A LOTHIANS man has been named Scottish Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year for developing a golf technology product that is being used around the world.
David Hunter, the chief executive of Shot Scope, received the accolade at the recent BQ Live Awards in Newcastle on the back of his Edinburgh-based company going from strength to strength.
The event brings together established entrepreneurs from across the UK and recognises those who in their view are next generation entrepreneurs.
“I am honoured to receive this award,” said Hunter, who studied engineering at Heriot-Watt University and lives in West Lothian.
“It’s fantastic recognition for three years of hard work, and is as much acknowledgment for the Shot Scope team, as without them I would not be standing here today.
“Working together, the team has helped me reach my goal of bringing Shot Scope and automated performance tracking to the golf market.”
Hunter designed electronics for an engineering company in Livingston for six years before coming up with a product that was launched last January and is earning high praise within the industry.
It’s the first and only performance-tracking system that collects data automatically, without disrupting play due to the need to tag or sync with a phone.
“It is really quite simple,” said Hunter, who had just two other people working for him when he started out, but now has 18 staff members.
“You wear it as a wristband, you screw the small tag into the golf grip and you just go and play. The fun starts when you finish the round, review your statistics, see overhead maps detailing every hole or relive every shot from that amazing round played last year.”
Explaining how he came up with the idea, Hunter added: “When I started to play golf myself, I was instantly addicted to the sport. I’d play every weekend and also rush home from work to play in midweek medals.
“As an engineer, I was always looking at ways to improve through spreadsheets, bits of paper, the lot. I was looking for any insight about my game, I would record what I did on the practice range and the ratio of putts holed during practice putting drills. I was trying my best to apply my engineering knowledge to improve my golf game.”
The product was first used on the European Tour by Jamie McLeary at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last October. Identifying more than 100 performance statistics, it delivers “easy to consume” graphics and tools for golfers of all levels to evaluate their game.
“2016 was a fantastic year for the business,” said Hunter, an enterprise fellow at the Royal Society of Edinburgh. “The product was sold into 27 countries around the world and the system made its debut on the European Tour.
“This year, we’ve just returned from a great trip to Orlando exhibiting at the PGA Merchandise Show, and now we’re rolling out to over 100 pro shops around the UK over the next month.”
Hunter’s award comes hot on the heels of the company securing a new partnership with Fife Golf and also sponsoring the 2017 Scottish Golf Awards Order of Merit title.
“By partnering with Fife Golf, we can work closely with some of the most prestigious courses in the country, and we’re excited to see the product flourish in the area,” said Hunter.
“We’re also immensely proud to be sponsoring the 2017 Scottish Golf Awards Player of the Year accolade. The awards are at the heart of celebrating Scottish success in golf and acknowledging the contributions made to the game by the best players in the country.”