Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in sports but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with David McCormack, Founder of Gateway Disc Sports, located in Creve Coeur, MO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Gateway disc sports manufactures disc golf products like golf discs, bags, baskets, and accessories. We support tournaments, clubs, and leagues, as well as design and install disc golf courses. We’ve recently started diversifying our brand and our developing pickleball products. Our customers live active lifestyles, and our people often volunteer their time to improve their communities through clubs and events. Most disc golfers bring a very positive attitude to the sport and the community. Our current mission is to develop a media presence where both information and humor can provide entertainment and education to the public.
Tell us about yourself
I started playing frisbee in 1973 at a grade school and quickly began designing disc golf courses. Disc golf baskets were invented in 1976, and St. Louis got its first basket course in 1980. from the start, I’ve designed disc golf courses. I was one of the first traveling pro players from 83-99. I officially started Gateway disc sports in 1994 with one of the first carrying bags for top players and then began molding discs in 1998. our Wizard putter is highly regarded as one of the best discs ever produced. We are one of the only companies focusing on post-industrial pre-consumer waste as well as biopolymers and renewable resources like hemp and corn-based materials. I was elected into the world disc golf hall of fame in 2021 mostly for my disc golf course design ( 4th most in the US) and my product development. I’ve brought lots of people into the sport through my efforts to grow the sport which gives me the gratification and fulfillment to continue to work 60+ hour weeks.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Developing new products for the sport combining post-industrial pre-consumer scrap materials with sustainable renewable resources like hemp and biopolymers. I’ve also installed 112 disc golf courses across dozen states, including the #2 course in the world, Eagles crossing in hawk lint, and Missouri.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the greatest challenges with owning a business is managing the employees. Trying to fund the right combinations of skill sets, personalities, and work ethics for a team that gels together.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure you can lead by example and are willing to put in 60-hour weeks, including the weekends.
- Understand your own limitations and employ people who share your vision and align with your moral compass.
- If you’re an entrepreneur that develops new products, hire a very qualified general manager that will allow you to stay focused on why you started your business.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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