Gordon G. Andrew is founder and managing partner of Princeton, New Jersey-based Highlander Consulting Inc. - the home of Marketing Craftsmanship. He is also the editor and podcast host of Golf Yeah.

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Recent episodes featuring Gordon G. Andrew
Marty Carr — Carr Golf Group Founder & CEO
“I carry the cross of the Carr name. When I show up on the golf course, I need to deflate everyone's expectations. Iv'e actually had people ask me if I'm adopted.”Marty Carr, Founder and CEO Carr Golf Group Dublin, IrelandFor someone who was raised in the shadow of a man who’s recognized as Ireland’s greatest amateur golfer of all time, and who was the youngest child in a family with 6 kids, Marty Carr seems to have done pretty well for himself over the past 30 plus years.Since 1989, Marty Carr has overseen the growth and success of Dublin-based Carr Golf, which is one of the world’s most respected operators of customized golf tours in Ireland, Scotland, England (and elsewhere). In fact, Carr Golf has received Golf Digest’s Editors’ Choice Award four years running for “Best Tour Operator” from 2016 – 2019Under Marty’s direction, and with help from his brother Roddy, Carr Golf has expanded beyond travel, into two other business lines that leverage the company’s expertise in golf: those include a golf course maintenance company; and a business that provides course management and marketing services. Carr Golf currently employs more than 80 people on a full-time basis, and a team twice that size for various projects. Carr Golf has been involved a number of renowned golf projects, including Old Head of Kinsale, Dromoland Castle, Mount Juliet, Carton House and Barbados Golf Club.I’d like to suggest that the key to Carr Golf’s growth and success can be found in the company’s 6 core values, which are displayed prominently on its website. Here are the first two:We offer service and respect to staff and customers (interesting that staff is not only included, it’s listed before customers)We understand the value of reputation, integrity and trustIt’s refreshing to see a company that stands for something more than making money.Show Highlights: What life was like growing up with a father who was a golfing legend in IrelandMarty's explanation of why, "I've got the name, but not the game." when it comes to golfing talent.[caption id="attachment_2969" align="alignright" width="300"] Marty's father, Joe (J.B.) Carr, is considered the greatest amateur Irish golfer of all time.[/caption]His initial career path as a financial advisor in the US and IrelandThe backstory behind how and why Carr Golf was startedThe competitive challenges of running a golf travel and events businessWhy Americans and the Irish "get each other"Key differences between golfing in Ireland and ScotlandWhy his Father & Son, and Father & Daughter World Invitational Golf tournaments have been so successful"Tough love" advice for someone who's thinking about starting a golf businessNotable Quotes:On his father (J.B. Carr) being raised by his mother’s sister: “It was always a bit of a stigma, and certainly had an impact on him. My father never spoke of it, or acknowledged that he was adopted, or sought to connect with his adopted family.”On his father’s golf game: “He was very big and all hands, was very powerful and could hit the ball a long way. He had the ability to power through the ball, even in the deepest of rough or toughest of lies. His putting was the most suspect part of his game, but he was a very fierce competitor, particularly in match play.”On his own golf game: “I’m pretty much self-taught. I do remember being on the practice range with a bunch of guys, and maybe Henry Cotton would be there. And he would have a new technique for hitting a car tire one-handed with your left hand. I remember all of these cutting edge techniques, and John Jacobs staying in our house...but I never really engaged in the game. But I don’t regret it. I can’t look back and I can’t complain, because I’ve had a good run.”On being the youngest member of the Carr family: “In those days all of the grief rolled downhill, so I got all of that grief. That’s why I was a bit of a rebel growing up.”On the origins of Carr’s golf travel business: “There were many personal requests from people who were coming to Ireland, calling J.B. or Roddy or John, asking where they should stay, and if they could get them on courses. So our business was like formalizing something that had been happening informally in our family for decades.”On American pushback against playing on Trump courses: “Yes, there is pushback, but not as much as some people think. But the only Trump course that’s outperforming its prior results is Doonbeg.”On increased difficulty to get on well-known Irish / Scottish courses: “Most of the tee times and inventory for 2020 is gone already, and that’s not just at St Andrews. Portrush and Royal County Down are pretty much sold out for the coming year, and you’ll find it very difficult to get a tee time at Old Head of Kinsale.”On his source of inspiration in business: “I’ve been inspired by Dermot Desmond, who is a really smart, forward-looking individual. Dermot once said to me, “The only mistakes you learn from are those where there is pain involved.” This is very true. You need to learn by your own mistakes, and if you get away scot-free, then you don’t learn the lesson.”On Carr Golf’s business strategy: “We are very data-driven. The technology that drives our businesses is a huge part of what we do, in every respect. When you gather data over several years, the power of that information becomes really important.”