NAME | Bill Fair
TITLE | Owner and Chief Operating Officer, N-Vizion Products Group
HOMETOWN | Washington, Georgia
What’s a day in the life for you in your job? Because quality and consistency are so important to me, I not only design our products, I am also directly involved in their manufacture. It is also my daily practice to be available to our customers to answer their questions and to ask for their input.
What should golf course superintendents know about your organization that they don’t already know? N-Vizion Products Group is about the realization of my creative agronomic vision with a “Z.” Everybody can do the “A, B, C’s” of fertilizer … the elementary stuff. But that never satisfied me, and I knew that our growers deserved better and more complete answers. For years, I was a corporate technical director and industry consultant, developing many well-known plant healthcare products. During those years, I always felt like I was working with one hand tied behind my back because of the corporate “bottom line.” My dream was to break away from all of that and, using everything I had learned, to create superior plant food products without the usual limitations. Our goal is, and always will be, to reduce stress for the plant, the soil and the superintendent. So, while the industry trend is to require an 8-10 product fertility program that is complicated and unreliable, our contrarian approach has been to combine sustainability with simplicity.
When you’re gone from the golf industry, how do you want to be remembered? As someone who loved people, enjoyed creating useful products, was willing to share what he knew and who worked hard to make other people’s work less stressful. Also, that I didn’t care about being the biggest, but strived to be the best at what I did.
If you were born 100 years ago, what would you do for a living? I’d be a starving musician. I tried that earlier in life, but never got used to the starving part.
Who is your hero? My dad. He was a man who exuded kindness and integrity.
What’s the best thing about the golf industry? Good people, fresh air and sunshine, and the smell of freshly cut grass.
What’s the worst thing about the golf industry? The stress created by the pursuit of perfection.
What golf course can’t you wait to get on and why? The Old Course at St. Andrews is the only course that still somewhat mystifies me. It’s the Old World calling me, and the challenge to see if a couple of my ideas could improve their greens.
Describe golf course superintendents in one word? Perfectionists.
Who would you rather play golf with –– Arnie or Jack? Why? Jack. His focus, intensity and mental acuity intrigue me.
If you were a super hero, who would you be and why? Probably Spider Man. He knows how to turn a “sticky” problem into an asset, and it might help me overcome my arachnophobia.
What do you like to do away from your job? Travel with my family, play a little music, catch up on world events, and cook some juicy ribeyes on the grill.
What is your all-time favorite song? I was in the music business for a long time, so it depends on what day it is. Right now, I’d say “Free Bird” or “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
What’s your favorite movie and why? “It’s a Wonderful Life,”starring Jimmy Stewart. Just the perfect reminder that life is precious and every person is more valuable than they realize.
Speaking of movies, who’s your favorite character from “Caddyshack”? Hard to pick against Czervik, Ty or Carl, but I’m going with the gopher. As complex as our various personal issues can be, it’s usually the simplest (and stupidest) problems that drive us to distraction!