Is Five Iron the future of indoor golf?

Walk around Five Iron Golf’s 25,000-square-foot indoor golf center-slash-cocktail lounge in midtown Manhattan, and it’s almost impossible to imagine that a few years ago, it was just a single netted bay with a mini-refrigerator hidden in the back of a suit shop. Mike Doyle almost can’t believe it himself.

In 2016, Doyle was doing a kind of reverse commute for a New York City golf instructor. Instead of looking to migrate to one of the potentially lucrative teaching jobs at a private club in suburban Westchester, Connecticut or Long Island, he was interested in teaching that same clientele in Manhattan in an indoor setting.

So Doyle went to work in the back of the aforementioned shop, tailoring his schedule to the peculiarities of his students’ availability. “I’d get guys who were traders on Wall Street who wanted to come in and get a lesson at 6 a.m. before work,” Doyle says. “It was brutal. They’d be waiting as I opened the doors and was basically still asleep.”

Doyle’s students hit better shots, and they also came equipped with the tools to put a business plan in motion. One of those early-morning Wall Streeters, Jared Solomon, brought in family friend Nora Dunnan—a Duke business school grad and business development ace—and in 2017 the three came up with the concept of a sophisticated golf “hangout.” Sure, you could come and hit balls on a state-of-the-art simulator but just as important were the food-and-beverage and golf-shop-fitting experiences.

Read more at Golf Digest.

View Partner