For the first Secret Golf Podcast of 2018, Elk and Knoxy give you an in-depth look at what EXACTLY Secret Golf is and how you can improve your game with personalized golf instruction from our PGA and LPGA Tour players. But how is the content customized just for you? This week, they're joined by one of the tech world's most influential and successful entrepreneurs, Russell Glass. Russell founded the business marketing and data company Bizo which was bought by LinkedIn in 2014 for $175million and is regarded as one of the key experts in the industry. Russell saw five years ago that Elk was ahead of the curve with the Secret Golf concept and now, along with being an investor, he sits on the Secret Golf board. Hear Russell explain how data is gathered and analyzed to bring the unique, incredible knowledge of tour players to life and why he thinks Secret Golf is at the cutting edge of golf instruction.
[MUSIC PLAYING] [SINGING] It's Secret Golf. That's what I'm looking for. It's why I get up every morning, have a good time with friends. Keeps me coming back for more. It's Secret Golf. We're headed down the road. We just loaded up the big show, going looking for the heart and soul. [? Roll ?] until the wheels fall off. It's Secret Golf-- shh. It's a secret.
It's Secret Golf with Elk and Knoxy, and happy new year. It's our first podcast of 2018, and I hope it was great for you. New year, Christmas-- it seems like so long ago now. Anyway, we have got so much lined up for the year ahead here at Secret Golf, and we thought for our first podcast of the year, we would just kind of strip it all back a little bit and dive into what Secret Golf actually is.
We're going to explain a bit more in this podcast about what Secret Golf does and how we do it, more importantly-- how we take the intellectual property of our tour players and then enable you to access customized content and golf instruction to improve your game, whether you're an absolute beginner like me or a more experienced golfer. Now, on this podcast what we're going to do is we're going to merge the golf side with the technical side. And we have two of the biggest names in their fields to explain that a little bit better to you. First up for the golf side-- you probably know who this is going to be-- but who better than the founder of Secret Golf, our very own Elk? How are you?
Good, I'm doing a little practice. I'm getting ready to do some filming, starting in 2018 down here. But I've always wanted to get on the podcast and talk to my friend Russell Glass, who I know you're going to introduce in a second, and technical guy. My son actually says that he loves Russell Glass so much because he's a cool nerd guy, plays golf and drinks whiskey, and he's funny. So--
There you go.
How's that intro?
You play golf and you drink whiskey, then you're cool. Right, well, as Elk said, to cover the technical aspect of things, we have one of the giants of the tech world on. He believes so much in Secret Golf that he's now an investor, and he's on the board. He was the founder of marketing and data platform Bizo, which was actually bought by LinkedIn for $175 million in 2014. Russell glass is here. Russell, how are you?
I'm great. Thanks for having me. First of all, Diane, when you say Bizo, it sounds better than when anybody else says Bizo. So if you could sprinkle that in frequently during this podcast, I'd appreciate it.
Great to be here, excited to talk about Secret Golf--
Good, right-- Elk, I think we start with the golf side of things, because obviously you founded Secret Golf. You had this vision years and years ago. And since you started it to where we are now, it's just been growing and growing and continues to grow. So let's start. We'll break it down. What is the philosophy behind Secret Golf?
Well, you said it-- intellectual property, which is-- the PGA Tour players like myself, it's taken us decades and decades to learn our craft. And of course, everybody that's listening to this, they've seen us play on the PGA Tour, where they watch us compete for money. But behind the scenes, there's all this practice. There's all this knowledge acquired over all this time.
And when I left the tour five years ago, I-- invariably, always being asked, how do I do this? How do I-- what do you think about when you do that? Why do you do that? So I started filming everything that a golfer knows, including all the way back to-- why do I grip the club this way? Why do I hold the club?
Why do I swing? How do I do the back-swing, et cetera? So every day I wake up thinking about Secret Golf. In the old days, we would always have to struggle to find good instruction.
When I was a kid growing in Australia, I would be looking at magazine pictures of Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf to try to copy what their back-swing looked like. Well, now it's come so far that we now can-- as we'll discuss on this podcast, now you can be delivered the exact video that you want and need for your game. That's what I-- I want the right video to land on the right player, at the right time, in the right handicap.
So that's how Secret Golf has changed instruction, because I always think about it in the practical sense, in that somebody could be on the driving range. They could be on the course, and that day they could be thinking, right, I need to work on my pitching. And instead of taking a book or taking a magazine, as you said, they're going to have these customized videos sent to their phone. And all they have to do is take it out, and they're good to go.
Yes, and what we're going to discuss today is, how do you do that? How did we cross the threshold between having golf instruction and being able to have that delivered to a device? So we've broken our players down into a giant matrix, where we have someone like you that's a beginner player-- of course, every tour player, when they play in a Pro-Am-- if I'm playing with Russ in a Pro-Am and you, Diane, I'm going to speak to Russ a lot different about his swing than I am with you.
Tour players, we've all been customizing our own content to each person, individually, our whole lives. And so to be able to build that into a matrix-- now we have 26 tour players, including five LPGA players, all the top of their field. And the reason that I think that I went down this track is they know the most. And every one of our tour players, their game works.
So there's all kinds of shapes and sizes and swing types inside of our 26, so invariably you're going to find what you're looking for at Secret Golf.
Mm-hmm, exactly, right-- so, Russell, I first met you in 2016. We were filming with Pat Perez in San Diego. We're going to talk about that shoot in a little while, because it was really perfect timing for you to be there. But how did you first meet Elk, and how did you first find out about Secret Golf?
Yeah, it's funny. I met Elk probably five years ago now at an event where-- it was very early days of Secret Golf, and he came and gave a talk about the potential of Secret Golf. I guess it was an executive event or something in Silicon Valley. And the things he was talking about then were interesting to me, because it was ahead of the curve in terms of how content is created. It was ahead of the curve in terms of what I thought the industry needed to go to, which was highly personalized content, learning from the best in any given field.
These are things that-- it's not just golf that's thinking about this now. It's every single field, and these guys were thinking about it years ago. If you look at the internet, one of the things the internet does is it allows for distribution of content to get really cheap. And it's far easier than it was in the past, where in order to get content to somebody it would either have to be in person, or it would have to go through a huge broadcast, very expensive setup to get it to somebody.
And today that's changed completely. So if you're learning something, why wouldn't you want to learn from the best? And why wouldn't you want your content to be completely personalized to your specific needs? And so Secret Golf-- I looked at that as, hey, this is a platform that is ahead of where everybody else is. And it's the way all education and all content's going to go in the future.
Yeah, right-- well, let's go back to Bizo and your career. Give me a short biog of your career, what you've done, and what you're doing now.
I've always been an entrepreneur, literally since high school, where I started a tennis racket-stringing business. I was a tournament tennis player in high school, and that was how I made my beer money, and then went to college and ran two businesses in college. One was a delivery business, bringing sandwiches on campus for students. Another one was an on-campus bar-- and learned in the early days that I was much better at working for myself than working for anybody else.
And so I just continued to found companies. And so I've been a part of four high-growth tech start-ups since I graduated from school. And very early days, we invented a lot of the concepts around search engine optimization. We invented a lot of the concepts around how you organize information so that people can more easily find it, and then founded Bizo in 2008, really trying to bring together all those concepts.
The notion of Bizo was, how do we allow companies who are trying to market to other companies target the right people more effectively? And so we built this huge platform of hundreds of millions of people online, and we understood who they were in the business world. So what titles did they have? How senior were they? What kind of companies and industries did they work for?
And built that up very quickly to over $50 million in revenue, and I guess we had about 160 employees when LinkedIn decided that they weren't going to be able to compete with us as effectively and with others in the industry as effectively as if they acquired us. And so we joined forces with them in 2014. And then I went on to run about a billion-dollar product set at LinkedIn, which is their marketing solutions group-- so very lucky, very, very fortunate ride. But it's given me a great skill set now to figure out, all right, if you've got great content, how do you get in front of all the right people?
Hey, Glass, remember when we did that-- when I met you at that [INAUDIBLE], I was up there on stage, and I was talking about Secret Golf. But do you remember that they were introducing Twitter that day, basically as a new entity? Do you remember that? And they were like, what do you think of this thing called Twitter? That was only five years ago. Can you imagine that?
The thing about Twitter, which is so funny-- again, it goes back to this luck thing. A lot of it is talent. A lot of it is hard work, but things also have to fall the right way. And if you look at a Twitter, that-- talk about falling the right way, right?
This platform that nobody really understood five years ago just caught fire because of a couple different events. And now the whole world is different because we can all communicate real-time with each other. It's pretty incredible.
Yeah, it really is.
Right, Russ, you mentioned something that I want to touch on quickly-- search engine optimization. Now, I'm going to ask you probably the stupid, obvious questions. But can you explain what that is and how advantageous that is for something like Secret Golf?
Sure, search engine optimization is-- it sounds kind of dorky and techie, which is what I am. But it's really actually pretty simple. It is just making sure that the information and content you have out there on the web is easily consumed by the search engine and makes it more available when somebody is searching for it. So if I'm on Google, and I'm looking for great information about the downswing, and I type a few words in there to get that information, search engine optimization will make sure that the right content, the best content, shows up for that person. So it's answering the question they have when they go to the search box.
Ah, OK, good-- I'm glad I asked, because that makes it a lot more obvious.
That's right, you've got to ask nerdy guys your nerdy questions. You've got to do a Google search on the nerdy guy.
Yeah, I feel like, well, I've got this opportunity. I have to ask all the questions, don't I? How often do you get to speak to someone like Russell Glass?
Exactly, when I talk to Jackie Burke my mentor, and I wanted to find out about the 1971 Masters Tournament, I've got to specifically do a search straight to him, right? Like, tell me about Hogan in '66 at the Masters, right? And he does the scroll himself, bang right, Glass? That's how it works.
That's right. And talk about a treasure, right? You have all that information that isn't online. You've got to go to a guy like Jackie Burke. Now taking content like that and putting it online and making it available for anybody to find-- that's special.
And increasingly, I think we're going to find that-- and it's kind of always been the case, but I think it's going to be even more so with online content now, that getting unique assets and unique content and things that just wouldn't exist if you weren't there to make it exist-- that's where the special sites of the web of the future are going to come from. It's content that nobody else has access to and can find is going to lead to the next generation of winners online.
You talked about this to me, Russ, that unique is something that we specialize in, because we're the only ones that know it, right? The tour player knows the most about his swing, et cetera. So could you talk a little bit more about that uniqueness, because that is the key, right? No one else can get that unique content.
Yeah, totally, if you asked me, hey, why are you so interested in this as a business, it really gets down to that component-- this notion of unique content that is hard to recreate. And when you have unique content that's hard to recreate, you've sort of solved the hard part of the equation. The other part of the equation, of course, is distribution, making sure it can get in front of people.
And that's actually-- it's relatively easy, compared to creating this kind of unique and differentiated and hard-to-replicate content. And so to me, the business is interesting because, hey, you've got all this incredible knowledge in the brains of these tour players, and you're bringing that to life. You're bringing it to the world in a way that they can easily find it, access it, and use it when it's helpful to them.
That's completely game changing. And when you have an asset like that and you have enough people that are looking for it, that's an exciting opportunity. And so from a business standpoint, that's where I think it's interesting. Now, there's all kinds of other reasons why I think it's interesting, just from a passion standpoint.
I love golf. I think it's a great game. I think it's a ton of fun to be challenged by something for your entire life. You never quite figure it out. You Maybe even you, Elk-- I know you're always thinking about little tweaks and little-- shifting your swing. And you've won at the highest levels.
And so that's exciting, and I think that keeps people coming back. And then finally, again, this trend that this all ties to, which is-- I want to learn from the best. And there's no reason anymore for me not to learn from the best. And so as people start to figure that out, that they don't have to learn from Joe Schmo or whomever, they can learn from the person who has actually attained the highest levels-- Secret Golf is in that sweet spot of trends that I see coming over the next few years.
