Richard “Dick” Zokol was a touring professional golfer who played in the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour for more than two decades. During his career, Dick realized what many professional golfers, and athletes in most other sports, realize: That the mental game is as important, if not more important, than one’s physical skills.
To address this challenge, Dick invented a methodology to hone his mental skills. The method he designed enabled him to access and remain “in the moment“ for each shot, mitigating performance anxiety and breaking the ”Golf Insanity” mindset.
Dick, along with a team of technology industry veterans, founded MindTRAK Golf to bring his methodology to professional and amateur golfers worldwide. MindTRAK Golf productized Dick’s method into a platform and a mobile application, allowing all golfers to significantly improve attentional focus for those pressure situations, an essential tool to optimize performance.
CodeStringers provided consulting services to define and plan the MindTRAK Golf software product as well as the development and quality assurance resources to bring the product from ideation through production release. CodeStringers involvement enabled Dick to raise funding, secure key advisors, develop a go-to-market plan, and to launch the product in the Apple App Store.
“As we ventured down the path of building the MindTRAK Golf platform we quickly realized how fortunate we were to engage with Michael and his team at CodeStringers. From forethought to wireframe, creative concepts, to practical user experience and those unforeseen problems that surface from time to time, CodeStringers was there to deal and resolve every critical issue quickly. CodeStringers was more than a developer for us. They added value to MindTRAK Golf.”
The MindTRAK Golf Methodology
Dick’s methodology involves capturing Key Performance Markers (KPMs) for every golf shot a golfer hits. The KPMs are the assessment and execution of each shot and the KPMs are rated as excellent, satisfactory or unsatisfactory. For each shot taken, the golfer also specifies if the shot resulted in losing or gaining one or more strokes in the round. For instance, if a golfer is hitting their first putt, lines up the putt perfectly but mis-hits the ball, he might indicate an excellent assessment (the lineup of the shot) and an unsatisfactory execution, which resulted in one shot lost because, had he hit the shot well, he would have required two putts, but instead, he three-putted the hole.
In addition to providing golfers with a valuable statistical model with which to evaluate their golfing performance, the methodology achieves something that is perhaps less obvious…
By focusing on shot-by-shot KPMs, the golfer is NOT thinking about their overall round score and the Golf Insanity. Learn more about Dick’s methodology and the revelation that led to it.
MindTRAK Golf Background
Prior to CodeStringers involvement with MindTRAK Golf, Dick’s leadership team had been formed and were committed to helping Dick productize his methodology. However, the internal team, which included strong marketing and technology expertise, was struggling to translate Dick’s methodology into a software product because they lacked the product strategy and planning background needed to develop a software development plan.
With the plan developed, the internal team had deep expertise to identify the technology stack and architecture of the product as well as develop and execute go-to-market plans. They simply had a gap in their team, which is common among early-state startups.
CodeStringers’ CEO Michael Manzo was introduced to Dick by a mutual contact. Following a few web meetings to discuss MindTRAK Golf’s needs, Michael met in Canada with Dick and his team for a two-day product planning and team building session. During the session, we discussed and debated how best to allow golfer’s to capture shot-by-shot data, including KPMs, while playing a round. We discussed how the statistical information resulting from that data capture could be presented to golfer’s in a compelling and understandable manner. We discussed who the early adopters of the product would be and how best to reach them in order to establish product-market fit and secure future market influencers and brand ambassadors.
Following the face-to-face planning session, CodeStringers developed a product plan for MindTRAK Golf. That plan included:
- Interactive wireframes that allowed Dick, his team, advisors, and potential investors to see what the application would become, once developed, and to help the CodeStringers team iterate and improve the experience;
- Agile requirements (user stories, epics) to define all features and functions in the application;
- Estimates to develop and test both an Apple iOS application and the backend server functionality to support the mobile application.
The team went through numerous rounds of iterations to finalize user journeys in the application, the data model for capturing shot-by-shot information, and golfer reports to illustrate their statistical golfing performance.
Following finalization of the product plan, including interactive wireframes, Dick was able to raise the Seed funding required to fund development of the application. CodeStringers then initiated an agile development program and six months later, the MindTRAK Golf’s “minimum viable product (MVP)” was released. Since then, CodeStringers has iterated the product twice to make improvements based on user feedback and helped MindTRAK Golf launch.