Interview With Kris Strauss, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for OB Sports Golf Management
A Light Hearted Golf Q & A Interview
By Brian Weis
Below is an interview with brian yoder, the President at Yoder Design, LLC. The following are a few traditional and non traditional golf centric questions that I love to ask influential people in the golf industry.
Can you provide our readers a brief biography?
I am, Kris Strauss, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Scottsdale-based OB Sports Golf Management. We are the 12th largest management company in the country and we pride ourselves in boutique management of some truly spectacular golf facilities (who of course have some very innovative marketing :) ). My wife and I met in the golf business...(she was working in the shop, I was working outside, working my way through college) and really if it wasn't for golf I wouldn't have met my wife, had the career I have, the life I have, etc. I am very thankful!!!
When did you start golfing and who introduced you do the game?
No one in my family played golf but growing up in Hawaii I always was intrigued by the look of the golf courses, the beauty, etc. At 13, when a friend of mine found some random golf clubs in his closet at home and we said "hey, lets take these up to the park and try and hit a few golf balls (at a park that had clearly visible signs stating No Golfing). We had fun trying to hit the balls over the park fence and then said "let's try to go to the driving range". After hitting balls on the driving range at Hawaii Kai Golf Course in Honolulu Hawaii, we 'graduated' to playing their par three course. One evening after a quick round on the par three course, the golf professional in the shop stated..."you guys should look in joining the golf team...it would get you free lessons." He had our attention. We both joined the golf team at Kaiser High School and got hooked on the game of golf. In a few years I went back to Hawaii Kai and groveled for job (to take advantage of the free golf benefit). It is there where I started learning the business from the ground up. I worked there picking up the range, as a cart attendant (formal term for cart boy/cart washer) and eventually moved into the golf shop on the weekends. Suddenly my goals in life became clear...that I wanted to be around the game of golf.
What is your current home course?
I keep my handicap at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Arizona...is a great OB Sports course that hosts AJGA events, is ranked by Golfweek as one of the top 20 courses in Arizona, etc. I also play practice at other OB Sports courses in Arizona including the Raven GC Phoenix, Eagle Mountain, ASU Karsten, We-Ko-Pa.
To date, what is your proudest golf accomplishment on the course or in the industry?
I think about what my life would have been like if my friend and I did not see those golf clubs in the closet? If I chose a different college because I wasn't into golf. I would not have the career I have, I would not have met my wife, had my beautiful daughters, etc etc. Must have been some divine intervention that day and really each and every day since then. Today, I have a lot to be thankful for and really I have GOLF to THANK!
Golf became my passion. Golf led me to Arizona. If I weren't working in Golf I wouldn't have met my wife. I am blessed to have a career in golf and to be able to support my wife and my three daughters. (in the process helping others be successful at their golf marketing, helping local charities raise money for their causes and sharing my passion for this great game with many others). I am working on sharing this passion with my daughters (who are 8, 10 and 12) in the hopes that we can share many great moments together on the golf course. While it has not come without hard work, dedication and commitment, I am truly thankful I have been able to carve a career around a game that I truly have a passion for.
What is your biggest golf pet peeve on or off the course?
That more people aren't playing the game, taking up the game, etc. That there are over 30 million kids playing golf on Wiis etc but aren't getting out on the course. It is why a big focus we have is to grow the game, make the game fun, easier and affordable for kids, women, new golfers, etc.
What is your favorite club in the bag and why?
My Titleist AP1 seven iron...I just am confident I can hit greens with it.
What is your favorite golf destination?
That is tough...I would say it's a three way tie...
Scottsdale - great desert golf courses, great dining, a variety of lodging options awesome weather, the WM Phoenix Open, Spring Training...need I say more?
Las Vegas - great courses, good values now, a ton of fun on and off the course. Golfers are gamblers...who wouldn't want to combine both.
Biloxi - great courses, fun laid back atmosphere, schedule a trip during MardiGras for even more fun
What course is on your bucket list that you have not played yet?
St. Andrews....will get over there some day to play St Andrews, Carnoustie Kingbarns, etc.
If you woke up tomorrow and could play one course you played before, where would you play?
We-Ko-Pa's Coore Crenshaw designed Saguaro Course.
If you could change one aspect, rule or thing about golf, what would it be and why?
Allow you to move your ball out of divots from the fairway only... I hate it when you hit a perfect drive only to find your ball in a divot thanks to someone that didn't replace his/hers or put sand/seed in theirs.
Dream foursome (living)?/
We'd play as a five-some: Phil Mickelson, Arnold Palmer, My father Paul Strauss and best friend (the friend I mentioned earlier whom which I started playing the game with: Ryan Hamilton) and myself
Dream foursome (living or dead)?
ASU Hero Pat Tillman, Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones and Myself. I would ride with Pat.
18 Rapid Fire, Off The Cuff Questions
1) Hitting Long Drive OR Sinking Long Putt?
Sinking the Long Putt...especially with a match on the line
2) Having Round of Life OR Hole in One?
Round of your Life...because all aspects of your game need to come together for that to happen (and I already have 2 HIO's)
3) Golfing at the crack of dawn OR twilight?
Twilight...the game is mystical when evening shadows start descending upon the course
4) Hit a power fade OR power draw?
Draw...because I wish I could play a draw better
5) Beverage cart OR halfway house?
Beverage cart (you seen those new BloodyMary and Margarita Machines we now put on our carts? On Tap
6) Bathroom OR bushes?
Bathroom of course...it's a gentleman's game
7) Hot dog OR wrap?
Wrap (in case the wife reads this)
8) Around the green, being in sand OR thick rough?
Bring on the Cabbage!
9) Walking OR riding?
Walking - wish I did it more
10) Do you carry traditional 3 iron OR hybrid?
Hybrid - one of the best inventions in golf
11) Do you prefer long par 3 OR long par 5?
Long Par 5
12) Pants OR Shorts?
Shorts (Did you expect something else from a guy that grew up in Hawaii and lives in Arizona?
13) Palmer OR Nicklaus?
14) Beatles OR Elvis?
Beatles (but were is the question about Katy Perry vs Britney? In that case I'd pick Katy)
15) Play for fun OR play for money?
16) Bump and run OR flop shot?
Flop - I went to Phil Mickelson U....i.e. Arizona State University
17) Lay up OR gamble?
Lay up...I know I know.
18) 18 holes OR 36?
36....plus a putt off after golf.
Revised: 12/18/2012 - Article Viewed 20,427 Times
Written By: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler