TheGrint Story – From Golf Handicap Service to Golf Social Network

Every time I meet someone new and talk about TheGrint, questions always come up: How did it get started? What does TheGrint mean?

So here is our story, this is how we became what we are Today… From Golf Handicap Service to Golf Social Network.

In June 2011, while working at a top consulting firm, I decided to take a 3 month sabbatical and work on my future venture. So I left my fancy job in Southern California and arrived to a small surfing town in Mexico called Puerto Escondido.

The concept was simple, decades ago (and some private clubs still do it) private clubs used to receive your scores in little wood boxes at the end of your round. You would deposit your scorecard there and someone would transcribe your scores and calculate your handicap. The idea was: “Can we replicate this concept with current tools?” Let’s create a Handicap Service to help golf clubs outsource their handicap service.

When I came back from Puerto, we had a basic website, basic features, draft of a logo (above) and a little hope. So I shared it with my foursome, and my golf friends. And little-hoped for a positive reaction…

So, I did get a positive reaction. A GREAT reaction I would say. They were more excited about sharing their game than the whole handicap thing. Why? I thought… That’s not why I built this thing!

Fast forward 1 year, June 2012 in South Florida, already met my (now) 2 co-founders, already quit our jobs , already frightened as hell but excited as kids with our mission: Improving how we enjoy our golf world…

As you can imagine, it became apparent that convincing golf club managers to pay for this service was an uphill battle. So we had to go direct to our consumer. But, How do you attract people? How do you build a sustainable business? … but most importantly, How do you disrupt the Golf Industry?!!!

We had to change our whole premise. We can’t just be a Golf Handicap Service… So what do we do?

“We will create a social platform for the golf industry. Attract golfers by offering amazing tools. And provide a Free USGA Handicap Index by crowd-sourcing our community”

So with a basic prototype we manage to convince our family and friends to believe in TheGrint! And, while we still don’t know if it was out of pity or real trust, our idea was funded and it became a real project. (Below a pic when we got to 1,000 users with our basic prototype. Seemed like a lot back then).

We used part of that money to build our beta website and apps, and the other part to market it. And test it. We built a 1) Score tracking tool, 2) Free Complaint Handicap Platform, 3) Full suite of Stats, 4) GPS Rangefinder for our apps, 5) Social tools and more.

We finally did our official launch in April 2014. And with our mission to create the best golf platform, and our commitment to add value to our community we decided that:

“100% of our PRO membership sales will be reinvested in Feature Development”

As you can imagine with that kind of promise, we are still not a profitable business. We are in a growth stage with our ass on the line. But with one mission in mind, to become the number one platform in golf.

One and a half years later we keep growing. We are now in the process of raising a second round of capital so we can continue to grow and execute our business plan until we become profitable.

Where are we headed? Who knows… we still have a lot of room to grow, and while we are still far from achieving our mission, with your help, we are a little closer every day…

Jose Torbay | Co-Founder TheGrint

 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to TheGrint Story – From Golf Handicap Service to Golf Social Network

  1. Rip Weaver says:

    And Grint means??????

  2. Dave says:

    I’ve been a member for a year… You need to make it easier for handicaps to be official. I feel like I was ripped off. I’m not making my friends join and pay. I live no where near Coverdale, in. Make it more realistic, where u join courses near you where you know friends who play there… Not placed in a course somewhere.

    Feels like a rip off or too cumbersome to figure out. I just want to play golf and post scores.

    • TheGrinter says:

      Hi Dave – Thanks for your feedback.

      I will personally check your situation. And we will continue to work and try to make it easier everywhere.

      Having registered USGA clubs around all of the US is tough. We rely on our community so that people postulate to become chairman of their area. Main urban areas are currently pretty well covered, and if you are not in a compliant club we usually can find where to get you. However, less populated areas become more difficult, mainly because we may not have as much reach there and also because Chairmans are volunteers, their only compensation is a PRO membership and good karma ;-)

      This is complex because it is free. If it was a profit center we could have paid Chairmans but is not.
      Not trying to make excuses, we will keep working hard to make it easier. In the meantime please hang in there.

      Sincerely!

  3. Mike Curran says:

    This was a good story and glad you guys are working hard in making this app even better! I personally love it. One question though, in the beginning sentence of the article and even the teaser leading into the article it mentions “how did it get started” AND “what does Grint mean”. Why have you forgotten to answer the second question? I read this twice to see if you addressed it and you did not??? Kinda let down as I really wanted to know what Grint meant but suppose you have your reasons for not telling us.

    • TheGrinter says:

      Hi Mike – it’s a long story so in trying to keep it short I skip it. But here it is

      What does TheGrint mean? Well, back then, me and my partners would always care about how many holes per round we could play without making a bogey or worse. And for some weird reason we ended up calling them Grints. It was a word that somehow stuck with us.

      Back then I tried registering the domain, but it was already taken. So I registered TheGrint.com – After we raised the initial funds me and my co-founders decided that it was worth contacting the person who had grint.com and try to buy it. And we did… but afterwards we were so happy with “TheGrint” that we just left it like that.

      Keep in mind that, marketing wise, is not the best move to call your product a weird name like TheGrint. It would have been a lot easier for recognition and even SEO purposes to be called something like MyGolfStroke.com or GolfCaddie or whatever… but I guess the name was so catchy (and we had the domain) that we decided to stick with it.

      By the way the “I” in Grint is pronounced as “Print” and not as “Grind”.

  4. Bob says:

    Great story! I think the Grint has a long future.

  5. Darrell Baker says:

    Hello there. You guys are doing a great job and offering a great service to the people who love the game of golf. You obviously have a love for the game or you wouldn’t be doing this. I’ve been using The Grint for 3 years now. It’s only myself and my brother, but we love it. I recently bought the pro version and I use the GPS all the time. Thanks very much for making this game even more enjoyable by keeping track of all my stats. Keep up the good work.

    Darrell Baker

    • TheGrinter says:

      Hi Darrel – thanks for your message. You are actually one of our first 10,000 Grinters. That’s for sticking with us! we truly appreciate your support. Hopefully you can add friends in the future to your TheGrint account, it is a lot more fun.

  6. Steve Garzone says:

    My first score was posted on 4/20/2014 and tell everyone I know about the application. Love the app and will continue with this ride as long as you keep up the hard work Jose!
    Steve Garzone
    Troy, NY

  7. Javier says:

    Doing a great job keep it up.

  8. Keith Lawrence says:

    Every time I meet someone new and talk about TheGrint, questions always come up: How did it get started? What does TheGrint mean?

    Did I miss it or did you not explain what a “Grint” is?

    • TheGrinter says:

      Hi Keith – it’s a long story so in trying to keep it short I skip it. But here it is

      What does TheGrint mean? Well, back then, me and my partners would always care about how many holes per round we could play without making a bogey or worse. And for some weird reason we ended up calling them Grints. It was a word that somehow stuck with us.

      Back then I tried registering the domain, but it was already taken. So I registered TheGrint.com – After we raised the initial funds me and my co-founders decided that it was worth contacting the person who had grint.com and try to buy it. And we did… but afterwards we were so happy with “TheGrint” that we just left it like that.

      Keep in mind that, marketing wise, is not the best move to call your product a weird name like TheGrint. It would have been a lot easier for recognition and even SEO purposes to be called something like MyGolfStroke.com or GolfCaddie or whatever… but I guess the name was so catchy (and we had the domain) that we decided to stick with it.

      By the way the “I” in Grint is pronounced as “Print” and not as “Grind”.

  9. Marty Cuniff says:

    i’m just curious if you know what number customer I was? It might be something to list on everyones profile page

    • TheGrinter says:

      Hi Marty – awesome to see that we still have you around. I remember getting some of your emails early on. You were number 735. You are one of, what we call, our founding members (in fact you can see that in your TheGrint profile). Only the first 2,000 Grinters are founding members and you guys enjoy what now is a Free PRO membership for life. Thanks for all your support!

