Behind the Golf Brand Podcast with Paul Liberatore

Ep #43 - XGolf: Ryan D'Arcy (CEO)

April 21, 2021 Paul Liberatore Season 2 Episode 43
Behind the Golf Brand Podcast with Paul Liberatore
Ep #43 - XGolf: Ryan D'Arcy (CEO)
Show Notes Transcript

We made it to Episode 43 of the Behind the Golf Brand Podcast.  In this week's episode, I interview my good friends Ryan D'Arcy from X-Golf.

XGOLF was founded in 2005, and since then over 3,000 systems have been sold worldwide, providing golf enthusiasts with a unique experience that emphasizes innovation.

Industry firsts such as the variable lie stance platform and the automatic ball teeing system have allowed XGOLF to pull away from the pack. These distinguishing features, along with 19 patents, present a very special value proposition to our customers.

The hardware and software innovations such as dynamic weight balance, short-game playability (12″ putts for example), 3D Collision that provides real geometric reactions to when a ball makes contact with an object, are all examples of how XGOLF has listened and adapted to address the needs of the most discerning golfers from around the world.

Whether you’re looking for a solution for a golf training facility, golf club, sports medicine practice or your home, XGOLF can be tailored to meet your specific needs for whatever the application may be.




Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/golfersauthority)
Speaker 1:

Today we play golf. Let me show you how we do it in the pros. Welcome to behind the golf grand podcast. I've never missed with the seven nine a conversation with some of the most interesting innovators and entrepreneurs behind the biggest names in golf. My friends where the golf clubs I lived on the golf course. I lived on the driving range from pro talk. You should learn something each and every single round you play to fun from on and off the green. Why would you play golf? You don't play it for money. Just let me put the ball in the hole. This is behind the golf brand podcast. With Paul libertory behind the golf brand podcast is sponsored by OnPoint . The revolutionary three-dimensional dome golf ball. Marker on point provides a layman recognition as small as a degree of inaccuracy from the planned course of the putt face angle endorsed by Jim Furich us open champion and 17 time PGA tour winner. On point alignment technology has been proven to increase putting performance and help lower your score. Visit OnPoint golf dot U S , and be sure to use code [inaudible] for a 10% discount on point, make more putts

Speaker 2:

What's up guys, Paul from golfers authority. Welcome to behind the golf Brown podcast. This week, I have a half Irish, half Italian, so that's why he's on the show. Friend of mine, Ryan Darcy from X golf. You might not have heard of X golf, but you will soon. They're growing very quickly and they make some of the coolest like simulator technology slash like, imagine like a top golf it's Sims, but that without all that space, but like a really cool SIM that's X golf. No, you can have it in your house. I've already asked, but it's freaking cool. And they're , they're like a firestorm right now. So without further ado, welcome to the show. Thanks for having me what's happening. So literally we talked for like an hour before the show, like that's why I know so much about this guy. And we're like, Oh crap, man. We got to do the show, but that's what happens sometimes when you let's make it a show, you know, now we know each other we're friends. Right. I know exactly that . I was like, all right , you passed the first test. And then we started talking. So where are you located right now? So I'm in California. Uh , we have our main office here in Carson and we have a distribution hub here as well as in the Midwest and Michigan. So that's a fancy whiteboard you have behind you. He must be a whiteboard guy. I have the it's a mask and it is the keys to the kingdom a little bit. Let me just black out blurry. I can't even see anything. It's like, I think I see. Oh yeah, right. Like you could do that filter on your phone where you can , uh, you know, what's it called? Like portrait mode or something and you look really good. Yeah . Zoom does it where you can blur out the background. It's just whenever you do that old ladies that are like, Oh , my boss did that too. I was like, dude, you don't look like that. And Ashley looks really fancy and makeup on. So did you pull your camera, look at, look at your background. You've got the beautiful painting and the nice wall and all the nice swag all arranged. I literally cleared off stuff in the background to try to make it 10 fold thing that fell over when I was throwing around earlier, the magnet towel, call it now. So before we get into X calls, like, what's your story? Like, did you start off as like, if you've been like, you know, were you on the tour mini tour or you're a golf nerd, you know, like, did you go that route? Or like, are you just like a hustler, baby? You know, I, I was into sports growing up, so I should have listened to my dad because he was trying to get me into golf and his, to play golf in high school and things. And he told me that golf is the, the main sport that you can play, you know, your , your entire life. And I didn't listen to him because that's how kids are. But , um, I always loved golf and ended up when I moved to California, I grew up in the Midwest, small town, South Chicago. And when I moved from South South, South South, how far South? Like where now ? Hour and a half down by it's called coal city. It's down by , uh , Joliet Plainfield area. Holy crap, dude. I'm from the South side. I'm from like Payless Heights, painless Oaklawn , like , uh, all that area, like Tinley park kina for sure. Yeah. I went to DePaul, so I lived downtown. Oh, you did seven years before coming out . Did you live by regular mill after you got out of college? I lived all over the city, man. I was a young kid just enjoying , hold on , hold on for a second. Right? So like, that's like some of the best times of my life, like after I went to Purdue right. For undergrad. And so like all my fraternity brothers, all my friends are all from Chicago. Right. Cause only two hours away. And then when I graduated college, I'd always like , I lived in Arizona, but I'd always fly out for like a long weekend and party in Chicago. I was like the funnest city dude . I love Chicago. Like yeah . Imagine being, you know, 18, 1920 from a small town. And then just the keys unleashed to a downtown downtown by the fall . I lived in Lincoln park first and then moved to , uh , the West loop. Um , back when it was still kinda cool changing , I was like , I was like, what? 2003? Four to 2000 , right . Three or four. We had , I can tell you some stories about that. But we, we rented an old cake baking factory and built out some bedrooms, me and some other crazy guys and that's bad. It was fine. It was a lot of such reminiscing about those times and just like, Oh man, I wish I was dead right now. You know, because like that was the, I remember like going there and then we go to Wrigleyville and then you'd like drinking all the bars, like, you know, like , uh, what's the name of that area with her par the Wicker park Wicker park. Yeah. That was really blowing up around, you know , that those times, right? Like early two thousands basically. It's like, you go there and everybody there , like what the college, either in that town in Chicago or they went to a college like in the Midwest , like the big 10 or something. For sure. That was the option. It was , it was a state school or, you know, go to the style . Like, why didn't you go to U of I, that's why I was closer to where my wife went and I had a bunch of friends that went down there. Eastern, Northern,

