An online golf instructor is taking a swing at a rival in court, saying the man ripped off his lessons and technique.
Quinton Holdings LLC, run by Chuck Quinton as RotarySwing.com, filed a lawsuit in late April against Eric Kaplan’s Axys Golf LLC, alleging commercial theft and unjust enrichment.
“This is also a case about a person who decided, after years of trolling Plaintiff’s subscription full swing platform … to steal and/or attempt to steal Mr. Quinton’s ideas/techniques for personal commercial gain,” the lawsuit reads. “This person has committed these acts rather than putting in the hard work to come up with his own approach to the golf swing.”
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Denver. Quinton is a former golf pro at Castle Pines Golf Club, and his business operates out of Ridgway. Kaplan operates AxysGolf.com from Florida.
“This lawsuit is a misdirected attempt to get a legitimate competitor out of the way, after trying to publicly threaten and defame me did not work out for Mr. Quinton,” Kaplan said in an email. “The claims are meritless.”
Rotary Swing bills itself in the lawsuit as “one of the largest golf instruction sites on the internet with over 8,000 visitors per day.” The website, established in 2005, features more than 350 videos produced by Quinton.
Quinton said in the lawsuit that his techniques and golf swing theory are the result of “countless hours of research,” and “represent the byproduct of his accumulated, personal experiences as a professional golfer and avid recreational athlete, which include the personal health struggles he endured over the years in overcoming various sports-related injuries.”
He said he developed a “safe swing instruction technique” under the guidance of four medical experts. In addition to the RotarySwing website, he has published multiple golf instruction books.
According to the lawsuit, Kaplan incorporated Axys Golf in April 2015, and became a member of Rotary Swing that August.
“After having stealthily canvased Rotary Swing’s instruction platform for years under various personal and corporate accounts, Kaplan and Axys Golf went full-tilt in simply taking what they wanted, identifying Rotary Swing’s marketable ideas, concepts, and theories regarding safe golf swing, and then passing off Rotary Swing’s full swing content as their own,” the lawsuit claims.
Quinton said he learned from fans in recent months that Kaplan “appeared to have misappropriated Rotary Swing’s full swing content and teaching methodologies – verbatim, in some cases.”
According to the lawsuit, in March, Kaplan learned that Quinton was aware of the similar content. Kaplan responded by removing “a slew of particularly egregious copycat videos” that had been accessible to the public, and then re-posting them behind a paywall, the lawsuit alleges.
Quinton is seeking an unspecified amount of damages. Attorneys Oliver Griffin and Daniel Carmeli of Kutak Rock are representing his business in the litigation.
Kaplan, meanwhile, has responded by creating a website, RotaryTruth.com, where he said that “Quinton’s behavior does not belong in a gentleman’s game.”
“As anyone with any knowledge of golf instruction is aware, the fundamentals Chuck claimed Eric had ‘stolen’ have been openly discussed since 1932,” the website states.