For Oakville’s Zachary Creed, Golf is More than a Game

Oakville’s Zack Creed has been playing golf since he was old enough to swing a club. Growing up in New Jersey during the early 2000s, he was passionate about the sport and played all the time, both as a member of his high school’s team and on his own time. During the long hours he spent driving, chipping and putting, it was evident, not only to himself but to those around him, that he had real talent. It wasn’t long before he was named captain of the school team.

After graduation Zack moved to Las Vegas, studied Professional Golf Management (PGM) and recreation management at the University of Nevada, and served internships at several well known golf clubs. In 2009 he was named Player of the Year within the PGM program.

In the 10 years since, he has built an impressive resume as a professional golfer, instructor, club manager, salesman, trade show representative, and entrepreneur. He continues to eat, sleep and breathe both golf and business.

This fall the Oakville resident will launch his newest venture, a golf facility in East Oakville that will offer golf lessons and simulator play and feature a pro shop, snack bar and more. He’s excited about this new chapter in his life, something he’s been preparing for since his college days, and is always glad to share the wisdom he’s accrued with other entrepreneurs.

What advice do you give to young people who want to start businesses?

Zack Creed: It’s important to take advantage of opportunities to do new things, especially when you’re young and before you have family responsibilities. If there’s something that you absolutely love, and it’s something you’re good at, and you can build a career doing it, go for it. Of course, starting a business requires capital and what they term “angel” money. These are typically family and friends that will consider investing in a well thought out plan based in no small part on your dedication and business acumen.

Why should someone become an entrepreneur?

Zack Creed: If you’re going to launch a company, I think you should do it for the right reasons. Don’t do it just for the money. Instead, do it for happiness, self-exploration or to acquire experience. Consider your entrepreneurial experience an opportunity to build a more solid foundation for the future. Also, try to look beyond the short term and build up yourself as the asset.

How did your lifelong involvement in golf prepare you for a business career?

Zack Creed: I’m truly grateful that I had the opportunity, not only to play golf but to be immersed in the business side of it at a young age. Having a diverse range of experiences centered around the sport shaped me significantly, both as a person and as a professional, and provided me with perspectives I would likely not have gotten otherwise.

There’s also the people side of playing golf. You can get to know a lot about people when you spend time with them on the golf course. Being able to interact with all types of people is essential for success, since so much of business is built on networking, making deals, negotiating, collaborating, and otherwise connecting with other professionals. Skill and talent are extremely important, but honing your people skills is right there as well.”

How prominent a role did mentorship play on your road to success?

Zack Creed: Huge. I worked for a number of great bosses and learned from the finest in the sport. My first boss was a golf legend who had tons of charisma and skill, but what I really learned from him was leadership. Before big events we would talk about how to make them really special and successful, for example, “let’s hit one out of the park” and that would inspire me and sharpen my performance.

What lessons did you learn from your mentors that you pass along to others today?

Zack Creed: I often tell young business leaders to expand their horizons, not to settle for mediocrity and to keep their eye on the big picture. It’s easy to get sidetracked or caught up in success, especially if you have it while you’re still young. Also, strive for work-life balance. Having a satisfying life at home will help you succeed in your business life.

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