Speaker 3:

Yeah. All Southern

Speaker 2:

Iowa, Purdue at times. Sorry, but that before the show, man, I know I'm stoked about Chicago. Cause we're, we're going to have eight to 10 Chicago area locations by the end of the year. Right now we have two. So Chicago is just billowing up. You guys are going to blow up all over the Midwest and East coast. I mean, we of already are, but like, yeah. Sorry. It's like, we're talking about like secret code right now, but I mean, it's true. I think you guys will, because I'll say that's the scale, you know? Like, so, okay. So you grew up in the Midwest, you didn't play golf. Not really. You do look like a Chicago and a little bit with your what's your hair and stuff. Thank you . And nice hair. Right ? Like , but like that, wasn't fun of my hair. I'm like what's I have here. So that's always tell me exactly . Don't be jealous, jealous that I have product in my hair . Hater haters. Okay. So you went from Illinois by Joliet, kinda right? I should . My grandma used to live in Juliet and she got old and uh, the Juliette mall, Juliet malos everyone knows like one store left Sears, JC Penny's or something , not tears . I think they're , they're done. So then what happened ? So like, did you play sports in high school or whatever? Yeah . Sports , uh , basketball, baseball. Soccer is what I played and um, yeah. And then, but not golf . Correct. But I played golf. I played golf with friends and just went out for fun or to dad packed it up with my dad and my grandpa and enjoyed it, but never took it to , I wish I did. Like , I went to high school with Chez Reidy and like, I mean , he's on a tour now, but like I wish I took it seriously back then. Like for me too . I mean, we're both, we're both in golf. What you should have looked at your company , but like still, like I wish I just took it seriously. You know, I might honestly be a tour player, but maybe a lot better than I was, you know, so, but isn't that the best thing about golf, right? Is that there's different levels. You can take it super serious and only, you know , try to beat your score and be all and analytical about it. Or you can go out and have a good time and have some drinks and hack it around with your buddies and hours and get away from everything. And seriously, when you get back, you always are in a way better mood than when you last , right? Like, I don't know how it happened , maybe because I don't know. You just get out of the zone of your normal life . Then you went to DePaul. Do you play golf at DePaul? What was your major in like marketing or finance, marketing, sales, leadership, concentration. This guy's a hustler by the way, because like he was telling me like he like, did you like sell shirts in college and stuff? I had a clothing company in college. I've had quite a few. Uh , I actually opened a , uh , gourmet sausage specialty, hot dog restaurant. That's still is there right outside of DePaul in , uh, in Lincoln park called [inaudible] . Yeah. So we were on like food network, WGN, a bunch of press locally. Uh, I got approached with the idea and decided that that was 2007. That sound like foodie started happening. I feel like when top chef got on and like all these shows, right? Like, so you guys made specialty sausages or dead love Illinois. I love Chicago sausage man . It's like , it was , uh , yeah, like how crazy do you have to be to , to open a hotdog shop in Chicago? And that was my thing. I was like, yeah, I got approached from a buddy and I'm like, all right, dude, if we're going to do this, we've got to make it different. So we got to go, you know, we had smoked duck sausage with caramelized onion, honey glaze, pear , and a Swiss cheese on top. We had a alligator sausage with a sweet and spicy CISE and caramelize really may have alligator. Yeah, absolutely. And then we had, you know , like our French fries, I was like , we can't do just regular French fries. We got to do trips . So rip was a mix between a French fry and a potato chip. And then I customized a spiral cutter and mounted a grill on it. So you hand drilled , uh , you know, spiral cutter and it twinky it out the potato and then you toss it right in , it was like the in and out fresh fries, but literally nothing but a potato and cut into a slinky and thrown in the , in the soybean oil. I still remember [inaudible] as a cup of coffee and I'm like, Oh man, some laundry . And then you're talking about this, but it's of course like the best place to open it. Right. Cause all the hipsters and all the, you know, young business people, right. They're all living on the North side. So it was fine . You know, it taught me a lot about building a brand and you know, being a young guy with out the conformity of working for a big company. So if there was an idea and we thought it was cool, we did it. And we had a bunch of fun stuff. Like , uh, we made flyers that looked like parking tickets. And I paid a bunch of college kids to go fly all the cars and like so smart dude. And he walked down the street and there's just like all of the park , what looked like parking tickets. And then if you flip it over, it says, you know, this isn't a ticket come in for a free set of friends . And it was cool. Cause people were like, most people thought it was hilarious. And then you had a few that were upset by it. And I'm just like, look, if this is the worst thing that happened to you today, take a free set of grips and go have a great day. Right. And uh, and it just made, made me realize that no matter what, you can't please, everyone, you really can't like here, I'm trying to give you something for free. For one second. You thought you had a parking ticket, smile about it. Move on. I had a guy once I sent some product to them . Right. And he got it. He was so stupid. Like he didn't know how to use it. It was a fricking divot tool, but it had a magnet on it. So that he's like, Oh, this thing's broken and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I'm