[caption id="attachment_2968" align="alignright" width="300"] Marty developed a friendship with Arnold Palmer through his father. Arnold noted that, "You could never tell from J.B.'s demeanor, walking off the golf course, whether he had won or lost."[/caption]Resources:  Carr Golf Group's Website    Carr Golf's Father & Son Invitational Golf Tournament     Carr Golf's Father & Daughter Invitational Golf Tournament
Tom Cox — Golf eCommerce Entrepreneur
“Spend ten times the amount of time you think you should spend on hiring the right people for your business. Not twice the amount. Not three times the amount. Ten times the amount."Tom CoxFounder and CEO - Golfballs.com, Inc.Lafayette, Louisiana We’ve had a number of golf entrepreneurs on the Golf Yeah podcast, but it’s safe to say that none are as hard-wired or successful as Tom Cox. Tom is the co-founder, president and CEO of golfballs.com, a company he started in 1995, which was one of the first eCommerce businesses for golf products. Golfballs.com has been on a rocket ship since then. In 1996, for example, the company had sales of $16,000...and they currently are around $35 million. There are three things I find interesting about Tom. First of all, he already had a solid 10+ year golf industry career before he started golfballs.com...as the manager of a prestigious golf club in Broussard, Louisiana. But Tom knew that he wanted something more...and had self-confidence to reach for it. Secondly, Tom had the innate ability...not only to see a market opportunity in used golf balls, but also had the flexibility to change the focus of his business into mass customization of new golf balls and other golf-related items. So he had the talent of most great entrepreneurs...which is the ability to connect the dots, and to adapt quickly based on what he learned. The third thing I find interesting about Tom is that he has not allowed his success to get in the way of giving back. And the way that Tom gives back is by serving as an advocate, advisor and fan of startup companies and their founders. Toward that end, he is co-founder and volunteer President of Opportunity Machine, a business accelerator. Tom is also a limited partner in Tectonic Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on technology companies with high growth potential. Here's a fun fact about Tom. On the Meyers-Briggs personality test, which classifies people as one of 16 personality types, Tom is an ENTJ, which means he is Extroverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Judging. Meyers Briggs calls this personality type “Commanders;” and describes them as natural born leaders with charisma and confidence, who project authority in a way that draws people together behind a common goal. Other ENTJ people included Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. That group also included Richard Nixon, but we steer clear of politics in our podcasts.Show Highlights: Why a passion for golf was NOT the key to Tom's successHow Tom came to connect the dots between two concepts -- used golf balls and internet marketing -- to create golfballs.comBehind the scenes insights into the world of used golf ballsWhat happened in the market that caused Tom to change his business modelThe value of owning the golfballs.com domain, and how he also acquired golfball.comWhy most people do not pay an additional fee for customizing their golf ballsWhat types of things that Tom refuses to imprint on a golf ballThe key to success in running a business with 120 employeesThe next step in Tom's plan for golfballs.comWhy Tom invests so much time helping other entrepreneurs to succeedNotable Quotes: On his original business plan: “It was simply to have a website as a marketing engine, and to employ guys who dive for golf balls do the fulfillment. It was not to run an operation with 120 employees."On changing his business model: “You can pick ONE thing and be really good at it, and the ONE thing we work to be really good at is customized golf products....which means that you have to give up on some other pieces of the industry...and one of those pieces was used golf balls.”On market timing in 1995: “We were a unique differentiated product selling online. Back then, golfers were one of the first demographic groups who were buying online. Golfers were early adopters of the internet.”On who buys personalized golf balls: “If you want to play the least expensive golf ball, then you will probably not be a customer. But if you play a lot of golf and you like customized products -- and an increasing number of people do want their products customized -- then you're likely to buy a customized golf ball."On his advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: “Entrepreneurs fall in love with ideas, and think that the idea or product will win the day. But it’s people that make a successful business.”Resources: Tom's successful mass customization eCommerce business: https://www.golfballs.comThe Lafayette, LA-based business incubator / accelerator designed to grow business and entrepreneurship, create quality jobs, economic diversity, and regional prosperity: https://www.opportunitymachine.org  
