The Greenville story of Kyle Thompson

Swinging with love as a father

By: Wyatt Edward Stephens

Exciting: ShareGVL is producing an ongoing series, Humanizing 2020. Our first story from the series humanizes Presidential Candidate, Marianne Williamson. Read Marianne’s Story, here.

Kyle Thompson’s story, ShareGVL of today, is below:

What is the most interesting fact about yourself?  I have been a lifelong golfer, I have played golf since I was crawling on the floor. Recently, I just retired from professional golf at the BMW Charity Pro-Am.

How long have you been in Greenville? I grew up in Easley, South Carolina, left in 1997 to go down to Columbia for the University of South Carolina. I moved back to Greenville in 2004.

What is your background? I have two younger sisters, they both played collegiate golf as well, University of South Carolina. My sisters went to Easley High School, and along with T.L. Hanna, those schools started the first women’s programs within the State of South Carolina as far as high school golf. 

When I was a kid, we used to come over to Greenville which I thought was a scary place with some parts of it. To see the transformation, however, of downtown within 25-years is just unbelievable. I credit that a lot to our businesses like BMW and Michelin, and our politicians. They have all made Greenville, and all of South Carolina, very tax friendly. I love it. I have traveled a lot around the world throughout my golf years and there is no better place than Greenville, South Carolina. Greenville is truly home for me. 

My wife, Emmy, and I have three children: Sophie (10), Sam and our son Raleigh turns three in a couple of days. Emmy and I met in Downtown Greenville during the Downtown Alive series that they have in the Spring. Emmy was working at Merrill Lynch, I was meeting a buddy. I started chatting up with her, life comes at you fast. Three kids within the last eleven years of marriage. 

I knew that I wanted to play golf on the PGA TOUR when I was nine years old. It was always a dream of mine. When I first got my TOUR Status, back in 2003, first year on the TOUR, I had a couple of top-tens. I also finished second at the BMW Charity Pro-Am and I won close to $60,000 that weekend. I had good money in the bank, and coming fresh out of college, I felt like the richest guy out of college. I believe I spent $200 a month for rent. I knew that there was a lot of money in golf, especially the PGA TOUR. I pursued it, I don’t regret it as it was a lot of fun. 

What are you currently reading and/or watching? I am cheating, I don’t read as much as I listen. I listen to a lot of audiobooks, ‘How You Measure Your Life,’ by Clayton Christensen. It was recommended to me at a pro-amateur and it is good stuff. I started watching the second season of Big Little Lies with my wife, Emmy.

What are your hobbies? Playing with my kids. We just bought a puppy, we have an eight week-old golden retriever. My free time revolves around my children. They used to be, however, reading, poker and hanging out. Now that has changed. 

What is the motto that you try to live by? Treat people the way that you want to be treated. You never know when you are going to have an interaction when it could be great for them, or great for you. You never know when that magic can happen. 

Who do you work for?  I work for Arthur Gallagher, we are a commercial broker.

What is your day-to-day and title? I am an Account Executive within Business Development. I only have a couple of clients at the moment, however, I am working on clients from all over the nation, New York to California. 

What is your favorite Greenville morning hangout? Any Dunkin’ Donuts. I love it. I also like Waffle House, I take my kids, especially when Emmy is out of town. Ever since Emmy and I had kids ten years ago, I have been a huge coffee buff.

What is your favorite Greenville evening hangout? I would say practice, as I still do, so late night coming off of the range at Thornblade Country Club.

What is your happiest Greenville moment? The birth of my children and my marriage. It is all happened here in Greenville, we were married right downtown and had a reception at Thornblade. 

What about Greenville makes you proud? I am proud of the diversity that we have. We have folks that are not only coming over from different parts of the United States, but really, all over the world. It is great to see, back when I was younger, it was one shade of white. Now it seems like everyone is coming from all over. It makes you proud, people are reading about our hospitality and southern ways. It has made me proud.