Founder, President | Proponent Group
Lorin Anderson is founder and president of Proponent Group, which provides full-time golf coaches support to help them grow business and opportunities. Anderson reveals how he got into the golf industry and why he was fully invested in the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.
The First Call: Please give us a short overview of your company.
Lorin Anderson: Proponent Group [located in Heathrow, Fla.] assists full-time golf coaches with the many business issues that they deal with on a regular basis. Everything from marketing to teaching building design to contract negotiations to detailed compensation data. Since 2007 we've provided business supports to more than 1,200 coaches in more than 20 countries.
TFC: In one sentence, describe what you do.
LA: Search out the best information to help golf coaches grow their businesses and maximize their career opportunities.
TFC: What is your handicap index?
TFC: What time do you wake in the morning, and what time do you typically start the workday?
LA: Fortunately, my daughter's school bus doesn't arrive until 8:45 a.m. so I can sleep in until around 7:15 a.m. or so. I like to be at my desk ready to roll as soon as she gets on the bus.
TFC: What are key elements to leadership or to being a good leader?
LA: Over the years I've come to believe that great leadership is getting yourself and your team to stick with something long enough to become highly competent. I see too much "shiny ball" syndrome in business where managers and businesses can't stay focused long enough to make serious headway before moving on to something else. Great managers never get completely stuck in the weeds, they are able to pull back and keep the bigger opportunities clearly in focus.
TFC: What changes, if any, have you made based on the events of the past year?
LA: I've worked from a home office the majority of the past 25 years from my days as a writer and editor for "Golf Digest" and "Golf Magazine" so my daily routine hasn't changed much this past year. My wife is a golf instructor and she has been busier than ever teaching, so if our daughter hadn't been doing 7th grade remotely our daily lives wouldn't have been all that different than pre-pandemic. Being in Florida was helpful because we could be outside a lot of the time. I felt badly for my friends back in New York who had to spend many months mostly indoors.
TFC: What's the secret to your success?
LA: People in the industry and many of our Proponent Group clients tell me they have a lot of trust in me personally and my team as a whole because I've always emphasized follow through. If we say we're going to do something for someone then we get it done just about 100 percent of the time.
TFC: Who is your role model?
LA: I've been blessed with a lot of role models in my life. I've worked for legendary magazine editors including Jerry Tarde and George Peper and I've been around a lot of high level business people both in and out of golf and I try to learn from all of them whenever the opportunity presents itself. But there is one person who I try to emulate whenever possible. His name was Dr. Charles Beaird and he was the owner of the newspaper in Shreveport, La., when I was going to Centenary College there. To cut to the main point, he took an interest in a college kid who was running the school paper and who had asked him for some advice. When I graduated, he opened a door for me to get into golf media that 33 years later is still probably the most powerful thing anyone has ever done for me. I try to pay his kindness forward whenever possible. In one act of kindness he changed my life forever.
TFC: Knowing what you know today, what professional advice would you give a younger you?
LA: Talk a bit less and listen a bit more.
TFC: What’s the last book you read?
LA: “Small Giants” by Bo Burlingame. Great look at how some small businesses can still have outsized influence on their industries and can still be great without being big.
TFC: What’s the last movie you saw?
LA: Whatever my 15-year-old daughter wanted to watch on streaming last week. I honestly don't remember the name. I just know there was a prince involved.
TFC: What’s on your playlist?
LA: Lots of 80s and lots of recent alternative. I try to mix up the old and the new as much as possible.
TFC: When I’m not at work, you can find me …
LA: Well, recently you would have found me caddying for my wife at the U.S. Senior Women's Open at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield, Conn. She made the cut which meant I had to carry the bag for seven straight days. Not sure my legs were planning on that at the beginning of the week, but we had a blast and she played great.
TFC: What is your greatest extravagance?
LA: I work from Lake Placid, N.Y., for about six weeks each summer. It is the perfect antidote to Central Florida's summer humidity.
TFC: What was your path to the golf industry?
LA: I edited my college newspaper and that opened the door to golf media where I spent my first 17 years at "Golf Digest" and "Golf Magazine" as an editor and writer. After that I launched Proponent Group.
TFC: What are the favorite golf courses you have played?
LA: With my years at the magazines and my wife being a top teaching professional, I have had the opportunity to play more great courses than my game warranted. If I had to narrow it down to a top 5, then I'd probably go with Shinnecock, Cypress Point, Yale, Pine Valley and San Francisco Golf.
TFC: Which golf courses do you belong to (if you care to share)?
LA: Heathrow Country Club in Lake Mary, Fla. and Lake Placid Club in Lake Placid, N.Y.