Lifestyle golf brand is committed to transforming global perception of golf while continuing to expand to new audiences
NEW YORK and FRISCO, Texas – Eastside Golf, the lifestyle golf brand dedicated to driving change and creating a more culturally relevant point of view of the game, announced it has closed a seed round led by EP Golf Ventures, an investment partnership between the PGA of America and Elysian Park Ventures, the private investment arm affiliated with the Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group.
The investment from EP Golf Ventures will accelerate Eastside Golf’s growth as it launches new product lines and will support its efforts to use fashion to change the cultural conversation around golf, creating new entry points to the game for young athletes and emerging professionals.
Founded in 2019 by former Morehouse College golf teammates Olajuwon Ajanaku and PGA of America Golf Professional Earl Cooper, Eastside Golf has transformed public perceptions of golf through its apparel line, which has been embraced by golf professionals, celebrities, fashion influencers and professional athletes alike.
“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,” said Jay Adya, Managing Partner, Elysian Park Ventures and EP Golf Ventures.
“Eastside Golf has developed a culturally relevant brand that is bringing a new audience into golf and helping to usher in a new future of the game,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh. “Earl and Olajuwan have a unique combination of creativity, deep roots in golf and an ability to organically tap into the cultural conversation. The PGA of America is deeply committed to investing in the evolution of the modern golf culture and inviting and cultivating a broader participation in golf. We look forward to supporting Eastside Golf’s continued efforts to make the game more welcoming to everyone who wants to play or be involved.”
In the past two years, Eastside Golf has experienced an extraordinary 600% year-over-year growth. This year, Eastside Golf will launch new lines, including wholesale and women’s apparel, and host new golf events, doubling the amount of pop-ups in major markets, including its second-annual Eastside Golf Invitational during New York Fashion Week.
Additionally, Eastside Golf will support five Community Golf Days in Augusta, Ga., Jacksonville, Fla., Detroit, Mich., Memphis, Tenn., and Atlanta, Ga., to bring new players to their local courses to play, connect with others and experience the fun of the game at no cost.
“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,” said Earl Cooper, PGA, co-founder of Eastside Golf. “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 goal with Eastside Golf is to change how people around the world view the sport,” added Eastside Golf Co-Founder Olajuwon Ajanaku. “Our logo is not what you’d expect from a traditional apparel line rooted in golf — a Black man wearing jeans, a sweatshirt and gold rope chain, swinging a club. And that’s the goal. We want to inspire confidence but also promote authenticity by showing that everyone can enjoy the game of golf, no matter who you are.”
The company’s apparel is beloved by athletes and tastemakers including NBA stars Chris Paul and Jayson Tatum, NFL great Victor Cruz, musician DJ Khaled, and former President Barack Obama, among many others. Its success is further underscored by notable relationships with global brands including seven collaborations with Jordan Brand, and strategic partnerships and licensing deals with major entities such as the NBA, MLB, and Mercedes Benz.
Eastside Golf was profiled in Hulu’s “Grails: When Sneakers Change the Game,” a six-episode docuseries on how Ajanaku and Cooper are driving social and cultural change in golf. Eastside Golf is deeply committed to supporting and spotlighting HBCU golf and has donated a cumulative $150K to support the Morehouse College golf team.