Demo: Teespy launches Facebook and mobile app for golfers

Teespy is unveiling a Facebook and mobile app today dedicated to letting golfers brag about their accomplishments.

Started by golfing buddies who felt like golf was the original social network, Teespy also lets golfers sign up for tee times at discounted rates at a number of golf courses.

The San Francisco-based startup, debuting at this week’s DEMO Fall 2011 conference, lets golfers brag far and wide. You can earn badges for getting a “birdie” or an “eagle” on a hole. Teespy also uses the scores to generate individual statistics to track personal progress. It’s the “gamification of golf scoring,” said Patrick Mark, co-founder of Teespy, in an interview.

“Golfers always try to be the top dog in their group of friends,” Mark said.

Users can go to Teespy.com, use an HTML5 mobile app, or log in on Facebook to record their scores and share them with friends. Courses can also make more money by pushing available tee times to Teespy members, sometimes at good discounts. Teespy gets a share of the revenue whenever someone books a reservation through its service.

The mobile app and web site take advantage of Facebook Connect for quick logins. You can use the app to compare stats with friends and find information on favorite courses. It’s a lot like how a gamer can check his or her stats in a Tiger Woods PGA golf game on a game console. The badges have a fair amount of variety, giving even duffers a chance to win something like getting under 100 for the first time.

“It sees like golf is made for an iPhone app,” said Scott Weiss of Andreesson Horowitz during the Demo Sage review of Teespy following the presentation. He adds that it might take a long time for the app to penetrate the market.

“They might be shooting a little early for the window,” said Weiss. ” There’s no question, the pencils are going to be around for a while.”

But, he said, “There’s a pony in there somewhere.”

The company was started last year by University of Colorado classmates Mark, Andrew Armenante, and Ken Amarit. Mark had recognized that golf courses were lacking in technology when it comes to marketing to the average golfer. Mark and Armenante brainstormed and came up with the idea of mixing golf and social gaming. Amarit supplied the programming expertise.

Teespy will start out with five participating courses in the Bay Area and plans to add more courses over time. The company has four employees and its rivals include EZ Links, Golf Now, Fore Reservations, Gamebook, and Oobgolf. Teespy hopes to set itself apart with a better user interface and a multi-platform approach. Teespy has raised $250,000 from friends and family and is seeking another round of funding.

Teespy is one of 80 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2011 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.