Take the golf vacation of a lifetime with one of our unforgettable golf trips
to Ireland. Based in Chicago, Illinois, NeilGolf (North East Ireland Links Golf) organizes memorable tours to Ireland's most famous courses. With in-depth local knowledge of the country, its culture, and its golf scene, we show you the time of your life!
Our mission is not only for you to have one of the best golf experiences ever, but to provide you the opportunity to play golf at some of the best local courses, indulge in the local fare with other golf aficionados, and maybe share a drink or two with a local. We keep our trips compact and courses are close together. We want you to walk away from this trip and tell all of our friends about this amazing experience. The courses we have chosen are some of the finest links courses in the world. Let us plan your next grand golf adventure! Until then, May the Luck of the Irish be with You.
1. Who has been your greatest mentor in life and why? I have a few that I learn from each and every day. They set good examples. They keep a positive outlook on life, and they inspire others to never stop chasing their dreams.
2. When did you start playing golf? I started playing golf in 2001.
3. What is one way that you or your organization have utilized social platforms to build awareness and how successful do you feel it has been with reaching your target audience? We use Facebook and Twitter a bit. It gives us good exposure to fellow industry golfers but would like to see some sales from social media.
4. How often do you get to play? Winter time - once a month , summer time - twice a week
5. All time favorite course? The one I am playing. I am lucky to get to play some of the best courses in the world. The people I play with are most important. In saying that, County Louth (Baltray), in Ireland is at the top.
6. If you could play with any PGA Tour player, who would you like to play a round with and why? Tiger Woods. I think the media crushes him. I have met him a few times and he has a good sense of humor, and is a real guy's guy.
7. What has been one of the biggest obstacles to overcome at your course or with your brand? Getting the proper exposure. I need more marketing dollars.
8. How important do you feel women and youth are to the game of golf and what does your organization do to encourage them to play? I feel women and youth are extremely important to the game. I love bringing my two girls Caroline (9) and Kerrigan (7), to play with me on the weekends. It should be a family sport.
9. If you could sell your brand in (3) words, which words would you use? Ultimate Golf Trip
10. Which punctuation mark would best describe your personality? #
11. If you won $2 million tomorrow, what are the first three things you would do or buy? 1)I would invest more in marketing partners. 2) I would go on a nice golf trip to Ireland with some good friends. 3) I would get fitted for all new clubs from putter all the way to driver.
Connect with Declan:
"I work to live, not the other way around. If I won the lottery, I would retire within a second. I love to travel, play my guitar, write my own songs, play golf, fish and enjoy my life as much as I can. Tomorrow will be my last day....one day..... and I'm not wasting any time."
1. Who has been your greatest mentor in life and why? My mum, because she has never let me down.
2. When did you start playing golf? Around the age of 8.
3. What is one way that you have utilized social platforms to build awareness and how successful do you feel it has been with reaching your target audience? Social platforms are great for making new friends and contacts, as well as keeping in touch with friends and family around the world.
4. How often do you get to play? 1-2 times a week
5. All time favorite course? Wolf Creek, Las Vegas
6. If you could meet any PGA Tour player, who would you like to meet and why? Phil Mickleson, just think he must be a really nice guy and he loves a bet, just like me!
7. What has been one of the biggest obstacles to overcome? Myself, sometimes I give up too easy.
8. Masters 2015 winner? Lee Westwood. His day is coming.
9. How important do you feel women and youth are to the game of golf and what does your organization do to encourage them to play? I don't exactly think that they are overly important, but they both deserve a good crack of the whip.
10. If you could sell your brand in (3) words, which words would you use? 'Buy my songs.' (I'm a songwriter/musician)
11. Night Owl or Early Bird? Night Owl
12. 3 Things About You That Not Too Many People Know That You Are Willing to Share:
1. I am a struggling musician.
2. I am in three racehorse syndicates.
3. I am a film extra and have been in many blockbuster films.
I'm planning my next adventure. A 4-5 month trek across North America to all 31 NFL stadiums in one season, maybe even onto the Super bowl. I will be filming the entire journey, uploading to a YouTube channel, and including a soundtrack of all my own songs. You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. I will be doing this for charity, as well as trying to break into the American music industry. My friend was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, so we've dedicated the name of my trip as The WrongShapedBalls Tour of the US. In addition, I'm raising money for a prostate charity in Dallas Texas, as well as Balls To Cancer here in the UK. It's going to be an amazing adventure! Please follow me as I will need all of your support. I promise to do my best to entertain you......as always!
