Our guest this episode is Scott W. R. Nei, the CEO and President of TourBound Golf Academy and RoboGolfPro. You can learn more about the TourBound golf robot at TourBoundGolfAcademy.com.
Scot Nei’s life in golf began at an early age, learning the game on the fairways of local Chicagoland golf courses such as White Pines Golf Course and Old Orchard Country Club. He later became a PGA Professional, teaching at a number of Chicago area facilities. After turning professional and playing on numerous pro tours, Nei had an encounter with a new product called the Golf Robot at the PGA Show that would change his life. Nei now has six golf robots under the RoboGolfPro banner to help teach the game of golf around the world, including one in downtown Chicago at The Tourbound Golf Academy.
Interviewer: Walter Lis. Running Time: 21:08
Click here to download an MP3 file.
WL: Thanks for joining me. I thought it would be good thing, before we start talking about the golf robot (RoboGolfPro), to maybe get a little bit on your background and kind of where you’re coming from and how you got into the golf business.
SN: Okay. Well, I started golfing with my father and grandfather when I was about six years old in Illinois at White Pines Golf Course and Old Orchard Country Club in Mount Prospect, and then from there I just kind of got into every sport possible, but I kept on practicing golf, and then I ended up caddying at Inverness Country Club to help pay for my college. And basically, I wanted to be either professional baseball player or football player, and I kind of went to football to try and prove people wrong, and actually made it on Harper College, Community College, football team, but never really got a chance to play.
And the whole time I was still practicing, and pros were saying, hey, you should stick to golf, blah, blah, blah, all that. Make a long story short, I turned down a scholarship, thought I was really good. Went to Arizona, tried to get onto ASU’s golf team, and I wasn’t as good as I thought. So I took an assistant’s position at ASU, and basically from there that’s what’s kick started me off in the PGA program.
I actually was in the PGA. I started in the PGA in Illinois at Rob Roy Golf Course, and then I went from Rob Roy when the pro left there. Went from there to Chevy Chase, and then the pro from Chevy Chase left, and I went Marriott Lincolnshire, and then actually from Marriott Lincolnshire, that’s where I went to ASU. So there’s actually, if you want I can tell you the even more to that, it’s a pretty detailed story.
WL: Yeah, no, I think it’s great, because I think you are a, kind of, I would say almost a rare, but a very unique local grown, you know, golf personality. Somebody who’s, like you said, you know, you learned it from your family, kind of grew, and went to all these different places. Left the state, you know, kind of learned where you’re at, and then. So then when did you kind of get the idea that, you know, that, you mentioned about Rob Roy, starting there, when did this start to feel like that you enjoyed teaching the game of golf?
SN: Well, okay, so I’ve always, even right now, I’ve always wanted to be on tour, and so I’ve played in some tours, and I’ve played in every big tour that you can possibly think of around the world. So the entire time while I was in golf industry, my goal was to play for a living, and it would basically be I would work, and save money or get sponsors, and then go play. And then, you know, I’d become super lucky meeting so many different people from so many walks of life and business.
You know, it’s great. I can go anywhere around the world and call somebody, and play some golf, have some dinner, have a great conversation, but I notice that, especially when I moved to Arizona, and I’m playing with guys that have been on tour and now they’re on the mini tours. And I’m playing with these guys, and I’m going, I can’t believe you’re not on tour. These guys hit it like a frozen rope. I think I’m good; I’m hitting it all over the place just getting up and down.
So being in Arizona really showed me the level of players that are really out there. And so, you know, to answer your question how did I know that I like teaching as well? In college I took one of those tests that basically said, hey, I would be a really good teacher. What I would teacher at who knows, but I don’t know, I guess because I’m a people pleaser, and I know how difficult. I know how many hours I’ve put into this, and other golf professionals have put into trying to play for a living, and, you know, it’s these people that are CEOs and run these businesses, and just have, whatever, regular jobs in life that love the game of golf.
It’s the most difficult sport in the world I would say to learn and/or become really, really good at without proper practice. I’ve learned ways to teach, and I’ve been to, I’m mean, I’ve been to Hartman. I’ve been to Haney. I’ve been to Oldfield. I’ve been to Paul Purtzer, Rick Smith, Sean Foley. I’ve been to them all to learn for my game, but to pass on to other people. Because not everybody gets the opportunities that I get to see these awesome, knowledgeable teachers.
So, and I can get people that sit at a desk or work 40,50, 60 hours a week to enjoy the game to the best of their ability that one day a week that they get to play, because of all this knowledge I’ve learned from other pros and all the time I’ve put into it myself.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download