NBC Sports Group Acquires Revolution Golf, Bolsters Digital Portfolio

By Golf Channel Public RelationsAugust 7, 2017, 1:55 pm

Golf’s Largest Direct-To-Consumer Digital Platform, Revolution Golf Serves Subscribers with High-Quality Instruction, Travel Content and Integrated E-Commerce – Built on Foundation of Video Content

NBC Sports Group announced today the acquisition of Revolution Golf, the largest direct-to-consumer digital platform in golf. With nearly 2 million highly-engaged subscribers, Revolution Golf partners with some of the most recognizable names in the industry to deliver high-quality, video-based instruction, travel content, and integrated e-commerce. The announcement was made today by Mike McCarley, President, Golf, NBC Sports Group and Justin Tupper, CEO of Revolution Golf.

This addition to NBC Sports’ digital portfolio strengthens its ability to serve the largest community of active golfers through multiple digital platforms, including Golf Channel’s traditional digital media and social channels, GolfNow’s tee-time marketplaces, multiple golf lifestyle brands and, now, Revolution Golf’s instructional, travel and e-commerce connections. The agreement also increases NBC Sports’ digital monthly users aggregated across all platforms to 15 million active golfers who rely upon NBC Sports’ digital platforms to connect with the sport they love and play.

“A pioneering spirit has fueled Golf Channel’s growth since Arnold Palmer founded the company 22 years ago and that spirit continues today as Revolution Golf joins the NBC Sports Group,” said Mike McCarley, President, Golf, NBC Sports. “From a business standpoint, as we continue to evolve for the future, Revolution Golf adds another subscription-based business that is not dependent on rights fees. We look forward to integrating Revolution Golf into our portfolio of digital golf lifestyle products, amplifying progressive e-commerce opportunities and offering unique content to more golfers around the globe.”

Revolution Golf Serves Instruction, Travel and E-Commerce through Progressive Video-Based Platform

“NBC Sports’ investment is tremendous news for our increasingly expanding subscriber base of nearly 2 million golfers, as we can enhance our video content by utilizing Golf Channel’s expertise, expanding current e-commerce offerings to a wider range of products and ultimately scaling our business by tapping into NBCUniversal’s global reach,” said Justin Tupper, CEO and Founder, Revolution Golf, who will be based from Golf Channel’s World Headquarters in Orlando. “Specifically, I am eager to tap into Golf Channel’s comprehensive library of content that spans Bobby Jones to Ben Hogan to Jack Nicklaus to Phil Mickelson. Our Revolution Golf community appreciates high-quality content, which has been a guiding principle of Golf Channel for more than two decades.”

Tupper started producing instructional videos on DVD’s in 2009, running the business out of his house. Over the next eight years, Revolution Golf invested more than $25 million in advertising to build what is now one of the largest and most-engaged audiences in all of golf. Video-based instruction forms the core of Revolution Golf with elite instructors Martin Chuck, Sean Foley, Martin Hall, Jim McLean and Andrew Rice featured on the platform. About five years ago, the company launched a premium subscription offering (RG+) for which members pay up to $124 a year to access a library of exclusive video content, special offers on training aids, equipment, and exclusive, member-only events.

“Our focus across all of the Revolution Golf properties has been to fuel our audience’s passion for the game of golf. Two-thirds of our subscribers’ report playing golf at least once a week in-season and they have an insatiable thirst to get better at the game, learn about the latest and greatest equipment and training aids, and travel to marquee destinations and events,” said David Baum, president, Revolution Golf. “Our unique approach, which integrates content with commerce, has been one of the great success stories in golf over the last five years. We could not be more excited about our future prospects with the power of NBC Sports and Golf Channel behind us.”

Additionally, with the backing of Golf Channel, GolfNow and Golf Advisor, Revolution Golf members now will have access to golf courses, both locally and at golf destinations around the globe. And an additional suite of digital lifestyle brands will integrate within Golf Channel’s digital portfolio, including Revolution Golf’s travel properties Golf Vacation Insider and Golf Odyssey, with a combined subscriber base of more than 600,000 avid golf travelers.

