A blog to acknowledge those who should have been acknowledged and thanked more appropriately before, and to possibly help you in your lives and career by provoking thought, reflection and reading material that might well alter your career and life. If it prompts you to contemplate and acknowledge those in your life, even better.

Golf & The People Who Made a Huge Difference in the Beginning

I still remember as if it were yesterday hitting golf balls at Polk next to Earl Boles wondering what I was going to do after graduation. Earl Boles (thank you #1) calmly suggested I go visit with an Ed Justa at Cypress Creek Golf Club (no longer in existence)  to see if he might need some help with in the golf shop.  In retrospect, it is highly likely that the deal was already "baked" absent me fouling up the interview because unlike in today's world, I was hired on the spot without a series of interviews or an exhaustive background check.  All that Ed needed was 1) Earl had referred me, and 2) I was a farm kid who had played golf which in Ed's mind implied a solid work ethic and the willingness to dig it out of the dirt.

I learned so much from Ed (thank you #2)....I learned about the intersection of business, golf and sports and how they all came together.  I also learned about the differences between the Jewish and Christian religions as Ed was open with his faith.  This came at a time when I was clearly curious as the entire difference of faith experience was far away from the rural area where I grew up.  To illustrate what a profound learning experience and worthy experience I had with Ed and his family, his oldest two daughter's were/are named Allyson and Nicole, and when my daughter was born she was given the name of Allyson Nicole.  You see, Ed believed in me when I didn't or logic would have suggested that he might have withheld that belief, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

It is not to say we did not have our profound differences.  I think I either quit or he fired me in some combination well over a dozen times, but cooler heads always prevailed as I never made it out of the of the building!!!!  Ed pushed me to learn from others like Bob Ross, John Budd, Loma Frakes and Gary Wiren by volunteering me for committees and pushing me into job interviews as a head golf professional long before I was really ready.  This was his (Ed's) way of preparing me for building the resume and the business acumen necessary to succeed in his view. Ed, along with Wayne McKinney, Joe Fitzpatrick, and Palmer Maples Sr. played a major role in my first job in the golf business.  A post to this blog later in the series will address all of them collectively together as a group (as well as some of the other club members).

Regretfully, Ed passed a way a few years ago, but thankfully I was able to return "the hiring favor" Earl Boles had afforded years earlier me by getting Ed a successful interview at Alexander & Alexander.  This came at a time when Ed had made the determination to leave the golf business as I had several years prior.  Today's assignment to me is clear (while maybe not to you).  Believe in people before they believe in themselves especially if the signs are there.  Look for the signs, search out the people, and most of all reach out and push them to grow and be better than they believe they are as Ed did me.  You owe it to those who proceeded you. Ed, I hope you are enjoying the fairways of heaven, and that all rounds are without stress. To Allyson & Nicole, (Nicole I have actually spoken to as she is an excellent talent finder and recruiter in her own right capitalizing on many of her fathers traits), thanks for allowing me to borrow your names. Until next time....

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