I wanted to tell you a quick story about why it took me seven years to create Golf BPM.
Every time someone asks me how long it took to create the App I literally cringe when I have to say seven plus years.
I cringe because of all the years I wasted talking about the idea and never executing it. Not to mention that Jeremy and I talked about it way back in 2008. In 2012 I had an idea, a programmer and several musicians. So, what took so long…
As far back as I can remember I’ve been teaching golf all day long and any moment I was not teaching I was working on my clothing line 18 GREENS. All the extra money and time I had went towards creating the apparel line.
The apparel industry is a beast… you have to plan what people will be wearing a year in advance. Then you have to front the cash to create the clothing and get it to the United States. Most apparel companies have three to four lines a year to gear up for each season.
So, once it arrives you are out of money and then have to sell it over the summer to make back your investment. During that time, you have already started sampling and developing the next seasons line and borrowing money to get that done in hopes of recouping the money that is already out. There is never really any down time and if your company grows that means so does your debt. UGH, I often ask myself why I do this to myself, I love the action and my goal is to make a cool line that can be worn on and off the course that is affordable.
So even though I knew Golf BPM was a great idea and something that would revolutionize music and golf… it just sat on the back shelf collecting dust which always bothered me. I am not the kind of person that sets goals and then doesn’t at least go after them.
Finally, in 2015 I decided I had to put some time and energy toward making it happen. I’m not sure what sent me over the edge, but I was determined.
Creating the music turned out to be more complicated than I anticipated. The musicians were flakes, Jeremy took a job at IBM, my clothing line 18 GREENS was gaining traction and I was getting married. The bottom line is it did not happen, now it’s 2016 and we had made zero progress towards getting it out.
Our second go round at Golf BPM was a much more solid effort. In May of 2017, I got a call from Jeremy, he was all fired up about finally getting this thing going again. He had a friend who was a musician who he said could not only help but was onboard for a revenue share as well.
So the first week of June I flew up to San Francisco and we headed to the music studio in Sausalito. That trip was enlightening on several fronts. First, we were able to create our very first track “Smooth Groove”. That track is on the App if you want to hear it under the “Hip Hop” station.
It took three full days in the studio to create that one track. The track itself came pretty fast but the difficult part was when we started analyzing swings of the PGA tour players in relation to time, my idea and studies where a little more off than expected. The producer we were working with is a musical genius in his own right and loves golf so he really understood what I was trying do and create.
Through various studies, reading, working with students and metronomes we discovered that we needed four different swing speeds for each track. So, we had to speed up the original track to the four BPM’s we identified (126, 144, 156 and 184).
After days of being locked in the studio, we headed to the range to test it out. I hit three balls and I knew we had nailed it. Then Jeremy hit and was instantly in-sync at 126 BPM’s. I have to tell you… it was one hell of a day!
I headed back to San Diego with two tracks to test and Jeremy was off and running programming the App. Our producer/musician was going to create more tracks.
Once home I started testing the tracks with my students. I tested with pros, collegiate, high school players and juniors. The results were incredible… everyone had success with it fairly instantly.
When I came back to San Francisco in August we found out that our musician had not done any work since my June visit. In his defense he had a lot going on in his life, things that I could never imagine.
This was a problem because at the end of my previous trip I had discovered a difference between the swing tempo ratios between drivers, mid irons and putting.
I won’t bore you but essentially, I found through using the BLAST Motion sensor that good players mid iron ratios were different than their driver and even from 90 yards and in. The reason I came back to the studio was to figure out the music at these ratios and also create the tempos for putting and chipping.
When you use Golf BPM you will notice that we have four BPM’s (126, 144, 156 and 184) and also we have a drop down for club selection (Driver – 5 iron, 6 iron – wedges, and chipping putting).
Each song needs 11 speeds / tempos
4 speeds for Driver – 5 Irons
4 speeds for 6 irons – wedges and
3 speed for chipping / putting
I knew we were in trouble with the musician because he was already behind and we now needed 24 tracks total before November and each track needed 11 speeds.
11 x 24 = a lot of music that needed to be created before I was heading to The Hero Challenge tournament to pitch the music and App to PGA golfers.
Choking on the final hole
The day I was at the airport I got a call from Jeremy. He had just got off the phone with the producer/musician. In short, he wanted to quit and or be paid to finish the tracks he had not created. He had found out that by getting behind he had to work triple time and was just not that passionate about the project.
The final hour in that studio was not pretty… it was like breaking up with your girlfriend, someone you shared some great moments with but just knew it wasn’t going to work. Walking out we knew he was out and not going to be able to deliver. Our musician is a great guy but we didn’t need a “great guy” he just did not want it as bad as we did.
At that point, we had failed again…
We had done many great things and learned a lot from the producer, he dropped a lot of knowledge on me that I am forever grateful for. We finished pieces of the project like sequencing swings to music across all the clubs and learned a lot about the actual music we were creating. Sadly, once again we failed to create the amount of music we needed to get the App launched.
After two solid failures to get Golf BPM launched I got a call from Jeremy in May of 2018. He had once again contacted a friend who was a musician that he wanted me to meet.
This time there would be no equity or revenue sharing, he was just going to pay them outright for their music. The upside of all the studio time we had logged was that we had the framework in place to move forward and the framework was spot on.
One thing we decided early on was to add a voice prompt to all the music.
Originally it was just going to be beats or tones. But since all the songs had different sound we decided to actually add a woman’s voice counting 1, 2 and 3.
The best part is I didn’t have to travel and spend time in the studio. We just gave them the files and asked them to create a sample track to make sure they could work within the framework.
Not to mention that when you pay people they seem to work a lot faster!
A week later we had a sample track “Lift Me Up” that you can hear on the “Pop” station within the App.
Within six weeks we had all the music we needed to get the App launched.
Jeremy then got to work on finishing all the programming to get the App into iTunes and Google Play. The development took a bit longer than expected however.
This is because when we tested on the driving range the voice and the music would sometimes be out of sync. Why you ask, because we wanted to build in an option to allow the users to mute the voice.
I happen to like the voice but some users found the repetition annoying overtime. Luckily Jeremy branded himself “The App Man” and if you’re going to do that you better be good at what you do. It took many tries but he is persistent, finally got it dialed in and got the Golf BPM launched.
After seven years, multiple musicians, Golf BPM went live in January of 2019! That was a good day. We are proud to say it has already aided in an individual NCAA D2 National Championship win.
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