Founder Dave Shultz on BIGGs Golf Talk Radio Show

Recently BIGG Jon Vic & Bill 'the GolfFather' Cuebas had NextLinks Founder Dave Shultz back on their radio show, BIGGs Golf Talk.

The show hosts have been proponents of the NextLinks concept since the very beginning. The interview shares about the journey NextLinks has been on since those early days and about the brand new project, Revelry, coming soon to Mesa, Arizona.

Revelry is going to provide a unique entertainment experience for golfers, foodies, all their friends, plus anyone else who likes to have a good time.  The 62,000 sq. ft project is underway and the BIGGs Golf Talk guys are almost as excited for it as we are.

Listen to the interview:

Shots in the Night has been ‘Wildly Sucessful’

The positive press continues for Shots In The Night! We love this review by Palm Springs Life Magazine!

The piece includes Indian Wells Golf Resort General Manager Steve Rosen’s summation of the successful debut season of Shots In The Night.

“It’s been wildly successful,” Rosen says, “not only as a different opportunity for something to do in the desert but also as a pretty cool opportunity to experience the game of golf in a non-threatening way. If you’re not a golfer, it can be a pretty scary thing to just step out onto a course. We’re offering a much more welcoming way into this great sport.”

You can find the complete article here:

Shots In The Night will continue to be offered until May 18th and then resume in October, so there’s still time for you to check it out! Who’s ready to play? 

Golf’s New Wave – “Gamification”​ for the Masses

There are 25 million golfers in the USA, which leaves 300 million of the US population on the sidelines. When you consider the world stage, “The Masses” are just that, MASSIVE. The emergence of Golf Entertainment, with roots back to 1997 when the Jolliffe brothers had the idea for Topgolf (The game), is now becoming a sensation thanks to explosive growth beginning in 2014. The business of golf is fast becoming a race to entertain The Masses. This article (It Took 600 Years for Golf to Return to the Masses) was published in the summer of 2015, and provided the original fuel for me to abandon everything safe in life to become a part of the solution. I was convinced that “the game” of Topgolf was not the final solution, but was a step in the right direction. Golf without putting is not golf at all! In product development, we call this “building a better mousetrap”.

Understanding the unit economics for “the game” of Topgolf was an imperative, and now several years later, is pretty easy to summarize. Topgolf spent several years between 2000-2012 experimenting with the “number of bays” to include in their brick and mortar venue as they built out 6-7 venues over that period. The first venue in the USA had 55 bays (Alexandria, VA), and iterated until in 2012 the company seemed to settle on 102 bays for their scalable standard. That is a lot of time, work, and money… Why do it? One thing that is consistent at the venues is a fixed area for the targets, and is typically about 180,000 square feet. With 102 hitting bays, the allocation per bay is about 1800 square feet before considering the area folks hit from which for simplicity lets call 200 square feet. A hitting bay rents for $30-$80+ per hour (location and time of day variables) and entertains 6-8 people. With these economics in mind, Topgolf identified 100+ locations suitable for success, and now has about 50 in operation, adding about eight per year to the portfolio. Also, there are now no less than 4-5 legitimate “copycat” concepts (Big Shots, Drive Shack, Flying Tee, FunGolf UK, etc.). This market is here to stay!

Unfortunately, the cost of real estate in the heart of cities is too pricey to justify based on driving range entertainment economics, and thus Topgolf has spent the past few years introducing Swing Suite. The game played in Swing Suite is a simulator (screen golf) version of the Topgolf game delivered by Full Swing Golf Simulators. To better attract The Masses, new games are being added that don’t involve golf at all. Simulators have been around for 15+ years, and founders of these companies were mostly focussed on golfers (the 25 million) as a way to practice and have fun, and thus this model has struggled to attract the non-golfers (the 300 million!). In terms of monetization, these bays typically rent for $40-$80 per hour and require about 500 square feet to entertain 6-8 people. If the game was exciting enough to attract The Masses, this would be a great model. Unfortunately, swinging a golf club (especially indoors) is still pretty intimidating for a large percentage of this population.

Enter NextLinks, where we have spent the past four years inventing the next generation of “Putting Gamification”. To attract The Masses, “putting” is already an obvious choice, and has already been broadly accepted in the form of Putt Putt or Miniature Golf. These formats, historically, do not compare well to driving range entertainment or simulator entertainment. They require large areas, and the players are constantly “on the move” so it would be difficult to cater to them with F&B during their experience. NextLinks has solved for all of these problems by creating a “play in place” answer using a specifically designed playing surface to delight non-golfers and golfers alike. When complimented by our patented technology a venue can entertain up to 8 players with seven insanely addictive games.