NBC Sports’ Digital Portfolio Reaches Industry Leading 15 Million Engaged Golfers

With the addition of Revolution Golf, NBC Sports’ digital portfolio for golf reaches 15 million engaged golfers and is comprised of four cornerstones, each of which are industry-leading platforms. Additionally, NBC Sports’ cumulative database features 6.4 million active golfers – who are consuming content, purchasing tee times, competing at events, traveling to destinations, and ultimately embracing their golf lifestyle.

  • Traditional Digital Media Platforms: Fueled by the most-affluent audience in all of television, Golf Channel’s digital media includes all-encompassing editorial coverage on Golf Channel Digital, 24/7 live streaming through Golf Channel Digital and the NBC Sports App powered by Playmaker Media, and domestic and international e-newsletters. This traditional digital platform, the largest in golf, complements Golf Channel’s linear television, which is delivered to 84 countries, nine languages and available to nearly 500 million homes worldwide.
  • Transactional Platform: GolfNow, golf’s leading technology provider and tee-time marketplace, makes it easier for golfers to play more golf and facilitated the bookin of more than 16 million rounds in 2016. Additionally, GolfNow is at the intersection of golf and technology by providing seamless solutions to 8,000 golf course partners in 23 countries to more efficiently and effectively operate their businesses.
  • User-Generated and Participation Platforms:
    • Golf Advisor: Generated for golfers, by golfers, GolfAdvisor.com currently features more than 617,000 ratings and reviews, the largest collection in golf.
    • Social Media: With more than 3.4 million aggregate followers, as well as an additional 3.6 million followers of on-air commentators, Golf Channel’s social media footprint interacts with the industry’s broadest community of golf fans via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others.
    • Golf Channel Am Tour: With more than 700 amateur tournaments a year across North America, Golf Channel Amateur Tour has grown to become the largest amateur golf tour with more than 7,400 active competitors.
    • Golf Channel Academy: With a network of 94 high-quality instruction facilities and more than 220 professional instructors throughout North America, Golf Channel Academy is integrated across Golf Channel’s platforms as golfer’s local resource to tap into the benefits of in-person instruction.
    • Direct-to-Consumer, E-Commerce Platform: Revolution Golf, the largest direct-to-consumer digital business in golf with a subscriber base of nearly 2 million golfers in 40 countries.

 

Getty Images

Runner-up McIlroy: 'I should have closed it out'

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 5:18 pm

After taking the 36-hole lead by three and taking a share of the 54-hole lead into the final round, Rory McIlroy failed to keep pace with Francesco Molinari on Sunday at the BMW PGA Championship.

Struggling with a two-way miss throughout the weekend, McIlroy fell four down to Molinari through 10 holes.

The Ulsterman attempted to mount a late charge, with birdies at 12 and 17, but when his eagle putt at the 72nd hole came up inches short, and when Molinari's ball opted not to spin back into the water, the comeback bid came to an end.

His final round of 2-under 70 left him in solo second, two shots behind the champion.


Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship


"I’m just disappointed I didn’t play better over the weekend," McIlroy said. "I was in a great position after two days and struggled yesterday and sort struggled today again, as well. I just couldn’t get it going. I let Francesco get a few shots ahead of me, and I couldn’t claw that back.

“I played some good golf coming down the back nine, hit some better shots, but I need to work on a few things going forward."

McIlroy ended an 18-month worldwide winless drought earlier this year with his victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational but hasn't claimed victory on the European Tour in two years, since the Irish Open in May of 2016.

"I get a bit down on myself because my expectations are high, and with a 36-hole lead, I should have closed it out this week," McIlroy said. "But that’s not taking anything away from Francesco. He played a great weekend and bogey-free around here is some playing. He deserved the win, I need to do a little more work, and I’m looking to forward to getting right back at it at Memorial next week."

