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 to business- the stage is set

The time was 1975-1978, and it was the time of my last two positions as an Assistant Golf Professional before becoming a head professional at two clubs before ultimately leaving the golf business (and based upon the state of my game today I clearly made the right call).  Three of those seasons were spent at Orchard Ridge CC (1975,1976, and 1977) and the other (1978) was spent at the Ft. Wayne CC.  Each of these great clubs were in Ft. Wayne, IN.

My first acknowledgement is to John Suveges.  John was instrumental in teaching me the business of golf and the professionalism that one was to exhibit when they became a head professional, or within industry which was my ultimate path.  John's work ethic, his business ethos and dedication to his membership & craft were exemplary.  John had been at Orchard Ridge Country Club for over 20+ years at this point and I remain very thankful for the teachings of a savvy veteran.  ORCC had a vibrant and welcoming membership and I am in touch with many of those members yet today.  I appreciate all that John did for me, my career, and my on-going education as I also passed the PGA players test while working for John.  I still remember him saying "you know the holes are cut larger at Old Oakland"...Of course that was not true, but that was his mindset and his way to ease the pressure for me.  I think only 8 or 9 people qualified that day if my memory serves me out of the 100 or so entrants.  I do remember it being brutally warm, with rock hard greens as water had been scarce that summer, but the holes for me did seem bigger thanks to John making me think of that fact the entire 36 holes! LOL

The second note of appreciation goes to Bill Kratzert Jr.  Bill was the Head Golf Professional at the Ft. Wayne CC and had been for well over 20+ years which was a clear testament to his skills.  Bill also was an excellent college athlete at Florida State and the father of Billy Kratzert lll (@billykrat3) and Cathy Kratzert- Geering.  I only served one year as Bill's assistant even though I had known Billy for over 10 years prior to me working for his father.  1978 (seems like my key learning years always ended in "8" as my mother died in 1988 and A&A officially left A&A/Aon in 1998) was a very difficult year in my maturation process as my personal life was a tad upside down, and while I was still professional I did not give Bill the service he deserved or most likely expected (although he never made me feel that way).  Bill, in fact, treated me quite the opposite actually as he treated me as he would have his own family and for that I will be eternally grateful.  When I took my first head professional job later that fall, Bill was the first to give me encouragement and the necessary business advice, and access to capital to succeed.  In retrospect, I admired how Bill handled a very prestigious membership with great skill.  The membership at Ft. Wayne Country Club was the who's who of Ft. Wayne Business.  Bill treated them with great respect, and yet made certain they treated his staff the same way.  That was the first time I witnessed the mutual respect that needed to exist for one to be successful in business.  It was also the first time I realized that all people (regardless of their success) craved that same respect. What I am most grateful for Bill was how he counseled me with respect and the advice he gave me when I most needed it.  He was, and still is, a class act as evidenced by his family, two of which spent most of their life in the public eye.

Take the time to thank those before too late...  Until next time...

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