Founders Olajuwon Ajanaku and Earl Cooper are shaking up the golf sector.

As previously mentioned by AFROTECH, the Morehouse College graduates behind Eastside Golf kicked off 2024 with stellar news, raising $3.4 million in a funding round led by EP Golf Ventures. The investment is based on a partnership with the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) and Elysian Park Ventures.

The funding will support the founder’s plans to expand their team in light of their New York City, NY, headquarters.

Before this, it was announced that the company generated $4 million in annual revenue after initially generating $100,000 within its first year. 

Reflecting on their growth, Ajanaku shared with AFROTECH, “I feel like the progress that we made last year, the people that we have to hire, processes that we have to put all together, but we clung to that last year, we’ve come so far. It’s honestly remarkable, and I get a chance to run a business with my best friend, and we get to influence the game that we love and spread it to the masses.”

Cooper added, “When we think about the things that we’ve been able to accomplish and the brand, it’s incredible because there is no comparison. You can’t compare anybody or any brand to what we’ve been able to do. We’re really pioneering in this space.”

Early Days

Eastside Golf was a bold move for the founders and has paid off. The apparel brand was founded in 2019 but officially launched during COVID-19. Before entrepreneurship, Ajanaku, who describes the venture as a “dream,” spent nearly a decade in finance. His time in corporate America resulted in him having to part ways with his aspirations of becoming a pro-golfer due to a lack of funding from sponsors.

“Over two years, I maybe raised between $10,000 to $12,000. That’s nothing. You need anywhere from $100,000 to $150,000 per year to play professional golf, travel, and all those type things. So I had to give up the game, and I was in finance,” Ajanaku explained.

Becoming a founder granted Ajanaku the opportunity to become his own sponsor. He says he depleted his savings and 401k and sold his remaining cryptocurrencies to create Eastside Golf’s first sweatshirts, t-shirts, and socks.

“I created those myself. The first 3,000 orders were shipped out from my apartment. You have to be willing to do whatever to make your greens happen,” Ajanaku expressed. “I used to drive two hours away from my apartment to every single post office around because I would fill up the blue canister and have so many packages.”

Cooper, who was born in Flint, MI, and raised in Wilmington, DE, intended to put his name on the map. Upon graduating from Morehouse College, the golf champion followed his passion and worked a corporate job that compensated him with a salary of $24,000.

“Sh-t wasn’t sweet. I graduated from college with a job making $24,000 a year. There were obviously friends of ours, still to this day, who graduated making six figures. That wasn’t a reality for me, but I see where I am today, and I’m very grateful,” Cooper said. “I can say it now, it all worked out… you just gotta keep going, and you don’t know, we didn’t know. We knew that we gave it everything that we had.”

Educating The Youth 

The persistence of the founders has remained eminent, even in the mindset of adversity. While navigating the business without a fashion background, the two continue to reach new heights — guided by their mission to diversify the sport of golf, even beyond its course.

The duo has donated $50,000 to Morehouse College to support its golf team. Additionally, the founders have plans to help young professionals through college, providing them with name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals. According to SB Nation, student Matthew Vital has benefitted from an NIL deal with Eastside Golf and is currently playing for the Temple University golf team.

In the future, Ajanaku suggests that Cooper and himself may launch a golf course that will create scholarships for students and build on their efforts to invest in the future of the next generation of golfers.

“We’re bringing educated young professionals to the golf course. Historically in golf, billions of dollars, since Tiger Woods, have been dumped into the junior golf, and there’s still are not an abundant amount of kids out there,” Cooper expressed.

He added, “So, what we realized is we can go a little bit different, picking them up from high school, supporting them with NIL deals, supporting them through college, and then on their way to becoming young professionals. And it’s not necessarily about playing on the PGA tour; it’s more about your early consumer journey with golf, starting with Eastside Golf. Then, it’s up to us to prove our worth along that way. As long as we do that every step of the way, there’s no reason why we can’t be the next Ralph Lauren.”


Eastside Golf is gaining prominence in fashion and sports, including collaborations and business deals. Through the company’s marketing and authentic outreach, it has attracted the attention of the Jordan Brand, which the founders describe as an “unbelievable partnership” and a “dream come true.”

The golf-inspired brand has also landed deals with the Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), boutiques, and multiple airports.

“When it comes to the airport, we’ve been able to show up and be our true authentic selves,” Cooper shared. “With the clothing, the people are just so excited to get a chance to purchase it. We don’t have any brick-and-mortar. So I think it just really speaks to a sector of our audience, and they’re excited. Our sell-through rate has been phenomenal.”

He concluded, “I think more than anything, I want people to know this isn’t charity, right? Jordan Brand helps their bottom line. We show proof of concept when it comes to the airport. They’re consistently reordering because it’s consistently selling. We certainly have shown that there’s a business.”