Born and raised in Helensburgh, Scotland — Gordon Dalgliesh attended the College of William & Mary on a Mark H. McCormack scholarship, where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration. In 1984, Gordon and his brother Colin, founded PerryGolf with the intent to fully provide the most memorable golf travel experiences imaginable. Now for over 30 years these two accomplished Scottish golfing brothers have continued to do exactly that.
An advocate amateur golf, Gordon served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) from 1988-2000. Among many other
personal golf successes, he was the Chinese Amateur Golf Champion in 1995. Gordon is recognized by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine as one of the top traveler specialists in the United States. serves as a panelist for Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Courses, and is a committee member of the World Club Championship.
He proudly supports countless philanthropic organizations both community-centric and worldwide. To no surprise, two of his many past times include playing golf and traveling around the world. But most of all, he enjoys spending time with his family.
Gordon now resides with his wife, Marion and son Sterling, in Wilmington, NC, but will always maintain his roots in Scotland.
You wake up in the morning — what’s the driving passion?
Running the business is every bit the joy its been since the beginning, we’ve been doing new things online, we just launched our new website, we are expanding our golf couples portfolio with triple the number of cruises and escorted tours we’ve offered in the past, but the most enjoyable day in day out is sharing the experience with our clients. I’m in touch with hundreds every year from new prospects to repeat travelers means I have a lot of friends and its lovely.
PerryGolf has been operating for 34 years — what was the genesis for the company and the reasons for your success?
The genesis was to provide a better service than what was available at the time, keeping in mind in 1984 that our industry was just taking shape. There were maybe 2
formal tour operators at the time and only a handful of kitchen table mom and pops. We saw a lot of room for improvement. Our success is due to different things; we’ve innovated, we’ve built a super solid network of suppliers, we know the market – Colin went to school at Ohio State, I’ve been a resident since – but mostly we are very good at treating every client or team member the same way that my brother and I would want to be treated.
Given the range of options golfers have in deciding what to do with their specific travel plans — how does PerryGolf differentiate itself from your competitors?
On the basic level, consistently and dependably delivering what we present to our clients but with a style & a concern for their overall experience. On a macro level we try to innovate, whether with our VIP Coaches, golf cruise destinations, exclusive use accommodations or our expansive access to tee times on the Old Course at St. Andrews. For 30+ years we have led our industry in developing a portfolio of international golf travel programs that is truly unique.
What’s the overall assessment for golf travel this year — especially on the American side? Destinations of special emphasis?
Scotland will forever be the highest demand international golf destination for American golfers. Our clientele are enjoying the benefits of a strong dollar and upward stock market. Business is brisk as we look through the end of 2018.
Curious to know if you have a specific bucket list destination you’d like to eventually visit?
I am very fortunate to have travelled to most places I have ever wanted to visit, but I still have some non-golf destinations to which I would like to take my wife & 12 year old son.
Customer service is routinely touted by many companies. Define the term and how PerryGolf goes about doing it?
Responsiveness & communication. We pride ourselves on responding to clients accurately, promptly and concisely. We use our experience to anticipate questions before they arise. We promote easy communication with our leadership and in the event anything goes awry, we take full ownership and resolve the problem to the very best of our ability — to an earlier answer, just as we would like to be treated.
Biggest mistake people make when making plans for traveling is what?
There are two; waiting to book and failing to understand the reality of the logistics they will be dealing with, which can often lead to unrealistic expectations. One such reality is that golf tourists are pretty much playing the same courses, or at least they want too. The early birds get to pick and choose which allow us to optimize their schedule.
You can change one thing in golf unilaterally – what would it be and why?
For recreational golfers, a simpler rule book.
Golf organizations throughout the globe — USGA, R&A, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, LPGA — are all seeking ways to attract people to the game. This is especially so for Millennials, women, minorities and juniors. If you were counseling them what would you suggest be done?’
Golf is fundamentally a hard sport to master but the rewards are so great because, more than any other sport, the personal interaction & camaraderie are unmatched. Highlighting that aspect of the game.
Best advice you ever received — what was it and who from. On the flip side if giving a bit of advise to those just getting started with their careers what would you offer?
Base your sales price on what you need to charge in order to run a business, not a sales price based on being cheaper than a perceived competitor. As for my advice – you can never have too many good contacts – not an associate, but really someone with whom you have high credibility and you also hold them in the same esteem.