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Skill Shot Golf app will pay out when someone makes a hole-in-one

Skill Shot Golf app will pay out when someone makes a hole-in-one

FARMINGTON, Ill. — Marshall Threw has never made a hole-in-one in his life.

But if you’d like to bet on yourself to make one, he’s got a way where you can take your best shot.

Threw and his childhood friend Kevin Reed teamed up to create an online golf app — named Skill Shot Golf — that allows users on the golf course to bet they’ll make a hole-in-one on any par 3 hole in the country.

“One of our goals was to be able to golf for work,” Threw said. “I’m a 9 handicap and I won’t scare many people, but I’ve been playing quite a bit. I’ve never had a hole-in-one, though. I’ve hit the pin or rimmed it a couple times.

“So now we’ve created the only place you can bet on yourself.”

What is Skill Shot Golf?

Farmington native Marshall Threw is co-founder and CFO of Skill Shot Golf, an online app that allows golfers to bet on an attempt at a hole-in-one on par-3 holes across the country.

A year ago this week, Threw and Reed started working on a golf betting app.

“We’re both avid golfers and both travel a lot,” Threw said. “We saw the idea on some courses that had hard-mounted cameras on the green. You have the option at those courses to pay an extra $5 when you check in for tee time and it enters you in a hole-in-one competition.

“We like a good friendly wager. We noted entry rates were at 50-75 percent during the week and 100 percent on weekends. We were going down that path. But then we got the idea — everyone has a really good camera in their pocket. We don’t have to pay $10,000 to put a camera on one course in a fixed position.

“We pivoted to just filming it all in an app. That gave us instant access to every course in America.”

How big is that? Threw’s data shows there are over 17,000 golf courses in the country, and each with an average of 4 ½ par-3 holes.

“We know there’s about 26 million golfers a year,” Threw said. “There are 520 million rounds played, multiplied by those 4 ½ par 3s — its over 2 billion tee shots off those par 3s per year.”

And via Skill Shot Golf, those shots can be bet on to turn into an ace.

Threw and Reed turned to Chris Caldwell, who owns hypernova in Bloomington, to build the app. They added Clay Deal as a marketing stakeholder and Kevin Stewart — who owns Anvil Media Foundry — as a creative content stakeholder.

Threw, 42, and Reed, 39, grew up in Farmington and have been lifelong friends, playing basketball, baseball and football along the way. Their families…


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