The world of business is full of snappy little motivational quotes.
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”
“If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission.”
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
Stuff like that is all well and good. Alternatively, if you’re struggling to get ahead in life, why not follow the lead of Geno Bonnalie.
In a piece he wrote for The Caddie Network, Bonnalie outlined exactly how he got his break bag caddying on the PGA Tour.
The 34-year-old has been on the bag of his fellow Idaho man Joel Dahmen for the last five years and they enjoyed their best year together last year, when Dahmen banked over $1.4m en route to finishing 80th on the FedEx Cup standings. They’re on course to do even better this year, too, with more than $400,000 already in the bank.
However, it could all have been so different had Dahmen either not read or ignored an email sent to him by old childhood friend Bonnalie in 2014 after he finished first on the Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit.
“I would like to officially apply for the position of “Joel Dahmen’s Caddie” for the Web.com and PGA Tour,” wrote Bonnalie, who knew Dahmen from their days on the Idaho junior golf scene. “I have been thinking about this for a long time, and I don’t want to put any pressure on you to hire me, I just want to explain why I would be a good fit for the job and let you decide. I just want what is best for you and I truly believe that you and I would thrive together.”
Over the next 600 words or so, Bonnalie outlined why he thought he was the right man for Dahmen’s bag, even pledging to sleep in a modified Honda Civic if required.
“I have also looked at the schedule and know that there are some weeks where it is over 1,000 miles to the next location,” he wrote. “That’s okay. That’s only 16 hours & $125 in gas… easy. I know there would be a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in my future, but I have a way of surviving on nothing. I made it through college.”
However, he had three conditions: “I expect you to give it 100% every week. Never give up. Be completely honest with me at all times.”
The email worked and, just over four years later, Dahmen is closing in on the world’s top 100.
“Caddying for Joel is an amazing gig,” added Bonnalie. “He’s super easy to get along with and doesn’t spend forever hitting balls in 100-degree heat, which I really appreciate.”