Let's talk for a minute about how we're going to deliver this because, Russ, in your business or your world out in Silicon Valley, data is now-- let's talk just for a minute about data, because-- and usually when you talk about golf, you don't think too much about data. But data can be very helpful, particularly when you have a curriculum that's built like we do, which essentially addresses each part of the swing, each part of the game. So now it's possible, for example, to either fill out a profile, to display your strengths and weaknesses, and then to be able to have content delivered, essentially, to your weaknesses.
Or you could input your data, could be your statistics, into-- fairway's here. Green's here, et cetera. And the algorithm that we've written for each handicap-style player-- from the hundreds, to break 90, to break 80, to break 70-- those algorithms are written so that the videos will be delivered to you, to your weakest stat, to raise you up to where you would be improving. But I'd like you to talk a little bit more, Russ, about how the data is so valuable now to everyone.
Yeah, sure, and this was the insight that we had when we founded Bizo. Knoxy, can you say Bizo again?
She would have had a spokesperson's role back in the day, huh?
Imagine, I would have loved that.
I know, it's terrific. It's just a terrific accent. So on that side note, is this a specific part of Scotland that has this accent, or is this just all over Scotland?
On that, are we talking data? Well, I'm from the highlands of Scotland, so I think it's Inverness. I think it's kind of an Invernesian twang accent that I have.
And the thing about Scotland is the accents are different everywhere you go. So mine is probably a little bit of a mash-up, but that's fine. We just [INAUDIBLE].
We tried to get her on the podcast as quickly as we can, Glass, because her enunciation is 50 times better on the podcast. No one can understand her in the office. It's only on the podcast that we can understand her.
That's not true.
And me being Australian, I try to block it out as much as possible.
Although, I do have to say-- the other day I was actually in the PGA Superstore, Elk, and this guy was like, oh my gosh, I love your accent. The Australian accent is my favorite. I'm like, how do people think I'm Australian?
Just go ahead and shoot that guy right on the spot. That's an idiot, for sure. He'd have to be called out, that guy.
Exactly, well, great Inverness, great Scotches, and great accent.
I learned something new myself today.
So back to the question, which was data.
So this is the insight that we had when we founded Bizo, which was, hey, having unique and proprietary access to this data is going to allow for us to get the right messages and the right content in front of the right business people at the right times, right? And there is no such thing as personalization without data. You can't customize content. You can't customize messages, and you can't actually build algorithms without having data to build those algorithms.
You can't execute those algorithms without having data. So in a lot of ways, when we talk about personalization, when we talk about artificial intelligence, when we talk about all of the key trends of where the Internet's going, what we're really talking about is access to huge amounts of data that you can put into the sort of-- call it the blender, and smartly spit out the right answer at the end of it. And again, when you have asymmetric information, when you have information that nobody else has, unique information, unique data, that gives you this huge advantage in being able to deliver great services to them.
In the case of Secret Golf, data allows Secret Golf to turn around and deliver the right content to the right golfer based on their needs, based on the fact that, hey, they've got a great driver, and they've got decent mid-irons. But they can't make a putt to save their lives, so what does that golfer need? They need help with [INAUDIBLE].
So I'd like to give an example. When the flood was down here in Houston, I had my son Sam, who plays, who Russ knows, and had all of his University of Houston Cougar golf team at the house. I thought I would give an example of what an algorithm is. And an algorithm-- Russ, tell me if I'm wrong. It's just a way to teach the computer what to look for, right, is essentially what we're talking about-- information that you put in to make the computer search. Is that fair, from a layman's term?
Yeah, I would say an algorithm is any instruction, so any instruction that's going to be repeated.
So in this case, I had 10 college golfers. I said, OK, guys, I want to do an experiment here, and I want to write an algorithm for Secret Golf. And I want you guys to have videos delivered to you for your weakness. And they said, OK.
