• Getting to Know 2017 Cal Seniors President Bob Berg

    Posted on December 14th, 2016 No comments

    California Seniors Golf Association

    Getting into golf became an easy choice for Bob Berg. Being raised on the shores of Pacific Grove, he didn’t have much choice.

    “When I was growing up in Pacific Grove, you either played golf or fished,” Berg said. “And I got seasick.”

    The now 67-year-old Berg did get some nudging towards the links. His father, Art, was a member at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, which had a junior program run by local legend Cam Puget. As he says, he’d “get the bug and enjoyed playing and competing with his peers in high school and college.”

    It was all just the start of what has been a fascinating journey for Berg.

    Following his graduation and playing golf for Chico State in 1973, where he majored in Computer Science, Berg relocated to the Bay Area after landing a job with the grocery chain Lucky’s. His computer skills came in handy, as Lucky’s became the first company to put ‘scanner’ registers in its stores.

    “We told Heinz and Campbell their products had to have bar codes or we would not sell their product,” Berg recalled. “That was really the beginning of point of sales.”

    While he’d become rooted in the Bay Area, Berg not much later found himself moving to Redding after his meeting his bride to be, Sharon, in Chico. Berg found a job as a computer analyst in nearby Anderson.

    “It was a great place to raise a family,” said Berg, who has called the area home (with Sharon) for the last 38 years.

    From 1979 through the late 1990’s, Berg’s career only continued to blossom. He’d start his own data processing company, which he later sold, and later formed a partnership with a pay telephone telecommunications company. It was in the late 1980’s that Berg began seeing people carrying around “brickphones and backpacks”. The telecommunications business was starting to change.

    “I could see the revolution coming. Telecommunications was going to go mobile,” Berg said.

    In 1994, Berg would return to his golf roots—via his computer skills. At the time, the Northern California Golf Association only had one Information Technology person on staff. Berg would approached by former NCGA President Dr. George Swendiman, who also resided in Redding, about joining the NCGA Board of Directors.

    “It was a great opportunity to give back to the game. Doc and I were both members at Riverview Golf and Country Club,” Berg said. “So I did it.”

    Berg would go on to serve on the NCGA Board for 10 years, culminating with his role as President in 2004. He’d also serve as President of the California Golf Association and for eight years was on the Poppy Hills, Inc. Holding Board.

    “I have a passion for the game,” said Berg, who today describes himself as semi-retired. “With any organization, you have to take your turn on the Board.”

    Recently, Berg took a time out to for a quick Q&A session.

    What are you looking forward to as CSGA President?

    If I was to give a message, it’d be that this is a great time to be a member of Cal Seniors’ because of the great venues, and we’ve started a Four-Ball event. This year’s events are at Monterey Peninsula Country Club and Pasatiempo. In 2018 we’ll be at Rancho Santa Fe and La Jolla. In 2019 we’ll be at Olympic Club. It’s a great time to join Cal Seniors.

    How did you first get started with golf?

    Through my father at Monterey Peninsula CC. He joined there in 1952. Back then, it was $150 to join and $35 a month.

    What is your greatest golf memory or moment?

    Playing with my son has been the best. I’ve played in the AT&T Pro-Am three times. I played in the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Senior Amateur and the British Senior Amateur.

    Anything you would change with the game?

    No…There’s a guy I know at MPCC. He’s 85 years old. Recently I saw him on the range and I asked him, ‘What are you doing here?’ He said he saw a tip in Golf Digest and thinks it will help his game. This is a game you can play for life, and you can always be working on it.

    What is your favorite course and why?

    I have two. One is the Lake Course at Olympic Club. The reason for me is that I used to qualify for the California Amateur there. Afterwards, I’d replay the round in my head as I drove back to Chico. I’d have hit every club in my bag. That told me it was a great design. The second one is Spyglass Hill. Whenever you think your game is good, you play it and get humbled.

    What courses are still on your wish list?

    I’ve told people that I didn’t want to play Augusta National until I qualified. Well, that ship has sailed. It’d be Augusta National and Pine Valley.

    Who was your biggest golf influence?

    My father. I caddied for him as a kid. Later, we played in the evening after work. Those are great memories. One reason I joined the NCGA Board was to spend time with my father at MPCC.

    Does or did your business career intertwine with your golf game?

    Of course it does. When you play golf with someone, you learn who they are, the type of person they are, the integrity they have and if you want to do business with them.

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