PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Herb Paterson was in his element, feeling the same way about the crowd gathered to honour him as the new lifetime member of the Canadian PGA as they felt about the Canadian sales legend.
Paterson started in the golf industry in 1957, when he was hired by his father-in-law, Jim Morrison, who ran Jim Morrison Limited, which distributed Titleist, Bag Boy and Etonic products.
At the time, Paterson’s territory was all of Canada and he traveled by car to visit every account and stored product in his basement.
In 1960, Paterson purchased the company and, over the next 33 years, took it from approximately $260,000 in annual sales to over $35-million. In the late 1970s, he became the first Titleist distributor for New Zealand, Guam, Hawaii, Samoa, Alaska and Australia at Acushnet’s request.
In 1980, Paterson brought his son, David, into the business and not only did they operate the distributorship, but would take ownership of golf courses.
Jim Morrison Limited was acquired by Acushnet in 1993. Paterson stayed on as a consultant until 1996 and remains active in the golf industry, representing Titleist at golf shows, sales meetings and events.
After accepting the lifetime membership just prior to the Titleist and FootJoy Canadian PGA Club Professional Championship, Paterson said that even tough economic times cannot diminish the important role that golf professionals play.
“I think the role of the golf professional is increasing in importance because he has become the ambassador of the game,” said Paterson.
“A good golf professional can spread the word and get more people to play golf. I think that’s very important. Although the economy is down, we have found in the past that sometimes, when unemployment goes up, the number of rounds played goes up,” he added.
The Canadian PGA also celebrated the accomplishments of award winners Patty Howard (Club Professional of the Year), Derek Ingram (Teacher of the Year). Eric Thorsteinson (Merchandiser of the Year) and Ted Stonehouse (Jack McLaughlin Junior Leader of the Year).