Saturday, October 08, 2005

Golf in the Bay Area

I'm excited to see San Francisco's Harding Park as this week's venue for the PGA American Express World Championships. The world's top players (sans Els and Goosen) are here and the weather has been beautiful. Who will reign as champion in San Francisco?

Meanwhile, the LPGA players are north of the Bay Area in the gold-country town of Auburn playing in the Long's Championship. Unfortunate about the timing for the ladies in terms of gallery attendance with both being played this weekend.

I played in a golf outing sponsored by a local private bank. First, we had a four-station clinic on our game: woods, pitching, irons, and putting. I learned a lot and then we went off to play an alternating shot, 9-hole tournament. I've spoken at these types of events, and it was fun to partake in one, so I can talk to organizers about the pros and cons from the perspective of an attendee.

For the pros, it was great to have everyone participate in the clinic -- whether a low handicapper or high handicapper -- people who learn together have a common bond that they can always talk about. I also liked the idea of a 9-hole tournament. It only took more than two hours and it was nice change to play in shorter format rather than the usual eighteen holes.

As to cons, as one can imagine, you only get a few minutes with the teaching professionals. Yet, two of them gave me very specific information to help me improve my game. So, the information is there for asking; one just needs to be assertive and ask.

Another con is the format of the tournament which was pretty confusing. I've never played in an alternate shot format. I felt like my tempo was thrown off a little. But, the format made it even more confusing in that the first two shots you alternated hitting between your partner's ball and your own ball. Just too confusing!

Finally, it paired two of us against the field. When playing in a networking event, I like the feeling of camaraderie when I'm part of a foursome.

Overall, it was a great event! I met some very nice people. One gentleman I met had read my book, On Course for Business, and after dinner, he asked me for my autograph and shared how much he enjoyed my book. Indeed I was flattered!

Play well!

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