Alex Van Alen founded FlingGolf as an alternative to the traditional game. But instead of a bag of 14 clubs, FlingGolf is played with a single club (stick) that doubles as a putter. Everything else about golf applies -- even where it is played.
First Call: In one sentence, describe what you do for a living.
Alex Van Alen: I support the FlingGolf player and golf course community across the globe.
FC: Where are you and your company located?
AVA: Amesbury, Mass.
FC: What are key elements to leadership or to being a good leader?
AVA: I am still learning from others.
FC: What changes, if any, have you made based on the events of the past year?
AVA: We've focused more on supporting our fast-growing player community and helping golf courses market FlingGolf directly to their communities.
FC: Who is your role model?
AVA: Jake Burton Carpenter (Burton Snowboards) and Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia).
FC: What’s the last book you read?
AVA: "Shoe Dog" by Phil Knight (founder of Nike).
FC: What’s the last movie you saw?
AVA: "Caddy Shack"
FC: What’s on your playlist?
AVA: David Bowie, REM, Talking Heads, Grateful Dead.
FC: When I’m not at work, you can find me ...
AVA: On the ocean.
FC: What are the favorite golf courses you have played?
AVA: I've been lucky to play FlingGolf at Torrey Pines, Pinehurst and Streamsong Black, among many others. But I also love many of the older, tighter public and muni courses where ball placement and strategy are most important. That and quality greens are the sweet spots for FlingGolf.
FC: What's the secret to your success?
AVA: Build a grass roots foundation. Get on "Shark Tank."
FC: Knowing what you know today, what professional advice would you give a younger you?
AVA: Question the "experts" before relying on them.
FC: What was your path to the golf industry?
AVA: I enjoyed casual family golf growing up, with a focus on fun and getting better, but not too many rules. I developed FlingGolf, at least in part, to give that feeling to other people. It is enormously gratifying to see FlingGolf players -- who did not want to start or have given up on golf -- out on a golf course with their golfing family or friends. It is especially satisfying to see younger players and our veterans enjoy FlingGolf.