The thinning of many traditional golf clubs’ member directories coupled with innovation in the web and mobile golf product and app space is yielding some interesting synergies.
One of these, Forelinx, bills itself as “the best way to book tee times, compete in fantasy golf and play 100s of courses with one membership.”
To find out exactly what that means, we talked with CEO Danny Wax.
GolfWRX: Let’s start with a quick explanation of what Forelinx is for those WRXers who aren’t familiar?
DW: Simply put, Forelinx is an all-new type of golf membership. We offer three core products: online tee times, fantasy golf and business memberships. Members get “Forelinx Points” and use those Points to book tee times across a growing network of courses, compete in fantasy golf competitions or share Points with employees and clients. Memberships are month-to-month or pay as you go and any unused Points rollover. We’re leveraging technology to build the future of golf memberships for the next generation. We believe in golf’s traditions but have added modern touches to push the sport forward and attract new audiences.
GolfWRX: Take me back to the point of origin and the business opportunity y’all saw?
DW: The inspiration for Forelinx has been a compilation of first-hand experiences. Growing up at a country club, I was able to see the pain points that discouraged younger golfers from joining. Long term commitments, access to only one course, food and beverage minimums and expensive monthly dues made the thought of joining intimidating and a financial burden. I’ve been able to pull from personal experiences and other business models like ClassPass and the Epic Ski Pass to build a golf membership that caters directly to the ever-evolving needs of golfers.
GolfWRX: Where do things stand now, and what’s next?
DW: We currently operate in three states (California, Arizona, Nevada) and we’re planning on launching three new markets in 2020. Right now our focus is on market expansion and improvements to our platform in order to deliver the best member experience possible.
GolfWRX: OK. Other side of the coin: Tell me about Forelinx from the business/courses side of things…
DW: One of our core missions since the launch of Forelinx has been to build the world’s most course-friendly tee time distribution network. Online distribution has not seen much innovation over the last decade so we took a hard look at existing models like GolfNow, TeeOff, and Supreme and tried to do what we could to build our model in a way that soothes some of the pain points course operators encounter.
Forelinx comes completely free of charge (no barter, commission or cash) to our course partners. The Points-system we use allows us to camouflage the hard-dollar rates our courses are providing to us as a way to protect the integrity of their rates and brand. Our partner contracts are month-to-month and our partners select rates of their choice for every single tee time we distribute on their behalf.
Each of these decisions helps us build a reputation as a course-friendly distribution option. We want to be extensions of our clients’ existing marketing strategies rather than compete with them — and these core principles are critical in aligning our interests of the golf courses that make up the Forelinx network.
GolfWRX: Integrating fantasy golf is an interesting decision…what’s going on there?
DW: Our decision to move into the fantasy golf space was born out of a desire to find ways for members to enjoy their Forelinx Points between rounds of golf. Our overall vision for this product is to use fantasy golf as a mechanism that makes the PGA Tour more exciting and rewarding to watch. Forelinx members can now draft a team on Wednesday, watch their team compete on Thursday and then use their winnings to pay for their tee time on Friday. This marriage of on-screen PGA Tour engagement and on-course golf participation is unique in the golf industry and gives Forelinx members the unique opportunity to enjoy a user experience cycle not available anywhere else.
GolfWRX: Taking a step back, how do you think Forelinx fits into larger trends in the golf industry? Obviously, you’ve taken something traditional and reworked it…are there lessons there for other segments of the golf market?
DW: We take great pride in the fact that we’re a non-traditional form of golf membership. We believe that our model gives our members flexibility and choice — two characteristics consumers desire when making any type of purchase. While we wouldn’t presume to tell other operators how to run their business, we’d certainly think a focus on those two consumer priorities will ultimately pay dividends to any business in or out of the golf industry.
I think the golf industry at-large has had a relentless focus on its own needs during a decade that has been tough on a lot of golf businesses. The needs and wants of golfers have taken a backseat to the concerns of golf business operators and our methodology at Forelinx is to create new trends instead of following them. We listen to our members and work backward to provide solutions that can help sustainably grow the game.
