It was Father’s Day 2018 when Troon’s Vice President of Science & Agronomy Brian Hampson and his then 15 year-old son, Jonathan, were swimming in their backyard pool and the wild idea was first discussed. As months passed, their plan began to materialize – motorcycles were purchased, maps were charted, time off accrued.
A summer 2019 road trip through 12 states was the father-son duos first test of a long ride. After that 4,800-mile jaunt, they made a few tweaks to their Kawasaki KLR 650 motorcycles and gear list in preparation for a summer 2020 ride to Alaska.
As spring 2020 approached, with nearly two years of planning, saving, test runs and purchases behind them, the world turned upside down and COVID-19 derailed their Alaska-bound plans. With the U.S. Canada border closing to nonessential travel in March, Brian and Jonathan were forced to make other plans. Concurrently, as stay at home restrictions were put in place and many companies, including Troon, put a halt on employee travel, Hampson was also faced with a professional dilemma – how would he manage the agronomics at the 40-plus golf courses he oversees across the country without being there in-person?
“Nothing replaces being on the golf course, looking at and touching the grass, and meeting face-to-face with superintendents,” explained Brian. “Working from home for nearly three months was a problem because I was unable to do my job function effectively. Video calls can only do so much.”
In early May, as stay at home restrictions were being lifted, Brian began making plans that would solve two issues – take that promised father-son trip with Jonathan, and make in-person site visits to Troon-managed properties around the U.S.
“When we were planning the Alaska ride, my original intention was to combine work with personal time and visit our Troon-managed properties in California on the way up, then our courses in Wyoming, Colorado and Northern Arizona on the way home,” added Brian. “With Alaska no longer an option, Jonathan and I decided to travel across the United States, seeing and experiencing as much as we could, while visiting as many Troon properties as possible.”