like, what the hell is he talking about? I'm like, all right, we'll just take it. And it got messed up in shipping. I'm going to be fine. Whatever. It sounded like you said it I'm like, I'll just send another one and whatever. Right. So Sam , another one, same. I wrap it up in bubble wrap. Like there's no ways to get the metal stupid, but I was like, whatever, I know what that cost me. So I sent it over to him and he could play it again. And I was like, Oh , I'm done. He's like, Oh, I went to the pro shop and they told me that that's a cheap. That, that, that it's not right. And it doesn't look like the picture. I'm like, dude looks exactly like the picture. Like, so yeah, after that, that's like my first foray in like customer service. And I was like, whatever, you know what ? Some people will complain if their complainer's they'll just find a way to , to complain no matter what you could have sent him 10 divots tools. Every time he'd find something wrong with it. Right. This is a grouchy old man . Whatever . Shouldn't be probably his name was , uh , Brian Darcy. I don't know. Never heard of him is B R Y N not, not affiliated. It's my son's name. The many good Darcy's around the Joliet area. Not just like the Renaissance, man. I didn't know that. So you, before I was like, Oh, let's talk about this. Then you're like, Oh, add up restaurants. Did you sell that restaurant? Or you sold to your partners or what'd you do? I still, my partner runs it. I still technically own a piece of it, but she could come back right now. Just let him do his thing. I'm happy for him. He needs to live in the dream. That was all what he wanted to do. So happy to help them along the way. So then he's the one who like pays you hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. I wish I wouldn't be working so hard. Hold on. I'm gonna start calling you this now. You're meal sausage King of Chicago. Roman Mae Froman, dude. I'm not maybe my partner. No, no, no. If I had stayed, maybe I would have quite a few of them and you know, give , uh , [inaudible] a run for his money, but do they have portals in Arizona, Chicago or in Manhattan beach or now not Manhattan beach, but they have one in Anaheim that if you're heading out to the desert. Yeah. But if you're going to the desert, you can strategically stop in there and get Disneyland and go to Disneyland . Yes, no, no, April man. That's a bad-ass name, dude. Dressing was actually fun. So I'm learning about you. So, so you're April then for a couple of years. And then what happened was looking for a change of pace. So , uh , moved out to California and that was almost 10 years ago, but to what a cubicle job, it wasn't quite, yeah. I mean, it was , it wasn't quite a cubicle, but it was cubicles . Uh , you know , uh , it was , uh , selling advertising and running a team and it kind of what led me randomly to act . Cause I had some mutual business contacts that told me about this Korean based simulator technology that was getting started in the U S and I , he had gotten invited to go check it out , um , and have lunch over there. And he was like, do you want to come? He's like, I know you love golf. I'm like, sure. So we went over there, tried it out. Uh , while we were there, the CEO at the time, James Kim told me that they were looking for some sales help. And if I knew anyone to , uh, to let them know. And , and so I went home that night and I thought about it and I'm like, I know somebody that can help them and it's me . So I called them up and went through the interview process and you know, he's like, we're hiring an account manager. It's basically kind of starting at the bottom. I'm like, great. Let's do it. And so I , that's why I tell you guys, yeah , Ryan's the CEO of a company out here. Right? So like, this is like the Cinderella story, right? Like he's just like, he literally start from the very bottom of a company that was pretty much new to us. And just because he's a hustler. Right. But he knows what he's doing. Figured it figured it out along the way. Right. Like the next level. Cause you ran it. We probably learned so much when you were eight . Right . That like, it gives you a different point of view than just some account manager, some guys in sales, like you're like, no, no, no, no. You know, like if you want this to grow, you need to make sure all the teams are going to work correctly. Right. Yeah. You know , it definitely helps being able to understand like how to grow a brand and you know, think outside the box a little bit. Right. And I think it started with my upbringing and my grandfather was an entrepreneur and had a bunch of different , uh , companies and was involved in, he, him and his partners , uh, started , uh , a card game and bought the right , uh, to a company called international games. And they manufactured the card game UNO. And so they started selling it in a flower shop in Illinois and ended up growing it to the biggest dude card game of all time. My uncle may was an artist for that company. Like he made international games, like he made UNO cards. Like he made, he drew, he drew, sorta got there from Illinois. Like he did the Dukes of hazard, you know, game like, Oh my God, I, I have a picture of that. Andrew , all the people, the coloring, he did all that. I'm not kidding around. I can show her that I am not lying . Cause like how would I open Dukes of hazard UNO , a deck that I saw at my grandma's house in, in Wisconsin at Lake Geneva? Um , yeah. I swear to God. I swear to God. Cause I remember it. And I was like, I'm probably a little older than you. So like, this is like 1982, probably 83. And I was a little eat as little kid, but I remember my mom like telling me, like I was big into Dukes of hazard, right. Like who was in the early eighties. And like, she was like, Oh, your uncle works for this. And I don't know if he's a freelance artist or if you work , I know he did all the artwork for that whole set. I know that. That's