GolfWRX: Good stuff. Anything else you’d GolfWRXers to know?
DW: I think this last decade has been an interesting period in the golf world. Technology is continuing to revolutionize the on-course and off-course golfer experience, and the struggles in the golf economy have created a lot of opportunity for those willing to break traditional molds. Companies like TopGolf and DriveShack recognized early on that customer desires were changing and saw financial upside in delivering the game to a broader audience in non-traditional bite-size portions.
We at Forelinx see similar opportunities in breaking the traditional mold of the classic single-course golf membership. By building a product that speaks to our consumer’s desire for flexibility and choice both on-course and off-course, we think we’re well-positioned to leverage technology to deliver our members a great experience and our investors a great business.
Be the Number: 2021 CJ Cup @ Summit fantasy, betting picks, and preview
Stats and strategy guru Spencer Aguiar (@teeoffsports) and guest Joel Schreck of Win Daily Sports dive deep into the CJ Cup @ Summit. Tune in for picks, predictions, DFS, GPP, draws, fades, bets, and more!
The 19th Hole, Episode 169: Spotlight on Big Cedar Lodge
Host Michael Williams turns the spotlight on Big Cedar Lodge, one of the finest golf destinations in America. Guests include Director of Agronomy Jeff Steen.
Club Junkie: Titleist T-Series irons – A deep dive with Titleist’s Josh Talge
Titleist’s new T-Series irons are out and have had a lot of use on tour as well as a lot of adoption by GolfWRXers. Josh Talge takes some time to talk with me about all the details of the T100, T100S, T200, and the T300. It is a deep dive into each iron and what tech has made them such good irons for all golfers!
Patrick Reed’s Twitter suggests that he’s fuming with Stricker’s Ryder Cup snub
‘My first-hand experience with Bryson DeChambeau’
Taking the backyard putting green plunge
4-wood vs 7-wood vs hybrid – GolfWRXers discuss
The Wedge Guy: More on learning – the grip
Jessica Korda calls out social media ‘hate’ as rise in online abuse continues
Justin Rose’s caddie calls into question U.S. player’s graciousness at Solheim Cup
Clement: This wrist position can add 30 yards to your drive
Steve Stricker shares positive news from Tiger Woods’ rehab
Report: Bryson calls out ‘Brooksie’ heckler following playoff defeat
Danny Willett WITB 2021 (October)
Danny Willett what’s in the bag accurate as of the Shriners Open. Driver: Callaway Rogue (9 degrees) Shaft: Mitsubishi Kai’li...
Sungjae Im’s winning WITB: 2021 Shriners Open
Driver: Titleist TSi2 (8 degrees) Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7 X (45.25 inches) 3-wood: Titleist TS3 (13.5) (B1...
Rafa Cabrera Bello’s winning WITB: 2021 Spanish Open
Rafa Cabrera Bello what’s in the bag accurate as of the Spanish Open. All photos c/o @sms_on_tour Driver: Titleist TSi3 (10...
Matthew Wolff WITB 2021 (October)
Matthew Wolff what’s in the bag accurate as of the Shriners Open. Driver: TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees @7.5) Shaft: Graphite...
19th Hole4 days ago
Bryson reveals the cut-off point on money list where players make an annual loss on Tour
19th Hole3 days ago
Tiger Woods photographed back on golf course with son Charlie
19th Hole3 weeks ago
Sergio Garcia’s wife fires warning to ’embarrassing’ U.S. Ryder Cup fans
19th Hole2 weeks ago
‘Patrick Cantlay p****d me off’ – European Ryder Cup rookie hits out at U.S. star
19th Hole3 weeks ago
‘What the f**k you doing?’ – Former Masters champ tells Brooks Koepka to ‘get a life’
19th Hole2 weeks ago
The ruthless message Tiger Woods sent to inspire the U.S team at Ryder Cup
19th Hole6 days ago
Why Harris English’s putter grip led to strange ruling at Ryder Cup
Podcasts2 weeks ago
The 19th Hole Episode 168: Long Drive Champ Maurice Allen discusses Bryson