The professional golfing body has joined forces with sport-focused firm Elysian Park Ventures to launch strategic fund EP Golf Ventures.

A golf-focused investment fund that will invest in technologies like 3D coaching and mobile golf games, has been created by US-based golfing body PGA of America and venture capital firm Elysian Park Ventures.

EP Golf Ventures has received an undisclosed amount of capital from the firms and is looking to bring in external investors.

“We will be able to identify and invest in the most promising businesses within the golf industry to support both innovation and the growth of the game,” said Seth Waugh, chief executive of PGA of America.

The first two investments announced by EP Golf Ventures are in US-based companies Sportsbox AI, the creator of an intelligent 3D coaching app, and Dryvebox, which has developed a mobile golf simulator, both co-founded by former professional golfers.

However, the fund will look at a range of areas from athlete health, coaching and training to hospitality, agriculture, performance science, retail and facility management.

The vehicle is not the first to be formed by a sporting organisation. The 32 teams in the National Football League  committed $1m each to form 32 Equity in 2013, later adding another $64m. However, its investment rate was low and its last deal came in November 2021.

Elysian Park Ventures, which represents the ownership group of baseball franchise the Los Angeles Dodgers, has a track record in sports-related investments. It has built a portfolio of more than 50 companies across areas like mobile ticketing (SeatGeek), wearable health trackers (Ōura) and sports media (Religion of Sports).

“Elysian Park Ventures has an impressive portfolio of businesses and entities operating within the sports industry, and we are thrilled to partner with them on this venture,” said Waugh.

PGA of America represents professional US golfers and promotes the game in addition to hosting some tournaments, such as the PGA Championship and Women’s PGA Championship. It operates separately to the main PGA Tour, which it spun off in 1968.

Dustin Johnson (OxeFit) and Justin Rose (Mustard) are among the golf pros to have dipped into angel investing while Rory Mcllroy runs his own VC vehicle, Symphony Ventures. Tiger Woods was famously a limited partner in Ron Conway’s Angel Investors fund, which backed Google at series A stage in 1999.