really cool. That was weird. That is weird, dude. Yeah. Ask him if he, if he knows the Darcy's or if he works with my grandpa as well. I bet they did know . I bet your grandfather knew my uncle . I bet you a million dollars. You know what I mean? Like seriously. I mean back then. Yeah. It was, they were a small they're hustling and figuring it out and doing the day of bought out then from somebody else, like Nope , Bradley or somebody metallic, they sold it, they sold it to Mattel. See , this is awesome. Well , my grandpa might same way. Right . I'm like completely entrepreneur. Like he like, he's it , whatever the rules were too . Like he went back to Chicago, she was a farm boy, but then they moved to Chicago. He met my grandma and like, he like started the first like leasing company for heavy equipment, like in the Chicago land. So like everybody's leashed my grandfather. Right. Like, and so it's cheaper to lease, you know, when they're building all the freeways and then we'll buy a protractor . And so like he would, he would fix them . Right. And then he would lease them out or whatever. But then like he was also a farmer. So he owned a ton of land. Like he owned like miles of land off of IED . Pretty much like, I am like, like Bader intersections. Right. And then he like built all that into like business research parks and all this. So it's like, it's like cool, because that generation was smart and they were hustlers and they're like, we need to make money. You know, like that's what my grandpa did . He got into farming and that's my dad , uh , still farms to this day . And I grew up in a small town and could drive a tractor before I could drive a car. And I was like , I used to plant fields and I enjoy that being corn. That's all it is. There's nothing like driving a combine through a field at six miles an hour. And literally you just got to focus on the row in front of you. It's like, you can't mess it up. Right. Because you run over those plants. You're dead, man. Right. Like I remember from my dad. Yeah. I remember it was a kid like , like grandfather, like he would like after they would harvest the soybeans. I remember he had like this big like trailer thing full of soybeans, but they're dirty as hell. Right. But like we had to like push them through this pipe or whatever summer, my cousin, I like walking through this, like , uh, like, I don't know . I guess it's trailer really pushing it , like trying to push it down. Right. Like all these beans into like whatever it was. And then we were filthy like just covered in like nasty or whatever it was black. And there was like this Creek nearby, like , like literally like taking a bath in the Creek. It was like the funniest memories of my life. Absolutely me , but it's yeah, you combine it, you put it in the wagon and you find out exactly what it was like , you know ? And then it was like, I think it was, yeah, probably we were doing right. So it's like, you're dropping it and it pulls it into a silo or whatever. That's crazy dude , small world . So April man , then you will work in a cubicle, not really powerful in an office, but then you're just managing a sales team is probably a massive pain in the because it is to think, Oh, it's easy. It's not because you probably some guys that are like lazy and don't really do anything. You're like, I know that works. And then you get your first job, either job at X off. And then what happened ? So back then, and still, you know, we're, we're, we were owned a a hundred percent by the Korean manufacturer at the time. And so, you know, really, it was a combination of figuring out the U S market coming up with a strategy, but also gaining the trust of the , uh, of the company, you know, at the time that he's very passionate about indoor golf and simulators and um, you know, finding I was the only Caucasian or American at the time that was working in a company. And so it was a way to really gain their trust and help come up with a strategy. And so I got promoted fairly early on to help as kind of a director of marketing and business development type role , uh , as well as, you know, keep answering the calls and , and trying to sell simulators to, to anyone that would sell the brand. Right. And sell the brand. Yeah. When you started out, were you guys doing like what you're doing now or would you just sell on the simulators? And we were just selling the simulators similar to a lot of our competitors. Right. So simulator wise, like who's your competitors, not what you guys do now, but like then was it be like, you know, what was the name of that company? Well, there's quite a few. I mean, there's full swing track, man, you know , uh , about golf. I don't know how many other , no , that's crazy though, because like, so really when you guys started here, you were just a new Mac new, but you were new to America, competing in the same space as all the big and it was tough, right? Because we were out in California, we were far away from kind of the cold weather States that indoor golf was popular. And I believed very highly that we had the best technology, but getting it into people's hands and getting them to try it was the challenge. Right. And then you're facing competition from folks that have better connections in the golf industry and have been in this space for multiple years, the new kid on the block, we were the new kid on the block and it was an uphill battle to try to figure out, okay, do we keep trying to sell to houses and bars and restaurants and , and uh, you know, corporate offices and condo buildings and everyone calls just wants a discount because they shop everyone around and it's really hard to figure out who's the best or is there a differentiating factor in the technology, if not, I just want the best for the cheapest amount. Right. And that was a sale , right. Because the market's limited, right? Like if you just did street retail, let's call it. Right. It's tough. It's a tough model. And