Get Happy: Finding the right funding

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 8, 2014, 7:42 pm


How do you raise money for a new venture? That’s probably the No. 1 question I get when people find out what I do. 

Is it easy? Absolutely not. But Brainstorm is my fifth company I’ve been involved with from the start, and each one of them has found the necessary funding to launch. There are several ways to raise capital, and the key is finding the strategy that matches your long-term vision. The truth of the matter is that, in the beginning, you are just looking for anyone who has an interest in what you are doing. Even if they aren’t a good candidate as an investor, they may know someone who is.  Plus, you want to practice telling your idea and your story, see how well you tell it, and listen to the feedback to reveal the areas of concern that potential investors will focus on. 

As I was assembling the initial business plan, I tried to be really conservative with our forecasts.  One of the biggest lessons I learned at Never Compromise was not to overpromise. And while it would be great if the Happy Putter became the next Odyssey putter, it doesn’t need to be for us to have a very successful golf company. We projected a “worst case” cash need based on fairly conservative sales figures. Then we decided to raise more than double that amount.Why? Because, no matter how conservative you are, things never go the way you planned.

Blog 3: Raising money

Blog 2: Picking the right team

Blog 1: The reality of a start-up company

Product development always takes longer and is always more expensive than you think. Also, the greatest gift a startup can have is time. The more time you have, the more likely you are to succeed … and sometimes it takes money to have more time. In addition, as you launch a company, there is optimism, and it is easier to raise capital when you don’t need it than when you do. The more desperate you are for funds, the more difficult it is to get, and if you do get it, it comes at a high price. 

It’s not tremendously hard to find people with money to invest. The hard part is looking for investors you really like, who share the vision and are people you really want to be in business with.

The toughest investor to find is the first one. As the stock market proves every day, investors have a “pack mentality,” and very few of them want to go first. The first investor truly becomes family, and they recognize the importance of their role. 

So, even if they’re dangling a bag of money, my advice is: Make sure you really like spending time with this person and are comfortable with them taking a very active role in your company’s creation. 

Enter Jim Crone. As I mentioned in the last blog, Crone is a self-made man.  You’ve heard the expression “salt of the Earth.” Jim is pretty salty, and pretty pepper-y, too.  He’s a Vietnam vet who started his first company in his twenties and worked his way from Pittsburgh to Southern California.  He saved enough money to buy some real estate, and slowly grew his private company into one of the largest commercial real estate companies in San Diego. 

Jim may not know how to make a golf club, but he knows how to make companies that last. Even though Jim had never been involved in golf, his lack of experience worked in our favor. Jim improved the putter by making suggestions based not on “how it’s done in golf,” but on common sense.  We wanted the adjustment features of the Happy Putter to be intuitive and Jim’s inexperience as a golfer helped.

So we found our life-giver, and now we had enough to get started, but we still only had 10 percent of our total capital goal. Most companies fail because they don’t get the proper funding, and with this great idea, we couldn’t let that be our downfall.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm