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Chicago Randy: Confessions from the winning team

Chicago Randy winners

From left to right: The winners of the Chicago Randy included Dave Flory, Robert Laarhoven and Joe Houle.

On August 8, the Chicago chapters of the EACA and EDPA held the 8th Annual Chicago Randy Charity Golf Outing. The proceeds from this tournament, which is held at the Maple Meadows Golf Club in Wood Dale, Ill., benefit the Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic that is held in Atlanta ever year.

This year, the winning team consisted of Robert Laarhoven, founder and CEO of Laarhoven Design Inc., Dave Flory, director of sales and marketing for CORT Event Furnishings, and Joe Houle, director of strategic development for LAB Exhibits.

The following is Robert and Dave’s narrative of their experiences participating in the tournament.


Robert Laarhoven:

“Other than the rain late in the day, Monday was a great day for golf.  Especially given the fact that I had the opportunity to play with my good friend, Joe Houle.  Our group was made up of Joe from LAB, Dave Florey from CORT and myself.  There are typically some good players in this event, so I did not have any aspirations of winning anything, especially since there were no mulligans available for sale!  Little did I know that Joe was so good.  Over the past year, he had shared with me on more than one occasion that he was pretty good, but I thought it was all talk.

Well, Dave and I were given a show on Monday along with a golf lesson.  Not only could Joe hit the ball a mile off his drive, but he could chip and putt as well.  I think Dave and I did sink a couple of putts on our way to coming in 10 under par, which was good enough for first place.  What an amazing feat given my and Dave’s high handicaps.  Glad Joe has a strong back. I think I’ll buy Joe a plane ticket for the Randy Smith in Atlanta!”   

Dave Flory:
“Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Randy Smith Memorial golf classic held in Wood Dale, Ill. Those of you who have been involved in this tournament already know of the wonderful benefit this provides for families in our industry that have suffered from loss and hardship.

The experience this time around was particularly memorable due to the learning experience provided on this rainy afternoon. I arrived with no knowledge of what my team would look like this day, as I was a single and pairings were assigned by the organizers, which did an excellent job pulling off the event! 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I would be playing with Robert Laarhoven, who I’d never had the pleasure of being paired with, but have seen play at many a Randy classic and know has great skill at the game. Robert has an exceptional mind for business and a positive mental attitude that I knew would make for a great afternoon. Shortly thereafter, I was introduced to Joe Houle, and after brief introductions, we began our afternoon together.

The first thing I noticed about Joe was that he had a practice routine that required a bit of time alone to focus on important aspects of his game that included some positive self talk and a few practice swings. We all got off to a good start, and I soon realized that I was in the company of a couple of guys that were quite accomplished golfers.

Joe, the youngest of the group, was the motivational leader and set the tone for how interaction between us would go that afternoon. Our conversation began with how to best approach the next shot, considering all aspects from distance, club selection and ball lie to pin placement.  Soon, conversation transcended to the important stuff of families, kids, business and sales strategies. It was clear to me that golf for Robert and Joe was a lot like business and life. They both had a vision of what each shot looked like before they took it.

I’ll remember this Randy classic as a day where I not only learned how to use a six iron from 60 yards out effectively, but also just how important it is to keep focused on each step of the path that you take to reach your ultimate goal. I’d encourage any tentative golfer to attend this event for not only the prospect of helping out those in need, but also for your own personal development and the opportunity to start new relationships and enhance existing relationships within our industry.“

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