you know, our margins, I know we're probably a lot less than some of our competitors because we had more technology. We had a floor that we built with a platform and an auto team machine built in and all the balls auto collect underneath. And we had sensors in the ceiling and the floor and infrared lasers and cameras. And, you know, I knew it was going to be very difficult to compete on price because, you know, if they're asking for a plus 20 , a 25% reduction in price, we don't make any money. Right. So anyway, about five years ago is when it really clicked to say was that to do franchising in the U S so we , we worked on it as a company, but I, I definitely spearheaded the, saw it . I was like, Shay , this is there , there was a gap. Right. And it was, these people would call us and say, I want to open an indoor golf center. And that's like, cool, what's your plans? Well , I'm going to buy golf simulators. I'm to put them in a warehouse and people are going to come. And it was like, okay, what about all the details? Right? What type of POS, how are you going to run your tournament, your league? How is your schedule are going to , are you charging by the hour? Are you trying to do a round of golf ? I saw a lot of Ms . Are you doing a full bar? Are you doing quick serve ovens? Right. And so there were a lot of details that went into it. And ultimately it was, I think we can, you know, give a package for streamlined operation, combine that with the best technology and then give them , uh, and then grow one brand name and turn it into the biggest , uh , brand in the space and control the industry. And that , so I'm sorry, when did the first location that was , uh , yeah. Back in 2016. So five years ago, where was that at ? It's in Michigan. And I guess explain to the audience, like what exactly. So X golf is a indoor golf franchise based business. So we , uh, again, manufacture and produce the, what I in a lot of people consider it the world's best indoor simulation technology, but we combine it with , uh , with a business model and a plan. Right. And so all of our centers are branded X golf right now, actually this morning, we opened our 30th location , uh, around the country. So we have 30 full scale indoor golf businesses, and they have, you know, a full bar , uh, quick serve food and beverage offerings as well as six to 10 golf simulators, full restaurant, or is it bar was like, you know, like we're an indoor golf center that serves food and beverages. That's the way we've always positioned. It is the focus is on golf, but we do have food offerings. And so we have quick serve of in similar to Starbucks or subway, where you go and you don't have like a full kitchen. We don't have a full kitchen. So we do a lot of , you know, back in the pre COVID days, we did a lot of corporate events that we partner with local restaurants and do catering offerings and things. And it's great because we work with the community and we can give back to local restaurants as well by , by doing catering orders through them. That's when we know there's going to be a hundred people that want to eat and drink. Right. Other than that, the focus is on golf. And there's only so much that the golfers are going to eat during their two to three hours. Sounds like a really fun, like a really fun outside of the golf part of it. Just like, it's a bar, right ? Like , I mean, like sort of food, but like I was talking to a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago, who's in Manhattan. Right. And he's a big brand and he's like, there's a place, you know, it's always cold, like in the winter. Right. There's like nowhere. And these people go and there's a place that he goes to, I think , in Brooklyn. And I thought it was excellent, but it wasn't fast lady that works with, but, but he's like, yeah, it's this honest thing to do. Right. So it's like, that's when I heard that and I talked to you guys, I was like, Oh man , this isn't a flow up because I mean, I bet it's a harder where you live and where I live , like the West coast places that aren't always kind of nice out. I mean, it's hot as hell in the summertime. So I guess that would probably still work in Phoenix. You know , it's super hot, but I mean, pretty much everywhere, but a couple of States, I would say, I mean, this is something that people will want to do, you know ? Yeah . You know, and that's the exciting part is right now we have 30 locations. We'll be North of it is a lot, I mean, within five years, but we have doubled in size the past few years and hoping you're still growing during COVID when no one's going anywhere. For sure. And that's the thing is that, you know, we'll be North of 50 locations by the end of the year. But the, you know, the main thing is one of our goals is to take away some of the seasonality of the business where it's not looked at as just an option when it's super cold outside and you can't call , uh , you know, outside. And , and so that's where we're really taking the next step as a , as a brand to connect all of our centers together. We've got a new app coming out where you can log in and have access to a handicap and all your tour style stats like greens and regulation , uh, driving distance, fairway percentages, keep your staff like, Hey , it'll keep all your stats. Yeah . Location, location, you scan your app and it logs you into the stimulator . But then the main goal of that is we're going to have standardized golf tournament in real time across all the facilities, which is exciting because a , all of the technologies , the exact same. So whether you're in Boston, New York, Chicago, when do you already know how to use it? If you've already been there before? Well , and once you step foot in the simulator , it's a level playing field across the board. So all the hardware, all the software is the exact same. And we see a huge opportunity for team-based competitions in different formats, in golf and ways to give away prize