Coming from the pinnacle of golf, Uncle Arthur was a Walker Cup player, four-time championship winner and British senior amateur champion. Now, Jack Pierse is making his mark as the co-founder and chief financial officer of Wayflyer, the latest Irish tech unicorn, which has reached a $1.6 billion valuation in just two and a half years.
This young Portmarnock and Grange golfer, former West of Ireland runners-up, insists Wayflyer is only in the top nine in terms of development. But with Irish tech start-up sponsoring Shane Lowry and looking to continue his phenomenal growth by providing finance and analytics for the fast-growing e-commerce sector, he remains a huge lover of golf.
Not only is it a sport that helps him chill with friends, but it also makes him dream of that elusive amateur “major.”
1. How was your golf? I haven’t played much in the past few years, but this summer I’m slowly getting back into the game. I’ve entered the South and East so fingers crossed that I can get the game in decent shape.
2. How did you start playing the game? Dad’s family are all very good golfers, but I always say that I learned everything I know from my mother Trish. She started the game when I was born and she used to take me to the shooting range when I was still in a buggy and I sat behind her and watched her so I always tell everyone I think about them good habits you’ve learned.
3. Driver or Putter? Putter. They drive for the show and putt for the dough.
4. Links or Parkland? Definitely left. We have some of the best links in the world and I spent so much time at Lahinch when I was younger that I just loved how a links course can change from one day to the next. I can honestly say I’ve never played an Irish links course that I didn’t like.
5. When were you happiest on the golf course? When I started working at PwC after college, golf became a lot more fun and the golf course became a place of relaxation. Nothing beats a 12-hole game at Grange on a summer’s evening, followed by a burger and a beer with some friends. Then I’m probably the happiest.
6. Who is your sporting hero? Steven Gerrard, the ex-Liverpool player. I’ve been a huge Liverpool fan all my life and played a lot of football growing up, so he was my idol for years.
7. Name one golfer you particularly admire and why. Conor Purcell. I always thought he worked so hard and he has one of the best attitudes I’ve ever seen on the golf course. He was always positive. Nothing bothered him and he was never annoyed. He could hit the shot and forget about it.
8. What are your golfing ambitions? I’ve been to a few championships. I got beaten in the West final and I’ve been in the last group in the East a couple of times so I’d still like to win an Irish championship. That is certainly an ambition. If one day I could qualify for something like The Open, that would be an absolute dream.
9. Name your dream fourball. I would have to pick Tiger Woods, Shane Lowry, and then Stevie G. And we would play the match at Cypress Point. I’ve never played it, but I’ve had a picture of his famous 16th hole on my wall since I was a kid. Below it is written: “Impossible is nothing”.
10. If you could change one thing about the modern game, what would it be? I’m not one who ever complains about the modern game. If anything, many of the great old courses have fallen off a bit as some of the pros keep hitting. So if there were a way to keep these amazing courses relevant, that would be wonderful.
11. If I gave you a mulligan in your golfing life, what would it be? I was born in New Zealand and moved back when I was five. Then I lived down there a few years ago. There is an amazing golf course there called Tara Iti and I was invited to play but not because of work so I would love to go back and play there.
It’s the only place I haven’t been able to play. It sits right on the cliffs by the water and is meant to be spectacular.
12. If you only had one more round to play, where would you play? Waterville. I have a vacation home near Waterville where I’ve been going since I was a child and it’s just a beautiful part of the world.
13. What is your favorite par 3? The 15th at Portmarnock. Ben Crenshaw called it the shortest par 5 in the world.
14. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I got dodgy hips from my mom so probably these.
15. What is your most prized possession? In 2000 I went down with my Uncle Arthur to see the JP McManus Pro-Am and he ended up getting me a Tiger Woods autographed glove. So I keep it in my closet at home, out of the sun? That’s pretty awesome.
16. If you could change one thing about your Golf, what would it be? Hit it straighter and further and hole more putts. Just give me the whole package.
17. Who is your favorite golfer of all time? Tiger Woods. To anyone my age, he was the GOAT growing up. So Tiger for being the best of all time.
18. What is your idea of perfect happiness? It’s a bit of a cliche, but spending time with friends and family, watching some sport and playing a few holes somewhere in the sun.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/golf/tee-to-green/qualifying-for-the-open-one-day-would-be-a-dream-41616218.html To qualify for the Open one day would be a dream