Where to Start:
Seattle Golf Fitness – From Humble Beginnings to a Golf Fitness Leader

Daniel Marinello is the Founder of Seattle Golf Fitness and The Mercer Island Golf Club in Mercer Island, Washington, and Vancouver Golf Performance in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

In 2017, my love for golf fitness was ignited at a Titleist Performance Institute Level 1 seminar. A junior at Penn State University at the time, I had been working as a personal trainer since high school. But this seminar opened my eyes to a whole new world of functional movement assessment and programming within my favorite sport.

In 2018, armed with ambition and a dream, I embarked on a journey to pursue my passion for golf and fitness. However, starting Seattle Golf Fitness proved to be a challenging endeavor. With no clients, no staff, no money and no facility, the road ahead was uncertain. But my determination to make a difference in the lives of golfers remained unwavering.

Having no fixed location for training made the first four months a definite struggle. I traveled to clients’ office gyms, apartment gyms and homes, resulting in just three consistent clients and mounting debt. Realizing the need for change, I set out to find my own training facility.

As a 23-year-old with debts, signing a lease on my own facility was impossible. I found a solution by subleasing a tiny 10-foot by 10-foot space at a local gym. The space had its limitations, with no cable machine and limited dumbbells, but it was here that the spark of Seattle Golf Fitness ignited into a blazing success.

The growth of Seattle Golf Fitness can be attributed to two key factors – effective marketing and excellent client relationship-building. Despite an extremely limited marketing budget of around $100 per month, I found a winning strategy through targeted Facebook and Instagram ads. Using Meta ads allowed me to reach golfers directly, highlighting the transformative impact that golf fitness could have on their games. This approach yielded exceptional results, laying the foundation for my client list from scratch.

In those early days, I lacked the advanced technology of a TrackMan golf simulator or Keiser machine for testing. Instead, my evaluations relied on a Titleist Performance Institute screen, Superspeed swing speed testing on the sidewalk and basic strength assessments. Little did I know that this simple approach would shape the core focus and values of Seattle Golf Fitness.

However, beyond technology and evaluations, the cornerstone of our success was building trust with each client. Fostering genuine connections proved to be the key to unlocking their true potential and retaining their business.

Through this combination of effective marketing, relationship-building and word-of-mouth referrals, my client list rapidly grew from zero to fully booked within six months. As demand soared, the modest 10-foot by 10-foot space could no longer accommodate our demand, prompting the search for a dedicated facility.

Today, we proudly celebrate our five-year anniversary, a significant milestone marking the beginning of an extraordinary journey. From a single 10-foot by 10-foot space, we’ve expanded to three facilities with a dedicated team of 14 staff members.

Stay tuned in the near future for Part 2 of our journey, where we’ll unveil the exciting developments that led to the opening of our first facility and the hiring of our first staff.

As we reflect on the past five years, we remain deeply grateful for the incredible support and trust bestowed upon us by our clients and partners. Our journey has only just begun, and we are eager to continue making a lasting impact in the lives of golfers far and wide.