pools and dream golf trips, and play around with this celebrity. We're, we're integrating a lot of these fun ideas and prizes, but also giving the individual and the player, the ability to track all their stats and then enter these handicap based tournament, which opens it up to the masses. Um , we're really excited about that piece and that's going to be coming out starting next month. I don't know. I think you guys are really pleased or something massive because I mean, you look at, you look at top golf, right? Like that's a lot of reveals that you have to have to do that. And you know, it lasts 10 years. I mean, there pop up everywhere. Right? Top golf . I think we have three in Phoenix now. I know we have two for sure. But I mean, you know, everyone's like, what's that what's that I remember, like when I started coming out , like, what are these big towers? And you know , it's a whole ad since like this, you don't have to have all that real estate. You seem to have a commercial space, right. To do it. So that's cool . Really cool. And the technology, I mean, I've seen your videos, it's like pretty high it's legit, you know, like I think you guys are going to explode. I mean, you already call it . I mean, it's, it's a momentum, right. You went from like, you know, and I would say for you guys even still hit that many locations right. At a time on COVID and no one was going anywhere. It's just crazy. I don't know. Yeah. And , and, and, you know, I think that it's a combination of just great partners through our franchisees, as well as, you know, understanding that there's an opportunity in this space to really be part of a company that is starting to take hold of the industry and really be the leader right now, you're able to let those people, like, they're all going to go hang out. Right. So it'd be like, Hey, you want to , it's winter, let's say in the winter, let's say it's like a Thursday night. Right. And you want to go hang out with your friends. So then instead of, you know, all your bros go over to EXFO play, have a couple of drinks stork around, keep your stats, you know, whatever it is, and then go home, you know, it's not like you're going to go play pebble beach tonight, you know, or something. For sure. That'd be fun . It's so much fun. And, and that's the thing is that, you know, we're excited too , because it's not just all new franchisees all the time. As we get to 50 locations, we've had eight groups now that have launched multiunit stores within a year or two of opening their first and they've obtained a SBA funding, small business administration funding for the first and the second. So basically like someone's looking at their numbers to make sure it's working in order to give them the loan. Right. So direct some downtime and the occurrence of downtime. So it's like, could you imagine, like once all this COVID stuff blows away, right. As soon as it's in a year or two, it's all really just done. Like, you guys are gonna be more than poised . You have over 50 stores. Right. And then your locations, and then you're going to have like the infrastructure in place. You've already worked out all the keys over the last five or six years, and now everybody can right back to normal. Right. And then for sure, and that's, you know, putting the plans in place, which are, you know, allowing our franchisees to expand really makes me proud because it means it's working and the, you know, delivery or the operations are, are key. But then, you know, we're also excited about , uh, expanding into Canada this year. So we just started a new Canadian entity and we're , we should open between three and five , uh , Canadian franchises this year. And we're excited about that because it's a new opportunity to continue to grow the brand, to , uh , an audience that maybe hasn't heard of us yet. Brilliant. Well, plus you see too, like, you guys work with Callaway , right? Like, that's like, you know, one of your cost sponsor, promoter Cobra , what do you call it? It's a , it's a partnership, right? Yeah. It's um , you know , we didn't have hubs . Is it the clubs you work with them? Or what do you, what do they do with, you know , we have PGA pros at all of our facilities. So we lessons and then club fitting as well. So we have club pinning options through Calloway, and I just bought top golf. Right. So like, I could see them, I can , I already know what the playbook is. Right. Well , you guys blow up. I'm going to be like, Oh, we want to buy you guys for a billion dollars, you know? Or you hear that chip brewer, billion, billion. That's the CEO. Now he's a great guy in , from the start. He he's got a vision, I think in golf that some other brands could learn from. Because from the start, when we were very young, Callaway listened and they wanted to work with us and they believe that we were going to grow the way we are. So of course them , right . This is what I love about like the pipelines , the podcast with what I do and the brands I work with, like a lot of like small to midsize brands are doing as well. And like, I want to say to the big brands you guys need to watch out, you know what I mean? Like throw a bunch of like, a lot of the big brands are dinosaurs, right. And they take forever to move. And like some, some of them, some of them are not correct. But if you need to watch out for what's coming down the pipe with small people, with big ideas that are putting it together, you know what I mean? Or have the backing and have the, the wherewithal to like really do the, do it. Right. You know , it's crazy. Literally last night after I put the kids to bed, I watched the blockbuster documentary This weekend. Good . When they talked about Netflix coming to them and they laugh them out of the room. It's just at that point, it's like that moment in time. Right. Or it's like, when Tesla went to like, whatever GM was like, Oh yeah, we don't do electric cars . Right. And now they're worth more than, you know,