Please observe 30 of the more than 3000 available putts being rolled onto NextLinks’ Smart Green putting green simultaneously. The balls are headed to seven (7) locations where the cups will be located! This video is addictive to watch multiple times!
The longest putt is more than 50’ (the last blue ball to stop). My niece calls it “a rolling rainbow!”
During our four-year journey to bring forward a world-class playing surface we have become adept at the terrain design required to maximize the combination of FUN AND/OR COMPETITIVE PLAY on the smallest possible playing surface. With a total footprint of less than 600 square feet, you can now entertain up to eight players for 1-2 hours per visit, and they will return over and over.
Our greens roll at a true and brisk 11, and are supported by 100,000+ lines of “gamification software” ensuring our games are fun for everyone of any skill level, ages 3-100.

Our debut experience at Indian Wells Golf Resort in the Coachella Valley (Shots in the Night) has proven that people love our games and our technology. Now, with the addition of our first of kind indoor terrain (our game board!), we are able to distribute the FUN at a similar price point to a golf simulator purchase decision. It took us nearly four years of development to approve our first production standard for the market, because we wanted to be sure it would delight The Masses! At an initial price point of $60K USD, venues can now add putting entertainment on a 600 square foot playing surface, which easily entertains 8 people for 1-2 hours per visit, and our games never get old. Our most recent visitors from Las Vegas left our HQ in Santa Ana saying “We will take two please” and we believe they can easily rent for $40 per half hour to our guests. When you consider leagues, lessons, etc… we anticipate that owners will find that their systems are in use morning through night. It’s hard for us to imagine any business application not recovering their investment within year 1, and more likely within the first 6 months of operation.

If you own a luxury home, this is a system you will want to own!

Join in the fun, call us today. +1-714-951-7747 or learn more at!

Video – Shots In The Night

Check out this video overview and endorsement for Shots In The Night courtesy of Visit Greater Palm Springs! This video has generated more than 100,000 views and incredible exposure for our new nighttime golf experience at Indian Wells Golf Resort.

We especially love the description of Shots In The Night as a mix of mini-golf and cosmic bowling.

How would you describe Shots In The Night?

Shots In The Night takes place Thursday through Sunday at Indian Wells Golf Resort (IWGR) starting at 6 p.m. and runs through May 18th.

Follow the link to learn more about Shots In The Night and to book your group golf experience: Palm Springs Golf | 36-Hole Course | Resort |

Shots in the Night at Indian Wells Golf Resort

ModGolf Podcast

NextLinks is a sponsor for The ModGolf Podcast.

Tune in to the ModGolf Podcast with Colin Weston.

“We speak with the influencers, disruptors, entrepreneurs and innovators who are shaping the future of golf” Weston says. Weston encourages you rate the show on iTunes and visit the website:

The episodes range from 20 minutes to an hour. There are new episodes every week!

Check out past episodes: ModGolf Podcast Episodes

We recommend listening to Episode 15 first: 015: Dave Shultz / CEO and Founder of NextLinks – Building the Technology Engine That Powers Immersive Golf Entertainment Experiences

Have Some Friendly Competition with NextLinks Putting Games

Using the overhead spotlights and app driven technology, NextLinks takes fun well-known games and transforms them into putting versions. These putting games allow for competition between people of all ages, because the players are able to select their level of difficulty (easy/medium/hard) when signing into the game. Selecting the easy level will give easier putts and selecting hard gives harder putts. This allows serious golfers to enjoy friendly competitions with non-golfers and allows adults to compete with their young children. Here are some examples of NextLinks putting games.

9-hole challenge

This is NextLinks’s putting version of real golf. Overhead spotlights are activated and will symbolize the ‘Tee Box’ throughout the competition. The app and spotlights then combine for a seamless 9-hole round of golf, spotlights for the ‘Tee Box’ and the app tell you which hole to play. Once you finish a hole, you input your score via the app, and the spotlight will guide you to a new starting location. Who ever finishes with the fewest putts, wins!!


