E8: Jason Hiland: The Golf Episode

2000 Percent Raise

Nov 14 2022 • 49 mins

In this episode, Jason Hiland, a successful golf business entrepreneur three times over, shares insights on building his niche markets within a highly competitive industry.

John also gives a glimpse into his entrepreneurial journey, leaving a major insurance company in 2005 to go out on his own which gave him a “2000 Percent Raise” by 2010.  He has since created generational wealth for his kids and great grandkids.

Topics covered in this interview:

–Jason’s three golf businesses (the first one he started at age 22): Diamond Tour Golf, Hurricane Golf (which he calls “the TJ Maxx of golf online with all the major brands”) to his “passion project,” Sub 70.

–Background on the golf industry, including the top ranked 8 golf courses in 2022 in America:

  • Hint: #1 is Cypress Point in California; and learn why #8, Sand Hills Golf Club in Nebraska, is Jason’s favorite.
  • The best major golf manufacturing brands by category, with PING Golf rated for “best quality.”

–The inspiration for Sub 70 was an online suit company called Combatant Gentlemen (https://combatgent.com/) producing high quality suits at a fraction of the cost. You only need to get these online suits custom-tailored to have the look and feel of a Hugh Boss or more expensive suit, according to Jason.

–Jason now creates custom-made golf clubs that are like “pieces of art,” using the internet for the lower cost, direct-to-consumer model, combined with “a Nordstrom level of customer service.” He calls his products “understated elegance.”

–The three-year process of product development, and how much “packaging matters.”

–Why his marketing is subtle.

–Jason’s business never does a sale except on Cyber Monday.

–The importance of “quality first,” with the product both performing well and looking good.

–The way Jason has built a natural/organic community for his brand.

–The best part of a direct-to-consumer business is talking to the customers all the time.

–The golf clubs are played at a professional high level, with Jason sharing on which tours they have been used.

–What John looks for as a venture capitalist, and how he started his company at his kitchen table, and how he scaled the company with his own money.

–Jason’s philosophy on bootstrapping his own company, living below his means, reinvesting his profits and not diluting the equity by seeking outside funding. He shares how he scales his 25-person company, as it grows.

–Jason shares his three favorite golf-related movies.

About Jason Hiland:

Jason grew up in a small town in northern Illinois. With a love for golf and a strong work ethic, he enrolled at University of Wisconsin Osh Kosh. Upon his graduation in 1995, he immediately started his first golf equipment company, Diamond Tour Golf.

Hurricane Golf was his second foray, launching in 2008.

In 2019, Sub 70 was introduced as a passion project after decades working in the industry and becoming an expert in the golf club business. Following a direct-to-consumer model, it has allowed Jason to create golf equipment with no compromise on materials or customer service, while maintaining a promise to redefine expectations in the golf industry. It has quickly become his most successful venture. As Sub 70 CEO, Jason focuses primarily on club design/production, partner relationships, sales development and still prioritizes personally talking to customers and handling weekly club fittings.

Jason’s passion for golf began at 9-years-old when he stood on the roof of his parent’s barn for hours at a time, working out-of-round balata balls through the trees and fence posts of the property with his groove-worn Junior Pro 6 iron.

Jason will still tell you that one of the greatest days of his life was when his father brought him to the local farm store and let him pick up that set of junior clubs and bring them home. Jason can recognize the pull of the gentlemen’s game in his earliest memories, and has spent his life working to help people experience the same sense of excitement and joy that he felt when he first held those clubs.

Follow Jason:

Website: https://www.golfsub70.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jason-hiland-38456123/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/golfsub70

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/golfsub70/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sub70

Follow John:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/johncerasani

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@johncerasani

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johncerasani

More 2000 Percent Raise Episodes and Content: https://linktr.ee/2000percentraise

Produced by: https://socialchameleon.us