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This article was published 2/4/2012 (3053 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
ONE of the best golfers to ever come out of Manitoba has traded his spikes for a pair of dress shoes.
Adam Speirs, a two-time winner of the Manitoba Amateur who played on the Canadian Tour for a decade, recently accepted an account co-ordinator position at McKim Cringan George, a local advertising agency.
He wasn't exactly thrown to the lions with his first client -- it was St. Charles Country Club -- but he has been spent the last few weeks learning the ins and outs of the office and how McKim conducts business.
Since hitting the apex of his career in 2008 when he won the Greater Vancouver Charity Classic, a tournament that netted him US$16,000, his performance hadn't been nearly as consistent as he would have liked. So, while he was playing great some weeks and awful in others, many of his buddies were getting married, having kids and buying houses. He started to sense that people were passing him by.
"When golf is going great, those things don't bother you. Then I decided (my career) had run its course. I had a lot of success, personally and professionally," he said.
His age, 33, was also emerging as a barrier. He didn't want to be that guy who chased his dream for too long but at the same time, he didn't want to give up on it too soon. As luck would have it, his buddies helped him out with the decision.
"They bust my chops on everything but they said to me, 'You're not quitting, you gave it a really good run and had some success. You're retiring,'" he said.
Peter George, CEO of McKim Cringan George, said he has known the golfer for many years as his business partner, Drew Cringan, was a longtime sponsor of Speirs. He said while Speirs might have been best known for his play on the links, it was his work behind the scenes that made him an attractive candidate.
"He needed to raise money and sponsorships for his career. He has made connections on his own with the business community to raise money. That's the kind of skill set, ingenuity and self-starter that we want to have at our company," he said.
Speirs' sponsors over the years included MTS Allstream, Wellington West Capital and Manitoba Blue Cross.
"Business and golf go hand in hand, don't they?" Speirs said.
There's no doubt that unless you blast out of the gates as a rookie, you have to learn the ropes of the business side of golf, he said.
"When you're good enough out of college and can sign a sponsorship agreement with Titleist and hire an agent, you don't need to learn that side, you can just focus on golf. I feel like (that experience) has helped me out already at McKim with knowing the appropriateness of emails and relationship-building," he said.
He hasn't been grilled yet by any co-workers on how to fix the hitch in their swings but Speirs is anticipating a question or two when the local courses open up in just a matter of weeks.
"There's only a pool table up here in the office, there aren't any hitting bays," he said.
Even though he runs the firm, George is still a sports fan.
"Adam has competed in the U.S. Open twice. I've never had anybody working for me who has done that," he said.
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