A lifelong golfer, Seth Damsgard saw an opportunity to turn his hobby into his business: Golf by Numbers.

You know the laser rangefinders that golfers and caddies use to track their distance from the pin and hazards on the course? Well, they typically run for a few hundred dollars. Realizing that the majority of golfers can’t afford or don’t want to spend that kind of money to map out their round, earlier this year Seth started creating pro tour-style guidebooks to help golfers navigate courses in the Twin Cities.

A few dozen guidebooks distributed at pro shops, a starter contract with a 15-year veteran PGA caddie and a $900 Kickstarter campaign later, it was time to get serious. Seth walked into our branch the other day to open an official business banking account for the company.

The catch? He’s 9 years old.

This meant he opened the business account in Dad’s name but – don’t let that confuse you – Seth runs the show. He’s turned Golf by Numbers into a family affair: tapping Dad as owner; Mom as head of accounting; and his 10- and 6-year-old sisters as directors of operations and art.

We sat down and Seth told me about his idea, his Kickstarter campaign and his vision for Golf by Numbers’ future (“to be at every course in town”). I was in awe, as I could talk to him just as I would other small business owners stopping by the branch. 

I’ve been at this U.S. Bank for more than five years. Every time we’re able to help someone get their business started, I’m excited as they walk out the door. Talking to Seth, that excitement is on a new level. He’s a fourth grader with a fresh idea, a vision and a business plan that rivals experienced entrepreneurs.

Although, there was one difference in talking to who’s now my youngest customer... I showed my relative age in joking he was like “a young Tiger Woods.”

“No,” he grinned. “It’s Jordan Spieth now.”

Katy Wittrock is an assistant branch manager for U.S. Bank’s in-store branch at Byerly’s grocery store in Maple Grove, Minn. Seth and Golf by Numbers have also been featured on local TV stations KMSP-TV and KARE-TV.

Posted: July 15, 2016