Speaker 4:

All of them together. Right.

Speaker 2:

They only make what a couple cars like. Yeah. And then, yeah, when you watch Apple , you guys had a lot to have blockbuster documents. It's so good. The amount of stores they had and then crashing down, but really like, they were on the other, the main thing that surprised me was that they were a little late to the game, but they were starting to get stupid. Like people think they were going to get there. Right. And , and , but they waited too long. And then 2008, really? I think it was dead . Right. Cause the other guy fricking took all their cash. We shouldn't ruin it. We shouldn't ruin it for the audience , let them watch.

Speaker 4:

But yeah , that was like

Speaker 2:

Battling with that to get the other there's nothing he could do. But I thought it was so fascinating. I remember this, like, I guess I don't really remember if I kind of do like how blockbuster started. I thought it was, you know, in house videos. I remember going to the video store there wasn't that there wasn't a blockbuster, there was like the mom and pop small places. But like the reason why the whole thing started was because videos were so expensive back then right there a hundred dollars a video, like, you know, not, so it was easier for the buy it and then rent it out. But then I thought it like lawyer and I liked that law, really the licensing and like the Supreme court, I was like, that's rad, you know, for sure. But then when they cut the deal with licensing or the rev share model, that's what blockbuster did, which was brilliant. I mean, they was brilliant. They crushed all of their competitors because over right away , what did they get? You know, are the studios going to do a thousand different rev shares with all these mom and pops or one big rev share who has , who has, you know, and then they didn't have that many stores. Right. They had like maybe 20 right. Or something like that. So I think back then they had quite a, I think the rev share days, they had a lot because they grew so fast. Right. But I don't know. I can't remember. Yeah. It was crazy either way. Cool story. I just think that's cool . You know, there's still one open. I want to go visit it now. Let's go there . We could go hit up. One of the courses on the Northwest abandon , let's go, let's go. We could drive. We could do like a documentary of us driving to it. And then I look at the , um, I want to try on the gladiator loincloth. And that was an interesting twist. That's for sure. Not weird that way. Fadi is now he's fat. Like I also saw that on the internet the other day. What's his name? John Oliver. Not John Oliver. The guy Lee's talking about the guys in gladiator. What's his name? Russell Crowe muscle Crow . I was like, what happened, man? You're looking from gladiator. What happened? Like he's fat, fat. Like he needs to lose like 70 pounds. That's like me . Right? So like , those guys can do it too. Who knows too much. It's going to be shredded. And I'd be like, yeah, that's. That's that doesn't happen. I don't know how they do it. I'm still blown away right now that like, your grandpa probably knew alcohol . I bet he did. I bet you, we did it . Right. Cause that was like, that was like the seventies early eighties. And I dunno , that's what happens when you sit down with someone for two hours, you figure out things like that. Right. For sure. I'm not going to talk to you again, Ryan, so you can get that. Right. So that cuts all the way down to the Italian . Yeah . So dollars you have 50 locations. You open up the West coast. We are . Yes . So we've got , uh , Sacramento up in Northern California and then we've got , uh , a new partnership. We're finalizing shortly with some really interesting folks in Oregon. So we're excited what we was talking about, Oregon. Um , they've got some aggressive, Hey, you know, whatever Arizona, Arizona is recreational now. I mean, isn't everywhere else might as well, but who cares? Right. But yeah. So Oregon and we're looking at Washington. Yeah. I mean, you name it. It's going to be like a blockbuster video. Like you're going to do like , but not like in the bad way, but remember they're saying how many they brew. Remember that? Like how there was a new one opening every what? Like 17 minutes or something crazy. Right? Maybe. Yeah. That'd be nice. 34 minutes. We did open one this morning. So that was pretty good timing right by like, it was like, I hate to be on your show today. I want to tell you about us opening our latest store. That'd be nice . That'd be nice if we were that coordinated, but close to that franchisee who is , you know, busting his butt to get open doesn't care. Whether we're open us Thursday or Friday, you know, I think that , uh, cause he's wanting to get it open. You want to get it open and you're waiting on the local municipality to get him to open. And then, you know, I think usually the demand is people are excited. So it doesn't matter if it's like you guys are , you're an entrepreneur already. The top 500. It's like , dude , do you guys are strategically? Just put it right there for you before then, before they add some artwork from his, from his two year old Benny took it down. I do. Yeah. I've got a heart. I've got a heart for my daughter. I kind of made it up beyond no , there is a heart for my daughter back there. Oh yeah . That's a cool bag . He different one though. That's not the best back. We're going to , I know I need to update it. I also need to the dope , uh , bad-ass painting pay for that . It wasn't that much money . I was like 200 bucks. And like somebody that Etsy painted that, I was like , it's not real. It's a print, but still it's like, I love it. Yeah. Video. Like maybe just send me one. I'll take I'll next time we talk. I'll just cover my whiteboard with a dope . We can have matching paintings in the background. You probably have like all your, you probably like sitting in front of my desk right now and like an old, like a tower computer. And like I told you, I used to run a reclaimed furniture company, man. I like come look at my house because I need new furniture. That's going to tell you something funny. You're going to have that computer and the documentary. Remember that line ? It was like three 83 DCX DX two , right ? Yeah . And they were talking about how everyone else was writing on paper, but they were revolutionary. And then they show the screen and it's like, the computer broke. And she's like, Oh, I get some parts of the part room. And she's like, Oh, the good thing was, the