That Time the Founders Played Valhalla Golf Club
"Don't hit it over there," he seemed to say.
Matt Watson, here - co-founder of CCP. Nothing to sell today. Just wanted to share a story I think you'd appreciate.
Anyway, as you either know from our frequent emails or might surmise from our profession, my business partner (Steve) and I love golf. You might not guess it from playing with us, but I beg your indulgence not to base your assessment of our fandom of the sport on our ability to play it well or consistently. I, for one, am a frequent perpetrator of the dreaded "double miss." I still play as much as I possibly can.
As any golfer can tell you, there are good days. There are bad days. Those days don't always correlate with the scorecard, however, and that's the story I'd like to tell you.
A few weeks ago, on a work trip to visit our Kentucky stores, we had the good fortune to play Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville. You might remember that Valhalla played host to a few PGA Championships as well as the 2008 Ryder Cup. Suffice it to say that this was a big opportunity, and one from which a little wet weather (courtesy of Hurricane Florence and general Appalachian nastiness) would not deter us. Here's a picture that might explain why:
Who has two thumbs and hit into that hazard? This guy.
So Steve and I schlepped our clubs across several states (and commonwealths) to arrive at a very well-manicured, exceedingly soggy, unseasonably cold, and hopelessly intimidating Valhalla Golf Club.
Upon entering the clubhouse, our story began in earnest. We met the man. The Myth. The Legend. Stormin' Norman, himself! Here's an article about him if you're curious. And here's the man, himself:
Long story short, Stormin' Norman has been a fixture at Valhalla for 30 years. He's the understated, but garrulous clubhouse attendant who has shaken hands with all of the greats, including Jack Nicklaus during the course's design.
Steve and I had not arrived without a member to escort us through our round, so we didn't know Norman on sight. He introduced himself, as did we. To our absolute amazement, he asked us, "Aren't you those guys with the golf clothes? With the fox? I read about you guys."
Jaws. On. The. Floor.
We've seen the occasional CCP sticker on a car in town, and we know we've sold a few products over the years, but it was an absolute shock to find that an industry legend like Norman - hundreds of miles from our HQ - would ever have encountered CCP or would have any idea about its founders.
But here we were, standing in Valhalla (double-meaning totally evident at this point), hearing about ourselves from a total stranger.
Surreal. Awesome. Humbling.
Oh yeah, we also played golf that day. Steve walked away with three birdies, one of which was a chip-in that would have rolled for another 60 feet if it hadn't slammed into the pin. I walked away...in tact. Which was a victory.
Not sure why Steve is often confused for Silas of the Da Vinci Code.
The course played as tough as advertised, but we followed Norman's advice, "Hit some fairways. Don't make it any harder than it already is. Valhalla doesn't need any help to beat you!"
As we're sure he has been many times over the last 30 years, he was right.