⛳ Golf is blowing up


September 28, 2021

The Hustle

Yesterday, TikTok joined an exclusive club of apps with 1B+ monthly active users. Some napkin math: US users now spend 24.5 hours on the app each month, meaning millions of Americans will likely spend ~12 days of their lives on TikTok this year.

Today’s rundown:

  • Golf is on the upswing: Thanks to growth on and off the course.
  • Creators have spoken: Why TikTok is their favorite platform.
  • Restoration rules: The big business of curing baldness.

Let’s do it.

The Big Lead
child golfing

Golf is growing on and off the course — and business is booming

The last time golf experienced a spike in participation, a young whippersnapper named Tiger Woods had just won his 1st major championship.

Now the sport is in the midst of another renaissance — both on and off the course, per CNBC.

On the course…

… more people are playing the game than pre-pandemic:

  • 24.8m+ people played at least 1 round of golf in the US in 2020, a 2%+ increase YoY (the biggest jump in 17 years)
  • Beginner participation increased by the largest margin since 1997

But it’s more than just the pandemic forcing people outside — through July 2021, the number of rounds played was up 16.1% from 2020, proving the trend has staying power.

Off the course…

… there are more ways to enjoy the game than ever before, including:

  • TopGolf, which offers a gamified driving range experience with food and drinks, has seen a 30% growth rate since 2017
  • Indoor golf is on the rise thanks to simulator technology, allowing people to play indoors year-round

Between TopGolf, indoor golf, and traditional driving ranges, another 12.1m people enjoyed the game last year without having to book a tee time.

Golf manufacturers and retailers are reaping the benefits

In the first half of fiscal 2021, Acushnet, which operates brands like Titleist and FootJoy, saw sales pop by 75% in the US. Dick’s Sporting Goods also called out golf as a major growth area in a recent earnings call.

With the PGA working on a Netflix documentary series modeled after Formula 1’s “Drive to Survive,” this could be just the beginning.

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SNIPPETS

Amazon’s new tax: Whole Foods rolled out an across-the-board $10 fee for grocery delivery nationwide. #ecommerce-retail

The cost of clean: New research reported by Bloomberg suggests moving fast on renewable energy would lead to more trillions of dollars in savings over a gradual rollout. #clean-energy

AI’s limits: A court in the UK ruled that AI cannot be listed as the inventor of a patent. #emerging-tech

Insta’s in timeout: The company announced plans to pause work on Instagram Kids. #privacy

Crypto cutoff: Binance and Huobi, 2 of the biggest crypto exchanges, started banning sign-ups from users with Chinese addresses. #fintech-cryptocurrency

Swoosh struggles: Nike blamed global supply chain issues for its lowered fiscal 2022 outlook. #big-tech

Creator Stuff
TikTok logo

Survey finds TikTok is now creators’ favorite platform

TikTok not only just passed 1B monthly global users, but it’s also the favorite platform of content creators, per a new study from the Influencer Marketing Factory.

The company’s most recent survey included responses from 500 US content creators, ~85% of whom said it was their full-time job.

Why do they like it?

There seems to be a correlation between creators’ favorite platforms and platforms where they make the most money. Of sampled creators:

  • 30% preferred TikTok, and 24% said it’s the platform where they make the most money
  • 22% preferred Instagram, and 22% said it’s the platform where they make the most money
  • 22% preferred YouTube, and 20% said it’s the platform where they make the most money

Another interesting takeaway…

… comes from Influencer Marketing Factory CEO and co-founder Alessandro Bogliari, who said the industry is changing as creators move away from just promoting other brands to creating their own.

And while 31% of respondents said they make the most money from brand deals, 25% cited their own business as their largest revenue stream.

Some influencer-to-entrepreneur examples:

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Hair Time
hair growth gif

Hair transplant is huge business

In 2018, LeBron James launched “The Shop,” an HBO talk show that was a key part of the NBA superstar’s media ambitions.

The first episode was filmed in the LA location of a startup called Barber Surgeons Guild, which itself has big ambitions…

… in the hair restoration industry

Specifically, the company wants to help men deal with balding. And this is no small beans: Per MedGadget, the hair transplant industry is projected to be worth $24B by 2023.

Founded in 2017, Barber Surgeons specializes in a technique called follicular unit extraction (FUE), which involves a robot plucking individual hairs from the skull and placing them into areas that are thinning.

“Hair transplants used to involve stripping of the actual scalp,” Barber Surgeons’s founder and CEO Justin Rome tells The Hustle. “FUE is a much better alternative.”

Not just hair transplants

Men’s health — particularly in sensitive areas — has attracted significant investor interest:

  • Hims launched as a direct-to-consumer (D2C) option to treat men’s hair loss and erectile dysfunction (it went public earlier this year and is currently valued at $1.7B)
  • Ro also launched to address erectile dysfunction and has raised $876m at a $5B valuation

While both of those startups have pivoted into women’s health too, Barber Surgeons remains focused on men. In addition to hair transplants, it offers a line of men’s grooming products and — of course — barber services in its shops (NY, LA).

Already on a mid-7-figure run rate, Barber Surgeons is setting its goals even higher. Just like ’Bron.

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AROUND THE WEB

💡 On this day: In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin after noticing a mold that fell on and killed some of a bacteria sample.

😮 Wow: Check out these wild aerial artworks made by synchronizing 2k+ drones in the night sky.

🐶 Aww: Meet Lou, a 3-year-old coonhound who now holds the Guinness World Record for her 13-inch ears, the longest ears on a living dog.

📓 Useful: Are you more of a pen-and-paper writer? Paper Website lets you create websites by uploading photos of your notes and journals.

🤝 How to: Many people report feeling lonelier than ever, and the pandemic isn’t helping. Here are some tips for finding and making new friends.

That’s cool: This is what it looks like when you discharge a 3m-volt Tesla coil.

Meme of the day
golfing meme

Oops. (Source: Golf Digest)

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