On the July 7th Stick and Hack Show, Adam and Mike explored guilt and grooming (use code “STICKANDHACK” to get 20% off and free shipping at Manscaped.com) before diving into a conversation with Mike Doyle, co-founder of Five Iron Golf, from its New York City flagship locale on Fifth Avenue and 19th Street.

Five Iron is reshaping urban golf culture and has expanded from Manhattan to Chicago, Baltimore and Philadelphia, growing from Mike’s original lesson crew to a re-imagined, high-tech, inclusive urban golf experience for golfers and non-golfers alike.

The following excerpt has been edited for space. Check out the full interview here. 

S/H: Where are you guys located and how did this all come about?

Mike: After our two New York locations, we opened Chicago, Philadelphia and Baltimore all within a six-month period at the end of last year, which was exciting and terrifying. The quarantine thing is throwing us for a loop, but we’re still trying to expand them to get into more cities. We were able to keep a lot of the teams together. But you said it in terms of who we are. We really are melding the Stick and Hack. It’s really what we do too.

We’re open all day, from 6 a.m. to midnight. We’re pretty much packed at 6 a.m., especially in New York. We have showers here. There are the morning guys come in and use it like a gym — bang balls for an hour. We did lessons all day long and then they’ll go to work. People sneak out of the office for lunch, come in here and practice, or play with a buddy or two. Towards the end of the workday, all of a sudden, groups start coming. We do a lot of small corporate events where teams will come in and hang out. We have a full kitchen and bar. So if you don’t love golf, you’re still able to have fun and hang out.

We also have ping pong and video games. We have putting greens in a couple of our locations, a simulator, race cars, Golden Tee. So if you’re not a big golfer, we still want you here. You can have a great time and hopefully you can kind of pick up a club and start swinging.

There’s this intimidation factor around getting up in front of everyone. But here, when you hit a ball, even if it goes sideways or it doesn’t even reach the screen, they turn around and realize that nobody cares what they’re doing. Everybody’s really worried about their own swings and problems anyway. So a lot of times somebody’s swinging and missing, it really makes other people feel better.

S/H: There is kind of this “old versus new” golfers right now where a group of people who have been exposed to golf through Top Golf. And so they’re looking for more entertainment now than actual real golf. What are your thoughts on that as far as old golfers versus new golfers who are coming into the game and how you guys fit into that?

Yeah, it’s interesting. The person who’s used to a country club and having the leather and mahogany wood and the leather chairs We know a lot of those people. The Winged Foot members come to New York and we’ve gotten to really know them, and they really like our vibe too. It’s not really one or the other. We have street art and graffiti in every location. There’s sort of an industrial vibe when you come in. And we’ve found that the person you would think wouldn’t like that — older golfers people who’ve played forever — they like that too.

S/H: The continuous research — looking at your clientele, look at the people coming through and seeing the trends in golf — does your research tell you that this type of golf, this type of entertainment and this type of urban atmosphere, does your research say that this is the way things are going to be going in the years to come?

Yes, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to replace real golf. I think it can really fuel the actual golf course play. So it’s not as if we’re going to be the only golf option. Uh, but I do think as the technology improves, it becomes more realistic and more accurate. It really mimics the game in a way.

S/H: Do you think you guys are built for Sticks or Hacks or both?

Definitely both. It almost changes during the course of the day. One of the we’ve done is offer leagues, which is one of our most popular things we’ve done. We’ve run it in every location. We have like 40 team leagues in New York who come on certain weeknights. It’s no handicapping so anybody can join. And the truth is there’s probably 10 teams that have a real chance to win. There’s probably 10 teams that don’t have a chance but think they have a chance to pick. And then there’s 10 teams that don’t have a chance, don’t care, and want to come and hang out on a Monday and play with their buddies.

S/H: Talking about today’s market, social media is probably a huge player in your marketing and in what people see about your space, because the generation today is “look at what I’m doing.” I can’t pull into a Target without my daughter Snapchatting somebody saying, “I’m at Target.” But that’s what kids and younger people are doing — Oh my God, what am I, 78 years old? Holy cow. … Does that help you market your own company without having to put any money behind it?

It’s funny. You’re asking a curmudgeon like yourself who really struggled to make people care what I’m doing on my day to day. So it’s been a struggle for me, personally, to get good at sharing what I’m doing. But from a business standpoint, it’s critical. Instagram is huge for us because it’s visual. Showing videos and showing people what we can actually do here. Social media helps paint a picture of who we are and our vibe. I need to improve at it for sure.

Ready to stop reading and start listening? Sit back and hear the complete podcast to hear more about Five Iron Golf.