Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Can you give us a little insight into your background?
I was born in Santa Barbara, CA and lived there until we moved up to Seattle where I stayed until right before high school. Then we moved down to the desert, and I've been here ever since. I've always played golf and come from a golf family - with my dad being a golf professional who was on tour for a long time and being called "Mr. 59.” My brothers also played professionally, so my whole life has been focused and centered around golf.
Right before high school, I really kicked it up a notch and played competitively into college and then professionally. My dream was to play on the PGA Tour just like my father and brother. As I progressed and moved through my professional career, I met my wife and things shifted after we ended up getting married. I didn't necessarily want to be on tour anymore. I wanted to be at home with my family and be the best husband and father I could be. So that's when I decided to give up on the Tour, which led to other doors opening.
We’re big fans of your brand Almigos. The approach you take to the product offering and logo design is world class. Can you talk about the founding of Almigos and how it was brought to life?
Thank you! My wife and family are Mexican, and we wanted to have a tournament locally at my club that brought lifelong and new friends together for a great time. Since becoming a part of my wife’s family, I have really taken in the culture and what family is all about. We wanted to have a tournament centered around those values.
I've always had a hobby and a knack for logos. Graphic design and golf logos in general are something I've always been interested in. Even as a young kid, I enjoyed branding and marketing, whether I knew it or not at the time. I've always had fun with drawing, so when I started a tournament I knew the logo would be great. A friend and I took one of my drawings and found an artist to touch it up. Lo and behold, that’s how the Almigos logo was officially born. Little did I know the life that it would take on.
How would you define the style surrounding Almigos? How has it evolved over the last few years?
The style of Almigos has really evolved as I've evolved. There's been so much evolution between the brand, me and our family. I really didn't know what I was doing! We had one great logo and just kind of fed off that.
The inspiration behind it has always been the followers and friends. All my Almigos out there! I feed off of them when creating logos and thinking of new products to launch. I slowly introduce new logos and gear to my Instagram followers, and I take their feedback seriously and make decisions based on what they think is cool. Through this process, I’ve learned what sells and what the Almigos want.
I would say right now the style is sophisticated and clean but also has a kicked-back SoCal vibe. It’s inclusive in the sense that it’s not just for a select few and you're just kind of part of it. It has grown as I've gotten more into art and finding artists I gravitate towards. One is Max Machado, who has become a good friend. Our looks have become kind of synonymous with one another. It's been great working with such great brands and people. Holderness & Bourne has been a solid partner that has helped bring Almigos to a whole new level that the fans and followers have really gravitated towards.
What’s on the horizon for Almigos? More e-commerce/in-store brand collaborations? Any plans for brick-and-mortar locations down the road?
We have art for the U.S. Open coming up in L.A. I’m excited to push some LA-centric gear because I catch a lot of flak for playing favorites with San Diego given my history with the area. We have product drops coming for Cinco de Mayo, which is a big one for us and some other fun things down the road this summer.
When it comes to brand collaborations, we create a good amount of capsule collection drops with Holderness & Bourne! Between our rep Kenny, Chris, and myself, there have been some killer designs and campaigns with H&B. It has been such a special brand collaboration that we’ve grown together. We also work with EP head covers and do a tremendous amount of head cover artwork with Tyler over there. We have some cool EP head covers up our sleeve for the Open Championship, which should be exciting this July.
As for physical site presence, I want to open our own golf course here in the desert. My plan is to call it Almigos Ranch, have it in town, and create a setting that is unlike anything else here in the valley. It would be a home for all our Almigos to come and play. A place to come experience hitting balls while having margaritas and tacos. Before Almigos Ranch comes into play, we might execute a couple of pop-up shops here in town.
Can you describe your target market and the Almigos customer?
Anyone that wants to be part of Almigos appreciates and understands Mexican culture for what it is. My wife and I wanted to mix golf and Mexican culture with a splash of Southern California vibes. Our customer is basically anyone from juniors to someone in their 20s, 30s, 40s and on up. My dad is rocking it, and he's 85! I always use the analogy that most of the time when you have friends in town, you're taking them to a Mexican restaurant. It's inclusive, and the Mexican culture creates a fun kicked-back setting.
