The European Sales Manager for Premium Golf Brands chats about the stuffiness of some private members’ clubs, his love of dance music and why the La Manga Club is his ultimate holiday destination.
How did you get into golf?
It was through my father – I was a relatively good sports player and played football, hockey and cricket and when I got to around ten I pulled my father’s trolley round for him a few times and got the bug. He got me into the junior section at Hankley Common Golf Club, just south of Guildford, and the rest is history; by my 18th birthday I was down to a four handicap. We recently moved to Dorset but I am still a non-playing member at Hankley and enjoy going back there.
What’s your favourite club to use?
Thanks to the evolution of technology it is without question my three hybrid – I don’t hit two and three irons anymore. It is a club that, whether it is on the tee or the turf, gives you confidence.
What is the biggest issue facing golf?
Time pressure has to be one of them; there are so many demands on peoples time and more options than ever before, such as different experiences and technology. I would also love to see a bit more relaxation, as in some clubs there is still an element of stuffiness. I think it is getting better but golf clubs can be quite intimidating places for some people. I’m looking to join a course local to me now and there is a process; I’ve met some of the members already but I still have to walk into the club with an application for the general manager, have a formal interview and then a round with someone on the committee. I know how to work in that environment but for some people that must be a very difficult environment – it needs to become more relaxed and open. Obviously juniors is an issue and I have put my daughter in front of the Girl Golf Rocks scheme and I must say that is a very interesting initiative. When we talk about trying to get youngsters into the game and make it attractive for them it is really good, very informal and relaxed.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love driving profitable and sustainable growth, I like creating opportunities and building long-term sustainable partnerships. I have always been a people-person; I love motivating people and working with them. One of the first things I did after joining PGB was to get to know all the sales team. It doesn’t matter that it is an agent network as I want to support them as much as possible and create new opportunities for them. We are starting from a modest base but that is very similar to when I first joined Nike – PGB have some great brands so it is about developing long-term partnerships.
What’s your favourite film?
There are two that spring to mind: Chariots of Fire as I love the inspiration behind the story and Gladiator. Russell Crowe gives a great performance and it is full of action and energy.
Most played song?
Coldplay are one of my favourite bands and one of my favourite tracks is Head Full of Dreams. Also, and this is a little bit different, but I’m a great lover of dance and trance music and I really like Tiësto and Aly & Fila, DJs that create great and inspiring music.
Who would be your five dream dinner party guests?
Obviously my good lady wife would be number one and then my connection with Nike for over 15 years means that Tiger is the next choice. Richard Branson would be another one because of his leadership and entrepreneurism, Robbie Williams as he is a great entertainer and finally Helena Christensen who is very beautiful. I think that is a nice five and would be an interesting mix.
Favourite holiday destination?
That’s quite an easy one as we have been many times to the La Manga Club in Spain and when I was younger we had about ten consecutive holidays there. It is the perfect location; not far from Gatwick, it has golf and tennis, restaurants and a great beach – there is just something for all the family and it holds a lot of great childhood memories. We went there about three years ago and it was fantastic.