The game of golf can arguably be one of the most challenging sports of all, testing powers of concentration and skill to the limits. The will to succeed and improve is a constant driver for many golfers, from professionals at the top of their game to amateurs at their local clubs.

Penarth-based Dr Golf founder Zach Gould relates to that desire to get better at the game and improve their health, so much so that he established his company to help as many golfers as possible. While he hasn’t reached his ambition to be a top-level golfer, playing alongside the best in the world, he hopes his business can help others play to their potential – or even just make their game a little better and more enjoyable at the same time.

 

Dr Golf has been supported through Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme (AGP).

The AGP provides targeted support for ambitious growing firms. The programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

 

Guy Dean and Zach Gould

 

Here Zach Gould explains his idea and describes his business journey.

Tell us about Dr Golf
I love golf. I have a passion for the sport, and I always wanted to be a professional golfer and play in top tournaments like the Open and the Ryder Cup.

It’s this passion that has driven my business. We act as an online leisure club, providing a high standard of online training for elite and amateur golfers. All of our training is provided remotely – and it’s used by players, coaches, clubs, universities, counties and national governing bodies through their accredited programmes. We use interactive technology, improving training for users and improving their game too.

I always felt that as I went on my personal journey as a golfer, I didn’t quite fulfil my potential. It was frustrating watching my peers, those I’d come up through the ranks with, move forward while I didn’t reach their heights in my golfing career. In time, I realised I never had access to the same level of coaching, particularly in terms of strength and conditioning for golf. So I decided to focus on addressing that gap.

At age 21, I went back to school and eventually went to university, where I completed a PhD in strength and conditioning for golf. I think it was then that I realised how much of a need there is out there for wider access to golf-related physical training.

I founded Dr Golf Global in 2018, along with my business partner Guy, to bring elite quality training to golfers of all levels – wherever they are based in the world.

 

What are your proudest moments in business so far?
I think proving the concept has been my proudest moment. I left a full-time job as a university lecturer to pursue my dream – I’m so proud to see the business flourish and the customer base grow.

Doing something I love and having a career in a sport I’m so passionate about is incredibly rewarding.

 

What challenges have you faced in business?Golfers tend to be late adopters to new technology – so reaching customers and clubs and getting them to access and share video was difficult initially. But the Covid crisis has forced those in and around the sport to consider online support – and adapt to it quickly. Clubs have looked to continue to provide their members with value, and more and more people are becoming familiar with remote technology and online learning. So I think in that sense, the pandemic actually helped us and pushed the transition to this remote coaching model, which I believe can help so many players.

 

If you were starting again, what would you do differently?
I’d manage my expectations a bit better.
I was guilty of being frustrated by the slow initial uptake. I was eager, and my passion (which I’ve channeled positively as I’ve driven the business forward) meant I was too eager to succeed straight away. Patience is crucial in those early days.

Knowing the process involved in setting up a business and the need to be flexible would have made planning easier.

 

How has support from Business Wales AGP helped your business?
I enrolled on the Business Wales AGP, looking for the support and coaching we needed as I started in the exciting but often testing world of entrepreneurship.

Since then, I’ve had plenty of support, and the expertise provided by Business Wales AGP has helped me develop a strong pitch deck, becoming investor-ready. We’ve also been introduced to several investors, and the mentoring I’ve received has been invaluable in preparing for this.

I can’t recommend Business Wales AGP enough for someone looking to grow a business like I was.

 

What advice and guidance would you give other businesses starting out?

  • Manage your mindset – manage your expectations and know it will take time to achieve what you set out to do.
  • Seek out knowledge from those playing at the highest level.
  • Expect to fail – failing is important; it’s how you grow, but make sure you learn from it and be adaptable.
  • Enjoy it! Starting and growing a business is tough, so it has to be in an area you enjoy – otherwise, is it really worth it?


To learn more about Dr Golf, visit here.


Further information on the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme.

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