This is part 2 of a 2 part series with former pro golfer Jay Wiliamson of Ladue. Yesterday, Williamson answered questions about getting started on the PGA Tour, how life was one the road, etc.
Patch: You had some really great moments out there on the tour.
Williamson: Yes, I lost the Travelers Championship. Hunter Mahan beat me a playoff. I lost in the John Deere Classic in a playoff to Kenny Perry a year later. I think I shot 62 on Saturday to put me into that position.
I got to play in the British Open at Royal Birkdale and then ultimately to cap it off with the BMW Championship here at Bellerive. That was the hat trick I’ll never forget.
Patch: What was it like playing the British Open.
Williamson: It was a great thrill. I watched it a little bit this year. This might surprise you but it was a great thrill, but not something I’d want to do every year.
If I was younger, it would be a different story. I am real thankful I’ve been there, and done that, but getting back to Jason (Hackmann) and I’m thankful for that opportunity and I think golf has put me into a position where I can be very effective at what I do. Ultimately, at the end of the day we are all selling something and I'm I am thankful I have the opportunity to make a difference at what we are trying to sell at BryanMark.
Jason is teaching me on a daily basis as my mentor, but he holds me accountable. I’d say we’re not for everybody. We are not a big enough organization to go after a hundred clients a year. We like to handle the more complex case, the successful business owner who is a little older and has a complex situation where we can really add value with our expertise and our access to to proprietary products.
The magic to our business model is that we we can segregate a wealthier, older client into thieir our respective mortality group. Permanent life insurance can be a big investment in an individual's financial plan.
Patch: Do you represent a niche market.
Williamson: It is a niche. We are looking for 15-20 clients a year. Not only can we provide good value for a select group, but also, we can manage them properly. And that’s relevant about life insurance that people don’t understand. Life insurance policies need to be managed, not people. We are in a low interest rate environment, and that really affects policies. I like to think of our role as an expert outsourced resource.
Patch: How overall has sports helped you in life.
Williamson: In golf, the fact that I made over 200 cuts proved that i had a decent career. Playing hockey and baseball was essential to that. Golf is not a team sport, but there is an awful lot of team element to it, as it relates to guys playing professionally.
Being an an athlete and having played other sports helped me in my golf career.
Patch: When you were matched up on the tee with Kenny Perry and David Duval and Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, what were your thoughts.
Williamson: I had the opportunity to play with all those guys you mentioned. The key to playing with them is feeling you belong in the same group with them. I think at the end of the day, that’s what I did and I made so many cuts and competed with them. It got difficult at the end. I had a few health issues. Ultimately, that’s what I’m going to remember the most.
Ernie Els just won the British Open and I played with Ernie a couple of times. I was in the same arena as the great players and that’s something I’ll never forget. I played a weekend with Tiger Woods and I shot 64 with him on Sunday. I will always feel I could play with the best. I wasn’t always the best golfer, but felt I could compete with them.
Patch: When you were 21 years old, what made you think you would become a professional golfer.
Williamson: Now that’s a really good question. That’s the question I’ll never be able to fully answer. I was an ego maniac to think someday I could compete with the best players in the world somedown. I thought I could do it, and at the end of the day, that’s what I did. I did it my way. I worked at Grand Cypress, which ultimately became the place where I developed my game. I put the knickers on and worked in valet to accomplish my dream. I did it the hard way.
It’s just time to move forward. Jason’s given me the opportunity to do just that. I could have played in Jackson, Mississippi at the True South Classic recently, but I didn’t get a call, and I’m really not sad about that. I think they (the PGA) really know my golf career is over.
I really love working with my kids and their sports; their golf, their hockey, their baseball. I really haven’t committed to being a coach yet, but I did a little bit of that this summer. I am really trying to re-establish myself and and figure how to be best for the client. It just a different mindset the way these deserve.
Just because I’m retired from golf doesn’t mean I have a whole lot of free time. I still play once, maybe twice a week. Its a part of my life and have no trouble turning the page and entering the next chapter of my life.