Clippd hopes to help college golf regain confidence, momentum

Clippd hopes to help college golf regain confidence, momentum
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Goodbye, Spikemark.

Hello, Clippd.

The NCAA wasted little time moving on from its embattled golf scoring and rankings partner, Spikemark, announcing last Monday that the contract was in an agreed upon “handover” process with Clippd on the receiving end.

So, how did this happen? According to Clippd CEO Piers Parnell, with a Sept. 1 phone call.

On the other line that day was Derek Freeman, the former UCLA coach and NCAA committee member who had quietly founded Spikemark a few years ago before surfacing this past summer as the surprise recipient of a five-year contract that would see Spikemark replace longstanding partner Golfstat. Spikemark’s launch on Aug. 31 had failed miserably, and Freeman needed help.

Unlike Spikemark, Clippd had already built a solid reputation within the college golf community. Parnell and Ed Crossman co-founded Clippd about seven years ago before ramping up operations during the pandemic. Clippd’s team built a massive data platform with a simple goal of helping golfers get better faster through analyzing performance data and making it more digestible. During its 18-month beta period, Clippd enlisted a couple college teams as guinea pigs: Wake Forest women and Georgia Tech men; the former won the 2023 NCAA women’s title while the latter finished as 2023 national runner-up on the men’s side. These programs used Clippd’s product for free, and now, about a year later, over 150 college programs are paying for the service.

“Clippd is the best golf data app I’ve ever seen,” said UCF women’s coach Emily Marron, another Clippd customer. “It’s so visual and gives you so much detail.”

Added Parnell: “We went from a small business with big ideas to a big business with big ideas.”

It’s about to get even bigger.

When Clippd’s team dove in to initially assess Spikemark’s website and app, Parnell says the challenges were “numerous.” There was serious dysfunction with the scoring features and a concerning lack of data protection, among other problems. For lack of a better description, it was mess, and if Clippd was going to clean it up, it would have to do so pro bono.

Meanwhile, Parnell and his team could see the frustration building among their customers, from coaches to players to school administrators.

“If we could help college golf, it would help us,” Parnell said.

So, Clippd, staying in the background, spent the next few weeks rebuilding Spikemark’s website and facilitating the entry of hundreds of tournament results. They soon started joining in on Spikemark’s frequent meetings with the NCAA, GCAA and WGCA.

Finally, last Saturday and a day before Spikemark’s first rankings were supposed to drop (they didn’t), Parnell’s phone rang again. This time it was the NCAA.

By Monday evening, Clippd was replacing Spikemark.

“We are confident that Clippd will lead us through technology challenges faced during the 2023 fall season, and serve as a valuable partner into the future, as well,” said Joni Comstock, NCAA senior vice president of championships. “The goal of this partnership is to fully deliver the quality services that our student-athletes and the college golf community deserves.”

Adds Parnell: “We want college golf to be on the best footing, and we want it to regain confidence and momentum. Right now, it’s about what needs to be delivered and how we can best go about doing that.”

Clippd’s priority is logging clean results from 100% of the tournaments this fall, from all three divisions, both men and women. Once the fall concludes in early November, Clippd will send the data to Mark Broadie to run his new ranking. Meanwhile, Clippd is still working on a scoring input feature so tournament organizers can easily put results into Clippd’s website. At some point after that, Clippd will get the tournament admin and live scoring components running, though there isn’t a definitive timetable for that, just “as soon as possible.” (Golfstat is currently doing the majority of live scoring with other companies such as Golf Genius, BlueGolf and BirdieFire doing a few events.)

As for Spikemark, it’s still unknown if Freeman was compensated financially for Clippd taking over or what the particulars are regarding what happened or happens with its contract with the NCAA. For now, Clippd will continue to operate Spikemark’s website with the current URL (, branding and support emails. Then, likely after this season, Clippd will start to transform the look and details of the website.

“There is some cool stuff we can do,” Parnell said.

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