Connect with Dennis:
"My dad is my greatest mentor and has always been there to help me improve my game."
During the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, Stuart served as a Spectator Assistant. His responsibility was to meet
and greet spectators on arrival, and provide course direction regarding which players were present on practice days, where one would find the food court and other general inquiries. Once the matches began, he helped with crowd control to keep the ropes enforced, allowing the players to move freely from green to tee.
1. Who has been your greatest mentor in life and why? My dad, always been there to help improve my game.
2. When did you start playing golf? When I was 5 years old.
3. What is one way that you have utilized social platforms to build awareness and how successful do you feel it has been with reaching your target audience? The Ryder Cup Volunteer day was arranged entirely via social media channels. We utilized several different platforms for dedicated purposes; Facebook was for the main group of players, Twitter provided us some media contacts, which resulted in an article being published in a national newspaper, and LinkedIn provided the business connections for sponsorship prize solicitation, as well as for the players
4. How often do you get to play? Every weekend, more when the weather permits.
5. All time favorite course? Gleneagles PGA - it holds so many great memories as a member, and as a part of the Ryder Cup volunteer team.
6. If you could meet any PGA Tour player, who would you like to meet and why? Ian Poulter - I like his style and attitude.
7. What was one of the biggest obstacles to overcome for your brand? The hardest part in arranging the Volunteer day via social media was to make sure everyone had read the latest posts on Facebook, as I was able to keep track of all the various threads regarding start times, etc.
8. Masters 2015 winner? Martin Kaymer
9. How important do you feel women and youth are to the game of golf and what does your organization do to encourage them to play? I believe that these groups are equally important to the game, in addition certainly recognize that youth are our players and club members of the future.
10. If you could sell your brand in (3) words, which words would you use? Dedicated, Happy, Chatty
11. Night Owl or Early Bird? Early Bird
12. 3 Things About You That Not Too Many People Know That You Are Willing to Share:
1. I won a membership at Gleneagles.
2. I'm a published author.
3. Making others happy, makes me happy.
Connect with Stuart:
Company Website: http://www.diageo.com/en-row/Pages/default.aspx
"If you simply want a better time on the golf course, listen to us Saturday at noon (EST) on air or online at http://thoseweekendgolfguys.com."
John is a creative speaker, thinker and writer with over 30 years of on-air broadcasting experience. Claiming to have recently released a long-repressed entrepreneurial spirit, he is the creator/host/owner of the weekly, nationally syndicated radio program, "Those Weekend Golf Guys".
Through this live radio show he strives to help average golfers who desire to find alternate ways to enjoy the game; women and juniors who want to learn more about the game; entrepreneurs, inventors, writers, and other creatives who want to reach a large audience of golfers; and business people who want to grow their business quickly (with zero cost strategies) and build deep, trusting relationships with their clients and prospects.
1. What brand do you represent and what inspired you to become a part of the golf industry? Those Weekend Golf Guys radio show is a nationally syndicated golf talk show. Real Story? I was a morning personality for a large broadcast company and was told I was too expensive and needed to make my own way in the world. So, I started the radio show for 2 reasons: 1) to keep my ego fed by being on the air, and 2) to make all the golf I play tax deductible.
2. When did you start playing golf? Much too late. I was in my mid 30's.
3. How often do you get to play? 2 to 3 times a week now
4. All time favorite course? Pete Dye course at French Lick Resort or Harbour Town Golf Links
5. If you could be a part of any foursome, who would be on your dream team? Fuzzy Zoeller, Bill Murray and Celine Dion
6. What has been one of the biggest obstacles to overcome with your brand? Finding people willing to work for no money, just free golf!
7. Masters 2015 winner? Jordan Spieth
8. How important do you feel women and youth are to the game of golf and what does your organization do to encourage them to play? Extremely! The life blood. This is where the growth will come from for the game as a whole.