So I said, what do you all need? And they said, well, we really need-- on a college level, we need to really monitor what we're doing from inside of 150 yards, and we need to monitor what's inside of 100 yards. So what we did, we built-- everybody's heard of greens in regulation, how many greens you hit out of 18, fairways hit, et cetera. So what we started to do was I took the 80th PGA Tour player on the PGA Tour, and I took their statistics across the board.
Then I took the 80th wedge player, the 80th 100-yard player, 150-yard player-- took all those statistics and basically put them into an algorithm for a college golfer so that at the end of the day-- and they put it in against that algorithm-- they would get videos sent to them, what they're worst in. And they were like, oh my god. You're telling me that I could get a video sent to my cell phone after the round that could help me at my weakest link to keep me on tour, to be a tour player? And I said, yes, and they said, done deal. Let's do it.
I think that is-- it's such a game changing sort of concepts. And the feedback loop there-- so that's an algorithm that basically allows you to better deliver content based on somebody's talent, based on where they are in a given skill set. Now, the feedback loop there is that the user then-- the golfer, let's say, that you're doing this for-- starts to get smarter about their game. And they start to improve in a certain area.
They start to be thinking about it differently. They start to be practicing better and thinking about how they're going to score better. And then that improvement starts to get fed into the system. And so the system smartly starts to give them content that they need now, and that feedback loop is actually the beginnings of artificial intelligence.
It's the beginnings of machine learning. It is how you continue to feed back information into a system to make it smarter over time. And this is learning, this is education, this is how the world is going. And I think Secret Golf is on the cutting edge of that for golf instruction.
And a lot of people say to me-- a lot of my feedback, the people that are listening to this might say, well, I shoot 90, and I don't want to fill in my-- I don't want to do my stats and all that. And I don't want to have an algorithm spit out my weakest thing. And I say, OK, well, what do you want?
And they say, well, I just want to know why I slice it or why I always push my driver or I can't chip. Well, that has to be addressed too, right? You can do a simple profile almost like a dating profile, where you can find out the golfer, where he's from. And then you have all these questions like strengths or weakness.
What is your strength? Out of 1 out of 5, are you a strong driver or a weak driver? And all those get put in, and then videos can be sent from more-- I guess, what would you call that, Russ, more of an of an a la carte, where they filled out the form? And what would you call that?
Yeah, I still think it's personalization, but you're just-- you're now taking not just the actual data about their game. You're taking personal preference in there as well, so you're adding more intelligence to your system to be able to give them content they're interested in, and its kind of interesting. If you look at the game of golf in general, and you look at the amateur golfer, I'm not convinced that-- and I'd be interested in your opinions on this.
I'm not convinced that everybody has exactly the same goals either, right? So in other words, I think there are a lot of golfers out there that just want to score better, and they become great scorers. You see them at the club. Often they're sort of these old, old codgers that are out there.
Their swings are pretty mediocre, and they don't look anything special, and then they come in at 2 over par. Those people have learned how to score, and they have focused their energies on scoring. But then there's a whole other group of people, I think, that want to just hit the ball well, and they probably sacrifice scoring in order to strike the ball better. Do you think that's right?
I do, and some of our most valuable content, by the way, is not always about the swing. A lot of it is to do with the mental that we talk about and also the strategy. There's so much strategy. Is like playing chess, right?
You can be a great chess player. If you have no strategy, you can't play at all. And I think sometimes we forget what we know. But when my tour players start talking about strategy, and particularly the girl players and how they attack the golf course, as opposed to a man player, it's fascinating because I've learned so much when I do the shoots. And by the way, when we do do a shoot with a tour player-- and in fact, Russell Knox, Diane's brother, is the latest sign with us, Russ-- number 26 I think it is now we have.
We'll go out there, and what we're trying to do when we shoot a tour player is we're trying to fulfill the matrix. What does to fulfill the matrix mean? Well, imagine 100 of the most random questions that a person trying to break 100 would ask. We actually film every one of them, because my wife or Diane, who are both trying to break 100, they may-- a question from them may be, well, how far do I take it back on a chip, right?
That's a relevant question for someone's who's trying to break 100. But then someone like you, Glass, you're a good player. You might want to know, well, how do I make a 50-yard pit shot spin? Well, that's not something that Diane needs to be thinking about, right?