Golf Darts

Much like real darts, the objective of this game is to have your putt finish as close to the center as possible. Using the overhead spotlights, a dart board is displayed onto the putting green, and in this case, the center of the dart board is the cup (50 pts) followed by a series of three rings with varying point totals (10pts, 20pts, 30pts). Users can start from any location they desire with the intent of always shooting toward the dart board. Using the app to keep score. First one too 300 wins!!


Corn Hole

This game is very similar to the famous lawn game. The overhead spotlight shines down on the green in a way that illuminates a rectangular light with the hole being in the center. Players choose a desired stating location to putt from and rather than throwing 4 bags of corn at a wooden target as seen in the lawn game, each player will put 4 golf balls at the target. After all the putts are hit, players tally their score; 1 point if the ball is within the parameters of the illuminated rectangle, 3 points if the ball is in the golf hole.


Spotlight technology shines a board that looks similar to the game Shuffleboard. The game uses the same format as shuffleboard, with one minor difference… Players putt instead of push pucks. Players choose where to putt from. The same scoring format applies, but in this game there are extra points rewarded if the ball lands in the hole.

Around the World

Similar to a causal shooting game seen in basketball, players will putt rather than shoot a basketball. Otherwise, the game format is the exact same. The spotlight shines down on the putting green and navigates players through a putting course of 5 (or so) holes. Players will putt from the location that the spotlight shines down from. Players alternate turns and a player may not move on to the next putt until they have made the putt at hand in one shot from the designated spotlight location. The first person to complete all the putts on the course wins!

NextLinks continues to evolve the next generation golf entertainment experience in their new development lab in downtown Santa Ana, Calif. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, /Sullivan Photography)

NextLinks Featured on Golf Life for Fox Sports

Thanks to our friends at Golf Life and their series that runs on Fox Sports for this awesome overview of NextLinks! They did an outstanding job capturing the concept!

We especially like this endorsement from a first-timer at NextLinks:

“I think it’s amazing,” said amateur golfer Bat Sheva. “And for a non-golfer who’s never even played before, I would come again, because I was able to perfect my game from the beginning to the end.”

You can view the complete video here:

NextLinks has its initial project launch underway at Indian Wells Golf Resort, so stay tuned for more exciting news from NextLinks soon!!

NextLinks on The ModGolf Podcast: Building the Technology Engine That Powers Immersive Golf Entertainment Experiences

NextLinks Founder and CEO, Dave Shultz, spoke with Host of the ModGolf Podcast, Colin Weston, earlier this week about the development of NextLinks and re-imagining, transforming and growing the game of golf.

The ModGolf Podcast with host Colin Weston explores the future of golf through conversations with the visionaries and influencers that are shaking up the sport.

Dave is a passionate golfer and entrepreneur who has launched NextLinks and developed technology to fuel the future of golf entertainment experiences. On this episode, hear about Dave’s transformational journey from engineer to entrepreneur, lessons he’s learned along the way and the business he is poised to scale up.

Listen to the interview by clicking on the link below:


The Idea

The idea came to Dave Shultz in a flash.

He was standing on a tee box in Carmel, California with his son Ethan.

Ethan was destroying him.

Dave Shultz and his son Ethan play Black Gold Golf Club.

Ethan had gone off to college and was working part-time at a golf course fine-tuning his game. He was playing well.

Dave, on the other hand, was not playing well.

As a busy corporate worker he didn’t have time to dedicate to the game and he wasn’t enjoying his round because he was out of practice. He disliked spending his precious time at the driving range or on the practice green because it wasn’t fun and it felt like practice.

Why would he work on a game he doesn’t have time to play?

In that moment Dave thought to himself, how come no one has created legitimate accessibility to golf in a way that feels fun?

The Process

Great ideas that seemingly come in a flash usually are built on a foundation of life experiences.

“Whatever your idea is, it’s been festering around for much longer. It comes to a head at a certain point and you have to catch it when it does,” Dave said.

Reflecting on his idea, Dave realized how well it connected with everything he had done since he was a child.

He did many things poorly. There were many things that frustrated him. And there were many things that made him angry. In learning to do things better, get over frustrations and overcome tasks that made him angry, Dave grew his skillset.

Dave had to be the right person at the right time to pursue his dream.

“All of those things that made me frustrated in the past helped me to overcome those issues today that used to hold me back,” said Dave.

The Struggle is Real

Dave’s Father – The Dreamer

Dave’s Dad, Larry is an intellectual. He spent most of his life chasing ideas and trying to invent things, but never got commercial validation from his efforts.

