New Golf Media Venture ‘Pro Shop’ from ‘Full Swing’ EP Raises $20M, With PGA Tour Backing

Seeking to carve out a slice of Hollywood’s growing interest in golf and golf content, a new media and commerce startup called Pro Shop has raised nearly $20 million to expand the sport’s presence in the entertainment world.

Co-founded by Chad Mumm, the executive producer of Netflix’s Full Swing docuseries, and former Puck CEO Joe Przycki, Pro Shop has raised $19.25 million from lead investor Powerhouse Capital (The Athletic, Wondery), the PGA Tour, former CAA partner Jim Toth and EP Golf Ventures (a JV between the PGA of America and Elysian Park Ventures), among others.

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Under the terms of the deal, Pro Shop will acquire Skratch, a digital and social media brand launched by the PGA Tour to appeal to younger consumers. It will also get a slate of rights from the tour, including highlights, archival footage and the right to film at PGA Tour events. The PGA Tour will also get a board seat and provide advertising services to the venture.

Perhaps of most note to Hollywood, Pro Shop will be the Tour’s preferred partner on entertainment projects.

“There is some similarities in our relationship as a preferred partner for Hollywood projects for the Tour that is not dissimilar from the NFL’s relationship with Skydance,” says Mumm in an interview. “Now obviously, everything with the NFL is on a different scale, but I think the Tour recognizes that they don’t have that expertise in Hollywood.

“But as more and more celebrities and influential Hollywood types become obsessed with golf, they want to be able to capitalize on those opportunities. So it’s our job to help the PGA Tour enter into Hollywood in a more meaningful way, in a more strategic way. And so we will be sort of at the center of that for them.”

Pro Shop will also serve as a producer on the Netflix docuseries Full Swing, should it be renewed.

“As Full Swing has been successful, there’s been a lot of interest in doing more projects in Hollywood,” Mumm says. “I think you could think of that as everything from documentary series, scripted projects, sort of leveraging the tour assets in a real way. And also, you know, live made-for TV-golf, so, you know, things like [TNT Sports’] The Match, things like The Netflix Cup.”

Pro Shop will have offices in Los Angeles and New York, while Skratch will be based out of the new PGA Tour Studios in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

“It’s a profitable business, it’s doing really well inside the PGA Tour, it’s a prized asset amongst our sales team, our content team,” says Chris Wandell, PGA Tour senior VP of media business development. “But the mission for Skratch was always to try to reach a different audience with a unique voice that’s not necessarily the voice of the PGA Tour. So what we said to Chad is that this could be a lot bigger outside of our company, with someone who might be willing to take more risk, willing to hire higher profile talent, somebody with connections in Hollywood.”

“The goal is basically how do we like work closely with the PGA Tour to push them into spaces and into content ideas and collaborations that they couldn’t do on their own,” Mumm adds.

The ultimate goal of Pro Shop, per Mumm, is to connect the worlds of entertainment, commerce, and golf, bringing together consumers who play the game, with the pros who live the game. The company is exploring companies “at the intersection of golf and fashion” that could be ripe for an acquisition, as well as possible deals in the travel, tech or fitness categories.

“The home run idea for both of us seemed to be Chad’s vision for connecting the sport of golf to mainstream culture, but using the PGA Tour platform to do it,” Wandell says.

“Golf’s kind of going through a moment of cultural resurgence in a way that is, I think, different from the sort of Tiger [Woods]-era of golf fandom. It’s much more a groundswell of participation,” Mumm adds, noting that COVID turbocharged interest in the sport.

“It just felt like there was a big white space to connect those two universes, the PGA Tour to this groundswell of golf participation,” Mumm says. “And that ultimately is where we see Pro Shop fitting in, is kind of bringing those two things together, sitting between the consumer resurgence in golf and the biggest stage of the professional game… and if we bring those two things together, we think we have a real chance to build a really kind of special kind of media company.”

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