Jason Pearsall — Golf Technology Entrepreneur
“Some of my ventures have worked out and some have not, but they have all been great learning experiences. In fact, my first start-up company was created out of desperation.”     Jason Pearsall Entrepreneur & Golf Course Owner / Operator Detroit, Michigan It might be an understatement to say that Jason Pearsall is hard-wired as a golf entrepreneur. Since graduating from college in 2007, Jason has either started, or played an important role in a number of successful businesses – both cutting edge and traditional. While in college, and prior to co-founding Club Caddie Inc. — his current entrepreneurial venture —  Jason had created and sold Performance Personal Computers, a successful e-commerce company. He had also built an app called “Golfler,” a tee-sheet and on-demand food and beverage delivery system for golf courses that was acquired by Supreme Golf. Together with Solidea, a New York venture advisory firm, Jason is now working to establish Club Caddie’s reputation as the world’s best course cloud-based course management system; offering all types of clubs a contemporary SAAS subscription service with an affordable and transparent pricing model. Jason also currently serves as an owner and Managing Partner at Flushing Valley Golf and Banquet Center in Flushing, Michigan, where he is able to test Club Caddie’s software every day this 18-hole, daily fee, semi-private golf facility that features an extensive food, beverage and banquet operation. Jason is the kind of person who generates more great ideas than he has time to do them.  And I suspect that he’s only just getting started as a business builder.  If Jason’s resume doesn’t make you feel like an underachiever, here’s another fact that might push you over the edge: he also earned a law degree and is a licensed attorney. But is Jason a nice guy? A review that was posted on Glassdoor.com from a former employee of his golf app company reported that, “Jason Pearsall is an amazing leader with both muscular intelligence and creative vision. His charisma is a major determinant guiding the company’s success.” But there was also one negative comment. He wrote “Detroit is cold. Perhaps move the company Headquarters to Florida or California.” [In his interview, Jason explains that he lives in Michigan only because his wife’s family is located there.] Show Highlights:  Why Jason considers himself to be more of an opportunist than a hard-wired entrepreneur How Jason created a multi-million dollar e-commerce company while he was still in college How his misbehavior in high school resulted in a full scholarship to Wayne State Why the business model of his “Golfler” app eventually failed, and… …how that app’s failure resulted in development of a much larger opportunity The impact of consolidation in the golf course management software industry How you can build a software company without knowing anything about code Why Jason thinks the long-term outlook for the golf industry is very healthy The biggest mistakes to avoid when starting a new venture Notable Quotes:  On his career path: “My career plan was not to run an e-commerce business. I wanted to go to law school. Someone offered to purchase my company, so I sold the company and continued on to law school.” On his goal to be a lawyer: “When I was young, my grandfather told me that he always wanted to be a lawyer, but never did. He told me that I should go to law school. So I set that as a goal from avery young age, and I am still a licensed lawyer and do much of the legal work for our businesses.” On his decision to co-found Club Caddie: “It was an opportunity to leave a safe job and to try something new, and I thought, “If I don’t do it now, I am never going to do it. So I seized it.” On the turn-around strategy for Flushing Valley Golf Club: “When we bought Flushing Valley, we wanted to have a great golf course because we are all golf guys. But we recognized that we were not going to make it if we just tried to survive as a golf course.” On his bucket list: “I have no bucket list.  I rarely think about anything other than what’s right in front of me. My wife calls Club Caddie my baby, because I’m working on it every moment that I can.” On his advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: “It’s important that you take the leap, but you just don’t leave your job to do it. Most people don’t understand how difficult it is to start a business ,and more importantly, how expensive it is to start a business.” Resources:    Jason’s Club Management Software Venture: https://www.clubcaddie.com     Jason’s Golf Club Venture: Flushing Valley Golf and Banquet Center: https://www.flushingvalley.com    
