Get to Know

Q&A: Tim Schantz, President / CEO, Troon

Schantz, who shared No. 1 on Golf Inc.'s 2022 Most Powerful People in Golf list with role model and Troon founder Dana Garmany, discusses success and key elements of leadership

Tim Schantz and family
From right, Tim Schantz, wife Mara and sons John Henry and Nick.

The First Call: In one sentence, describe what you do for a living.
Tim Schantz: I lead the Troon team as we work together to serve our clients and customers and grow the company, and help to grow the games of golf and tennis and racquet sports.

TFC: What time do you wake in the morning, and what time do you typically start the workday?
TS: 5:30 to 6 a.m. I usually exercise, work for a few hours from home clearing emails and the like, and then hit the office between 9 and 10 a.m.

TFC: What are key elements to leadership or to being a good leader? 
TS: I work hard to be accessible and transparent, and to live some important concepts for me that are set forth below. I always keep in mind President Calvin Coolidge’s quote and its application to me. After gathering the relevant input, I try to make decisions quickly and decisively, but not with too much haste. I work to delegate with authority and not second guess decisions others make. And, we’re all in the foxhole together, there is no room for Lt. Dike at Troon (A “Band of Brothers” reference, which is something I try and go back and watch every few years).

— Do what you have to do before you do what you want to do.
— Be a problem solver versus problem bringer.
— Be Kind.
— People like to do business with people they like.
— Persistence.

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan, 'press on' has solved, and always will solve, the problems of the human race." — Calvin Coolidge

TFC: While a subjective list, what does being No. 1 on Golf Inc.'s Most Powerful People in Golf list mean to you — and to be recognized with one of your role models in Dana Garmany?
TS: I have a lot of respect for Golf Inc. and am really appreciative of the honor. To be honest it feels a little bit misplaced, as the "award" is really being given to Troon, which is made up of a lot of people beyond Dana and me — most importantly the men and women who work every day at the locations with which we are so lucky to be involved. 

Of course I feel very good about being listed alongside Dana on any list. He’s a classic entrepreneur/visionary who created Troon out of "whole cloth" in the classic way that happens. So being listed with him is a huge honor and it has been fun to be a part of, always keeping in mind he’s the one that created the thing. But really, Tiger Woods? A person who once had access to nuclear weapons? And Dana and I are the most powerful?  I’m just not quite sure ... and you can bet I have people around me — some of whom are pictured above — to keep it in perspective, that’s for sure.

TFC: What's the secret to your success?
TS: The secret to Troon’s success is a great vision, established by Dana Garmany, and a great group of people executing on that vision, of which I am fortunate to be a part. In my life, whatever success I have enjoyed has come from a combination of hard work and good fortune, with the latter not to be diminished. Some of that good fortune comes from not "shutting doors" along the way of life, which is something my parents instilled in my brother and me. They always said to do all you can to keep as many doors open as possible, so that you can make choices and so that good fortune and opportunity can find you.

TFC: Who is your role model?
TS: I don’t have a specific role model. I have a lot of people who I look to for positive things to emulate, and who I admire. My parents, my brother Doug, my uncle Perry, Dana Garmany, David Stivers and Mary Westbrook (both were mentors at Latham & Watkins and I worked for David at DoubleTree Hotels) and Rick Kelleher, CEO of DoubleTree Hotels ... and the list could go on and on. I have been fortunate to have many positive role models in my personal and professional life.

TFC: Knowing what you know today, what professional advice would you give a younger you?
TS: Work harder in math, and take some accounting classes in college.

TFC: What’s the last book you read?
TS: I am listening to "Grant" by Ron Chernow right now, and I am rereading "A History of Knowledge," by Charles Van Doren, who has an interesting background. A friend gave me Marcus Aurelius’ "Meditations," which I am looking forward to reading.

TFC: What’s the last movie you saw?
TS: "Top Gun Maverick."

What’s on your playlist?
TS: I am a huge Neil Young fan. So lots of Neil Young. I get eclectic playlists from a friend of mine, Jonathan Langer, who used to be a Troon Board member and is a legitimate DJ. New music — to me — stuff I have never heard of, but really enjoy. A couple of songs off a recent playlist he sent me would be “Unwind” by Paco Versailles or “Feel Alright” by Poolside. “Fire on the Horizon” by Stick Figure is a good one too. It’s fun to hear music I never would have listened to otherwise. And, from my sons, Nick and John Henry, who put together classic rock and other playlists for me.  I really enjoy music, especially on road trips or while working out.

TFC: When I’m not at work, you can find me ...
TS: Playing tennis or golf, riding my Peloton and at home with my wife, Mara, three dogs and cat.

TFC: What is your greatest extravagance?
TS: Restoring my parent’s 1972 K5 Blazer to pristine condition after my brother gave it to me a few years ago, and building a garage for the same.

TFC: What was your path to the golf industry?
TS: I started my career as a business attorney at Latham & Watkins and that led me to join DoubleTree Hotels, my entry point into the hospitality industry. I left there to join Troon when Troon had 17 locations. That was a great decision.

TFC: What are the favorite golf courses you have played?
TS: I love all the Troon-affiliated courses I have been fortunate enough to play. Obviously Troon North is a favorite. I love Merion and Pebble Beach. I probably need to stop there so as to not leave any one out. I am very fortunate in that I have been allowed to be a guest at some incredible golf courses.

TFC: What is your handicap index?
TS: 7.5.

TFC: Which golf courses do you belong to?
TS: I am a member at Phoenix Country Club, which I love.