  10. smiller257 says:

    Great story! I started a software business and sold it in 2009 to a bigger company and then I retired so I totally understand the issues associated with building a new business. I use The Grint to post all of my scores, I really enjoy the handicap system. I need to get all my buddies on it though, I could see the social aspects of it being fun.

    All the best.
    Steve – http://www.WeRetiredEarly.com

  11. tim haney says:

    Just keep your head down (like golf) and keep moving forward. Love the program and all my golf buddies are members.
    p.s. What does GRINT mean or where did it come from?

    • TheGrinter says:

      Thanks Tim! Appreciate the support

      What does TheGrint mean? Well, back then, I and my partners would always care about how many holes per round we could play without making a bogey or worse. And for some weird reason we ended up calling them Grints. It was a word that somehow stuck with us.

      Back then I tried registering the domain, but it was already taken. So I registered TheGrint.com – After we raised the initial funds I and my co-founders decided that it was worth contacting the person who had grint.com and try to buy it. And we did… but afterwards we were so happy with “TheGrint” that we just left it like that.

      Keep in mind that, marketing wise, is not the best move to call your product a weird name like TheGrint. It would have been a lot easier for recognition and even SEO purposes to be called something like MyGolfStroke.com or GolfCaddie or whatever… but I guess the name was so catchy (and we had the domain) that we decided to stick with it.

      By the way the “I” in Grint is pronounced as “Print” and not as “Grind”.

  12. Kevin Lenihan says:

    Love the story and the app. The name is memorable. I hear everyone asking do use “The Grint” ? Wishing u continued success.

  13. Carmen H Nunez says:

    I love the app. It is a fantastic tool and very easy to use. I like very much the possibility to meet people to play golf if I am in an area where I don’t know any body. I love to see my improvement through the awards that you give in my page when I play better. I really see a great future in your idea. Hope to see in the future women tournaments.
    Thank you to Lady Grinter for introducing The Grint in my game.
    Kalena Nunez.

  14. Jim Wells says:

    Your passion for the product and commitment to making it available to all in a format that is easy to use and delivers excellent results will take you to and through your profitability expectations. Golf is a game that can not be rushed and neither is a sustainable business venture. Each stage of a business like each shot requires vision, planning and execution.

  15. Alfredo Kann says:

    Jose, Hector and rest of TheGrint Team,
    Congrats, keep up the great work!
    Love the app and recommend to man people that i know in South Florida and my business associates across the US.
    Wish you nothing but success
    As we say back home:
    Dele que son pasteles!

  16. Scott Lollis says:

    Love the app. Never tracked my stats before until I started using TheGrint but it has made a huge difference in how I practice. Became club chairman in the spring so that I could do my part in the community. Keep it up!!!

  17. John Morgan says:

    I’ve been a member for about 2 years Now , and became a pro member this year. I’ve got my buddies to join. We love it. Love the trophy room , leader board , handicap, social media, stats and name !! I still sometimes have trouble with the gps end , but I’m sure over time it will work better with updates and patches !! Thankyou for doing a awesome job for golfers who really love the game and like to talk smack with there friends.

  18. Juan David Hernandez says:

    Great tool, my first score was posted on July 2012!… 3 years now! throughout this time I have seen many improvements. keep up the good work

  19. Alfredo Ramirez says:

    Great story, one os the best if nit the best golf score track on the market . Excellent job, Keep it up. Here is my story about The Grint..

    The group of guys I play with ( about 40 guys ) have a the Grint as an official HCP app, if anyone new to the group wanst to play, it must have the app up to date, other wise he or she will play with “0″ hcp.

    • TheGrinter says:

      Alfredo Thanks so much!

      By the way, just so everyone knows, Alfredo and his group were the first “outsiders” to truly embrace TheGrint since 2012. Alfredo (137) is one of our most amazing Ambassadors!

  20. Simon Wilkinson says:

    Love the app, but need CONGU support here in the UK.