So what we do is we try to fulfill the matrix. We try to get them to weave the tour player all the way through, so all these different questions are answered all the way across the board. So a beginner may get a Jason Dufner beginner, beginner chipping video. And someone on the other side of the country may be wanting to know how to hit the fairway on the last hole with a major championship on the line or a Club Championship.
So I just think the tour players are so eager to-- because they own the company, which is a nice model, Glass, and they have all this information that's never been asked from them, right? It's theirs. They own it. It's their intellectual property, so it's very valuable.
Yeah, all that made sense. Although, is it because I'm a Silicon Valley guy that when you say fulfill the matrix, I'm just-- I go into slow-motion fighting mode with green-screen stuff?
Is that what everybody would say?
Russ, I know you like to golf a lot. What would you say is the part of your game that you're going to work on and use Secret Golf to help you improve?
He's improved a lot.
I have. I have, and the thing that I use it for, and I love it, is I'll go out and I'll play. Or I'll be hitting balls, and I will feel like I've got a specific flaw, right? And I'm at the point-- I'm a 6, 7 handicap. So I've got room to improve, and I'm at the point where I can start to feel my swing and have a sense for what's going wrong.
But I'll take that flaw-- the other day I was-- my back-swing was getting too short, and I started getting too quick coming back down. And I'll go on Secret Golf, and I'll look for content that helps me think about, how do I figure out that timing? How do I think about keeping it long and taking my time to make that full transition, instead of getting too quick? And so I will often go, right after a round and start playing around with Secret Golf, just like you might do on tour-- go to the range and work out something with your coach after a around. I kind of use Secret Golf that way.
Good, I love hearing that.
And I'm glad you said it that way, because you know instinctively what's wrong with your swing. So with our search engine, you can go right to the Backswing button. And then inside of the Backswing, there's subcategories. And you can actually-- I think there's five different subcategories, whether it's the drop at the top, or the lag, or the impact position.
You can go to a section of the downswing on Secret Golf and find what you're looking for, right? And there's probably 50 videos of each one of those. So it's quite in-depth, and of course our library is now up around 7,000 videos, all curated and organized, so it's a bit of a labor of love. It's taken five years to accumulate all that, but now on a sort of a focused line now, all towards personalization.
Yeah, absolutely, and I think the other part of it to me is the psychological aspect to it, which-- again, I think as you get better in golf, a lot more of it gets into the mental space, and how do you think about your swing, and how do you think about executing your swing? And one of the things that Secret Golf has really made me understand is that no matter how good you get, you're constantly improving. There are constant little flaws that enter your swing, and you have thoughts, and you have exercises to work through that and make sure that you're performing at your highest levels.
And just knowing that the best in the world go through that helps golf get less frustrating. It helps it become more fun. And if you have the content to help you improve, that's part of that making the game more exciting, and more fun, and more accessible to any skilled golfer.
So, Russ, you met Elk years ago and obviously heard a little bit about Secret Golf. It grabbed your attention then. You've kept in touch. I said that the first time I met you was end of 2016. You came out-- we were at Maderas Golf Club in San Diego, and we were shooting with Pat Perez.
And we'd had this in the [? diary ?] for ages, and it just so happened that the weekend before, Pat won at [INAUDIBLE]. So you were there with us, and it was a special time for everyone to be together. Obviously, we were celebrating Pat's big win, but that was the first time that you had seen an actual shoot and what went on behind the scenes at Secret Golf. So what did you think when you got to see all the magic happen?
Well, before that, Diane, [INAUDIBLE] you were with Pat and I the night before in the big show. Let's start there, right?
Well, I was trying to avoid that because I don't want to hear those stories.
Yeah, it was incredible, right? We couldn't have planned it this way, but PP comes off this amazing win right in the big show. It's like win, big show. And so being able to sit down and talk to the guy about that and hear his inner monologue and the experience of winning a PGA tournament right after it happened was an incredible experience.