Woody Lashen — Master Golf Clubfitter
“When a customer comes into Pete’s Golf, we ask ourselves, “How can we help them to play golf, and to enjoy the game better?” That’s how we’ve built our reputation over the past 40 years.”   Woody Lashen, Owner Pete’s Golf Mineola, New York In the tradition of golfing legend Old Tom Morris, Woody Lashen is a master clubfitter. And decades before the national, multi-location companies like GOLFTEC and Club Champion got into the clubfitting business, Woody and his partner Pete Makowski were providing golfers with the equipment they need to play their best. In fact, their company, Pete’s Golf — located in Mineola, New York — after more than 75,000 custom fittings, is celebrating its 40th year in business. Similar to Old Tom Morris, Woody is also an accomplished golfer, and he competes regularly in amateur tournaments. So Woody’s connection with the game, and his clubfitting skills, are rooted in his first-hand experience on the golf course, not just in the workshop. In his Golf Yeah podcast, Woody shares the details of his life’s journey; provides insights into the world of clubfitting; and offers some helpful advice for golfers who are looking to improve their scores as well as their enjoyment of the game. Show Highlights:  Woody’s road from caddying to ownership of a successful golf business How and why the clubfitting business has evolved from how clubs look, to how they perform How Woody went from being an employee to an owner at Pete’s Golf Why Woody doesn’t care that his company isn’t called “Pete’s and Woody’s Golf” What happened when Woody told PGA Tour Pro David Frost that he was making a mistake by bending his clubs How often the average golfer should consider buying new golf clubs The ONE thing that all golfers should look for when selecting a golf ball to play Why Woody did not want to tell us what clubs he carries in his own golf bag The biggest misconception that most golfers have about clubfitting Why former PGA Tour Pro Erik Compton is a source of personal inspiration for Woody Notable Quotes:  On the golf equipment industry: “It’s difficult for small manufacturers to build a better product. They might have one engineer, wile the big companies can have 50 or 100 engineers who are true rocket scientists, and multi-million dollar budgets. The USGA also has a huge book of rules that holds back innovation. That’s why so few small manufacturers survive.” On industry acceptance of clubfitting: “Right from the start, we wanted to become a member of the PGA, but the organization rejected that idea. But now, clubfitting is embraced by the PGA. So it was somewhat of a battle at first, trying to have people understand value of fitting.” On selecting what golf equipment to carry: “We speak directly to the engineers; not the marketing guys. The manufacturers give us their clubs and all the technical information. Then we do our own testing. We understand what will work what won’t. We ignore the marketing mumbo jumbo.” On maintaining his professional edge: “I play a lot of golf. To remain good at what I do, I need to be out there, on the golf course, trying different equipment under actual conditions.” On buying clubs with the latest technology: “The big golf manufacturers need to produce a new driver constantly. For exaple, Callaway every year; Titleist every two years; Ping every 18 months. But the latest technology may not be better for your game. For example, a 2018 Callaway Epic may be better for you than a 2019 Epic Flash driver.” On buying clubs at a “big box” store: “When people tell us that they were fitted for clubs at a big box sporting goods store, we tell them, “You didn’t get fitted. You got sold.” Resources:  Pete’s Golf”s main shop on Long Island: https://www.petesgolf.com/ Pete’s Golf’s Manhattan fitting studio: https://www.golfbodynyc.com/    
Tony Brooks — PGA Master Professional and Golf Contrarian
“The power of the game is that it joins people together. It doesn’t matter how rich, how old, how strong, or your nationality. I teach the kids in my academy that golf can do wonders, if you just let it take you there.”   Tony Brooks, PGA Legacy Master Professional Owner Lion Junior Golf Academy Diamond Bar, California If I had only one word to describe Tony Brooks…it would be “contrarian.” And that’s because my definition of the word contrarian is someone who looks at the world through an unfiltered lens. Contrarians usually have opinions that cut through politics and personal agendas, and that come from the heart. Contrarians are not always interested in achieving a consensus, and are never afraid to rock the boat.  They’re more interested in getting to the heart of any matter, uncovering the truth, and finding solutions that work. Tony Brooks — a man with more than 30,000 LinkedIn followers — is entitled to be a contrarian for two reasons: First….Tony is recognized as a master of his craft. When it comes to golf, he speaks from authority. Secondly…He cares deeply about the game, and about how he uses his craft to benefit people’s lives. And we’re not talking about lowering handicaps.  