    • TheGrinter says:

      Thanks Simon – we would love to do that. Do you have any way to help us get in contact with the CONGU folks? We tried a couple of times online but were not able to find a way to communicate with them.

  21. John Humphrey says:

    Great job on this service. I have been using it for the past year and a half. Love how it constantly improves with stats and functionality.

    I look forward to seeing what you would roll out next.

    Here’s an idea for you….keep me in mind when it booms for you…

    Take your platform and make it possible for people to find other people to play rounds with in the area. Sort of like a “dating” site. There are plenty of us that get out to play at times our friends cannot. It would be great to be able to see who else would like to hook up and play. You can layer it in with FB or other social media platforms.

    Cheers fellas…well done

    John

    • TheGrinter says:

      Love it! thanks for the idea.

      and Thanks for your support, we do put a lot of hours and hard work in trying to improve every release. Great to hear you guys enjoy it!

  22. Alan Brittain says:

    Great story and we enjoy TheGrint. I’ve been using it a couple years now. Just curious what member number am I?

  23. James Dermigny says:

    I have been using The Grint for the last two years. I really like the handicap system. I would try the GPS app but alas, like so many other apps, it’s not for Windows phones. I have gotten several of my friends to join the The Grint as well. They have enjoyed it as much as I have. Keep on keepin on :)

    • TheGrinter says:

      Hi James – thanks for your support these last two years.

      Unfortunately we have to prioritize how we use our limited resources. One day we will do Windows phones hopefully!

  24. Gustavo Urdaneta says:

    Great story Jose, great tool !!! having lived in several countries now, I will say that the main reasons I am a TheGrint fan now are: i) I can have a handicap calculated no matter which country or in which course I play; ii) Social Network: in touch with friend´s scores, tournaments, posts, green fees, deals, etc; iii) Statistics: track your game to see flaws and strengths.
    Congratulations and hope all the best!
    Gus

  25. John goral says:

    My group of friends and I love the grint! We use it all summer… What number was I when joined?
    Thanks John Goral

    • TheGrinter says:

      Hey John – you were with us pretty early on! 6,376

      Using it with friends is the best way to get everything out of TheGrint. At least, as a Grinter myself, is the part I enjoy the most.

      Thanks for your support all these years!

  26. Kevin says:

    So glad for this service. Been a member since my first posting in March of ’14. Been able to track my scores and stats is amazing. Has helped me improve my game drastically, by knowing where I am losing strokes on a round to round basis. And focusing my practice there.

  27. jim foley says:

    truly enjoy this site and tell all that it is an alternative to MGA handicaps ( I live in Mass.). What is a GRINT in the stats?

    • TheGrinter says:

      Thanks Jim!

      Grints is the number of Par or better holes you make per round.
      So for example, if you make 7 pars and 2 birdies on a round. Your Grints% would be 50%.

      Hope that makes sense

  28. Matt says:

    One thing I always wondered was why the handicap can’t be real time, instead of twice a month. I’m sure there’s a logical reason, but would love to have a real time HC instead of waiting every 15 days.

    • Matt says:

      I can’t seem to find what # I was in my profile either. Tried looking :)

    • TheGrinter says:

      Hi Matt –

      We do it that way because we follow the USGA Handicap System. Which does it that way.

      Why? Well, the way I interpret the USGA Handicap System, it is supposed to show your potential performance over a period of time and in an effort to keep it as stable as possible, the created these lags between revisions. Additionaly, back in the day, the calculations were done manually. So it was easier to do it and publish all handicaps every 15 days. This is just my interpretation.

      • Matt says:

        I figured as much. Thank you for creating a great app that lets us enjoy our hobby and keep track! You guys are doing great work. Keep it up!

  29. Thomas Edgword says:

    Hey Guys,

    I stumbled across this app not long ago and have enjoyed every minute of it! It’s handy it’s effective and even though I’m in Australia I can still search and find my golf course. And I live in Darwin of all places! It’s amazing you guys are doing well.. In the last week I’ve managed to get 3 people to download the app! Pretty stoked and the boys love it.. I would’ve got the referral pro membership reward but one of the boys didn’t do it right! Guess that means I need to get more sign ups haha! Keep up the good work guys..

