TERESA WADE | Founder & Executive Director of Experience Green
Hometown: Currently resides on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, by way of Nashville, Tennessee, and originally from Stone Mountain, Georgia.
What’s a day in the life for you in your job?
As the founder of a young nonprofit organization, I wear a lot of hats. Being an ambassador for sustainability is my priority, but I also educate, guide programs that are authentic and relevant, and foster relationships with individuals, businesses, associations, governments and industry. I participate in discussions relevant to advancing the topic of sustainability and manage much of the organization’s operations.
What should golf course superintendents know about your company that they don’t already know?
Most don’t know about this nonprofit organization. Superintendents should consider Experience Green a resource to help them be an even better MVP of a golf operation so they can facilitate collaborative sustainable practices that all team members (pros, owners, suppliers) can contribute to, for increased environmental stewardship to better care for the stage for golf, to elevate the experience for golfers and nongolfers, generate profit with purpose, and enhance the image of the game. Those create the trifecta for sustainability: benefiting the planet, its people and prosperity.
When you’re gone from the golf industry, how do you want to be remembered?
As the girl from the Southeast that was crazy passionate about integrating sustainability as a formal must-do strategy for the triple bottom line of the golf industry.
If you were born 100 years ago, what would you do for a living?
I’ve always loved learning and being in school. I was influenced greatly by so many of my instructors, from my piano teacher that taught me at age 5 to my graduate school professors. I would probably have been a teacher if born 100 years ago.
Who is your hero?
I have been influenced by so many exceptional people, but my mom is the smartest, most resourceful and efficient person that I have ever known; she is my hero. Her strength, unwavering faith, and innate determination to be her best every day inspires me to get up every time I get knocked down, and to also use my brain and the voice from within to guide my decisions.
What’s the best thing about the golf industry?
What’s the worst thing about the golf industry?
What golf course can’t you wait to get on and why?
Augusta National Golf Club. I’ve never experienced the facility. As a true southern belle, I’m charmed by its tradition and the beauty of the pines and azaleas.
Describe golf course superintendents in one word?
Who would you rather play golf with –– Arnie or Jack? Why?
My preference is based on guts versus the game. Arnie plays with authority, confidence, and the guiding principle of tempo in the takeaway but power and acceleration at impact. I play the game of golf and life in that manner, strategically thinking, but executing with 125 percent of my being every single time.
If you were a superhero, who would you be and why?
That’s easy, Wonder Woman! She is beautiful, strong, and though she has limited superpowers, she strategically uses them and her intelligence to overcome evil.
What do you like to do away from your job?
I enjoy travel with golf, as it’s one of the best ways to experience different locales, culture and environmental diversity. While at home, I love time with Belle, my Vizsla. Riding my bike while she runs beside me on the golf course or beach, she reminds me daily to be present in the moment. And finally, music is the love of my life, it has been since I was 5. A seat on the porch at twilight with my guitar, singing favorite songs that I’ve crafted, is such sweet therapy for my soul.
What is your all-time favorite song?
“Georgia on my Mind,” the Ray Charles version.
What’s your favorite movie and why?
“Gone with the Wind,” as it was set in my hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. I love Scarlett O’Hara, a strong-willed and independent woman who often reminds me of myself.
Speaking of movies, who’s your favorite character from “Caddyshack” and why?
“Caddyshack” claimed its fame before I started playing golf, which was only about 12 years ago, so in all honesty it’s never been a go-to movie for me. But I do respect the resourceful ambition of Danny, who is a “player,” as he maneuvers his means to achieve his objectives and raise money to go to college.