PGCC Alum Builds App, Scores Jim Furyk EndorsementAt PGCC we educate the future leaders in the world of golf; it is our motto and our purpose. Technology is the future; that’s not an arguable opinion anymore. That is a fact.
Technology revolutionizes every sphere of our life that it touches, and golf is, a major part of our lives. When televisions found their way into our homes we were suddenly able to watch our favorite golfers and root for them as if we were in the gallery at The Masters tournament; with the advent of the internet we were able to go to a website and see every hole at every course, and check weather conditions to see how the greens were going to play that day; now that the internet has gone mobile, the next wave of technology will teach us how to manage and track our game while we’re on the move by using a leaderboard that we keep in our pocket.
Ryan Ripa graduated from PGCC Hilton Head in December of 2010, which means that in less than two years he went from student to co-founder of GTG Golf, a leading web based event management and real-time scoring system designed for the everyman; in other words, it is designed for you and me…and Jim Furyk. The 2010 PGA Tour Player of the Year recently threw his support behind Ryan and GTG Golf by endorsing their leaderboard app; according to Jim “Leaderboard standings factor into just about every shot I take in a tournament. If you’re serious about your game; GTG Golf is the app for you.”
So what exactly does the app do and how does it work? According to Ripa, “A golfer logs on to gtggolf.com and signs in, from here they select where and when they are playing. Next they invite golfers, select their format, put them into teams and pairings and away they go.” These few easy steps remove a lot of the footwork from accurately tracking your game. Ripa continues “There is no limit to how many golfers are playing or how many phones can be connected. “It’s not just the golfers that get to participate” Ripa excitedly explains. “What’s cool is that you can see a real time leaderboard on your phone of every game format. Also, spectators, aka friends and families, can see a leaderboard from a PC on a Master's Style leaderboard. Spectators can also enter the unique event code from their mobile home screen and follow right from their Smartphone.”
The element of spectator involvement is, without question, a major perk for families who, while they wish to be supportive of their golfer, may not share their same passion for being on the course all day long. That faint sound you hear just might be the clinking of glasses from toasts in their honor. So how did GTG Golf get here? Good old-fashioned hard work. Ryan co-founded the company with a close friend and 3 other partners and after raising capital they built an “alpha version”, and then went back and raised even more money to build their current product.
“As a start-up company, we pretty much handle the tasks of 20 individuals.” Ripa’s responsibilities are centered on marketing, sales, and investments, as well daily activities such social media and business development with their strategic partners. He also handles customer inquiries and works with developers to lay out the product roadmap. Wearing all of those hats can mean only one thing. Ryan and the guys at GTG Golf love what they do. “I love that I am working on something very cool that has the potential to be very BIG.” Ripa says after enumerating a number of other things he loves about his job, and the list is not brief. “I love that I am a co-founder, and get to work with a technology that is so cutting edge. I have been able to play golf on some of the nicest golf courses just through people I have met. We have Jim Furyk endorsing the product, which means a lot to us."
If you think you may have heard of GTG Golf already, perhaps that's because they've also been featured in Golf Magazine, US Airways as well as the Peter Kessler Show on XM PGATOUR Radio. Ryan’s success in the golf industry is sending a message to other golfers, fellow PGCC graduates and current students; You can turn your passion into a profession.
Every success story begins somewhere, his began early in life and, unsurprisingly, on a golf course. “Golf was introduced to both my brother and myself at a young age. Every summer there was a 12-hole par 37 executive course where we would go when on vacation. I lost touch with the game as I pursued and played baseball which was in the same season as golf. Once in college I picked the game back up as my brother Chris, who was an avid golfers and a strong 4 year varsity high school golfer, started competing.”
Once he picked it up again, there was no looking back. “I started playing avidly about 6 years ago. I worked at Colleton River in Bluffton, SC during my time at PGCC. After my time at PGCC I went on and spent a season with the NJSGA (New Jersey State Golf Association) as a USGA intern. I learned the ins and outs of tournament set up as well as handicapping and how the governing bodies of Golf work.” Ripa continues “I wanted to attend PGCC to learn as much about the game while providing exposure to all the great opportunities that were made available.”
“PGCC gave me the ability to put myself in the right situations. I learned a lot about not only game of golf but about how the industry works.” Ryan took to heart some lessons handed down by PGCC Hilton Head faculty member Jim Hoff, “He tells you how it is. He taught you how to use minimum resources and make a course money earning machine. That's kind of how students are. You have a limited time to gather as much knowledge on every aspect of the game, refine yourself and ultimately put yourself in a position to become a money earning machine.
It looks like he certainly took that last lesson to heart, as evidenced by his last word about the business of golf. “Golf is a roughly a $70billion industry and it is only going to get bigger with more people learning the game.”
GTG Golf offers a Free Red Tee Membership, as well as monthly subscriptions to a White Tee, Blue Tee and Gold Tee.