9. 3 Things About You That Not Too Many People Know That You Are Willing to Share Most everything people don't yet know about me would be great blackmail material so I'll leave this one blank.
Connect with John:
"My passion for golf is 24 hours a day/7 days a week. I share my knowledge to provide solutions for golf course related issues regarding trees & golf, practice facilities and cart paths."
Peter is from The Netherlands and enjoys using LinkedIn to connect with potential customers/clients and with other professionals with a similar vision for business. He specializes in consultancy, where a unique combination of golf aspects (maintenance, business, architecture, vision & planning) are well based. He stays focused on solutions to course related issues regarding trees & golf, practice facilities and cart paths.
1. What brand do you represent and who inspired you to become a part of the golf industry? World of Golfconsultancy, Payne Stewart
2. When did you start playing golf? January 1992
3. How often do you get to play? When it fits in my agenda to have fun and spend time with kids/family, friends or with a business associate
4. All time favorite course? Royal Melbourne
5. If you could be a part of any foursome, who would be on your dream team? The Dalai Lama, Richard Branson, Desmond Tutu
6. What has been one of the biggest obstacles to overcome with your brand? To convey the experience customers will receive with our professional support.
7. Masters 2015 winner? Joost Luiten
8. How important do you feel women and youth are to the game of golf and what does your organization do to encourage them to play? We work on the courses so that all can play and enjoy.
9. What is your philosophy of the game and how do you execute your position? My passion is to develop and create golf for our (next) generation. This is based on my 24/7 commitment of being available and involved by sharing my knowledge of the game. Golf is the fairest sport to play and every person in this world should be able to do so. Besides, this game is not only fun but helps build character and instill core values to carry forward in your life.
Connect with Peter:
"I grew up wanting to be a professional golfer after my first round of golf at the age of 15."
At the age of 20 and on the verge of turning professional, life's many distractions got in the way. After almost 20 years away from the game, Cam began playing competitively again in 2010 upon moving back to Canada, where he spent several years as a child. In 2012, he successfully passed the CPGA-PAT (Playing Ability Test) on his first attempt.
1. What brand do you represent and what or who inspired you to become a part of the golf industry? Canadian Professional Golfers Association - CPGA
2. When did you start playing golf? 15
3. How often do you get to play? Everyday
4. All time favorite course? The Old Course at St. Andrews
5. If you could be a part of any foursome, who would be on your dream team? Greg Norman, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus
6. What has been one of the biggest obstacles to overcome for your brand? The lack of current and specific education and training pathways that are actually relevant for the aspiring teacher, the player or the businessman/head professional.
7. Masters 2015 winner? Jason Day
8. How important do you feel women and youth are to the game of golf and what does your organization do to encourage them to play? Paramount. Regular events and clinics specifically targeting women and junior golfers.
9. 3 Things About You That Not Too Many People Know That You Are Willing to Share
1. I'm a Graphic Artist/Illustrator
2. I've developed and implemented Business English lesson plans at Shenyang University-International College of Business in NE China
3. I once turned down the opportunity to be in the movie BMX Bandits with Nicole Kidman
Connect with Cam:
"Greg brings a ton of clarity to what golfers have been questioning for ages." - Preston Combs, PGA Professional
For the past five years, Greg has been showing golfers, of all levels, how to take control of their mental game and PLAY their best golf ever. In 2014, he released a book entitled "18 holes" that focuses on showing golfers how to simplify the complexities of the mental game. This book has changed the game, on and off the course, for many.
1. What brand do you represent? My Mental Game Coach
2. When did you start playing golf? At the age of 15
3. How often do you get to play? 1-2 times per week during the season
4. All time favorite course? The upper course at Peek'n Peak in Clymer, NY
5. If you could be a part of any foursome, who would be on your dream team? Arnie and my two daughters
6. What has been one of the biggest obstacles to overcome with your brand? Getting people to understand the importance of how their thoughts and emotions directly impact their performance.
7. Masters 2015 winner? Dustin Johnson
8. 3 Things About You That You Are Willing to Share:
1. I love my daughters
2. I love my career
3. Ecstatic to just be alive and healthy
Connect with Greg:
"It gives me great joy to see a young person who didn’t think they would finish high school actually graduate from college because of the impact of The First Tee."