And then watching the professionalism of the shoot, watching the angles created for the shoot, watching the technical understanding that this team has to create great content impressed me immensely. The access to PP and his inner monologue, which he has a lot, is actually-- I should-- it's not an inner monologue. It's a complete outer monologue, and it's constant, which was awesome.
So that was a great experience. And then being able to be a part of that, I actually remember it was the first time I'd ever-- you'd just switched to PXG. And it's the first time I'd ever seen a PXG, and he's like, here, you want to hit it? And I was like, yeah, I'll hit it.
And I step up the ball, up on the range, and I proceed to shank the ball about dead right, almost killed someone. And he looks at me, and he's like, don't effing break my clubs, man. And I was like, [INAUDIBLE].
I'm not worthy of this PXG.
And now, of course, I own PXGs and love them, but [INAUDIBLE].
I do too. We both did the test. We Glass and I went to a fitting together, and we're like, these things go way further than what we use, and let's do it.
Dr. [? Edwin ?] [? Foo. ?]
[? Edwin ?] [? Foo ?] fitted us, and Glass had a sort of a real rare moment for him. He was sort of embarrassed that he had this top of the line set of clubs out there. I've got to tell them this. And I said, dude-- he's like, man, I'm kind of embarrassed. They're really expensive, and I don't like to show any wealth and all this.
I said, dude, you drive an electric car. Get over it. All it is-- it's metal wood technology on iron faces. That's it. And he goes, oh, OK, well, if you're going to put it like that, then I'm OK now.
So I got to talk a tech guy down into technical terms to get him to accept his own thing he already bought. I like it. It's what I do, making it happen.
Yeah, you're just here to help.
I got over it pretty quickly. But it was, at first, a shock to the system.
Right, guys, well, that was super interesting. And Russ, it's been amazing to have you on. Thank you so much for being on the podcast.
Ton of fun, love you guys, thanks for having me.
And hopefully we can get you at another one of our shoots soon.
He will certainly work his way in there for sure. He waits for the really, really good locations. That's the key. That's the key to being an investor [? and a ?] board member.
And be safe in the knowledge, Russ, that what goes on on the big show stays in the big show, right, so none of the storytelling out here.
Exactly, I appreciate that. Actually, Elk, I wait for people to come right off their tournament wins.
There you go.
Those are the ones I show up to.
Exactly, well, we had 13 wins, I think 14 wins last year by our players. And they were memorialized by a bottle of whiskey by our friend Wes Anderson, who owns Angel's Envy, that was inscribed with the winner's score in each round. And now that we have 26 tour, there's 13 guys that are teeing it up in Hawaii today-- 1/10 of the field today, Glass, is Secret Golfers, over in Hawaii.
So actually, it's a great question. Hey, Knoxy, am I allowed to ask some questions?
Yeah, you go for it. You take it over.
Is this-- am I breaking all the rules? Here's a great question for you, Elk. So you've got 26, now, players.
And just like you said, an immense amount of the field-- a lot of the wins are coming from Secret Golf players, which means that you're eye for choosing players to belong to this organization is unparalleled. What do you see? What do you look for when you say, I want that player to be a part of Secret Golf?
It's a good question. I always tell people I'm hardly ever wrong. It's like my friend I was on the phone with today that's one of the greatest horse trainers. He's hardly ever wrong when he sees a good horse. I'm not exactly sure what I see, but I know what I see.
It's like a good singer. Mostly, it's simple, right? There's three ways that I sort of break down when I look at talent. I'm looking at what the club face is doing. I'm looking at what the [? shaft's ?] doing, and I'm looking at what the body is doing. And all those things just come as a blur to me, and I can tell whether the player's going to be able to reproduce it or he's not.
And I don't know. I think it's just something that my eye has seen for so long that I know-- I do it with you too, by the way. As you know, I usually pick on one part of your game, and we fix it pretty quickly. But I think that just comes with the time that I've put in, I think, just knowing the swing and looking at players that have a good attitude.
