MBA student Ralph Reahard first had the idea of starting a website that tracked golf scores in 2003, when he was an undergraduate student at the University of Richmond.

“I played a lot of golf tournaments as a kid and I kept my stats by using pencil and paper,” he said.

Reahard, who has been passionate about playing golf since childhood, consulted with his father, a retired web developer, on the possibility of creating a site devoted to helping golfers track more than just their handicap. He was interested in tracking on-course statistics. For example, how a golfer is hitting his or her driver, or how many putts a player is taking each round. He then wanted to use concrete data to calculate why the player’s game was improving or not improving.

In 2004, he accepted a position as assistant pro at the Country Club of Virginia where he had worked part-time while still an undergraduate student.

Said Reahard, “[The Country Club of Virginia] really helped me get my foot in the door in the golf business and complete all PGA coursework involved to receive certification.”

From there, Reahard transitioned to Head Golf Professional at the Foundry Golf Club in Powhatan, Va. Reahard said that he always had entrepreneurship and the notion of working for himself in the back of his mind.

It was the desire to explore what it meant to be an entrepreneur, coupled with the desire to supplement his liberal arts background (Reahard was a leadership studies major as an undergraduate), that led him to The Richmond MBA program.

Fast-forward to 2010 when Reahard took Dr. Jeff Pollack’s, New Venture Creation MBA class, and was given the challenge of a semester-long assignment to start a business and get it running.

“[The idea for GolfScoreKeeper.com] never got off the ground [before this]; I didn’t have the time and resources to devote to it,” Reahard said.

During Pollack’s class, he compiled a business plan, established the website (Golfscorekeeper.com), and began acquiring paying customers. According to a recent article on GolfScoreKeeper.com featured on RichmondBizSense.com ,the website currently has 19 paid subscribers and 50 people who are using a three-month free trial.

A subscription cost $9.90 per year, which is a more affordable service than websites like the Virginia State Golf Association’s site, which charges around $35 annually and only calculates a golfer’s handicap.

“[GolfScoreKeeper.com] allows you to track on-course statistics, like how well you’re hitting your driver or iron. Our site allows you to evaluate [your score] and see why there was improvement or why there wasn’t. We use concrete data to track scores,” Reahard explained.

It was through connections at the PGA that Reahard got his foot in the door to acquire exact calculations for different course ratings, slope ratings, and so on. In fact, Reahard has even encouraged his students at Foundry to log into the website and track their scores.

Reahard has higher aspirations for his startup website than just fulfilling an MBA course requirement. His end goal is to attract 100,000 users to the website, but he is realistic about reaching smaller milestones.

“If, in five years, we can get to 10,000 users, that would be great. My goal is to have repeat customers who sign up each year,” he said.

So what does the future hold for Reahard?

“Down the road, I see an entrepreneurial path for me, maybe in the golf industry or in another business venture. That is still to be determined.”