Every now and again, you get a reminder about why it’s good to be in the golf industry.
If you recall last week’s GNN Poll, the question was “If you had the benefit of what you know now at the beginning of your career, would you still have gotten into the golf industry?”
That question was answered in the affirmative by 66 per cent of respondents, while 34 per cent said no and I must admit that I would go with the majority in this case, as well as many of the people who left their feelings in the Conversation section on the home page.
By the way, you can still vote on that particular subject in the Polls Archive Section.
There’s no doubt that times are challenging in the golf industry these days. A while back, I had lunch with someone I’ve known since high school and we got chatting about some of our classmates who have retired early and I grumbled that it must be nice.
It was then pointed out to me in no uncertain terms that I’ve had the fortune to travel the world and meet well-known and interesting people in my line of work, not to mention play golf on some pretty renowned courses. From the outside looking in, it looks pretty good, despite the day-to-day bitching we all do in our jobs.
Recently, I’ve had examples thrown at me about what people in this industry mean to somebody who has inhabited it for so long.
My eyebrows went up last week when I heard Derek Gillespie, a Canadian Tour player from Oshawa, Ont., had been in a serious automobile accident, but was relieved to find out the kid was okay despite, as he put it on Facebook, “five busted ribs and a busted leg.”
I call him a kid. Geez, he’s actually 32, but I’ve known Gillespie since he was a teenager and always liked his sense of humour, which probably explains all the get well messages left for him on Facebook.
This won’t do his game any good, but the relief I felt when I saw his “I’ll be OK” posting and the outpouring of affection for Gillespie demonstrated the concern people in this industry have for one another.
I’m also looking forward to Wednesday evening when Gar Hamilton and Sam Young will be inducted into the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame. As anyone who has met them will attest, it’s hard not to cheer for both guys. It’s also good to see club pros earn such recognition.
Hamilton, I suppose, will be remembered by most as a magnificent player, which he certainly was, but I recall seeing him as much as head pro at the Mississaugua Golf and Country Club over the years, where he was so well-liked by the members and always willing to help me out with a story.
Young is a soft-spoken man, hardly seeking recognition, but so well-respected for the focus he put on junior players at the Shelburne Golf and Country Club.
I use the three guys above as recent examples of how people in the golf industry can take you on a wide range from concern for one’s health to happiness for a well-deserved honour on the part of two more. I can go on, but will stop there. I’m sure many readers of this blog could carry on with their own examples, as well.
The people element of golf is what draw our customers to the game and is such a great part of being in the industry, as much as we like to belly-ache about the economy, the weather or participation¸ all things that seemed to preoccupy us.
However, if we took the knowledge of who would would meet along the way back to the beginnings of our careers, the majority of us would make the same decision and be right where we are today.
We just need to be reminded of that from time to time.