Successful entrepreneur and golf enthusiast Mike Zisman founded Golf Genius in 2009. The idea for the company’s first product was born out of Mike’s curiosity about the difficulty of creating optimized tee sheet pairings for buddy trips. It turned out to be a very complicated mathematical scheduling problem. Armed with his PhD in Operations Research and with the help of a statistics professor at the University of Pennsylvania and an algorithms wizard from Romania, Mike developed a highly sophisticated but simple and fun-to-use “perfect pairings” computational solution. Perfect Pairings became the star feature in our first product.
In 2012, the 10-person Golf Genius team rolled-out an innovative software solution for the management of recreational and competitive golf leagues. As the product functionality expanded throughout 2013, it quickly became evident that handling the challenges of tournament management was a logical next step forward. At the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, we entered the tournament management market for private clubs, public courses, and resorts. As a cloud-hosted solution provider, we were able to release new functionality and frequent enhancements throughout the year. Our software development was guided by user experience and feedback ---- a process we follow closely to this day.
In 2014 and 2015, our customer base grew rapidly, as did the features and functionality of Golf Genius Tournament Management --- again via a steady stream of product releases. By the end of 2015, we employed 26 team members and managed over one million golf rounds for the year.
In August 2016, Golf Genius Software and the USGA announced a strategic collaboration whereby the USGA selected Golf Genius as the tournament management component for the GHIN service. The USGA selected Golf Genius Software because of its quality, wide market acceptance, the reliability and scalability of our cloud-hosted solution and the Golf Genius commitment to providing world-class service to the USGA’s Allied Golf Associations and its GHIN customers. This agreement was a transformational event in our company history and expanded our customer base by thousands of clubs and scores of golf associations.
Building on the success of our tournament management relationship, in 2019 the USGA engaged Golf Genius to build, maintain, and host the USGA GHIN handicapping system, including a WHS-compliant Handicap Calculation Service, Admin Portal for AGA’s and clubs, web and mobile products for golfers, and data services for third-party access. These services were launched in January, 2020 to all AGAs in the United States, their 15,000 member clubs, and millions of golfers.
In 2019, we introduced Golf Genius Golf Shop, a cloud-hosted solution for special order management, demo club tracking, staff scheduling and automated member communication. Golf Shop was developed as a direct result of our PGA professionals engaging with green grass PGA professionals to discover unmet needs in their golf operations, improve shop productivity, increase profitability, and deliver superior member service.
Our entire team, from world class computer scientists to our staff of PGA professionals serving PGA professionals at golf facilities around the world, is focused on customer success. By listening closely to the requirements of customers, we are able to steadily enhance the value of our products and discover opportunities for bringing new solutions to the market.
Today, Golf Genius provides innovative software solutions to over 10,500 private clubs, public courses, and resorts in over 60 countries. Golf Genius also serves national associations including the USGA, Golf Canada, England Golf, the Legends Tour, the European Tour, and the PGAs of America, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Portugal, and New Zealand. Golf Genius has more than 170 employees, including 64 PGA professionals, with sales and support operations in the United States, Canada, the UK, Europe and Australia.