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Executive Diversions
Business Observer Friday, Jan. 10, 2020 4 months ago

Entrepreneur aces golf vacation of a lifetime

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Michael Juceam didn’t take up golf seriously until his 50s. Now it’s his passion even on vacation — 4,200 miles from home.
by: Mark Gordon Managing Editor

Executive: Michael Juceam, CEO and owner of Right at Home, a Sarasota-based private duty home health care business, part of a national franchise. Right at Home provides a variety of senior care services, including help around the home, assistance recovering from a hospital stay or basic check-ins. “We do all the things Medicare won’t do,” says Juceam, an attorney who switched careers to home health care in 2004, when he opened Right at Home.

Diversion: Golf in Scotland, the birthplace of the sport. He played 15 of the most famous courses in Scotland over 13 days in late June/early July 2019. Courses include Trump Turnberry, Castle Stuart and The Old Course at St. Andrews, considered the oldest course in the world and the “Home of Golf.” Traveling and playing courses with his wife, Cindy, Michael Juceam says, “I tried to ram in as many rounds as I could.”

'There’s nothing in the world like walking on the 18th green at St. Andrews. That’s pretty unique. There’s really nothing else like it.’ Michael Juceam

Late discovery: Earlier in his life, when he was an attorney and software executive, Juceam was into cycling, sometimes riding thousands of miles over a summer. “For the longest time I made fun of golfers,” he says. When he was 47 years old, his wife bought him a three-day golf lesson package at Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel. “I found I really liked it,” he says.

Patient play: Golf was a slow burn. Even after the positive Saddlebrook experience, Juceam didn’t start playing regularly until his mid-50s. Then he went from one or two times a week to now, at 66, at least three times a week. “I’ve really gotten into it,” Juceam says. “You know you’re really into golf when you lie in bed at night thinking about how you can fix your swing or what you need to do to improve your slice.”

Book it: Juceam was inspired to take his golf-centric trip after reading “A Course Called Scotland: Searching the Home of Golf for the Secret to Its Game,” by Tom Coyne. He spent months planning the trip and organizing tee times, hotels and travel arrangements for what was his first two-week vacation, he says, in at least four years. “I couldn’t do that without a great team in place,” Juceam says. That trip was one or two of the best vacations I’ve ever taken.”

History calls: Although the Old Course wasn’t necessarily his favorite, the significance of the course resonated. “If you ask a golfer, there’s nothing in the world like walking on the 18th green at St. Andrews,” he says. “That’s pretty unique. There’s really nothing else like it.”

When in Scotland: When he played Muirfield, another famous Scotland course and part of the rotation of courses for The Open Championship – Juceam doubled up and played two rounds in one day. The break came with an unusual sartorial switch. “I changed into a suit and tie to eat lunch,” Juceam says, citing the private club’s rules.

A good walk: Knowing this trip involved walking more than 250 holes of golf, Juceam and Cindy practiced not only golf but also walking. Their go-to spot is the Celery Fields in Sarasota, where the couple walked the hills and paths 45 minutes a night.

Courtesy. Michael Juceam calls his Scotland golf getaway "one or two of the best vacations I’ve ever taken."

Free to focus: Playing golf has both been a welcome distraction from running a business and simultaneously made Juceam better at his job, in honing his focus. “Golf is as about as mental a game as you can play,” he says. “It’s a constant mental process. For years I couldn’t break 100, so I learned how to break courses down into manageable shots.”

Love affair: At a previous job, Juceam had an inspirational poster in his office of a skier coming down a slope that said, “When you are doing this, there’s nothing else you could think about.” Now he says: “That’s what golf has done for me. You really can’t think of anything else when you’re on the course.”

Up next: Juceam has several golf trips centered coming up. One is a president’s circle trip to Cabo, Mexico, through the franchise headquarters of Right at Home, where he intends to play at Diamante, designed by Davis Love III and Tiger Woods. Another upcoming trip, with Cindy, is to Wisconsin, where three courses are in the offing, including Whistling Straits, home of the 2020 Ryder Cup.

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