Welcome back for part 2 of our “Love Affair” series! I hope you enjoyed our first segment on my co-founder Chris. I knew most of Chris’ story for his background in the game, mostly because I was involved in some of the early stages of him getting hooked. The story is a little different with one of our partners and very good friend Brian. I knew Brian could play a bit when we were in college and we got out every now and then together. When I lived in and around Pittsburgh, Brian and I started to play more often and I realized he loved this game just as I do. It was awesome to see and I respected the hell out of it. With this segment I learned a lot about someone who I have considered a great friend for over 10 years. I love seeing the back story, the early beginnings of a lifelong relationship. Like I said before, we all have our own stories and they are all amazing in their own right, but to read one coming from a guy I have known for a very long time struck me as a beautiful thing. I hope you love Brian’s story as much as I have, in his own words here is our great friend and partner, Brian!
Golf has been my favorite hobby since I was a kid. I love everything about it: The fact that it’s incredibly challenging yet unbelievably simple at the same time; that you can play by yourself, with a group of friends, or a group of strangers and have a great time; and most of all that, as Bagger Vance put it, Golf is a game that can’t be won – only played. Also, when you’re as inconsistent a player as I am, you can just enjoy being in some beautiful scenery when you’re having an off day.
All of these feelings and insights into the game I love started when I was in 3rd grade. I was in a new school and found out that one of the kid’s in my class played this game with his family and offered to show me how to play. We had a park in our neighborhood, so we met there to give it a shot. He showed me the clubs and explained how they worked. We started to hit some balls and I was terrible at it. Almost ready to quit, I hit one shot that was as close to perfect as I thought was possible. At that moment I was hooked.
I went home and told my parents how much fun I had with this new game and asked for a set of clubs of my own. For Christmas, I got a set of Wilson Michael Jordan Edition Junior golf clubs. Once spring came, I was back in the park working out this new game, trying to teach myself how to hit it farther and straighter than the shot before so I could eventually beat my friend in our next “round.” We played in that park on a course we made up: first hole was from the play set to the backstop of the baseball field, second was to a tree in the middle of the park (hit any part of the tree), and third was back to the play set (hit any part of the play set), and repeat. Whether it was my Jordan clubs, or the set of used Yamaha Gold’s and Orange PowerBuilt bag, I loved playing in that park.
I eventually moved on to real courses when I started clearing the baseball diamond and hitting the houses on the other side and I have been playing ever since. Golf movies like The Legend of Bagger Vance, Tin Cup, and The Greatest Game Ever Played have made me take a more romanticized view of the game. Watching professional Golf on TV and in person has given me an even greater appreciation for the skill, concentration, and competitive spirit required to play the game at its highest level. For all of these reasons I am happy to have been introduced to this game at a young age. I hope to bring this passion to FireIron Golf, and its customers. Hopefully we can make this game accessible to even more people so that they can discover what I know so well – that Golf is, by far, the greatest game ever played.