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A look at American Values One Golf Ball & Turf Fan at a Time

Posted On: July 25, 2016 by ClubProcure in: Golf

Written by: Cam Schultz

I'm going to get this out there right now--VGM is a VERY patriotic company

It all started with our late, great founder, Van G. Miller, who literally wore his love for our country on his sleeve nearly every day. And it's only grown from there. Even more so this year for some reason. It could be that our office hosted many Presidential candidates as they prepped for the Iowa caucuses or maybe it's the upcoming Olympics (complete with golf...YES!)

Whatever the case VGM Club just couldn't stop celebrating after the last 4th of July firework was lit. So this July it's "Freedom Month" all month long. Many of our featured suppliers feel the same way too. My friend & colleague Mike Sawyer and I found that out on our trip this week to Georgia. Three core values that makes America great rang true during our time at Bridgestone Golf and SubAir Systems.

  1. Hard work - We pulled our Chevy Suburban rental (i.e. big American vehicle) into Covington, GA one very hot morning to see our friends at Bridgestone Golf. We were fortunate enough to be given a plant tour where we witnessed some extremely hard-working, intelligent people crafting the top selling ball that is made entirely in the USA.

I used the word "crafting" because they are doing just that. Yes, they are mass producing the balls but every one of the 400,000+ balls they make each month is inspected...BY HAND!! MULTIPLE TIMES!!!

That dedication continued as we visited the R&D facility at Bridgestone Golf. Let me tell you this--not only do they use the same polymers in their balls as they do their tires, they also have the same level of research for making the best product on the market.IMG_2701

During the trip we also saw a CFO in the warehouse welding equipment. Has anybody ever seen a CFO roll up his sleeves like THAT? (But that wasn't at Bridgestone--we'll get back to this in a minute)

Our day ended at Bridgestone so we drove our Chevy to the levy (on the Savannah River) in Granitesville, SC to our new friends at SubAir Systems. That's where we met the "welding CFO". His name is Brad Dennis and he exemplifies the American spirit and the SubAir way.

  1. Innovation - This small company does big things but much of it you will never see. That's because their flagship product is rooted mostly underground. SubAir's aeration and moisture removal system gives superintendents the power to control the air and water from below the ground. That's where 75% of the turf problems start anyway. Touring their facilities and learning this is truly remarkable.
  1. Treating People with Respect You hear, see, and learn a lot sitting in a small town diner in the South. People call each other "sir" and "ma'am" and say "thank you". Everybody holds the door for one another. America isn't everything that you see on the nightly news. You learn that in the South. There is a strong base of hospitality, honor, and respect that still holds true. 

IMG_2703The same feelings were seen on both of our plant tours. That's probably a large reason why many of those employees that we met had been with Bridgestone and Sub Air for many years. Like Shane, our plant tour guide at Bridgestone, who was approaching his 20th year with the company. Knowing essentially everyone's name that we passed on the tour, he walked us around describing everyone's important role to make the best product they could. Shane had respect for both the product they put out and his fellow co-workers.

Mike and I arrived and Atlanta Hartsfield Airport with our bellies full of low country boil, tea (we Yankees call it "sweat tea"), and a renewed understanding that there's several companies out there that hold the same values as we do at VGM Club – and we're very lucky to be working with them.

Let these core values & freedom ring the rest of July and beyond!

Posted On: July 25, 2016 by ClubProcure in: Golf