Since becoming CEO in 2000, Joe Louis Barrow, Jr. has provided strategic direction and executive oversight to The First Tee. This nonprofit youth development organization uses golf as a tool to teach young people the positive values inherent in the game such as honesty, perseverance and sportsmanship.
As a result of his leadership and advocacy of quality character education, The First Tee has reached more than 9 million young people in all 50 states and select international locations since its inception.
Prior to The First Tee, Barrow served as President and COO of IZZO Systems, Inc. and as Director of Special Projects and Senior Advisor to Ronald H. Brown, Chairman, Democratic National Committee. Barrow began his career with the United Bank of Denver, before moving to Washington D.C., as one of 40 business executives selected nationally to participate in the Presidential Executive Exchange Program.
In addition to serving on a variety of local and national boards, Barrow completed a biography on his father entitled, “Joe Louis: 50 Years an American Hero,” published by McGraw-Hill Publishing. In 2011, he was inducted into the National Black Golf Hall of Fame, joining his father, on the 25th anniversary of the same recognition.
1. How long have you been a fan of the game of golf? I was first introduced to the game of golf when I was five or six years old. So, I've been a fan of the game and what it entails for more than 60 years now.
2. Who or what has most impacted your commitment to the game of golf? I was introduced to the game of golf through my father and stepfather, but would also see three of our neighbors leave together every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, to play golf. I couldn’t understand why they went as they did to play. But, when I was about five or six years old, and finally went to a golf course for the first time, I realized it provided a sense of solitude and camaraderie; it was their way to get away. So, these men influenced my direction toward golf the most.
3. What is the core mission of The First Tee? The mission of The First Tee is to provide educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. Additionally, it’s to take the inherent values of the game of golf and instill those values in young people so that they understand that confidence, honesty, perseverance, and respect, are a way of life.
4. What is your favorite part of your job? My favorite part of the job is really to see people grow—both participants and my colleagues. It gives me great joy to see a young person who didn’t think they would finish high school actually graduate from college because of the impact of The First Tee. Also to see an individual who didn’t think they had the capabilities to manage a department successfully, lead their team with confidence. Or, to see a board take on an entire market or service area provides equal delight.
5. How do you feel the game of golf impacts character-building in the lives of young children and teens? The impact really takes place when the young person incorporates the core values inherent to golf in their daily life. Take goal setting, for example. Many people don’t have a habit of setting goals, but you don’t succeed in life unless you set goals. When I see the young people who let the life skill of goal setting become part of their lives, it means they have moved to the next level. When Stop, Think, Anticipate and
Respond becomes a way of life (STAR, as we call it) it means they are thinking
about what they are doing, and then anticipating what their response will be. This means that they are thinking things through, and that’s very important in both golf and life. Our impact on young people, in terms of the core values and life skills, is important to us because it affects their way of life. It truly is more than just a game.
6. Who do you most revere in the golf industry and why? You know, I’ve thought a lot about this question, and I think it’s the coaches. Obviously I can name an individual, but more importantly it’s the coaches because they’ve spent so much time and energy in terms of learning how to teach our curriculum. We have a great curriculum, but the manner in which our coaches deliver the curriculum is even greater. Anyone can devise a curriculum, the question is whether or not the recipient of that curriculum will take it to heart. And, our participants have taken it to heart because our coaches have worked so hard in presenting it in a manner in which has been and continues to be successful. My hats are off to the coaches.
7. What does your organization do to promote golf among women and children? To start, we’ve set some explicit objectives to reach 10 million additional young people by 2017. We’ve also set a goal to grow female
participation to 45 percent, a step up from the 36–37 percent we have now. These goals set the tone in terms of how we as an organization want to move forward. Along the way, we’ve learned that it is important to have female
coaches and mentors at the chapters because young girls respond positively to female role models. We’ve also learned that young ladies tend to enjoy the
social aspects of the game more than the competitive aspects. Understanding this means that we are focused on incorporating the LPGA and USGA Girls in Golf program because it’s more socially oriented than it is competitive.
8. What are some ways for others to get involved in helping further The First Tee’s mission? Many people assume volunteering involves interacting with young people on the tee and requires a lot of knowledge about golf, but in reality there are plenty of opportunities to help off of the course as well. People can get involved through becoming a coach, mentor or volunteer, helping with administrative tasks in the office or participating as a board member.
