“Dude” Doug Plays Chambers Bay
All Star’s Executive Chairman Doug “Dude” Brown hits some rough and links and lives to tell about it.
Only two people call me “Dude.”
One is my sailing partner of 40 years and the other is XYZ’s Founder and CEO, Tom Jentz. (My grandson would like to, but his mom won’t have it.)
I’ve discovered Tom and I have a lot in common, despite differences in our lifestyles and professional demeanor. He’s more likely to take his new high-powered fishing boat to Neah Bay; I’m more likely to ply my old sailboat through Lake Washington. Tom is the only guy I know who has driven a tank recreationally; my idea of a tank is a fully-loaded 3,000 pound self-bailing raft negotiating class four rapids. Tom and I are team-oriented, we spend a lot of time outdoors, and we both strive to succeed.
In about 2008, Tom and I started a tradition of playing golf together at least once a year. We’ll play three or four rounds in 2016 with two of Tom’s colleagues, one of whom is good enough to play professionally. As Tom and I celebrate our recovery from another challenging hazard, Jake quietly putts for birdie. I overlook the disadvantage of being twice the average age of my playing partners whose drives carry 25 percent farther than mine. Playing from forward tees while my partners play from the tips is just not an option I’m ready to exercise.
Tom and I keep moving toward more prestigious courses. Legendary venues fill me with the excitement of a child and the appreciation of someone who never expected to play the same courses, much less from same tee box, that hosted the greatest golfers of all time.
On June 28th, we took our game to municipally-owned Chambers Bay, the iconic site of the 2015 U.S. Open. The course was built on the site of an old quarry southwest of Tacoma along the Puget Sound just east of Fox Island.
Many professional players complained last year that the greens were vexingly uneven due the different growth rates of the diverse types of grass.
Some suggested that playing the greens was like putting on broccoli. In fairness, the greens did give morning players an advantage over those playing later in the day. But, millionaires who play golf for a living shouldn’t whine—about anything.
One of the best features of this course is its paved paths that allow the locals to take long walks at dusk; most courses disallow pedestrians for safety reasons. Another innovation is the course’s low water consumption, which will become a high priority in the future. Chambers Bay’s designers did a great job.
Golf is a great way to find common ground, establish a relationship context that goes beyond the constraints of commerce, and develop a better understanding of someone’s true nature. Tom is a man of strong character; I’m proud to call him a business partner and friend.