The Accidental Golf Pro (Insider Story)
After Eric Mis retired from working for a circuit court in 2007, he thought he’d get a job at a golf course. He did—but it turned into so much more, including becoming a golf pro at the local university. He recently spoke to Sleep Number from his home in Michigan about his new career and the stories, joys, and aches that go with it.
How does your Sleep Number bed help you do your job?
When I’m teaching, especially in the fall, I’m out on the driving range from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. four days a week. All that standing tears up my back and also my legs. So when I get home, I can just go ahead and pop the foot of the bed up a few inches, and that really takes the tension out of the legs. And my wife, Cindy, also has some issues with her legs, but it’s gotten much better with the bed. The other night, we were on vacation, and her legs were just going nuts, because we were on a hotel bed and we couldn’t elevate the foot of the bed.
How did you became a golf pro? It sounds like there’s a story!
After I retired from the circuit court, I got a job at a golf course at a university with the idea that I’d play golf four or five days a week. I’d always been teaching on the side, but never for money. But then I got to know the teaching pro and working with him with some people. He’d say, “Eric, I’m working with this guy and I can’t fix his swing. What do you think?” Then he fell in love and was traveling a lot, and I took over his classes. So now I teach there and I teach privately and I work in the clubhouse and in the driving range. I’m pretty much living there, and I love doing what I’m doing. I’m working with people who want to be with me and want to see me.
Do you teach any other sports at the university?
I do. After a class is done, the students review you, and I got really good reviews, so next thing you know, I’m teaching a bunch of other classes, too. I teach golf, racquetball, soccer, bowling, and badminton. I played a lot of tennis in college and I used to coach soccer. It’s keeping me busy.
When you’ve caddied for tournaments, have you worked with anyone famous?
Yes. The Senior Tour came to Grand Rapids for many years, and I caddied in that tournament for nine years, including for pros as well as former president Gerald Ford. Those were some of the best teaching lessons I could ever have, with the pros—just getting into their heads and hearing what they’re thinking. And you get a lot of different personalities out on tour.
What sparked your decision to get a Sleep Number bed?
We had tried a couple of other beds, but we always ended up with sore backs. There’s a Sleep Number store in the mall just a few miles from us, and we’d always walk by and never thought about it. But about a year ago, we just said, “You know, we’re really tired of having sore backs—let’s try this.” And, wow. Neither one of us has had a sore back since we bought it. We have a couple different Sleep Number pillows, too, and we actually take those on vacation with us, everywhere we go. It usually takes two or three nights to get used to hotel pillows, so it’s worth it to us to bring our own, even though we have to take an extra suitcase.
Do you use the SleepIQ app?
I do, I get a monthly email with my performance. I think last month, I was at 81. My wife is usually around 65 or 70. She still says she’s sleeping a whole lot better than she did before. It’s been working for both of us.
Tell us about your bedtime routine.
My wife gets home late—she goes to work early in the morning and doesn’t get home until 7:30 or 8. By that time, we’ll have something light to eat and if the Red Wings are on TV, we’ll watch them for a little while. By about 9:30, we’re ready for bed. We just kind of take it easy.
If you could sleep anywhere in the world, where would it be?
That’s an easy one. We’ve been out to the Disney Aulani Resort in Hawaii and it’s just totally relaxing. If I could take my bed out there, no question, that’s where I’d go.
What is your Sleep Number setting?
Mine is 55 and Cindy’s is 35.
Like diet and exercise, quality sleep is essential for optimal health and performance. Because everyone’s sleep needs are different, Sleep Number 360® smart beds, with SleepIQ® technology inside, sense your movements and automatically adjust firmness, comfort and support to keep you both sleeping comfortably. Find your Sleep Number® setting for your best possible night’s sleep.