When sports fans and bettors tend to think of golf, the first thing that comes to mind are the millionaires of the PGA and European Tours, marauding down fairways clad in Rolex watches and state of the art sporting apparel.
Of course, there is another side to this glamorous game that many general sports fans never see; lower ranked players battling young guns on qualifier tours around the world.
As it becomes increasingly more difficult to self-fund their rise to the top, such budding pros are turning away from conventional forms of sponsorship and using startup investment techniques so they can get on with the serious business of trying to earn their pro tour card.
Buy Shares in a Player
Back in the day, most up-and-coming players either needed some wealthy friends, or generous sponsors who would make funds available to propel said player into the major tournaments and tours.
However, for modern players these options are increasingly drying up, meaning that if they ever want to see their name mentioned alongside the McIlroys and DeChambeaus in the top golf betting odds, they need to think outside the box.
One way in which players are choosing to fund their golfing career is to sell shares in themselves, in much the same way a start-up would. This can even turn out to be a savvy investment for a keen golf fan who is able to spot talent and then back it financially. The idea is that the investor benefits when the player makes the big time by being allotted a percentage of their future winnings.
Caption: To make it in golf, it pays to be financially savvy as well as handy with an iron
Membership Platforms Allow Fans to Enjoy the Ride
Another way golfers are raising funds is by selling the journey they are on rather than just a cold hard share of their action. This is done via platforms like Patreon, which do not offer a return on investment to users but instead make fans feel they have the inside track on the next big thing in music, art, or sport.
Many golf players are tapping into this idea and also giving it a unique twist, such as Luke Kwon, who allows people to follow his rounds on a live Facebook feed for a small fee. It’s all part of the ingenuity that modern up-and-comers and showing.