I think attitude, on the tour, is probably more relevant. I think that's what we've got down with PP more than anything, now that he's calmed down a little bit. I think he won $6 million, and you were with him, Russ. And he's won another time and finished-- he's turned into a machine. He's finally learned how to produce his craft.
What comes out? How is it going to make him do well? What does he have to do? That's what I try to talk to my players. And I do finish up mentoring a lot of our players just on trying to navigate them through the pitfalls of the tour and the longevity that they need and going from the highs and lows, because there will be highs and lows.
As Jason Dufner says, if you-- he tells the young guys on our tour. He says, if you're going to be in the bull-riding business, you'd better learn what to do once you get thrown, right? So there's a lot of downs, And Diane's been part of that with her brother. And she's been on the ups too, so it's just-- that's what golf's all about. It's not very level.
Well, we're looking forward to more ups with Russell. I want him to be receiving the personalized bottle of Angel's Envy at the end of this year.
I do too.
Yeah, Russ wants that too.
There should be something for the board members. There should be something for the board members.
All right, Russ. Hey, thanks for coming on and sharing your technical thoughts today.
Yeah, happy to be here, thanks a ton for having me, good luck.
Thank you, Russell. We'll talk to you soon.
OK, so I told you he'd be great, right? He's perfect, right? It's so explanatory.
He is so good. And as you say, he's your son's hero in the respect that he's a nerd. But he's cool, he plays golf, he drinks whisky. He speaks so emphatically but so fun about his passion in life-- his two passions, I guess, technology and golf, and how we have managed to bring them together at Secret Golf.
Yeah, we're very lucky to have him as our board member. I would like to think that-- I've been going out there for quite a while. Russ looked at our company for over a year, just observing it to see if he wanted to even watch us anymore. And that's when-- and then we set up a shoot. I said, why don't you come out and come to a shoot?
And it was the Pat Perez shoot. It just so happened that, as you noted, Pat won. We got to drink some whiskey on the big show, and then he got to see it the next day. And he still followed it for another year and sort of helped our CEO with some of his ideas of how we can build the back end of the website better, so we can get the content out to our [? countrymen ?] quicker, faster, better, more the way they want it.
And he's just helped us streamline that part of the business, really, which is not my interest or my passion. My passion is to get the other side of the business shot correctly, [? where ?] I want to get that tour player to get the right video to the right player. So I think it's a nice team. We're set up well, and we're looking forward to pushing a lot of content out in '18.
Oh yeah, it's going to be an exciting year. So this weekend [INAUDIBLE] opened in Hawaii. I'll be watching it on TV, just jealous of the fact that I'm not in Hawaii. But as you said, my brother, Russell Knox, our latest signer for Secret Golf, so we have him now. So yeah, hopefully, he'll-- well, I would like to see him win this week, obviously, but hopefully he'll get the business done in Hawaii.
I would too. I would too. I pull very hard for all of our Secret Golfers. We had a great week last week at the Tournament of Champions. I think we had five tour players where we had-- all five of them were inside the top 12, so that was great for us.
Yeah, Russell Knox is-- he's a seasoned player on the PGA Tour. But he's no different than any other tour player that's been out there 8 to 10 years, where they worry about their games, and they try to peak at certain times and so on. So we'll be talking quite a bit with Russell and-- I don't want to say the word mentor, but I help the players a little bit, keep them on track a little bit.
And then, of course, we'll be interested to hear of his upbringing and how he handled a lot of shots, growing up in Scotland, and a lot of the-- he'll add something to our platform because he comes from a different environment. So that will be interesting just right out of the gate that he and I both grew up low-ball hitters. We discussed this on the phone the other day, and he says, I'm not going to be able to bring much high-ball hitting to your [INAUDIBLE].
That's OK. We've got tons of high-ball hitters over here. We want the low-ball stuff. So when someone down the road wants to know how to hit that knock-down seven iron shot, then it could be presented by Russell Knox, and that'll be exciting.
Exactly, we're excited to get his player channel [INAUDIBLE] going, and we'll of course have him on the podcast in the next couple of months as well.
For sure, thank you, Diane.
Right, Elk, thank you. We will talk to you next week.
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