9. If you could tell one story about how The First Tee has made a difference, what would it be? Telling one story is like choosing your favorite child. There’s no such thing! All of the young people who are in a better place in their life because of The First Tee have valuable stories. So there’s not one story, there are multiple stories. Plus, it’s not just about the young people we reach, it’s about the young people we don’t reach. Because those are the ones who don’t necessarily incorporate the values that are so ingrained in golf and brought out by The First Tee. And that’s very important for us—to reach young people that haven’t yet incorporated those values.
10. What is one thing you and your team members do for fun together? One of my favorite things to do at the home office is to walk
into our break room at lunch time and hear the staff laughing, joking and
chatting with each other. Their enthusiasm is contagious, they genuinely care
about each other, and they do tremendous work while having fun at the same time. When you develop an organization's culture, one of the primary concerns is that people like each other. The employees at the home office really get along, and that’s all I can hope for as a leader. We do a lot of things to have fun, and a lot of the fun comes from their camaraderie, but also their focus on the objectives. There will be great pleasure and celebration when we reach 10 million more young people as well as the number of coaches and program locations we need.
11. Is there anything else you would like to share that wasn’t already covered? I’ve been at The First Tee for 14 years, and it’s really fun to see an organization grow the way The First Tee has grown. Our chapters
understand the importance of what they do and their partnerships with the Boys and Girls Clubs, the YMCAs and other youth-serving organizations. I’ve been able to watch this organization mature, and for that reason, I have a sense of gratitude that not everyone gets to experience.
Connect with The First Tee:
“An idea that has truly given us a unique content marketing solution that allows her to do what she loves – write, and provides golf professionals from all over the world a concentrated platform to share their story.”
Jode is our team’s quarterback as the CEO/Cofounder of CJ Creative Solutions. He strategically lays out the plays and ensures proper execution; ultimately winning us the game. He has held various leadership positions with Eby-Brown Company, a leading convenience store wholesaler, to include Vice President of Sales, Vice President of Operations and Executive Vice President, over the last 30 years. Throughout his career, Jode has developed and maintained highly-efficient teams, as well as built a legacy for maximizing profits (scoring touchdowns). Translated, he is here for the long haul and doesn’t give up easily. Jode brings a wealth of leadership expertise with a focus on business development, finance and operations. He also contributes to the creative process, and specializes in copyediting. Jode is an avid golfer, with 3 Hole-In-One awards.
1. How was PARteam brought to life? PARteam was the brainchild of my fiancée, Christina. We both enjoy playing golf very much and she thought it would be fun and rewarding to have part of our parent marketing business, “CJ Creative Solutions,” concentrate on a proprietary brand that focused specifically on the golf industry. An idea that has truly given us a unique content marketing solution that allows her to do what she loves – write, and provides golf professionals from all over the world a concentrated platform to share their story.
2. What are your goals for PARteam? Our primary goal for PARteam is to be the preferred digital hub for golf industry professionals from all vocations all over the world, including non-profit organizations that make a difference to this sport and elite recreational activity.
3. If you could tell others in 3 words why they should be featured on PARteam, what words would you choose? Professional, Biographical, Networking
4. Tell us about your affinity for golf? Golf has been, and continues to be, an important part of my life. I began playing golf at 8 years old, with my father every Sunday. That tradition has continued to this day (well, as many Sundays as we can and weather permits), and my own son, now 18 years old, was brought in on this tradition around the same age. While golf is a competitive sport it also brings people together. Many conversations are had on the golf course, whether they are competitive in nature or just about life, business, new ideas, and so on. In my mind, a splendid place to unwind and spend time with friends, those you love and business associates. Every now and then, you are paired with a complete stranger, who after a round becomes a friend. Golf has even brought the most important person in my life and I closer together, my fiancée Christina. We have enjoyed many a nice days on the course together. Golf has grown in popularity and will continue to grow for these very reasons.
5. What was your favorite movie in 2014? Why? This is a hard question as Christina and I love to watch movies and have seen so many this year alone. I would have to say that just spending time together is the best part of any movie to me.
