There’s a difference between a sponsor/host organization treating players well and going the extra mile beyond that at a tournament such as the recent Nike Golf PGA Team Championship of Canada in Bermuda.
I’ll say up front that I’ve been involved with Nike since it first came to Canada and when they invited Gord Courage, our director of golf at the Hamptons Golf Club in Calgary, and I, my first reaction was well, I’m not the calibre of a lot of the other golfers playing, but I’ll go.
I knew it would be good, but it blew me away and not only for the hospitality, but I’ll get to the reason in a minute.
When we got to the Fairmont Southampton, we had dinner down by the ocean. There were about 150 of us and there was Gosling’s Rum and a buffet on the beach where they were cooking steaks and lobster.
The next day, Nike hosted dinner at the historic Waterlot Inn restaurant, followed the next night by a baseball-themed reception, where we watched the first game of the World Series and they had chicken wings, sliders, hot dogs, you name it.
On the final night, the PGA of Canada and Nike held a reception, so every day, they had breakfast, lunch and dinner for us and the Mid Ocean Club was outstanding and in such great shape, but the purpose of this is to point out the extra lengths that were taken to accommodate the golfers.
When Gord and I arrived, our clubs didn’t make it, but I figured I would play with rentals. As more and more of the golfers began arriving, their clubs were missing, as well. Nike, the PGA of Canada, Fairmont, Tourism Bermuda and the airlines were doing everything they could with so many clubs missing and a private plane was used to deliver the clubs.
Not one person started the tournament without their clubs.
So while the hospitality was wonderful, that willingness to make that extra effort is what set this inaugural event off on the right foot.