But, he was always happy in his pursuit.

“People looked at my Dad as a dreamer and not as someone who was successful,” Dave said.

The opinions of other people regarding Larry and his family put pressure on Dave to play it safe.

In contrast to his father, Dave never wanted to do anything outside of the box. He was going to focus on building his career with General Electric. All he wanted to be was financially stable and take care of his family.

“I was always afraid of doing something like this because I knew comparisons with my father would start coming up,” Dave said.

And they did.

But because Dave was so connected with his idea, none of that bothered him.

“It was just noise,” Dave said.

Dave had a lot of interpersonal issues with his Dad before his idea came to him. After his idea, he’s learned to appreciate the way his father lived his life. Which is very different from the way most people live theirs.

“Since I started this process I’ve been more connected to my father. He lived his life the way he wanted to live,” said Dave.

Dave’s idea helped him see the world the way his father saw it.

While working at General Electric Dave played it safe, but was never completely happy. He had a great career at General Electric, but little things kept showing themselves to Dave that the life he had created for himself was not the life he was meant to live.

Middle-Aged White Guy at General Electric

While employed at General Electric Dave worked his way up the corporate ladder but eventually ran into a wall.

A middle-aged white man in a company like GE the generation before had more accessibility to leadership positions in the organization.

Programs designed to advance women and minorities into executive positions left Dave feeling resentful. He felt he was getting passed over for positions he was more qualified for as a result of these programs.

“I felt discriminated against. I was being passed over even though I had more experience,” Dave said.

The idea changed the way Dave felt. He went from feeling resentful to expressing gratitude.

“Now I’m happy for all those people that got advancements. It wasn’t my path,” he said. “The reality is I wasn’t looked over because I was being discriminated against. The reality was that none of those jobs were the job I was supposed to have. It felt differently because I wasn’t connected to an idea or a sense of personal purpose.”

The idea helped Dave’s feeling of resentment turn to gratitude and happiness. His idea and purpose steered him away from GE to pursuing his dream.

Dave’s career wasn’t the only thing that was keeping him from happiness. Envy creeped into his friendships too.

Jealousy and Resentment Among Friends

A high school friend of Dave’s, Randy, is a very successful commercial real estate agent. Randy drives a nice car and has a nice house. Every time Dave would get in a car with Randy or visit his house, feelings of jealousy would hit him.

“I had this inferiority complex,” Dave said. “I felt that people who made a lot of money felt like they were smarter than other people.”

Dave had always been commended for being smart, dedicated and a good problem solver but felt his bank account didn’t match his skill set.

Those feelings of jealousy and resentment guided Dave to do something about them.

The idea helped him overcome those feelings.

Once Dave connected with his idea, he stopped worrying about his finances. Jealousy and resentment disappeared.

“I’m waking up doing exactly what I would do whether I have money or not. There is nothing in my way keeping me from doing what I want,” Dave said.

Comparisons with his father, his corporate career and his friendships were all roadblocks Dave faced on his path to living the life he was meant to live. The idea instantly took hold of him and transformed his mindset.

All of the issues he faced from his past were no longer issues, but assets. These challenges helped to prepare him to execute his idea to revolutionize the golf industry.

The Idea to Purpose

The morning after the idea struck Dave, he awoke with a perfectly clear head on how to accomplish his vision. He shared it with his wife Christy, his son Ethan and Ethan’s girlfriend Lisa at breakfast.

None of them thought it was a bad idea.

“Early on, you’re very fragile with your idea development and some negative feedback from people can cause you to abandon something you were meant to do,” Dave said. “If Ethan said it was a bad idea, at that point it would have been enough for me not to take it. The problem is he thought it was a good idea.”

Dave memorialized it on a napkin sketch and declared he was going to pursue his idea. During the discussion Christy, Ethan and Lisa were listening intently. Ethan and Lisa thought it was a good idea. Christy wasn’t as enthusiastic because she thought Dave was happy working his corporate job.

“No one realized I was going to drop everything to do this,” Dave said.

On the 6-hour drive home from Carmel, Christy drove and Dave got to work. He spent the entire ride home mapping out his ideas on his computer.

“By the time we got home I was already in trouble,” Dave said since he didn’t talk to his wife at all during the drive home.

From the time the idea hit Dave until the time he got home his entire mindset shifted.

“I was literally a different person by the time I got home,” Dave said. “If I was going to lead this I would have to be a completely different person. You can’t do something massive without personal change and personal growth. I had to accept it and evolve along with it.”

