Playability • Equipment innovations make bad shots “less bad” than you know they would have been (fade vs. slice, draw vs. hook) • Real bad shots (open/closed face, chunks, bladed shots) are still real bad and not rewarded. • Rules and equipment enable most players to get around the green in regulation • Equipment gives players ability to stop good shots on green • Speeds up play with less time looking for lost balls Score • Using one mulligan per hole reduces typical score by 8 strokes. • Using both AGA rules and equipment can be expected to reduce the typical score by 15 to 20 strokes.
  • 16. The AGA’s concept validation plan: “Flogton” • “Flogton” (“not golf,“ backward) is the working title of the AGA’s initiative to seek the best ideas for change from stakeholders looking to introduce more playable versions of golf. Flogton’s goal: Become recognized as a new style and brand of play and symbolize the movement where change in golf happens. • Flogton’s mission: Grow golf for everyone by embracing innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to make games that are more fun. • AGA/Flogton message to golf: Make room for us.
  • 17. Elements of Project Flogton • Give players rules modifications to make the game more playable and improve speed of play. Invite them to share their experiences with the online community (for advisor review prior to publication) on the site. • Advise players on what existing nonconforming equipment may make their game more playable. Provide a forum to rate which games and what equipment is most effective. • Encourage equipment developers, inventors interested in making equipment for Flogton to come forward with their ideas to be evaluated by AGA advisors. • List “Flogton Friendly” golf courses who adopt and promote games developed in the AGA as a way to increase play. Encourage teaching pros to use Flogton as teaching method. • Seek consumer products brands interested in promoting Flogton tournaments.
  • 18. Future Flogton equipment • Projected improvements: o o o o o o o o Distance driver (better distance off the tee) Control driver (better control on fairway) Distance ball Control ball Spin wedges Aim-assisted putter Training grips for clubs Fairway ball/tee assist device • Seek major brands interested in making equipment for use in Flogton. Establish distribution channels for Flogton equipment. • Seek apparel brands interested in developing clothing for Flogton play.
  • 19. Who wins with AGA and Flogton? • Golfers. They have a more accessible, enjoyable and social game option. • Golf Courses. The 20 million occasional golfers have a reason to return, others to try golf for the first time, resulting in a way to increase play and retain players. • Equipment/apparel companies: A significant new market. • Consumer brands. They find new opportunities to target and develop/strengthen relationships with affinity groups. • PGA/USGA/governing bodies. With new ways to protect the traditional game and its followers, they can watch overall participation and retention in the golf industry grow. Today’s Flogton players may become your players tomorrow. Why should your players quit when they can play Flogton?
  • 20. Why the AGA concept will work • AGA can rejuvenate existing, underutilized capital investments (courses). • AGA uses already established supply lines and distribution channels. • AGA presents an opportunity for a new, more satisfying and potentially lower-cost experience for a large existing market that is now registering customer dissatisfaction. • AGA’s healthy, outdoor activity can appeal to all demographic segments. • AGA’s growth potential is scalable. • AGA is supported by an experienced management team and world class advisors.
  • 21. AGA’s 10-year goal Double golf industry revenue by 2021
  • 22. The AGA/Flogton goal metrics: • Add 25% more distance to average golfer’s drive • Reduce hooks, slices, chunks, skulls by 50% • Increase wedge spins by 100% allowing good shots to remain on the green • Have special purpose balls for distance, accuracy, spin and putting • Lower score by 15 stokes • Develop cross index data to allow competitive play between AGA games/equipment and USGA in same group • Increase fun by 200%
  • 23. AGA call to action for the golf industry: • Course owners: Realize that many of your players are playing versions of Flogton now. Embrace this concept, use it to invite more players and help us collect data for game development. • Equipment companies: devote R&D to develop for Flogton. Attention inventors: The performance over conformance lamp is lit. Go to work! • Sponsors: Pick a demo segment and let’s go after it together. Kids?, College students?, Gen-X?, Women?, Frustrated 20 handicappers?, Boomers?, Charities?, Families?, Vacationers?, Team building? • Architects: Design ways to renovate courses including AGA game layout, develop course layouts that will offer 6-9-12 hole rounds as well as 18. “Flex-course” concept for new courses. • PGA: Use Flogton to teach the game to your students. • USGA: be supportive. We love your game. We want our game.
  • 24. AGA Phase One leadership Staff: Advisors: • • • • • Bob Zider *(Founder) Founded Beta Group in 1983 to “beta test” idea then partner with corporations. Startups include Personics (custom music), Flexon eyeglasses, J&J cardiovascular stents, Pixl Golf Pat Gallagher *(CEO) Top business/marketing executive with the San Francisco Giants for over 30 years. Led sponsorship/marketing plan for AT&T Park, considered sports marketing pioneer Damien Eastwood (General Counsel) Former Sun Microsystems VP/GC, expert in IP, open source tech, M&A, social networking Doug Barry (CFO consultant) Partner at David Powell, Inc. Financial Services, 30 years experience in banking and startups (Kontiki, Marimba, mBlox, Netcentives) • • • • • • Scott McNealy*(AGA Commissioner) Founder/CEO Sun Microsystems, top CEO golfer Bill Campbell* Chairman of Intuit, former Apple/Claris key executive, advisor/mentor to many SV companies Tom Suiter Former principal in CKS Partners, branding/design expert Tom Isaak Founder/CEO of CourseCo, operates 17 NorCal golf courses Bob Lurie Former owner of San Francisco Giants, golf course developer/owner John Abendroth PGA pro, host of “Hooked on Golf,” golf course owner, NorCal golf personality Jeff Mallett Former pres/COO/board member of Yahoo, investor/owner EPLS soccer club * investor
  • 25. Contact information: alternativegolfassociation.com Flogton.com info@flogton.com (General inquiries) scott@flogton.com pat@flogton.com bob@flogton.com damien@flogton.com (Scott McNealy) (Pat Gallagher) (Bob Zider) (Damien Eastwood) 1900 Embarcadero Rd. Suite 100 Palo Alto, CA 94303

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