DirecTV went out of business. They had old computers to remember, thought that we'd be talking about this whole show. Ryan's like, what the hell did I get myself into today ? No, I love it. That's fun. Right. I was into it . I think it's fun. I mean, you've got a very interesting background and I love to see the passion and what you're doing in golf. Cool. Thanks for having me on. I'm glad you could join us and I, you guys should check out asphalt. It's really cool. I guess first name ever approached me. I was like, what's that? And then I talked to like Ryan, I talked to what's her name? Um , Lauren. Laura . Lauren's cool as hell too . He's had Frank forever. Just cool stories, but like it's a cool company that definitely growing. I mean, no doubt about that. And you know, with Ryan at the helm, I mean, I that's really cool, like your grandpa too , just like how they like blew up. That's huge. Right? He started a major card game. Pretty much like cardio is like learn everybody's house. Right. So I dunno . Just cool , cool stories. These you learn everyday. I have the coolest stuff about people, but that's, what's fun about your job. I love it. While your passion piece, I guess this is fun. This is like my side that's I wouldn't call it a side thing. This is just fun. You know, like now he's going to deal with some stuff that we're but well thank you for being on the show today. You guys need to X , if you're, if there's one in your location, there probably will be in the next year or two. If there's not already where two people find your website, they can go to Xcel franchise.com. Does the ex golf website have like all the locations on there too ? It does . We're actually redeveloping a website right now to be more consumer facing. So we'll be coming out with that starting next month as well, which is basically like all about tournaments and find your local activity . And you guys do that and have that app and all that where people can do tournaments and be for real prizes. Like you could literally do that. It doesn't matter what state you're in. You can be playing against some, it seems like eat , eat gaming, right. Or whatever they call it. Like you could be in two different States, play against each other technically right on stats that your software is taking control of. So will be , can really cheat, you know , and then have a really cool prize at the end. But that's a hundred percent. Yeah. It's basically, you know, e-sports but with some, you know, an actual sport integrated into it, right. Because you still have to, nothing like that . There's like literally nothing like that. Right. So it's cool. You're bridging the gap on multiples things, you know, for sure. And that's what I'm excited about. Right? It's like national scramble tournament where you can put, you know, rules, like you have to use one players, tee shot , uh, twice per nine, right. Corn hole championships and stuff on table , like what would they have? Something like this for a bigger prize. And really like, the prize could be big to be like, Oh, you go to the masters. Oh, you go to whatever. Right. I mean our national league winner, we're , we're giving away 10 grand right now with a co-branding with truly, and that's kind of the, just the start of where we see it going into the future. Um , but absolutely. Yeah. We've been talking about , uh, the ability to live stream some of these tournaments. And we've had some , some discussions going on with, with groups to partner with on that piece , uh , media, our bad . I mean, you guys are already thinking two years ahead, you know what I mean? So yeah. Let's be cool as hell. Especially with the app side of it and people can just check and like totally get into that for sure. Yeah . I'm excited. Cause you know , there's a golf course is buying one of these, right? Like if it's a golf course as a clubhouse, like nobody goes to, has a bar right there . Like, why wouldn't you do that? Like at a muni or something where the bar is separate. Right. You know, the clubhouse is it's owned by some dude. Why would you just put an X vault in there so that then people play, it's tough to replicate the, the experience or the atmosphere that we create when you've got eight simulators, you've got the music playing and the bar is centralized. You're , you know, everything is flowing and you've got it . You know, league going on where people are competing against each other. When you throw one or two in a clubhouse, it just doesn't have that same atmosphere. So we've been looking at ways to kind of scale it down and do a bit smaller scale applications, but it stopped , but it may not work because it's just the same . We've seen country clubs, they put them in and then their members still drive over to asphalt because they enjoy our technology and the experience a bit more than, you know , what they're getting at. It's more about the experience and not what they're doing. Right. Like so much. That's interesting. I didn't think about that. Yeah. I could see that if we could get an extra at call core , so that'd be bad because he ended up like thinking all day, like made it a full X call for something, but I've never thought for sure. Yeah. I mean, you know, depending on where it's at, that could happen. My backyard, you can pull in my house. If you want my garage, I'll let you use it whenever you want. Anyways. I know you have to get to work. Now I've talked to you for a long time and you're probably tired and I have to go make some sausage. And so , um , thank you for being on the show today. Thanks for having me. You're my new friend. Awesome . My new bestie hop in your car. You're going to pick me up and then we're heading to Oregon. That'd be so freaking fun. And then we can do the thing of it and you can put it like can just pick a boy, your boy, Sam can come as well. He can , school are so bad, dude. Would he be funny? Like , we'd be two on one would be like two on what ? Like best ball for you and me. And then I bet I'm actually going to email Sam today. So pretty awesome . Cool. All right. My friend, thanks for being on the show and let's do some stuff together. Sounds great. Thank you. All right, man. Thanks. All right. Yep .

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to another episode of behind the golf bread podcast, you're going to beat me, like get off , stay connected on and off the show by visiting golfers authority.com. Don't forget to like subscribe and leave a comment. Golf is always more fun when you're winning, stay out of the beach and see you on the green.