The beginning of something great...
In all beginnings, something started a long time before it became visable to most. My journey started back in 2007, when I got my first job in the golf industry. It was nothing more than working in the Pro shop at my home club, but it meant a lot to me then. First of all, it meant that I could spend my time at the club all day long. Working a shift and working on my game (and picking balls on the range). That was at least the case during summer break. I had my trusty moped (50 cc) to take me to and from the club every day, and with nowere to store my golf clubs, I also road with the clubs on my back, on the moped. During that first summer I learned a lot, especially customer service and sales. I got to spend time talking equipment to all the OEM reps, and probably asked too many questions. I attended every demo day, and basically hit every product. I could do this all summer long. However, living in Norway, you knew the season had an end to it. So where was I going?
The year before I had applied for a job in a sporting good store, but was rejected after the last interview round. In august 2007 I stopped by the same store to see if they had any new golf equipment, and why would I, since I already worked in a Pro shop? Well, I just loved eqiupment, and they had a bigger selection. During trying out a few putters, the Assistant Store Manager (who took part in my interview the year before) asked if I still would like to work there. To my suprise, he was now the Store Manager and needed someone to lead the golf department in the store. Two weeks later I had my first day working part time at the sporting goods store. At the time, it was part of the biggest chain of stores in Norway, so the selection of products was huge. Since I always loved being outdoors, skiing and playing golf, this was heaven for me.
Now, this meant I had to balance two part time jobs, and practice and play. I was lucky that the Pro at my club didn't have any problems with me working two jobs. It also meant he got some good discounts when I was working at the sporting goods store. Before the season came to and end, the pro started bringing me to wholesale meetings, and advicing on what to buy for next season. Now I got an even closer relationship with the sales reps. The fall and winter was long, school and work at the sporting goods store took priority, but I managed to get my ass to the indoor center for some practice a few times a week. I had to take two busses (and fell a sleep on the first one several times), and walk a little through snow to get there. Once there, the grind started. Lucky enough, my parents picked me up most days when I going home. Usually fell a sleep on the way home too.
This indoor center unforunately closed down the spring of 2020 (Corona pandemic), and since their lease was up, it closed down permanently. It was situated in an old airport hangar outside oslo, and was probably the world's largest indoor center for almost 15-20 years. What was really cool at the time, is that they were able to gather all the major brands for indoor demo days in March, just after US launch dates. That meant we didn't have to wait for the outdoor season to test the new stuff. Being a huge Tiger Woods and Adam Scott fan, I tested everything from Nike and Titleist. That's were I hang out. Those where the sales reps I got to know the best. Of course I tested every brand, but I hung around Nike a lot.
The 2008 season came, and I had two part time jobs, school and practice. That was a great summer and I played more golf than most. I even skipped exams to play golf (not a good idea), and had to push them until next semester. I started playing regional tournaments that year, and I never really played well. I hadn't really felt or practiced with pressure at this level, at something I could do, but not really having any long term experience with. I had played football for most of my life, and at a high level before turing 18 years old. However, I had no team to rely on, no coach yelling my way, and no opponent I could run circles around. I was the one being schooled, I was the newcomer that never had a junior carrer. I played with a chip on my should, and instead of using it to drive me, I lashed out on my self, my equipment and the golf ball. My score cards were rollercoasters of colors. Birdies and eagles were followed by doubles and quadrouples. That trend followed for a several years. My temprament even pushed away good friends for a few years (we're all good now).
At the end of the 2008 season I had worked a lot more than I practiced, played more golf than I went to school, and discovered that all my earnings went towards golf. Was I going to continue on this path? Suddenly, a new oppertunity arise. The sales rep. for Nike Golf asked if I could work a demo event for him. It was a private media event, and all I had to do was set up, display the products, help people with testing the products. It was a two hour thing with being there at 7:30 am, and packing up after everyone teed off at 9:30 am. My industry network just exploded after that. Before the next indoor demo day, I had two job offerings for Tech Rep positions, and could choose either way. History shows that the Swoosh always wins. From the fall of 2008 to end of 2012, I was basically the Nike Tech rep for Norway. I was on stand by 24/7 with two part time jobs. From the spring of 2009, I took a year off from school, and all I did was work and play golf. I also traveled a lot (demo days), played more tournaments, and expanded my network. That network has been invalueable to this day.
2010 became somewhat of a new chapter, so let's save that for the next one.