Monday, April 21, 2008

The Sweet Spot of Goget's Life

My dad might as well work on Mars. He in fact works on a small island off the southern coast of China called Hainan. I know this probably doens't belong on here, but this article made laugh harder and smile more broadly than anything else lately and I just need to make sure it isn't relagted to my archives>personal>family folder and completely forgotten. So I share with you an article written for a Koren Golfing Magazine about my dear Father- translated from the original article posted below (and no, I didn't translate it and it's bloody brilliant as is):

The Sweet Spot of Goget’s Life

Being as the GM of the world class hotel the Ritz-Carlton, having a wife of love at the first sight and willing to taking care of the family by give up her own career and two excellent children; Having experienced golfing in over 10 different countries, including challenging the Pebble Beach Golf Club, St. Andrews and some other
popular places for golfing; having experienced the pleasure of hole-in-one. Michel L.
Goget always says that those (career, family, golfing) are everything of his life.

At the end of the 2007, Michel L. Goget made his son who’s studying in Washington and his daughter who’s working in London came to Sanya, a family of four had an unforgettable Christmas here and it was his first Christmas in China. They spent a great time on exploring Hainan in addition to enjoying the reunion happiness and the peaceful Christmas Eve. Meanwhile, he didn’t forget the “Golf Contest between a dad and a son”

He appreciates the time of being with his family because of the often movements for work and the busy work of hotel business. Especially after his appointment of the general manager of the Ritz-Carlton Sanya, work has been occupied every part of his life. As the general manager, there are stacks of work to do for the opening of a new hotel. “Work, work, work…” that is how he describes his life lately.

However, he will still squeeze some time out to spend with his wife, “I would be very busy until the new hotel opens, my wife is still a bit not used to it as we’ve just got here in China for a short time only, and our kids are not around too, so, I would spend more time to be with her out from work.” As for golfing, he said that is not possible for once a week, “as you know, it is hard to balance golfing, work and family, and right now it’s the special time too, I can only golf at those clubs near by for satisfying the
pleasure from golfing, I think it would be better when the hotel opens, as I will have some vacations by then, there are so many fantastic golf clubs in China and I will never miss it.”

Before he has been appointed as the general manager of the Ritz-Carlton Sanya, he had never ever been to China before, and it is even his first time to Asia. He’s just happened to know there are so many golf clubs here in China until he got here. Therefore, he drew up himself a goal for the 2008 which is a list, on that list there are names as: Mission Hills, Spring City, and Jade Dargon Snow Mountain…

Most of the people got into golf because of their friends, business, the sudden interest or being attracted to the huge area of the beautiful lawn. Goget’s golf history started exactly as the typical example of the sudden interest, it’s just his son played the role of an accelerator when linking them up together throughout over the past ten years.

It was in the 1994, the whole family was on vacation in Paris. The younger son was so engaging into the golf game than fairy tale world of Disney, But the first golfing experience was really not good except being enjoyed a little from the fresh air and the spectacular scenery, the rest was full of mess. There are countless rules and incomprehensible strategies and balls couldn’t be swung out, anyways, to him the first impression of golfing was really a game full with “troubles”.

The first golfing experience didn’t leave him with a good impression, but what really made him fell into golf was his new job after that. He was employed by DOLCE hotel
group and was sent to the Hotel Dolce Fregate a golf hotel in Provence the south
France for work, “it was a beach resort with having a 27-hole golf club which is
very popular in Provence. The blue ocean, the steep cliff, the wild sea wind, the green lawn, that was my first time so impressed by that kind of beautiful club.” Then, he started go golfing almost out of control, at that time, he had to go and played the 18-hole once he had the chance, whenever it was possible he would go 3 to 4 times a week. “That was the time I was so crazy about golfing and it was also the time when my grades improved the fastest. My wife started complaining about me spending too much time on golfing though, but I always could find good excuses as it was part of my work.”

After having the crazy golfing time in Dolce Fregate, Goget took his
whole family and moved to the U.S. for work. Even when he lost the excuse of golfing for work, but he could still find a new excuse instead, that was his son. He took his son for golfing every weekend as long as the weather was not extremely bad no matter when. His wife became having no excuse to complain and increasingly his son started falling into golf too, and grades kept improving until becoming the leader of the golf team in the school. however, they would definitely go for a contest between themselves, even 2 meters height son has single, and driver straight go to over 300 yards. as a matter of fact, it’s much more an excuse making for golfing during the vacation than having a contest.

Goget said he likes go golfing in the winter, as there are not many people golfing; he said he likes go golfing in the summer which is the summer in Sanya and also Miami, and the reason is the same. To him, as long as the weather is not extremely bad, any hot or cold weather which both wouldn’t be the obstacles for golfing. His persistence of golfing is well known among all the general managers in the Ritz-Carlton Sanya.

Nevertheless, after 10 years golfing experiences, his grades used to be 85, but now go to 90. He keeps explaining the busy work makes him having no time for practice and causing the grades going down though, for this grade it’s kind of unacceptable by those golf lovers, but to him this grade has made him enjoying the pleasure of the golfing enough already.

