Interview With Daniel Grave CEO Golfbreaks.com USA
A Light Hearted Golf Q & A Interview
By Brian Weis
Below is an interview with Daniel Grave, the CEO Golfbreaks.com USA at Golfbreaks.com. The following are a few traditional and non traditional golf centric questions that I love to ask influential people in the golf industry.
When did you start golfing and who introduced you to the game?
I started playing golf when I took a year off between High School and College. I was in Australia (near Brisbane) working in a school for 9 months and had quite a bit of spare time on my hands. Obviously the weather was great and there was a decent local course nearby. One of the students would lend me his clubs and off I would go...didn't take long before I was hooked (and slicing and thinning and shanking!!!).
This is back in 1988 when the likes of Faldo, Sevvy, Langer, Woosnam and Lyle were top of the world game and certainly put European golf in the spotlight. It inspired me! Although I have to say, watching Jack Nicklaus win the Masters in 1986 at the age of 46 really got me interested!
What is your current home course?
I moved to South Carolina with my family in April 2013 to set up the Golfbreaks.com US operation, and we live just outside of Charleston. There are so many great courses nearby, but the one closest to me is RiverTowne. A really beautiful course set in amongst the Low Country creeks, with a very challenging layout. I am yet to play to my 14 handicap around that course!
To date, what is your proudest golf accomplishment?
I have very few (if any) on course accomplishments, so I would have to say it's achievements in the industry that make me most proud. Four of us set Golfbreaks.com up in 1998, with our main HQ in Windsor UK (a good 2 iron from Windsor Castle where the Queen lives!). We have 150 staff and send 220,000 people on golf vacations worldwide annually. We now have offices in South Carolina and Copenhagen (Denmark) so are building our brand globally. It's been such an exciting journey, and nothing beats going to work every day doing something that you have a passion for.
We recently launched a new website for the US market, offering spectacular golf trips to the UK and Ireland, playing all those famous courses - http://usa.golfbreaks.com/. We are so excited to now offer our service to US golfers...and look forward to saving them time and money when it comes to organizing their golf vacations. We try and make things as easy as possible for clients by doing all the running around for them, bookings tee times and accommodation, ground transportation and flights...all at a better price than the competition and better than if they tried to book the trip themselves.
What is your biggest golf pet peeve on or off the course?
Slow play...hands down! Golf was meant to be played in 3 to 3 and 1/2 hours.
What is your favorite club in your bag and why?
My Callaway 3-wood. I cannot hit a driver to save my life...it's a wild dog! So my trusty 3-wood is what I hit off the tee all day long, and then quite often for my second shot too! I lose out on a bit of distance but gain more accuracy (sometimes!).
What is your favorite golf destination?
I would have to say Ireland. It has all the ingredients - incredible links courses, wonderful scenery, fantastic people and hospitality...and of course we cannot forget Guinness! The Irish really are the World Champions when it comes to having a good time.
Only negative is the weather...but in some ways a round of golf in Ireland just wouldn't be quite so magical without all 4 seasons descending on you in one day!
Isn't there a statistic that something like 30% of the true links courses around the world are in Ireland?
What course is on your bucket list that you have not played yet?
Augusta National. Can anyone help me get on please??!!
If you woke up tomorrow and could play one course you played before, where would you play?
That's a difficult one! It would be a toss up between Turnberry in Scotland, Pebble Beach in California or Royal County Down in Ireland. Three magnificent golf courses with that WOW factor!
If you could change one aspect, rule or thing about golf, what would it be and why?
ANYTHING that would help speed up play!
Dream foursome (living)?
Sir Ian Botham (famous England cricketer from the 1980s-1990s) Jack Nicklaus (such a fine man...and could give me a few tips!) An Augusta National member (so that we could play there!) ME
Dream foursome (living or dead)?
Nelson Mandela (incredible story of hardship and then forgiveness) Mahatma Gandhi (I was born in India and love the country) Princess Diana (a beautiful and compassionate person who died far too young) ME
18 Rapid Fire, Off The Cuff Questions
1) Hitting Long Drive OR Sinking Long Putt?
Hitting long drive
2) Having Round of Life OR Hole in One?
Having round of life
3) Golfing at the crack of dawn OR twilight?
Crack of dawn...so there is no one ahead of me and I can race round!
4) Hit a power fade OR power draw?
Power draw...I have no issues hitting a slice!
5) Beverage cart OR halfway house?
6) Bathroom OR bushes?
Bushes...especially in California to help alleviate their drought!
7) Hot dog OR wrap?
8) Around the green, being in sand OR thick rough?
Neither appeals! If I had to choose it would be sand.
9) Walking OR riding?
Walking...gives me more time between shots to forget the bad ones and calm down!
10) Do you carry traditional 3 iron OR hybrid?
Traditional 3-iron, but it is still brand new after 5 years!
11) Do you prefer long par 3 OR long par 5?
Long par 5...as you at least have a chance to recover from a poor shot.
12) Pants OR Shorts?
13) Palmer OR Nicklaus?
Both absolute greats and played the game how it should be played. They have also done great things off the course and used their fame and fortunes to help others. BUT if I had to choose one it would be Jack Nicklaus...1986 Masters is stuck in my memory bank!
14) Beatles OR Elvis?
What about One Direction?
15) Play for fun OR play for money?
I'd love to say money, but any sort of pressure turns me into jelly on the golf course! Might as well just hand over the cash on the first tee!
16) Bump and run OR flop shot?
Bump and run all day long...a true British links shot!
17) Lay up OR gamble?
Gamble every single time. I love to try the impossible...why not? You only live once and thankfully I don't get paid to play golf. If I did I would be homeless.
18) 18 holes OR 36?
27...18 in the morning, a big lunch washed down with some nice Claret, followed by 9 in the afternoon to walk it off.
Revised: 07/04/2015 - Article Viewed 19,306 Times
Written By: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler