CEO / President | Golfzon America
Tommy Lim, CEO of Golfzon America, is leading the golf simulator company's growth into North America. Golfzon, named the best golf simulator by Golf Digest in the publication’s annual Editors' Choice Awards from 2017 to 2021, has a presence in 62 countries with 6,200 sites. Lim discusses why he chose to lead the expansion, lessons he has learned along the way and shares some sage advice.
The First Call: What are key elements to leadership or to being a good leader?
Tommy Lim: The ability to step into another person’s shoes and lead from a place of empathy. We encourage our teams to present alternative points of view, while accepting the responsibility that it might take more work to understand where they are coming from.
TFC: What changes, if any, have you made based on the events of the pandemic?
TL: The last couple of years have resulted in a renewed interest in golf in the U.S. It has led to more opportunities to showcase our best-in-class technology to new customers, whether it’s an in-home unit for those who want to practice when they can’t play, or a bar, restaurant or golf club that is looking to attract new revenue now that the general public is eager for social interaction. We’ve had to operate in a faster, more efficient manner in order to keep up with demand.
TFC: What's the secret to your success?
TL: It’s always the people. Whether it is cutting-edge technology, a sleek user experience or great customer service, everything comes back to hiring the right people.
TFC: Who is your role model?
TL: Young Chan Kim, chairman of Golfzon Newdin Holdings. He started Golfzon from scratch and made it a unicorn company.
TFC: Knowing what you know today, what professional advice would you give a younger you?
TL: "Plan elaborately and work desperately," which I received from Young Chan Kim.
TFC: What’s the last book you read?
TL: "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference."
TFC: What’s the last movie you saw?
TL: "Miss Sloane" with Jessica Chastain.
TFC: What’s on your playlist?
TL: Worship songs.
TFC: When I’m not at work, you can find me ...
TL: On the golf course or tennis court.
TFC: What is your greatest extravagance?
TL: Premium wines.
TFC: What was your path to the golf industry?
TL: I began my career in marketing after finishing my MBA in Korea, starting with Callaway Golf, then eventually becoming marketing director for Nike Korea. I later joined Golfzon, which already had the reputation as the fastest growing company in virtual golf. Initially serving as vice president of marketing during the company’s initial public offering, I eventually decided that I wanted to contribute to Golfzon's global growth, focusing on the United States.
TFC: What is or are the favorite golf courses you have played?
TL: Cypress Point Club.
TFC: Which golf courses do you belong to (if you care to share)?
TL: Chantilly National, Hamilton Farm.