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DJ Flanders

Senior Vice President, Troon International

How do you create work/life balance between your career in the golf industry and family life?

This has always been one of the larger challenges that I have had in my career, particularly when I was working at the property level. Managing golf clubs is extremely labor intensive and can be some extremely long hours. A normal day could start at sunup and end after the late night evening function you might be hosting that night. However, working in the game that I love so much made the long hours manageable. As my career matured, I have been fortunate enough to work a schedule that enables me to spend more time with my family and try and make up for some of those lost hours early in my career. Work life balance and time for oneself is something that I am always trying to preach to our managers, as I know how incredibly important this can be for our mental health and overall happiness.

Does your family play golf with you? If so, how often do you guys play?

My wife and two boys all play golf. Some, however, enjoy it more than others! I started both of my boys in the game at a very young age as I am of the opinion that golf is a game for life. Also, I truly believe that golf teaches a lot of life lessons that other sports don’t. Although I did “make” both of my boys play golf, I also thought it was important that they were exposed to other sports and never “forced” them to come to the course with me. This strategy has seemed to work as they now both enjoy going to the golf course and it never feels like I need to drag them out. Now, my wife on the other hand is a completely different story and my guess is I will be dragging her to the course for many years to come!

If your family plays golf with you, who is the best player in the family?

Well, this is a bit of a loaded question as I am supposed to be a “professional” and have been playing the game for 40 years. But, it is becoming more and more evident that my oldest son, Jaxon, is starting to become the predominant player in the family. I still have my moments, but he seems to be getting the better of me on the course more and more often. At first, that used to really bother me, but now I find myself beaming a bit more as I am very proud of the golfer and young man that he as become. Saying this, he will have to stay on top of his game as his younger brother, Jadon, is coming into his own and is becoming quite the young golfer himself.

If you and your family could only use one golf club for a round of golf, what club would it be and why?

It would be hard for me to not say Augusta National as that would be a dream round for the entire family. But, The Els Club Dubai would be up there too for the entire family. Both of the boys learned to play golf at The Claude Harmon School of golf and this is where we have played most of our golf. We have some great family memories there. The associates at the club always find a way to make our round special and the course is pristine on every occasion.

What is one golf club on your family’s bucket list to play at that you have not played yet?

Pebble Beach is a club that the entire family would like to play. To be honest, I think the boys of the family are the ones that really want to play there and Mom would also join us to be able to visit some of the wineries in the area after the round.

DJ Flanders with his kids
DJ Flanders with his son Jaxon