One example of that?  The legal name of Tony’s company…GOLF, Inc…stands for Game Of Life First, Inc. Here’s a biographical snapshot: Tony grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa as a 3rd generation golfer. He’s played the game since he was 5 years old; and remembers how he was treated as a marginalized junior golfer. Based on that experience, Tony has dedicated his career to ensuring the growth of the game through junior golf. And toward that end, ​​for the past 13 years Tony has been the owner of the Lion Junior Golf Academy in Diamond Bar California, which is located east of Los Angeles. Prior to that, Tony worked as a golf professional at a number of California golf facilities, including the famed Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Mission Viejo Country Club, and Black Gold Golf Club in Yorba Linda. He has also served as a Director of Instruction for the PGA Tour. Notably, Tony is one of around 375 PGA Master Professionals in the country, which represents around 1% of the current PGA membership. The PGA of America created its Master Professional program in 1969 for PGA members who wanted to pursue the highest level of golf education possible. Tony’s specialty for his Masters program was teaching and instruction. Tony has a long list of other professional certifications and recognitions. Last year, for example, he was a recipient of the Golf Range Association of America’s “Top 50 in the U.S. Growth of the Game” Awards. He also is a GolfTIPS National Magazine Junior Academy contributor. Show Highlights:  Tony’s journey from South Africa to the Lion Junior Golf Academy in California The basis for Tony’s love / hate relationship with the PGA How golf professionals are unwittingly devaluing their knowledge and lowering the demand for their services The story behind Tony’s application to become a member of the LPGA The meaning of “dot days,” and the impact they can have on a person’s life Tony’s outlook for the future growth of golf in America: who will win and who will lose Why Tony donates 20% of his firm’s net profits to a South African charity How a conversation with Dr. Tim Somerville of the Professional Golfers Career College changed Tony’s life forever Tony’s personal connection with Lee Trevino when he was 18 years-old The two times that Tony tried to become a PGA Tour professional, and why he failed Notable Quotes:  On the future of the golf industry: “The golf business needs to wake up.  Those that do wake up will stay in business and make a good living for themselves. Importantly, millennials are the future of the game, and the golf industry needs to figure out how they think, and what they want.” On the leadership of the PGA: “Most PGA members don’t make a lot of money. They do what they do based on their love for the game. To keep them, things need to change at the PGA. For example, they could have easily beaten TopGolf to that market, but they didn’t have the foresight to see that opportunity. They’re stuck in their traditional ways.” On online golf instruction: “There is a place for online instruction, but online tips do not address the need for personalization…I stopped writing articles for magazines because I felt that I was doing a disservice to people by offering them tips that probably wouldn’t work for them, because the game is so personal. People need to work with an instructor to figure out what works for them.” On working with kids: “Adults are often needy and theoretical, and mull over every direction they’re given. I’m not a shrink; I just want to help people play better golf. Kids are easier to teach and more fun to work with, which makes time go much faster. We only work with families that want to make a commitment to golf, and to stick with it for a while. So junior golf is not only more fun for me, it also provides greater job security.” On the educational system: “I failed in school because I was a daydreamer. I was able to do the work, but wasn’t interesting or fun for me. Teachers need to find out what makes students tick.  Genuine wisdom that you need to survive in life is very different from regurgitating facts.” On finding a career in golf: “My biggest advice is to stay away from big corporations.. They will bleed you, and when you have nothing left to give, they’ll replace you with someone they can hire cheaper. Do it yourself. Don’t be afraid to make that commitment. There are plenty of opportunities.” Resources:  Lion Junior Golf Academy (LJGA) website: https://www.liongolfacademy.com/ LJGA Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lionjuniorgolf/ Tony’s LinkedIn Profile:linkedin.com/in/anthony-b-78446b114 Tony’s wife Etsy Shop: H2O Kreations   20% of LJGA’s net profits, plus a 50/50 adoption program with EPEC Junior Clubs, are donated to “Heal the Hood” in South Africa — a charity for underprivileged children.
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Stats
Episode Count
19
Podcast Count
1
Total Airtime
12 hours, 55 minutes