From an early age Fergus Wallace had a desire to understand what makes us perform and deliver our real potential. This fascination, coupled with his own life experiences in sports coaching and entrepreneurship, helped to shape the development of his new venture.
“After playing sport from an early age I moved into sports coaching at individual, club and international levels,” explains Fergus. “I’ve also coached small business start-ups, founded a digital technology company and have a Masters in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.”
With his expertise and knowledge on the link between behaviours during sports practice and its impact on performance, Fergus decided to pursue the development of some new coaching tools. To take his ideas forward he formed PerformanceACTIVE International – with golf being the initial driving focus.
Taking into account that the playing handicap of an average male golfer has not improved in 40 years, Fergus commissioned his own global survey on golf practice and the feedback revealed fascinating results, including ‘83% of golfers who regularly practice experience no improvement in their game.’
“As all golfers know, what goes on in the head is as important as the physical swing,” says Fergus. “So we came up with the idea of a practice tool called GRiP that would combine both aspects. GRiP provides a more focused approach by simulating the real conditions of playing golf in a challenging and fun way with the results and statistics analysed and presented on line via a player portal. Fifteen minutes of quality practice using the GRiP approach will prove far more effective than simply shelling balls in a golf range for hour after hour.”
Based on his previous business start-up experience, Fergus knew that he needed a focus, discipline and structure to bring his idea to commercial reality, so he joined the Propel programme where he benefited from specialist expertise and mentoring in a supportive, yet challenging environment.
“One of the most valuable elements of the Propel program for me,” says Fergus, “is the emphasis on providing a sound business model and exposure to potential investors. The work on value propositions and elevator pitches proved immense in helping each of us clearly articulate what our business propositions were.”
Within 6 months of joining Propel, over 200 customers were trialing the GRiP prototype product in 21 countries around the world, prior to its global launch. This new approach to golf practice has also won many plaudits, including an endorsement from Karl Morris, one of the world’s top golf mind coaches, who has worked with many leading professional golfers from local heroes Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell to Charl Swartzel.
The GRiP program is available on a 3 month and 12 month membership basis and is already being used by PGA professionals, coaches, juniors and club golfers in over 25 countries.