This wasn’t the only big idea Dave ever had.

During his lifetime Dave said he had about five ideas like this that had come to him, but he never acted on them. The difference this time was his life was positioned in a way where he was willing to jump off a cliff.

Dave Shultz founder of NextLinks shares his vision.

“I knew I wanted to change something about the way I was living my life. The idea became the opportunity to do that,” Dave said.

Before the idea Dave didn’t have any confidence. He was intimidated by class, stature and people. He was afraid to talk in large groups.

“If you asked me to speak in front of people I broke out in cold sweats,” Dave said.

He remembered his first time speaking once he came up with his idea to a group of business students from San Diego State University.

“I went to San Diego to speak and it was horrible, but it was great because I was able to force myself through the uncomfortable part of it,” Dave said. “I forced myself to go through that process. I did it knowing I had to be comfortable doing that sort of stuff.”

Everything and everyone Dave resented in the past became a part of his process, his life journey to become the person he needed to be.

“It felt like it was supposed to happen,” Dave said. “When you find the right idea to pursue, it leads you to peace of mind and peace of mind is the entire goal of living your life. You want to wake up every morning and feel happy.”

Any decision that needs to be made is easy.

Does this help or hurt the development of his idea?

If it helps the idea he does it. If it doesn’t, he doesn’t.

The Dangers of Conformity

In his younger years, Dave, like many others felt like conforming was the goal. In order to be successful Dave needed to be like everyone else.

On the tee box in Carmel, Dave’s opinions changed. He looked at the million dollar houses lining the golf course and thought how could I be one of those people?

Conforming hadn’t made it possible.

To be truly successful Dave had to make his own recipe.

“I finally realized conforming is not something anyone should strive for,” Dave said. “I now have an appreciation that I’m different from everybody else.”

Dave’s idea helped him appreciate the unique contributions and differences of others in a way he was unable to do before.

Eliminating Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts exist for everyone, but Dave has trained himself not to have anxiety or fear.

“Being afraid of what other people think paralyzes you,” Dave said.

He used to be petrified of what others thought of him. He doesn’t feel that way anymore.

As Dave focused more on the idea and less on himself he began to realize that being afraid or approaching things based on the way he was perceived by others was not the way to advance his mission.

Dave recalled a discussion he had with a friend from GE, Peter Walker.

Dave was telling Peter that sometimes he would get distracted at work because he was bored. Peter told Dave whenever he felt bored, he would just go and get something done. It didn’t matter what it was, it just mattered that you did something.

“Getting something done gives you a sense of accomplishment and a sense of accomplishment makes anxiety, fear and worry go away,” Dave said. “Whenever anything makes me feel anxious I do something to get rid of it.”

The idea took away the negativity in Dave’s life.

Revolutionizing the Golf Industry

When the idea struck Dave on the tee box at Carmel, he remembered the beauty of the atmosphere and was affected by it.

RealiTee Golf’s Dave Shultz plays Black Gold Golf Club.

He thought what if he could bring this feeling to more people? What if he could be the one to bring the feeling of aspiration he felt, in the moment he had the idea to more people?

Dave’s love of golf came to him at an early age when his grandfather took him to golf for the first time. He was hooked. Dave has been a golfer ever since he played his first round of golf as a teenager.

He remembers coming across a golf simulator for the first time about 20 years ago. Golf simulators were always fun because you could play some of the most prestigious golf courses in the world, but the short game was always sorely lacking. It wasn’t the feeling of a real golf experience.

“I’ve always known they’re fun up until a point and then they become boring,” Dave said.

Dave’s idea was revolutionary.

What if he created an indoor golf experience that felt like real golf? What if he was able to capture that moment of aspiration he felt standing on the tee box in Carmel? What if he gave golfers an opportunity to practice their golf game in a way that felt fun?

Before the idea, Dave had not connected the dots to the degree where he was willing to change his life and commit to it.

After the idea, Dave was willing to change his life, but he had to be sure.

“I think all of us have those ideas, but you don’t act on them,” Dave said. “This time I was in the right mindsight where I felt compelled to do more research. In the first four or five months I was trying to talk myself out of doing it.”

“People that don’t golf get more excited about what we’re doing than people who do golf,” Dave said. “And the people that do golf get pretty excited about it.”

RealiTee Golf’s Dave Shultz plays Black Gold Golf Club.