Get Happy: Team in place, let's raise some money

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 1, 2014, 12:00 pm


Building a team is a fun process, but also stressful.  It’s not just about ability, it’s about character, and also about finding the right kind of people and chemistry to make everyone on the team perform at levels they never imagined possible.

When I decided to pursue the idea of putter that could be adjustable in all four major ways, the first person I contacted was Jeff Sheets in Texas, and I immediately knew it would be a great fit. Not only is Jeff a phenomenal club designer, he also has written books on custom fitting which would be key as we developed this product that allows consumers to custom fit themselves every time they play. It gave me even more confidence knowing Jeff has customized products for Nick Faldo when he won his Masters, Lee Janzen when he won his U.S. Opens, Dave Stockton when he won his U.S. Senior Open (you get the idea, the guy is good). Beyond his pedigree, Jeff may be the nicest person the golf industry has ever seen, and we not only shared a love for great Texas brisket, we also share a common compulsive need to invent. My only initial worry with Jeff was that we are like-minded, and to create the electricity we had at my previous companies, we needed some friction. After all, you can’t light a match without striking it.

Blog 2: Picking the right team

Blog 1: The reality of a start-up company

Along came Dave Cooper, the friction we needed. I often tease Dave that we are truly the Odd Couple, but don’t call him Felix (he hates that). I am conceptual, he is detailed. I generate ideas, he builds plans to get them done. Dave is one of the most respected “operations guys” in the business, having run Global Operations for Titleist and Cobra.  But Dave is so much more than just an operations expert. He understands golf at a deep level, being a great player himself, and if the Happy Putter is truly going to be the next big thing in golf, we need to make sure the team is made up of Golf Guys. 

I can still clearly picture Dave’s expression when I told him the concept: we’d make a putter that was adjustable in four major ways that could help a golfer compensate for their putting tendencies and for course conditions. Dave’s face lit up. Okay, maybe his face didn’t light up, but his eyebrows lifted almost noticeably. Dave’s pretty low key.

And then I told him my concept for the name: The Happy Putter. His eyebrows went back down. I’d quickly learn that Dave - compared to me at least - is a fairly conservative guy.

This is when I knew we’d make the perfect team. Dave would be the perfect counterbalance to my crazy ideas (and isn’t counterbalancing all the rage in golf right now?).

He understands design, the importance of quality manufacturing (having overseen the production for Scotty Cameron), global distribution, and importantly, what time the redeye to Guangzhou, China leaves out of Los Angeles (there are no direct flights from San Diego).  Dave had the set of talents needed to bring the team’s concepts to reality and make sure everything was executed well. Because that’s another thing I’d learned: execution was everything.

The team - and the concept - was coming together; but it’s hard to keep a team together for long when no one is being paid.  Our bank account was lower than a knockdown shot at Carnoustie.

Money: Yeah, we all agreed, we should probably have some of that. What little money we had came mostly from Jim Crone, a very successful individual who made his money in real estate and still goes around to the many properties he owns digging ditches and scraping gum off the sidewalks.  Yep, not exactly a “hands off” type of guy.   

Ah yes, the joys of raising capital, finding investors, and managing those investors.  As anybody who’s started a company can tell you, that’s a whole other adventure (and another blog) all in itself.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.