Pull Hook Golf: Matt Cook
Matt offers valuable insights into the challenges and rewards of being a founder and provides tips for aspiring entrepreneurs.
We all know one of those guys. The guy who, no matter how successful he becomes, is still the same person he was in college. For me, that guy is Matt. I met Matt in business school, and we immediately hit it off. He told me he was starting his own company, and I wasn't surprised at all.
And boy, did he make a success of it! His company quickly became an enterprise. But even with all his success, he never lost his down-to-earth attitude.
I don't get to see Matt as often as I'd like now that we're so busy, but every time I do, it's like we never missed a beat. He's still the funny guy making bogeys on the golf course.
What motivated you to start your company?
The entrepreneurial mindset and want to do what I love, which for me is golf, was the motivation behind starting Golf Pros NYC and Pull Hook Golf.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake when you first started?
The funniest mistake when I first started Golf Pros NYC, an indoor teaching facility in Midtown NYC, was not realizing I needed to keep toilet paper in stock. It seems simple, but I had never run a facility before. I remember running around the corner to CVS because a customer was stuck in the bathroom without toilet paper before a lesson.
Then, can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The small details matter when starting a business. You realize in those moments that no matter how excellent a product/service you may have if you skip over the small details, it can ruin the entire experience for a customer.
What do you have planned for the future?
Due to the pandemic in 2020, I closed the physical location of Golf Pros NYC. However, when one door closes, another one opens. My business partner and I realized we knew all of NYC's top teaching professionals and facilities.
However, it's a tiny network in NYC, and finding the correct golf pro can be difficult. So we decided to turn Golf Pros NYC into a concierge service for golfers looking for golf lessons in NYC.
Based on their skill level, location and budget, we connect them with the right golf pros. I also recently created a new podcast called Pull Hook Golf. My co-host, Bobby Brown, is a PGA Tour Caddie who used to caddie for Dustin Johnson and currently caddies for Troy Merritt. It's an unfiltered golf podcast because I felt there needed to be a podcast where you hear the real scoop and inside stories.
What keeps you up at night?
Mainly work. One of the things you realize as an entrepreneur is there's always an endless list of tasks. Prioritizing the long list and tackling each task leads to success.
What is the most significant risk facing your company?
Time and money. With any business, you must weigh your time and how much investment it will take to become profitable. Luckily, right now, both Golf Pros NYC and Pull Hook Golf are in a great spot when it comes to both.
How did you deal with that failure?
When I started my first business, I did not understand the value of failure. As a result, I took it personally, which lessened my self-worth and mindset. After failing in that business, I had to go back to the drawing board and reflect before I realized how valuable failing was.
I found a 9-5 position with a Fortune 500 company which helped me reset before going into my next venture. However, it wasn't until after that next venture that I truly understood how failure is a good thing.
You'll hear it repeatedly from other successful entrepreneurs; at first, you might not get it (at least I didn't). But you'll understand the value when similar situations arise, and you have learned how to deal with them because of previous failures.
Who is your favorite entrepreneur?
Adam Torres is the co-founder and CEO of Mission Matters. I've known Adam for over a decade, and he is the true epitome of an entrepreneur. He's made the sacrifices you only read about in books and is relentless in his pursuit to impact the business world.
What is missing for Arizona entrepreneurs to succeed?
There isn't much missing for Arizona entrepreneurs to succeed. I want to see even more networking events and organizations designed for local AZ entrepreneurs. As someone who has lived in NYC, LA, and San Diego, I'd say that might be the only area lacking here compared to those other cities.
To learn more about Matt's unfiltered golf podcast, go to PullHookGolf.com or if you are looking for a golf lesson in NYC, go to GolfProsNYC.com.
Don't miss more interviews, and I encourage you to contact me if you'd like to be featured in my monthly newsletter. I'm happy to share your one-of-a-kind story. For more like this, subscribe to my free newsletter.