24-year old golf champ Eric Banks of Truro Nova Scotia has chosen Phenomenal Sports Marketing to handle his marketing management.
While just beginning his pro career, Eric is no rookie when it comes to on-course competition. He’s a graduate from the University of Florida’s prestigious Varsity Golf team, and competed many years on Team Canada’s National Amateur team. He’s a former Nova Scotia Junior and Amateur champion, and qualified to compete in this past summer’s US and Australian Amateurs.
“My game is trending in the right direction,” says Eric. “I’ve picked out two key areas to improve this off-season and I’m very pleased with the progress thus far. I’m excited to go back to Florida in January to continue the process and can’t wait to bring the new skill sets to the table in May.”
Eric turned pro this past August and received sponsors exemptions to play in two Canadian Tour events. He also attempted to qualify for the Web.com Tour through Qschool in September, where he was unable to advance to second stage.
“Unfortunately I didn’t make it through Q-school this year, but I learned more about myself in that event than any tournament I’ve ever played in. I was able to dive into the stats of each round and it helped me build a specific plan for the off-season; improving weaknesses and maintaining strengths.”
Now riding full steam into a professional career in the sport, Eric has surrounded himself with a formidable team, including swing coach Sean Foley- a top-100 Golf Instructor, who’s client roster included golfing greats Hunter Mahan and Tiger Woods. He also has a strength coach, and has camaraderie with current PGA Tour pros, including Billy Horschel and Camillo Villegas.
Ironically, his connection with Phenomenal didn’t come from worldly ventures, but from his home town of 12,000 people in Truro, Nova Scotia. Co-owner Dave Williamson, originally from Halifax, now only lives a few blocks away from the Banks’ family residence in town.
“I’ve known Dave for quite sometime, but because of our busy schedules we hadn’t really connected. When he approached me with his vision I was immediately interested. After we got the paperwork settled I knew he was right the guy to help build my brand.”
“He has the mind of a champion- poised, driven, and purposeful” says Dave, who also spent time competing as a professional golfer before his career switch into marketing. “We look for a few outstanding qualities in our athletes, and Eric definitely has them. Above just the resume, he has the story of perseverance and confidence- those qualities just can’t be understated”.
Arguably Eric’s biggest challenge came off the course, when in 2012 he was diagnosed with partial anomalous pulmonary venous return, where doctors discovered a hole in the two upper chambers of his heart. Banks required open heart surgery that sidelined him for almost an entire year. But he rebounded triumphantly, and received the David Toms award for overcoming adversity- a huge accomplishment and recognition in the NCAA.
“Having open-heart surgery at 19 was a life changing experience. It still crosses my mind everyday. It’s tough to put into words, but being at such a low point in 2012 versus my current position is crazy. I owe everything to the doctors that helped me out and certainly couldn’t have made it through without family and friends. My bad days don’t seem that bad anymore because I know first hand how rough things can get.”
Next up for the NCAA Academic All-American will be equipment fittings with Titleist in California in January, before returning to Jacksonville Florida to hone his game for the 2017 season. To aid his upcoming professional expenses, he’s become affiliated with the University of Jacksonville as their golf team’s assistant coach, and hopes an affiliation with Phenomenal will help with sponsorship dollars and endorsement contracts.
“Dave has a lot of experience in marketing and I’m impressed with his work so far. His dedication is incredible and I’m excited about our partnership as we move forward.”
As for Dave’s own golf game? “Eric owes me a few strokes” he says, “but trust me… that isn’t an easy negotiation!”.