Movements for work and plus vacations within the past 10 years, he’s been golfing over 20 countries, and most of the clubs are well known by people, such as the Pebble Beach Golf Club in the U.S; the old course in St. Andrews; Kingsbams; New South Wales in Australia…he’s been to clubs everywhere. Meanwhile, he always remembers what happened over there, such as the 5th hole in the Pebble Beach; the eagle of 328 pounds; the embarrassment of being lost in the old course; the nightmare of the sand…

The most impressive club is not the one of the Top 100. The Dearborn TPC club in the Michigan state of the U.S. is the only one where made his sweetest memories. “Sunday, December 1st 2003, that was the most memorable day in my life. A Par-3 hole of the 180 yards, I was going to use the Iron 4, but my son suggested me using the Iron 5, then I magically made the first hole in one in my life. I treated everyone with Champaign by rule at that moment, until now I still keep that Iron 5, the Titelist ball and the empty Champaign glass at home, even the ball bag tag last time that I
still keep it hung on my ball bag as they are priceless to me.

She is Great

It is a little pity to Goget for failing of making his wife Ruth falling into golf. “Ruth loves sports, tennis, swimming, running those are all her favorite, but when it comes to golf, no matter how I persuade it just never work for her, however, it’s lucky that she doesn’t stop me on golfing.”

Ruth and Goget met 25 years ago at one of the hotels in Florida, “I was doing a training then, and she was the restaurant manager. We were like the love at the first sight and thanks God gave me the opportunity of attending that training.” He keeps saying “she’s great!” whenever he mentions about his wife. It might be seen as a natural expression to others, but, after 25 years marriage that Ruth has been
managing their family so well and which makes him could concentrate on his career, but Ruth had to give up her own career for that and being by his side all the times. Having lived 7 countries, moved 16 times and raised up two excellent children. Goget is really a lucky man by having such a great wife. “I don’t agree on those saying of having golf as the second wife, that’s totally two different things, at least I would never think in that way. I like golfing, but I love my wife more. I would give up golfing for her, it’s just I’ve got no chance to make it happen as Ruth is very much
supportive on my “golf career”.

Goget has taken some time out from golfing in order to return her support. “We like took Nelly (the dog has been being with them for over 10 years already) out for a walk on the beach while we were in Florida. Sanya makes me thinking of those days in Florida, the bright sunshine, the blue sky, the beach, the ocean. Hands in hands with Ruth while Nelly is running around, the time seems going back.” And besides, he would also make some his best dishes for Ruth sometimes. By doing house work together, playing tennis together and driving to uptown for some get away, maybe those are the romantic nature running though the blood of all the French men. In addition to the love and care of Ruth everyday, he will also take a week out from a year spending with Ruth for a peaceful, quiet and romantic vacation. There won’t be any work or golfing but only two of them.

The favorite Sun Valley Hole # 3

His favorite hole used to be the hole # 18 in the Pebble Beach, before he came to China, however, his favorite now has become the hole #3 in the Sun Valley. He explained as the Ritz-Carlton Sanya can be seen while swinging from there to such a big change. “Especially in the early morning, when you look at it through the ocean and those mountains, that feeling is fabulous.” He surely takes you to the place where he thinks as the best place for overlooking the roof of the hotel while he’s giving his exclamation for creating you an atmosphere of the fantasy at the meantime. He didn’t deny of being kind of acting like love me, love my dog as what I described him as by saying “maybe! The Ritz-Carlton is really my favorite and I only wear the
Ritz-Carlton T-shirt when I’m playing golf.” He was smiling while pointing at the logo on his hat and T-shirt. The story between him and the Ritz-Carlton began 10 years ago. “I was the vice president of a hotel group in the Europe managing 6 hotels, but my kids had to go back to the U.S. for school, so I decided moving back to the U.S. and my only thought was getting into the best company in the industry, and then I chose the Ritz-Carlton. It is absolutely a strict process of being selected by the Ritz-Carlton. I went through a QSP of 2 months and a 2 hour telephone interview, being
interviewed by the executive committee personally. Every manager who wants to join the Ritz-Carlton must go through a 6 month GM training program, however, I was honored by passing the test within the only 35 days. Eventually I successfully joined the Ritz-Carlton group as the hotel manager. After that, he proved that the Ritz-Carlton group had made the right choice by showing his performance. Even though the big attack from the 911, he still managed to brought up the revenue of USD 38,000,000 to USD 60,000,000 for the Ritz-Carlton Washington within 4 years and created a big miracle into the company history.

And now, the Ritz-Carlton Sanya has again become a new starting point for Goget. He’s very confident of it; first of all, he’s been in the hotel industry for over 20 years; secondly, he used to live in the south Florida and Miami for over 10 years, there are a lot of similarities between both of the places from the weather to the transportation, so a lot of past experiences can be made use of. “Maybe the thing I’m not used to the most is the golfing environment here, as comparing to the clubs in the U.S. that my knowledge to the golf clubs is limited as the Clear water Bay in Hong Kong and some local clubs in Sanya only. I’ve heard a lot of clubs suggested by friends, but I wouldn’t be able to go when the hotel is not opened, and besides, Ruth is still not really used to it yet since we’ve just got here, so I have to spend some more time with her.”

However, as according to his coworkers that he’s going to accomplish his first golfing dream in China soon, and that is going for golfing at the Mission Hill in Shenzhen as the Ritz-Carlton Shenzhen is opening in the near future. Since he’s attending the opening ceremony for sure, then he’s never going to miss this opportunity
steps away as his personality.

Probably the only aspect of my dad's golfing "career" they didn't mention is the time he was at the driving range and while bending over to tie his shoe, got hit in the face by his best friend's club, mid-swing. He came home with his tail between his legs and a massive black eye. I should really find a picture of that.

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