Golf Humor and Stories

James Roundy – Saying Goodbye

Late Tuesday evening I learned of the unexpected death of James Roundy, founder of Asher Golf. Even though I have only spent a few hours in the company of James, the news hit me hard and I have found myself preoccupied thinking about him and the family he has left behind.

In January of 2012, I went to my first PGA Merchandise show and knew exactly zero people when I landed in Orlando. On the second evening of the show, I was invited to attend a night golf event hosted by Kikkor. At face value the idea sounded great, but since I was going to be slotted in as a single which can be akin to childhood dreams of showing up to school having forgotten to wear pants, I was keeping my fingers crossed to be part of a fun foursome. As it turned out, I ended up playing with James Roundy and his business partner Ben Tua’one. (who just happens to one of the worlds best long drive competitors) …no pressure right?

With the added dynamic of total darkness and a few too many cocktails, we spent the evening bumbling around the resort course with little expectations of actually playing quality golf and focused purely on fun and the bizarre notion of the task at hand.  Over those few hours, I got to know James and Ben in the way only golfers can understand – short conversations between shots, stories from past rounds and the occasional bad joke.

But what I remember most about the round was feeling like I had met a friend. After returning home from the PGA Show, James sent us some Asher Gloves to review and subsequently we ended up corresponding every few months about the business and other things.

So when I returned to the PGA Merchandise Show this year, naturally one of my first stops was the Asher booth to say hello to James. We yakked a bit, he showed me the new glove models and I even got him to take a picture with me. Never did I ever imagine that four weeks later he would be gone.

Asher Glove Founder James Roundy

Like the previous year, I again met up with James at the Kikkor event. Since none of us brought our clubs the four of us decided to share one bag (yeah we were not that serious and it was only for 3 holes). Anyhow, we worked out a deal where each guy would be responsible for lugging the bag for one hole (I toted it from the clubhouse to the 1st hole). Much like the year before, we walked, talked, and hacked our way around the track and had a total blast.

As it turned out, after the round I ended up talking to some other guys and somehow never got a chance to say goodbye to James. Perhaps this is in part why the news of his passing has occupied my mind so much these past days.

What I do know is that in the four or so hours I spent with James, it was instantly clear to me that had we lived near each other we would have hung out more. James was easygoing, soft spoken and a genuinely nice guy who will be greatly missed by his family and friends. For me, I know when I am back in Orlando next January, my mind will again return to night golf and James.

My sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and Asher Golf co-workers. He will be missed.

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2 Comments

  1. Adam, this was a great read. Hearing everyone’s stories about James makes me smile in this sad situation.

    Me and James would go back and forth in emails often. I remember when we started wearing his gloves in our crazy videos, he wrote us how “stoked” everyone in the office was! Our relationship only grew.

    Then came the Orlando Golf Show, where I believe he was standing with you when we all first physically met one another! I remember I grabbed him and gave him a big hug, which he stood there shy, never expecting such a greeting haha. Then the next day at his booth, he greeted me with a big hug! AWESOME! He flipped it on me haha!

    The funniest thing was, we wanted to take a picture together to post online, so we first took a picture where we just smiled. Then he looks at me and says, I wanna do your face, show it to me. He was speaking of the big O Face I’m known to do in our wild pictures. So he made me awkwardly do it in front of everyone so he can see it & do his own version of it! This picture is a favorite of mine, me and him side to side doing the O Face.

    When I got back home from Orlando, to my surprise their was a box full of Asher gloves on my desk. He wanted to make sure all my friends would have Asher gloves on. That’s the kind of guy he was! I emailed him with a huge thank you, and told him I couldn’t wait till the next time we get together, which he replied the same! Then we discussed a contest video we were gonna shoot for him this coming weekend :(

    Truly saddened by this, I knew him for the past year, I only wish I coulda continued to know him for many more years to come. His family and friends are all on my mind & in my prayers.

    • Orlando, Thanks so much for your reply. I think you and I had similar interactions with James and like me, because we really do not share common friends with James it is difficult to work through our emotions. I wrote this post as a way for me to express my own feeling but reading your response is equally therapeutic. BTW, James mugged for the DKF Boys camera way better than I was able to but that because you gave him lessons!

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