I came across a happy thought that I shared with Facebook friends the other day.
“I think as you grow older, your Christmas list gets smaller and the things you really want for the holidays can’t be bought.”
Once you get past those formative years, people in various age groups can agree. I notice my daughter Vanessa, at age 29, less demanding and more appreciative of what’s around her these days and that makes you happy to be a dad, whether it’s Christmas or Thanksgiving, which is upon us now.
Vanessa and her husband Jason will be around the table this weekend, which makes me a lucky guy, thankful for family, including my 91-year young mom, who continues to amaze others with her vibrancy, despite a serious cancer scare a couple of years ago.
Be it in our personal lives or our professional lives, there will always be those moments that scare us or frustrate us and nowhere is that more evident than in the golf industry over the past 15 years or so, with some going as far as predicting the end of the game as we know it.
Yet, here we are, perhaps bruised and beaten over the years, but still moving forward, even if some do criticize the way we do things on an individual basis. There’s a reason that we carry on as long as we’re able to do so.
Enough of the negative stuff for awhile. We’re here because we want to be here despite all the warts that golf has on it these days in some people’s eyes. There are reasons we carry on, despite the challenges.
As Kevin Thistle put it the other day, would you rather be working in a cubicle in the middle of the city? We’ll get back to Kevin in a minute, but that question puts a lot in perspective.
I’ve been in this business for 37 years, not all specifically devoted to golf, but the game has been a constant thread since the beginning and hopefully, the end isn’t near on my career.
Had I been working in that cubicle that Kevin referred to, I would have missed out on playing courses in Dubai, throughout Europe, Canada and the U.S., or meeting people such as Alice Cooper, Bob Uecker, Clint Eastwood, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Annika Sorenstam, Greg Norman, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickleson, Jason Day and so many others.
Those names are for bragging rights and certainly, the faces you see at golf shows, tournaments and other events in the industry are the constants in your life. One of the reasons I enjoy the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando are the familiar faces I see in the aisles and at various events.
There are so many events that stand out, such as starting GNN over seven years ago, the fun in working with Sandra Post on a magazine years ago, being on hand as Marlene Streit was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, covering the 2007 Presidents Cup at Royal Montreal, where Mike Weir defeated Tiger in singles, or witnessing Tiger’s famous shot out of the bunker to win the Canadian Open at Glen Abbey.
Those who have played with me will attest to my ineptitude on the golf course, but enjoyment of the game never suffered as a result of a lack of skill, perhaps the camaraderie of playing with good people the overriding factor.
A lot of this may seem corny, but it’s therapeutic if you take a moment after the grind of the business day, or weigh it against the trials and tribulations of the past few years in the golf industry. Is there a better time for that pause that refreshes than Thanksgiving?
I’ve asked Kevin and some other GNN bloggers to offer their thoughts on the subject and I welcome any thoughts or memories or other motivating factors that keep you going in the industry. You can put them in the Comments section below this blog.
Have a great Thanksgiving.