Craig trades Australia for suburbs as new exec at Tour Edge
John Craig is no different from many golfers. Weather doesn't stop him. In fact, he is leaving the warmth of his homeland, Australia, to move to the suburbs in January to become executive vice president of Batavia-based Tour Edge Golf.
He has worked with Tour Edge, a growing golf club manufacturer, over the last 10 years as a distributor in Australia and visited the Chicago area on occasion, although never in the heart of winter, he admits.
"We are coming from one the best renown mild climates in the world, South East Queensland in Australia, so the Chicago winter is certainly going to be a shock," said Craig, 53. "However we are excited about living in four true seasons and we will certainly not miss the tropical humidity of The Gold Coast in January and February each year."
Craig and his wife, Rachel, have been looking for a home in the suburbs, including Hinsdale. They currently live on the Gold Coast, about an hour south of Brisbane on the east coast of Australia. He was born and raised in Melbourne.
"I learned to play golf while a caddie as a young teenager at high school at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, ranked Top 10 in the world for many, many years and the host of previous World and Presidents Cups. I joined Victoria Golf Club, ranked approximately 70 in the world as a 16-year-old, where I remain a member still to this day. Our family home was located less than a half mile from Royal Melbourne Golf Club and Victoria Golf Club."
He was an avid athlete as a young man playing Australian football, cricket (their version of baseball), tennis and basketball. Golf was a part-time sport and evolved from his earlier caddying experience at Royal Melbourne.
By his late teens, Craig played state golf (their version of A level college golf) and considered playing professionally. He played alongside contemporaries, such as Craig Parry, Grant Waite and Bradley Hughes. Now his handicap is 3. When playing regularly, he shoots a 75. He also has played at Medinah Country Club.
In his professional career, he became a partner in a consumer behavior consulting firm, Klein, Craig & Associates, where he worked with General Motors, Telstra, Ogilvy & Mather, Leo Burnett and others. He also spent three years as CEO of what was Australia's largest retail chain called House of Golf.
"In 2006, I sold out of The House of Golf to my partners because I found the importing and wholesaling side of the business far more challenging than retail," Craig said. "I purchased out their interest in Byron and renamed it Byron Golf CGS and broadened the focus of the company ... Over time, CGS was the Australian distributor for brands such as OGIO, Etonic, Volvik, Champ, Nicklaus Golf and PowaKaddy."
"I have also always loved golf and still love to play as much as ever," Craig said. "I have always been ultra competitive so golf has always provided a competitive fix. I also greatly enjoy the social side and getting out with friends and I genuinely can enjoy a day out regardless of whether I play to expectations or not."
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