Just when you figure, after more than 40 years, that there’s little left to learn in this business, a chat with Gary Pollock tended to keep you humble.
It’s not that Pollock was purposely deflating an ego with his informative sessions in a show booth or on the phone. His humility prevented Pollock from believing his words were lectures.
Always smiling and gregarious, those who knew him realized his demeanour came from within, a genuine good nature that was one reason for his sales success.
As informative as he was, he was also curious about what others knew and had heard within the golf industry, so he considered himself more of a student than a professor, eagerly sopping up knowledge, while dispensing it through conversation with anyone who cared to listen.
If the people he conversed with were wise, they too would learn from the fresh perspectives, insights and statistical analysis that Pollock brought to the table.
Naturally, he’d promote the products he represented for Tournament Sports – that was his job after all – but without disparaging a competitor or rival brand. Yet, his conversations often extended beyond brands and into industry-wide trends and issues.
The industry suddenly lost that learned voice at the age of 59 on Christmas Eve. The story is here.
Judging by the outpouring of affection for Pollock, the golf industry in Canada is missing a piece of its soul as 2022 gets underway as thoughts are with his wife Lori and daughter Rachel, both fine golfers who frequently found their way into his industry conversations, even though they weren’t physically present.
His pride in Rachel’s accomplishments on the golf course from her junior days in Ontario, when he frequently caddied for her, into her college career at East Tennessee State was obvious.
Her playing days transformed into a coaching career that included a stint as assistant at Arkansas State before being named women’s head coach at the University of Louisiana Monroe this past summer.
Tournament Sports sold its golf division to ACI Brands in 2018 and even though he wasn’t directly involved, he maintained his keen interest in the industry. When Rachel was named head coach, her dad sent a note.
“Although I am not in golf anymore, the Pollock presence still is,” it read.
The Pollock presence is still in golf, both with Rachel, and with the industry people who respected, learned and laughed with her dad over the years.