Two Morehouse College graduates, Olajuwon Ajanaku and Earl Cooper, are making waves in the golf apparel industry with their company, Eastside Golf. Founded in 2019, Eastside Golf aims to bring more visibility to golf among young people and those who may not traditionally engage in the sport.
In its first year, Eastside Golf generated $100,000 in revenue and had ambitious projections of reaching $4 million by the end of 2023. Now, the company is off to a promising start in the new year, securing a substantial $3.4 million investment in a funding round led by EP Golf Ventures, a partnership between the PGA of America and Elysian Park Ventures.
The co-founders of Eastside Golf have a unique vision for their brand, challenging the traditional image associated with golf apparel. Their logo features a Black man in jeans, a sweatshirt, and a gold rope chain, swinging a golf club—a departure from the typical golf attire. Ajanaku and Cooper’s goal is to inspire confidence and authenticity, sending a message that anyone, regardless of their background, can enjoy the game of golf.
Earl Cooper, one of the co-founders, expressed the company’s mission: “Our goal in creating Eastside Golf is to show people that you can be yourself and you don’t need to look a certain way to play the game. The future of the game exists outside of the golf industry. We’ve been able to tap into the culture to change the perception of the sport and grow the game for future generations. As a PGA of America Golf Professional, I’m especially honored to have the support of EP Golf Ventures as we enter into our next chapter.”
The investment from EP Golf Ventures will support Eastside Golf in its efforts to introduce new product lines and remove barriers for young athletes interested in golf. The co-founders’ innovative approach to golf apparel and their ability to connect with diverse audiences have positioned Eastside Golf for significant growth.
Jay Adya, Managing Partner at Elysian Park Ventures and EP Golf Ventures, praised the co-founders, stating, “Earl and Olajuwon have done what no one has been able to do before – create a brand rooted in golf that resonates outside of the sport to bring in new audiences to the game. Not only are they masters at capturing the cultural zeitgeist, but they have also developed an innovative business, which we believe has the capacity for immense growth.”
Eastside Golf’s success story is not only a testament to the co-founders’ entrepreneurial spirit but also a step towards breaking down barriers and promoting inclusivity within the sport of golf.