6. Tell us one thing about yourself that not too many people know.
I can shotgun a beer in less than 2 seconds and have been victorious in every challenge since college.
Jode E. Bunce
CEO, CJ Creative Solutions
Sugar Grove, IL 60554
"To work for my wife enables me to spend as much time with our kids as I want, which means the world to me."
Mike McGee is Managing Director for ANNIKA, the business enterprise of golf legend Annika Sorenstam. He oversees the ANNIKA brand and is responsible for developing businesses that include: the ANNIKA Academy, Annika’s boutique golf and fitness Academy in Orlando, Fla.; Golf Course Design, which has six courses under various stages of development globally; the ANNIKA Collection with Cutter & Buck, a high-performance golf apparel line for women; ANNIKA Financial Group, a boutique accounting firm that caters to athletes. In addition to supervising these ventures, Mike serves as Annika’s agent and interacts daily with her many world-class partners. They include 3M, ADP, AHEAD, Callaway Golf, Cutter & Buck, Golfing World TV, Lexus, Oakley, Pacific Links International, and Rolex.
1. What brand do you represent? I represent the ANNIKA brand. This includes Annika personally, and the ANNIKA Academy, ANNIKA Collection of apparel with Cutter & Buck, ANNIKA Course Design, ANNIKA Financial Group and I serve as interim President of the ANNIKA Foundation, which promotes excellence in women’s golf at the junior, collegiate and professional levels and teaches young people the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition. We have five global tournaments and the ANNIKA Award Presented by 3M, which goes to the top women’s collegiate golfer.
2. How long have you been working in the golf industry? Since I graduated college in 1997.
3. What do you love most about your position? I get to represent the best female golfer and brand in the industry. She has 10 high-end corporate partners and it’s an honor to work with them. I also enjoy the fact that my duties vary so much that things never get stale.
4. What do you believe sets your brand apart from the
competition? We are unique in that Annika is a “cele-brand” or “celebrity brand.” Her name is the brand. We are a “Promise” based company. Everything we do, we try to deliver on our Brand Promise, which is to “provide inspirational experiences.” We have a brand guide and are very particular about the way her name, likeness, logo, etc. can be used. Most athletes have endorsement deals and even logos, but that doesn’t automatically make you a brand. Few deliver on the emotional and functional benefits necessary to make you a genuine brand.
5. Who is the most prestigious golfer you've met? I have been very fortunate to spend a fair amount of time with Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Gary Player and most of the legends of our game. But I have to say my wife, Annika, is the most prestigious.
6. If you could have any job in the golf industry, what would it be and why? The one I have. I am beyond blessed to get to work for Annika. Not only is she the best female golfer ever, she is a class act and far better person. I literally work on different things everyday. Whether it is one of our five global junior golf tournaments, or managing the relationships with our 10 corporate partners, or proofing a press release, my work evolves daily. Also, to work for my wife enables me to spend as much time with our kids as I want, which means the world to me. I can also be with my wife on most of my business trips. Not many people have that luxury!
7. How often do you play golf? Probably 25-30 rounds per year.
I play 2 Member Guest events per year. Both are four days in a row. Aside from that, I probably average one or two times per month.
8. What is your favorite course and why? I guess I have two. I would say Pebble Beach due to the spectacular setting and Lake Nona, because that is where we live.
9. If you could play at any course in the world, which would you choose and why? Augusta National and Pine Valley are on my bucket list. I checked off Cypress Point a couple years ago.
10. What is one way that your organization has utilized social
platforms to build awareness and how successful do you feel it was with the target audience? We utilize Twitter and Facebook for our businesses. Anytime we have a press release or general news to share, I tweet it and Annika retweets it. Then we put the more detailed information on our websites: annikasorenstam.com, annikfoudation.org, and heannikaacademy.com
11. Tell us one thing about yourself that not too many people know (and you are willing to share with the world). Annika e-mailed me first and it ended up in my spam folder. I was fortunate to find it or I wouldn’t be answering these questions.
12. What is your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving. Four days filled with our entire family, amazing food and lots of football!
13. Night Owl or Early Bird? I’m definitely an early bird. I have never been one to sleep in.
Connect with Mike:
Twitter: @Annika59, @jmikemcgee