After spending time with you today, you clearly value your relationships with family and friends. How have they played a role in the creation of the brand?
Family is everything to me, and it's the most important thing in my life. Family and friends really are the brand. They are what inspired me to create it. We are lucky to have so many great friends and being able to share so many great experiences with them is special. This feeling is where our brand slogan originated from. Good friends, good golf, good times. It's a simple saying, but it ties everything together nicely.
You used to play on the pro circuit. Do you play much golf anymore? If so, what’s your all-time favorite day of golf? Describe the day.
Yes, I used to play on the mini tours and still classify myself as a professional. My tournament schedule is ever-changing throughout the year. I’ll still tee it up in the SoCal section events, but most of my time is spent teaching here at The Palms. The setup here allows me to stay sharp when summer rolls around. I really ramp up playing and historically have played quite a few tournaments in the warmer months. I just love the competition.
My all-time favorite day of golf is a loaded question. I would probably say anytime I can combine having drinks and playing with my friends. More specifically, any day I get to spend with family and friends at Goat Hill Park in La Jolla would top the list.
What’s your favorite post-round drink and why?
I can't choose one. No way! Most of the time, it’s probably just a beer. A nice cold Modelo on the back patio post-round is up there. I also like to go with a Margarita or Paloma. You can't go wrong with those, especially if it's in a frozen mug or glass.
Are you a sweater or quarter-zip guy and why?
I used to be a sweater guy when I was younger, but I’ve become a quarter-zip guy recently and also rock hoodies whenever possible! I have a few H&B Jackson hoodies that have been feeling pretty good, and I’m excited for the new Fall options rolling out later this summer. I’m going with option C hoodies.
Do you prefer performance fabric or cotton?
Cotton is nice and classy, but out here in the desert you must wear performance fabric. It looks sharp and stays comfortable in the dry heat.
What is your favorite area of Mexico to visit?
Another loaded question! There are so many great spots, but I always go back to our honeymoon spot. We went to Tulum, which has actually been a huge inspiration for me and Almigos. It was pretty much the best trip ever.
What is your all-time favorite golf course?
1A is Goat Hill Park. My friends John Ashworth and Jay Bird are down there. I love everything about it and what it stands for. It's my home away from home. The Palms here is my 1B. I can't imagine my life without The Palms. 1C is The Dunes Club in southwest Michigan. An original 9-hole Mike Kaiser course that is fantastic. The feel, vibe, simplicity, architecture and look are amazing and it’s a blast. Although it is only nine holes, we played it twice and it was something I'll never forget.
Do you have any tips for playing the nicer clubs in the desert?
There's a lot of good golf in the desert. Good friends and good connections at private clubs would probably help, but if you can play Palms and Plantation, I always say those are the two true golf clubs. La Quinta Country Club is always up there for me too. It has a cool and fun old-school vibe mixed in with some vintage Palm Springs style architecture. Public courses are going to be expensive, but you’ll want to play Desert Willow, Indian Wells, and La Quinta Resort. Depending on the time of year, make sure you're stocked up on brewskies and margaritas. Just know that you're going to have to hit the pool immediately after!
Any tips for a 5 handicap to get to scratch or below?
Yeah, you got to work your a** off. Something that has helped me tremendously that I tell all of my students is to control your process and routines. Control what you can control and just let go. Let your subconscious take over and play. Have a process and game plan and stick to it!
What’s a golf drill that you're currently working on?
Nothing new, but I have been working on the same golf drills for years. This is what I tell all of my students when they do a drill three times and think they have it figured out. I've been working with my coach Dana Dahlquist for 13 years, and we grind on many of the same things.
Working on trying to get good load and rotation in the backswing and then transition into rotating and getting open where my chest is more over it is key, because I have excess right-side bend. This allows me to stay shallow. I probably should also work on just getting on the course more!