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ECCO Employee takes on brave career change
On 21. februar 2013
Normally it’s golf shoes that ECCO are sending to the golf course. This time they are sending an employee. Jesper Thuen is restarting his career as professional golf player.
The weight is down with more than 20 kilo and his life is now run by a tour plan. But motivation and dedication is sky-high as Jesper Thuen takes on what he calls mission impossible.
“I am restarting my career as professional golf player. My first tournament is going to be the ECCO Tour in March. I look at it as mission impossible; hoping to erase the im,” says Jesper Thuen, 41, followed by a big smile.
It is 16 years ago he decided to end his professional career, but Jesper Thuen was the first player ECCO Golf signed a contract with. In 2004, ECCO welcomed him back in the position as Global Marketing Manager with ECCO Golf.
To pursue his dream of returning to the golf course Jesper Thuen will be leaving his job. But he is not leaving ECCO.
“ECCO is among my sponsors and I will keep working for ECCO Golf on PR and sponsorships. I am very grateful for the opportunity to pursue my dream of playing professional golf again,” says Jesper Thuen.
It was a call from potential sponsors last year that made Jesper Thuen reconsider going back to golf. Months before, golf pro friends had told him to stop wasting his talent and get back in business. And Jesper Thuen went with his gut feeling.
“I knew that I was going to regret it if I said no. My wife looked at me and said she knew the day would come. And that was it. I decided to tell Dieter,” says Jesper Thuen.
According to Jesper Thuen, Dieter Kasprzak, CEO of ECCO, looked a bit surprised when he said that he would go back to play pro golf again.
“I told him that I wasn’t done playing professional golf and without hesitating he told me to go for it,” says Jesper Thuen.
Jesper Thuen is signed for three years and this year he will be playing a full season on the ECCO Tour; 17 tournaments, starting in Spain on March 15.
“This is a fantastic opportunity and I wish him the best of luck. Jesper is a very talented golf player and I am looking forward to seeing him out there,” says Dieter Kasprzak.
Nine Rounds with Jesper Thuen
Why did you decide to restart your career as professional golf player?
“My game has been developing in a very good direction and I have been playing well for quite some time now. Furthermore I knew I would regret it if I didn’t go for it. I still feel the fire inside.”
How did you prepare to go back playing golf at this level?
“I love practicing and have been doing that a lot lately. On the golf course and in the gym.”
How old were you when you started playing golf?
“I was four years old and had to start with a tennis ball because the golf ball was too heavy.”
What is going to be your strength and weakness?
“My patience might be my weakness. I am a very competitive person. I love to win and just hate to lose. Just ask my wife or kids. They won’t play mini golf or anything else with me. But being competitive is also my force and my fuel. I would say that my strength is my stability and my ballast from life.”
What are your expectations and goals this year?
“I am keeping my goals to myself. I am going to let the golf clubs do the talking; my focus is to become a better golf player.”
Which shoe will you be playing in?
“The ECCO Tour Hybrid. They are very stable, have great traction and look great with a high level of comfort. If I can play just as good as these shoes are; then I will be in good shape.”
Which golf course is your favourite?
“The easy answer is the one I play my best at. But if I have to choose it would be the New South Wales Golf Club in Australia. It’s an amazing place by the ocean and with rocks shooting up everywhere.”
What has so far been your favourite moment with golf?
“All the great people I have met playing golf around the world.”
What have you learned from golf?
“Golf is a gentleman sport which means that you learn about etiquette and you learn to be on time and respect other people. Furthermore, the people, I have met, have all contributed with lessons in life and good times.”