The president and CEO of $200 million-asset First Community Bank and Trust in Beecher, Ill., wrote a book relaying his successful journey to be one of the first people to complete the 2010 Golfweek Magazine Top 100 Modern and Classic courses, the Golf Magazine 2005–2013 Top 100 World courses, and a course in all 50 states.
I started as a 10-year-old at a little local public golf course in my hometown. My parents owned a funeral home and an ambulance company, and we were tied to being home 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, so we didn’t get to travel. We didn’t go on vacations … so golf was something that I could do, because the course was a mile from home.
Golf is so interesting, because you can play as a single [or] you can meet and join with three other golfers and become instant friends. You play at beautiful places, beautiful landscapes, and it’s outdoors, which is great. All golfers don’t have to be the same ability. The analogy I use is if I played tennis against you and you’re better than I am, you’ll beat me 100% of the time. But … you can handicap golf, so all skill levels can play together.
I started as a golf course rater [for Golfweek Magazine] in 2004. They had this list of courses [and] they wanted us to see as many as we could and provide ratings, so that the [annual] ranking lists could be created. I liked the idea of what was on the list, so I started playing a group of them. I never expected that I could play the 100 Modern and 100 Classic in the same year, and certainly never expected the Top 100 World.
It’s cool to go to a variety of places, rather than the same place every year. And that’s what chasing a list or chasing a goal helps force you to do: things you wouldn’t otherwise have done.