Street-inspired golf brand winning new audiences

Growing Golf
Earl Cooper and Olajuwon Ajanaku, founders of Eastside Golf

An upcoming clothing brand whose logo is a golfer swinging a club wearing a sweatshirt, sneakers, jeans and a gold Cuban chain is attracting new fans to golf.

Eastside Golf, set up in 2019 by professional golfers Earl Cooper and Olajuwon Ajanaku, has already secured commercial partnerships with the NBA (National Basketball Association), MLB (Major League Baseball), Nike’s Jordan brand and the developers behind e-sports games PGA Tour 2K2023 and NBA 2K2023.

It aims to use its bold designs – inspired by street and basketball culture – to make golf appealing to more diverse audiences, and counts high-profile celebrities such as actor Mark Wahlberg, NBA players Steph Curry and Chris Paul and NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes among its fans.

“Everyone talks about diversity and growing the game,” said Cooper, in conversation with Bloomberg.

“That’s what we’re doing. We’re focused on that. We are literally gravitating people to the game just through clothing.”

Eastside Golf

Cooper is a PGA Professional from Delaware and rated one of America’s best young teachers by Golf Digest, while Ajanaku grew up in East Atlanta and worked in commercial finance before following his dream to play professionally. 

The duo met while on golf scholarships at Morehouse College, a black men's liberal arts college in Atlanta, where they won a national championship. 

The original concept for Eastside Golf evolved when Ajanaku was developing a logo to put on his tour bag. 

Eastside Golf

Cooper suggested he test it on clothing and after walking the streets of Detroit, Ajanaku says he received so many comments he was inspired to invest his savings and found a start-up in one of golf’s most competitive sectors.

·         Jamie Taylor: A golfing unicorn

“Golf is for everyone,” Cooper continues.

“We want to look at the company and ask, ‘Is golf getting better? Are we having more people looking like us out on the golf course? Is the mindset [of what a golfer looks like] changing right now? Are people comfortable to go to the golf course? And when they arrive there, how are we making them feel?’”


Find out what drives interest in and conversations about golf online by downloading our insights report: Golf and Social Media: The Great Divide