.

Highland Park Golfer Switches to Sport Drinks

Former Giant puts golf clubs away to pursue a local business.

It's not like Mark Sider was born with a golf club in his hands. He didn't even pick up the game until he was a teenager.

But from the early 1990s to 2009, golf was a huge part of his life.Then he got an idea while working on his golf game in Arizona.

"I was doing a lot of yoga," Sider said. "I was eating healthy. I didn't drink Gatorade. I tried Coconut Water but I didn't like the taste."

So he formulated a sport drink highlighting coconut water.

Now back in Highland Park, Sider, and his brother Jon, are owners of the Greater>Than Company, which produces an all-natural drink that contains coconut water.

"I think my Glory Days are still ahead of me," Sider said. "We are having success. It's my full-time job. It's seven days a week. I don't play golf anymore."

There are plenty of golf memories still ingrained in this businessman. Like the time he won the Lake County Invitational Tournament held at the Arboretum in Lincolnshire.

"I remember shooting a 71," he said. "I had a 32 on the back nine. I made a lot of putts on the back nine."

"He was an excellent high school player," said Highland Park golf coach . "When I think of Mark Sider I think of passion. It's what motivated him as a golfer and it's making him successful in business."

Yet this golfer didn't really think about this sport until he was nearly on his way to high school.

"I wouldn't say I was a natural,'' Sider said. "I liked golf and something inside of me desired to be a great golfer. I don't know why."

His freshman year was 1995 and he was a JV golfer. All that did was motivate him to get better at this game.

"I really worked hard," he said. "I made it a top project to work tremendously hard at it over the summer."

He caddied at Northmoor and when he had spare time, he would be practicing.

"I practiced and played golf until dark," he said. "It kept me out of trouble."

He made the varsity as a sophomore. Then, combining with the likes of Michael Eglit and Louie Santello, he helped make the Giants a formidable team.

"I just liked how close we were as friends," Sider said. "That made it special. Everything was a like the Ryder Cup."

In 1997, the Giants made a team trip downstate. Of course the weather didn't cooperate, but the Giants did finish 10th in the state tournament.

"We were all juniors,'' he said. "There was some bad weather and I didn't play that well."

Marc Hocking led the Giants in the two-day event (156). Eglit (160) and Sider (165) followed.

His senior season did not go as planned. By this time, he was playing scratch golf.

"I hoped that we would have a great team,'' he said. "But we didn't go to state."

College golf also didn't pan out.

"I tried to walk on at Indiana,'' he said. "I had a guaranteed walk-on. And then a new coach came in."

So Sider received his degree in finance and kept golf at a distance.

Once college was over, it was time to return to his favorite game.

"I really liked practicing,'' he said. "My passion was to be a great golfer. And at 27-years-old, I was playing the best golf of my life."

So he took a chance and moved to Arizona to go on a quest to be a professional golfer.

"I was shooting in the 60s,'' he said. "So I played eight months in the Canadian Tour and Hooters Tour."

The golf clubs have been put down for now. He's all about his business selling his product.

"It's in 250 stores,'' Sider said. "It's in the food stores like Treasure Island and Sunset. We are in a lot of community events like the Chicago Marathon. We sponsor North Shore football and many others."

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »