The CEO of the makers of the first commercially successful golf trolley talks about golf trade shows, classic Bill Murray films and why clubs need to ensure they are commercially minded to attract the next generation of golfers.
What’s your favourite golf course?
Definitely Sunningdale old – they have the best halfway house that I have ever been to. Although I think it is actually on the 10th! It’s a lovely and quiet golf course and to play there on a sunny evening on what is such a great in-land course is just perfect. I’m afraid that my swing can’t stand up to a links course with the wind swirling around!
What’s the best shot you’ve ever played?
I play for my local club in a local league and a match recently ended up coming down to a five foot putt on the last hole. I managed to get it in and everyone went wild, so that was quite a good one for me and it felt good to win it for the team.
What’s the biggest issue facing golf today?
Retaining and attracting golfers into the sport. The R&A seem to be on a bit of a mission and what they are doing is good for the game. I definitely think that clubs are getting better at attracting a wider range of people but it is a bit patchy and some of them are still run by members. There can be a lot of factions in golf clubs which doesn’t help, but a lot of them are realising that if they are going to survive commercially they have to be more open to younger golfers and do more to attract females into their clubs.
What one thing would you like to change about the golf industry?
A hot topic for me at the moment is the industry needing more trade shows where we can present our products and explain them to the trade. There are quite a few consumer shows, which is great, but for us who sell through the trade we need a forum to speak to those people. I was very disappointed to hear about the Golf Trade show at Harrogate ending, it was a really big shame and I hope something else is organised.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love being involved in a sport which I grew up playing. There are a lot of great people around golf and I think that, being a bit of a tech-head, it is great to see so much technology enter the game over the last few years. This has especially happened in our sector in terms of battery technology and the products themselves and it means that it is good fun. There is a lot of innovation in the golf trolley sector, it is a good area to be involved in.
And what’s the hardest part of it is?
Probably just the fact that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done that I want to and get the most out of all the exciting new technology that we do have. I tend to focus on all areas of the business; I do have a finger in most sections. We are a product business and a technology business so I tend to get very heavily into that but I’m also out a lot of the time seeing our customers and suppliers, which can mean a lot of overseas travel which can get a bit tiring at times.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
At the moment it is Italy – I love it. It is so unspoiled there and the food and the wine is amazing. I’ve been all over Italy and the Amalfi coast is especially nice.
Most played song on iPod?
At the moment it is George Ezra, with Budapest and Barcelona. I like those two especially.