BOSTON, Mass – Barstool Sports began in 2003 as an eccentric free newspaper for sports fans and gamblers in Greater Boston, and has grown into a phenomenally profitable multi-million-dollar media enterprise comprised of male, die-hard sports audience is branching out into the golf space.
Barstool Sports has put together eight amateur golf tournaments in six states with the first event starting in Milton (Mass) at Wollaston Golf Club on June 3. Granite Links Golf Club will host another event on August 19.
The “Barstool Classic” schedule shows eight qualifying events in major markets, including Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York, leading up to one championship event. The tournament features teams of two playing at 50% handicap in four-ball format. The final winning team is supposed to receive $10,000 grand prize and a trophy.
Among the confirmed dates and qualifying sites:
• June 3, Wollaston Golf Club, Milton, Mass
• July 15, Foxwoods Lake of Isles, North Stonington, Conn.
• Aug. 2, Whiskey Creek, Ijamsville, Md.
• Aug. 16, Harborside International – Starboard Course, Chicago
• Aug. 19, Granite Links, Quincy, Mass.
• Aug. 26, Pound Ridge, Pound Ridge, N.Y.
There are two additional events to be scheduled in the New York and Philadelphia areas, in addition to the championship.
Team registrations for all events are $600 (or $300 per person). This includes 18 holes of golf, Happy Hour with barstool (food and alcohol included), a Premium Gift bag, cash prizes to first and second place teams and qualifying for the Championship event for top-six teams.
Barstool Sports founder and president David Portnoy claims that the golf tour has nothing to do with golf being cool again and the “Tiger Effect” from the Masters, because it has taken months to prepare the launch.
The PGA Championship is scheduled for Bethpage Black on Long Island May 16-19. We can expect a loud and rowdy gallery cheering on Tiger Woods, and that New York gathering will undoubtedly include many “Stoolies.”
The Barstool Sports website features a merchandising program best known for its “Roger Goodell clown tee shirts” and “Saturdays are for boys” trademarked items.
Portnoy is known as “El-Presidente” and thrives on controversy to his tens-and-thousands of followers, mostly male millennials. He regularly offers off-color, biting, funny commentary with his podcasts. His controversial style evolved into an unprecedented social media footprint highlighted by his “rants” and “one-bite pizza” reviews.
In 2011, Portnoy gained notoriety by being banned by WEEI sports radio and other media outlets for publishing a nude photo of Tom Brady’s two-year old son, Benjamin. At the time many groups were outraged by the photo and accused Portnoy of peddling pornography. He called the response to his post an “insane reaction.”
“Barstool is getting deeper into golf because our golf guys love golf,” Portnoy told Golfweek magazine. “Golf’s hot right now, especially among our fans. They can’t get enough of it — merch, podcasts, videos. People who love golf are obsessed with everything golf. Golf’s also unique in that people who love golf tend to play golf, and to take their games pretty seriously.”
David Portnoy is a former Milton resident whose family made millions in the real estate investment trust business over the last 40 years. In January 2016 Portnoy struck a deal with the Chernin Group, a digital media technology company, allowing them a majority stake or 51% interest in Barstool Sports for an estimated $5 million, with Portnoy retaining 100% editorial independence.
According to U.S.G.A. handicap index look-up records, Portnoy is associated with The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers in New York, maintaining a handicap index of 16.8. The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers, overlooking the Hudson River, it not a golf club. The web site states it’s Manhattan’s only four-tiered, year-round outdoor driving range.
“Your average golfer looks to have fun on the course but also to compete. They love to have a little something on the line. They want those 5-footers to matter. They’re hungry for the member/guest vibe — healthy competition in a fun setting — and the Barstool Classic will provide that environment, on a large scale, to amateur golfers across the country.”
Spread the news, the one-time Boston-based Barstool Sports, which splatters the Internet with satirical and crude commentary on sporting news and men’s lifestyles, is getting into golf.