We had the good fortune of connecting with DJ Lantz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi DJ, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Without taking risks I would not be where I am today. I turned down a great job out of college to get in my car and drive to Florida to pursue professional golf. In doing that I realized it was not my passion once it became my living. Instead of focusing on what some view as a failure, I saw that experience as a win. I was able to I meet some amazing people along the way who I would have never met if I stayed in New Hampshire. Getting out of my comfort zone is where I have learned the most about myself. It is normal to be afraid of taking risks but you should be MORE AFRAID of wondering “What if…?” If there is even a slight chance you could get something you want or dream about, take the risk. I even have a painting by my front door as a reminder each day as I walk out that says, “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” The last thing I want is to look back and realize I lived my life in my comfort zone.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I started Cactus Hack Golf as a side project in 2019 because I enjoy fashion and design. It began with a small batch order of headwear which took me about 3 months to sell through. In 2020 I brought in my good friends Cody Alt and Johnny Manziel to revamp the brand. Cody is a serial entrepreneur and Johnny moves the needle everywhere he goes. It has been the perfect combination.
We are a fun golf brand, which is more focused on the camaraderie and memories made on the course. We make high quality products that all golfers can appreciate, but in a more relaxed way. I think challenges are inevitable when starting a new brand but we have been lucky to build such a loyal fanbase who support us. One of the biggest things I have learned in the last year is that there will never be a “right” time do it. No matter how prepared you think you are, you will most likely make mistakes and that is completely ok. Learn, adapt, evolve.
When I started the brand I was working so much that I wasn’t making any time for myself or others around me. I think it is important to put the work in, but also make time for yourself. Staying healthy both physically and mentally is so important. What fun is a golf brand if you do not make time to play golf?
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Places I would golf: Whisper Rock, Silverleaf, Arizona Country Club, Mesa CC, Mountain Shadows Places I would eat: Toca Madera, Elements at Sactuary, North, Buck & Rider, True Foods, Americano
Places I would drink/hangout: Isabellas, Chauncy Social, Goodwood, Culinary Dropout, The Porch, Buffalo Chip
Things to check out: Phoenix Suns game
Additionally I love getting out on my Dirtbike so if that was an option, I would spend a morning deep in the desert. No better way to see the Arizona landscape and get the adrenaline pumping.
Outside of Scottsdale I love heading up to Flagstaff and Sedona.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There is no doubt I would not be where I am today if I did not cross paths with Jeff Fujimoto. When I met Fuj I was working as a caddy in Florida after missing the cut at Q School. I had no idea what to do or where to go. Moving back to New Hampshire was definitely in the back of my mind. At that time he had just started working for a brand new golf company. I was able to help him get the brand in at a few courses I had built relationships with during my time in Florida. With the brand expanding, the company was in need of a rep to manage Florida. Fuj connected me with the team and I flew out to Arizona for an interview. I was able to get the job, where I was the Florida Territory Manager and later relocated for a new role in Scottsdale.
Relocating to Scottsdale was the start of a new chapter. I worked directly with Fuj and I had the opportunity to observe and learn from him. We traveled and played tons of golf and he introduced me to so many people who are now some of my best friends. We are now going on 7 years of working together and he is always a person I lean on for guidance and advice. He is the big brother I never had and I cannot thank him enough for his support and mentorship he has provided over the years.
Other: TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@dj_lantz11