Back in 2016, my buddy Austin Keneshea and I were looking for a group of golfers to play with consistently, but realized that most of the clubs in our area didn’t match up with what we were looking for. Instead of joining somewhere that wasn’t the right fit, we decided to co-found our own club, and Tiny Putters Golf was born. Tiny Putters was built on a single idea: EGO-FREE GOLF FOR ALL. No stuffy, exclusive BS. Just fun, affordable golf tournaments and experiences—whether you’re a 4 handicap or a 34.
There were plenty of factors that led to our decision to do our own thing, but here’s 10 of the top reasons:
1. Make New Friends
Hard truth—making new friends is awkward. To those who can weather the storm and just go for it, I salute you. For the rest of us, finding an excuse to hang is key. By starting your own golf club, you’ve finally got a go-to conversation starter. Once you’re on the course, the drinks are flowin’, tee box conversations are had and the rest is up to you …
2. Connect with Old Friends
With so many distractions and competing schedules, finding time to hang with old friends can sometimes be tough. It’s why many of us do fantasy sports or have group chat text threads; it’s a reason for everyone to connect. Why not go the extra mile by starting you own golf club? Everyone gets the schedule to pencil into their iCals and the group chat is now IRL.
3. Play Courses You Want to Play
When it someone else’s club, you play wherever they want to play. Maybe they’re based out of one course specifically or the club is set in their ways of playing the same four courses over and over. Variety is the spice of life people, so if you start your own club, then you can try out all those courses you’ve always had your eye on. Hello, Rustic Canyon!
4. Play Any Format
Have a crazy idea for a tournament? When you’re the boss of your golf club, try it out! Maybe you mix it up at an executive layout like Scholl Canyon for a fun par-3 challenge. Or maybe you want a Halloween tournament where you get bonus strokes for your team when you come in costume… done, ours is called the Tiny Putters Spooktational—check it out.
5. Ignite the Fires of Competition
I’m competitive. Plain and simple. But you can only con your friend group into losing money on the dart board so many times. With your own golf club, you can finally have a crew of people that actually WANT to compete with you. Plus, tournaments just got even easier because SCGA gives you FREE access to the Golf Genius Tournament Software. Live leaderboards anyone?!
6. Make the Schedule
Tell me if this sounds familiar. You join a league or your friend invites you to a tournament, but it’s the same weekend you have a wedding or a birthday party or work trip. Bummer. However, when you start your own club, you set the tournament schedule. Heck, why not plan your entire year of vacations and social gatherings around the league’s tourneys?
7. Make Your Own Rules
Ever daydream about what you’d do with the PGA Tour if you ran things? Dream no more! I created a club so I could actually see how I’d place on a FedEx cup point leaderboard or see what would happen if we launched a match play double elim bracket—called the Tiny Putters Bracket of Doom (and Gloom). Turns out, most people just want someone to plan things for them and if you can keep it fresh with new events on top of that—they’ll love you for it.
8. Be the Commish
Roger Goddell who? Adam Silver who? I’m captain now (well, I’m co-captain now—with my partner-in-commish Austin.) This one may be more revealing about my personality than is helpful, but I—love—running—the—show. My way or the highway. And if you feel the same, then starting your own golf club is the way to go. I have to admit, shaking hands and remembering names of the 20 or 30 people walking up to the course, is a feeling I like to chase. Boss mode, baby.
9. Partner with Golf Brands
I used to look around at other like-minded golfers who started their own golf companies and drool. How do I get a piece of what they have? What’s my “in” with these people? Well, let me tell you, there’s no better “in” than starting your own golf club. All good clubs have member gifts—next thing you know, you’re locking down some insanely cool member polos with Bad Birdie or Rhoback.
10. Make Things Official
All the reasons for starting your own golf club I’ve listed above are well and good. But without an even playing field, you set yourself up for heated arguments, sandbaggers galore and salty post-round feelings. The good news is that with your SCGA golf club comes an official GHIN handicap. With a handicap, you can put to rest the friend of a friend who guesses they shoot around mid-90’s only to hit 16/18 greens in regulation… Make them put their money where their mouth is—an actual GHIN handicap.