Getty Images

Molinari holds off McIlroy to win BMW PGA

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 3:20 pm

VIRGINIA WATER, England - Francesco Molinari's path to the biggest win of his career at the BMW PGA Championship was drama-free until he sized up his approach to the 72nd hole.

Rory McIlroy, his closest rival three strokes back, had just hit to 20 feet to set up an eagle chance. Molinari was between clubs for his third shot and faced a delicate wedge over the water protecting Wentworth's pretty 18th green.

His ball landed short of the pin and span back toward the water. The spectators held their collective breath - so did Molinari - but it came to rest on the fringe, just short of trouble.

''Just a bit of luck at the right time,'' Molinari said, with a smile.

After McIlroy came up inches short with his eagle putt, Molinari rolled in for par from 6 feet for a 4-under 68 that secured a two-stroke victory at Wentworth on Sunday. It was the fifth win of his career, and his most satisfying.

''If I could pick one tournament to win in my career, it would be this one,'' the Italian said at the prizegiving ceremony.

A Sunday shootout between Molinari and McIlroy at the European Tour's flagship event never really materialized.

They entered the final round tied for the lead on 13 under but while McIlroy sprayed his drives left and right, Molinari was the model of consistency and established a three-shot cushion by the turn after birdies at Nos. 3, 4 and 8.

From there on, it was a clinic in front-running from Molinari, who laid up when he needed to and picked up his only shot on the back nine with a tap-in birdie at the par-5 12th.

McIlroy birdied the par 5s at Nos. 17 and 18 but mounted his victory charge too late.

''I didn't feel intimidated at all,'' Molinari said of his head-to-head with the former world No. 1. ''It's just the last couple of holes, he's basically thinking eagle, eagle. I'm thinking par, par, and that makes the whole difference.

''Sometimes I just get too drawn on what the other guy is doing, and I was really good today, hitting good shots and focusing on my process and not worrying about anything else.''

Molinari played his final 44 holes bogey-free. He only dropped two shots all week, one of them coming on his first hole.


Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship


He will likely climb into the world's top 20 on Monday and has moved into the automatic qualifying places for the European team for the Ryder Cup, which he hasn't played since 2012 when Europe beat the United States in the so-called ''Miracle at Medinah.''

''I'm playing well enough that I shouldn't really worry too much about that,'' Molinari said. ''I should just keep doing my own thing and hopefully things will take care of themselves.''

Molinari previously had five top-10 finishes in the last six years at Wentworth, including being runner-up to Alex Noren last year.

On that occasion, Noren closed with a 10-under 62 and the Swede embarked on another last-day charge 12 months later, a fifth birdie of the day at No. 12 briefly drawing him to within two shots of Molinari.

It was the closest he came, with a bogey at the next virtually ending his bid for victory.

With a 67, Noren was tied for third with Lucas Bjerregaard (65), a stroke back from McIlroy.

McIlroy, the 2014 winner at Wentworth, played what he described as one of his best rounds of 2018 on Friday, a bogey-free 65 that left him with a three-shot lead.

He struggled off the tee in shooting 71 on Saturday and started the final round with errant drives on Nos. 1 and 3 (both right, into spectators) and No. 4 (left). After a bogey at No. 10, he was the only player in the top 10 over par but he birdied the three par 5s coming home to salvage what was otherwise a disappointing Sunday.

''With a 36-hole lead,'' McIlroy said, ''I should have closed it out this week.''

Getty Images

Four top finishers in Japan qualify for The Open

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:19 am

IBARAKI, Japan – Shota Akiyoshi of Japan shot a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The 147th Open.

Akiyoshi offset three bogeys with five birdies at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, to finish 1 under overall and secure his first ever tournament win on the Japan Golf Tour.

Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Japanese golfers Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi were tied for second one stroke off the pace to also qualify for The Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 19-22.

Hendry, who led the tournament coming into the final round, came close to forcing a playoff with Akiyoshi but dropped a shot with a bogey on the final hole when he needed a par to draw level.

Hendry will make his second appearance at The Open after qualifying at the Mizuno Open for the second year in a row.

Getty Images

Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”