    Thomas
    Darwin NT
    AUSTRALIA

  30. Chiki says:

    Congratulations! and Cheers for more to come!

  31. orindabill says:

    Grinter: I hope you are successful . But please correct your grammar. e.g. “Well, back then, me and my partners would always care about how many” and “After we raised the initial funds me and my co-founders decided …”
    Try “I” for subject, keep “me” for object.
    Your friendly grammar policeman,
    orindabill

  32. Tim Robinson says:

    Hey, guys…absolutely love The Grint! Been using for a few months now. Stumbled upon it in the Play Store one day. What really attracted me it was the option to be able to turn on and off the GPS mode, so that it wouldn’t kill my battery while on the course. PLEASE don’t kill that option. LOL I will continue to use The Grint and continue to show it off to my friends. Thanks again!!

  33. Been using the site since 2012. It’s been fun to watch it grow. The mobile app support was a game changer for me. Being able to enter scores as we play has been a big asset. I’d love to have a way to customize the scoring details. My golf buddies and I have a standard regiment of bets that I have written a separate app to compute the details. If I could add this directly into the Grint mobile app, I’d love it even more. I’ve been able to get a number of folks to join, but this would push it over the top.

    • TheGrinter says:

      Hi Joe, good morning. Thank you for contacting us and for your feedback and support! We appreciate it! Regarding the Bets and Games, we actually have that Feature coming out soon. We are just finishing some details before releasing it. This is going to be a great Feature and we believe you guys are going to enjoy it a lot.
      Let us know if you have any questions or need anything. We are here to help.

      • Please tell me this is coming out on Andriod. I’ve seen it can lag the iPhone support. Need a beta tester? I’d be happy to provide early feedback.

        • TheGrinter says:

          Hi Joe! Well… For Android is going to take longer unfortunately. But, as soon as we have a Version that you can Test before we launch it, for sure we will ask you to try it out.
          We apologize about that.

          • Hey, I’m just curious. Is this because you know that more Grinters have iPhones? Or is there some technical or certification related issue that plays a role here?

  34. TheGrinter says:

    Well it is a combination of factors, but basically Android has been our biggest challenge to date. We get caught up in stability issues, and can’t dedicate enough time to new feature development. That also results in slower growth for our Android community.

    Having said that, we believe in the Android community and actually dedicate the same amount of resources to both. But have not been able to advance at the same pace.

    I am trying to be as candid as possible. I wish I had better news. If you know any amazing Android Developer with Golf knowledge please refer ;-)

  35. Mike W says:

    You guys rock! I recently joined TheGrint when oobgolf shutdown. You guys are much better and I wish I had been using TheGrint all along. Just curious as to how accurate the GPS feature is? Golf is a game of inches so I have been a little hesitant to use it. Keep up the good work!

    • TheGrinter says:

      Hi Mike – thanks for your support!
      In a clear day (no clouds) it should be as accurate as +-1 yard. However in cloudy days in can get spotty. Also, we generally to stand by your ball 3-5 seconds before you look at the Distance to make sure the distance is dialed in. We currently use as much accuracy as we can get from the hardware (phone).
      Best,

  36. Chris Racic says:

    Keep up the good work! It’s an excellent service.

  37. Damon G says:

    I’ve been using the Grint for years and have got numerous other golfers to join. Playing my friends in the live leader boards with a net handicap has made it so much more enjoyable to play against all skill levels. You guys are always quick to respond to questions and suggestions. Thanks for everything and look forward to using it for a long time to come, even though my wife and I just had twins and I don’t foresee much golf in my immediate future!!

  38. Dan Corun says:

    I’ve been a member for awhile now. I like posting my scores to help keep track of what I need to work on. I also like that you can add a golf course that The Grint doesn’t have info on yet. Keep up the good work. Dan

  39. jamessaylor888 says:

    TheGrint is has perfect Story