Foster discusses how technology is shaping Golftec and SkyTrak and, as an extension, the game of golf
In an era driven by technology, the golf industry has witnessed a remarkable transformation, embracing innovation to enhance the game and elevate the overall experience for players. At the forefront of this digital revolution is Jeff Foster, a visionary leader renowned for his pioneering work in leveraging technology within the golf industry. With a career encompassing influential roles at Golf Channel leading key digital properties like GolfNow and GolfPass and now spearheading the growth of SkyTrak and GOLFTEC, Foster has emerged as a driving force, propelling the industry forward and solidifying his position as an innovation leader. In a sit down with GOLFTEC / SkyTrak, Foster talks about how technology is revolutionizing the sport.
Question: You’ve been in various technology focused roles in the golf business for years, what made you interested in joining the GOLFTEC/SkyTrak team?
JF: I’ve been lucky enough to work in the golf business for over 25 years. During that time, I’ve met a lot of great people and got to analyze a lot of different types of businesses. As part of a group at NBC/Golf Channel that helped drive a handful of key acquisitions, you begin to see a common thread with what drives a successful company. With GOLFTEC, we have a company with a tremendous leadership team that has been dedicated to making golfers better through technology. While that may not seem novel on the surface, when you look into the depth of how the company got there and how they’ve operated using new patented technologies, it really sets us apart from the competition. The timing of me joining the company as the Chief Strategy Officer coincided with the acquisition of SkyTrak, the No. 1 consumer launch monitor brand in golf. This gave me the opportunity to take on the CEO role for SkyTrak and work to bring the companies together and explore all the potential synergies within. It really is a special and unique marriage of two technological leaders in the space between the two brands.
Question: SkyTrak just launched the new SkyTrak+ Launch Monitor earlier this year. What makes you the most excited about the new device?
JF: SkyTrak has long been a leader in the home Launch Monitor/Golf Simulator space. Bringing a new product to market to carry on SkyTrak’s dominance is an incredibly fun and exciting experience. The new device adds a dual doppler radar that allows us to measure and gather club data in addition to the ball data that the original SkyTrak was built on. That club data in addition to the level of accuracy that we’ve been able to obtain rivals that of $15,000+ launch monitors at a $3,000 price point. Being able to offer that type of experience to a broader swath of golfers is a game changer.
Question: What else can we expect from SkyTrak in the near future?
JF: The opportunities are seemingly endless. This is where the marriage of GOLFTEC and SkyTrak really comes into play. We hear everyday from our members that they’re getting better using their SkyTrak launch monitors. That improvement is at the core of who we are and how we’ll continue to develop going forward.The new SkyTrak+ is in the early stages of being rolled out to all GOLFTEC locations around the world and will likely become the most taught on launch monitor in the world by PGA professionals. This rollout will let GOLFTEC members and other interested golfers to try before they buy, which is really unique in this space. In addition to that we’ll also be working on an expedited software release cadence that is rooted in feedback from all of our PGA professionals and the new management team we’ve put in place. We’ve hired folks from some of the biggest and most innovative companies in golf. We’re just getting started.
Question: Do you have a favorite practice routine you do with your SkyTrak?
JF: Like many people who have launch monitors at home, the convenience to be able to go and hit balls between calls or after dinner has been key to me working on my game. I don’t know that I’d call it a routine, but I love playing the closest to the pin challenge. It lets me practice dialing in my irons, short game specifically, and at the same time get a little lunch money from the neighbors.
Question: Where do you see GOLFTEC and SkyTrak in the next five years?
JF: We’re committed to getting better everyday. Our growth plans are not timid and I think you’ll continue to see more GOLFTEC locations sprout up all over the world. With the way that we approach instruction and with where our technology roadmap is headed we believe we’ll be able to help even more golfers get better on an exponential scale. SkyTrak is a key component of our strategy and will help enable a lot of what we’re dreaming up.