Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Golfers as AP Athletes of the Year

Golfers got a boost as athletes this week. Tiger was named AP Male Athlete of the Year and Lorena Ochoa was named AP Female Athlete of the Year.

It's been 16 years since both athletes came from the same sport and 61 years since both came from golf. While Tiger captures his fourth award, Ochoa unseeds Annika who has won it for the last three years.

The AP writers pick their selections, male and female, from every sport. They base their choice on the athletes' contributions to the game, their performance within their chosen sport and their off field activities.

Congratulations to Tiger and Lorena!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Roof Surfing Not Allowed

NASCAR Champ, Jimmie Johnson, decided to be bold and surf on top of his golf cart while playing in a tournament. His cart partner drove over a berm and he was thrown off the roof of the cart several feet and broke his left hand.

While he can drive within an enclosed machine traveling nearly 175 mph, he would be certainly safer inside of a golf cart, even sans roll bar, helmet, and other safety equipment.

Moral of the story: Sit in the golf cart; don't sprawl across the roof of one.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pace of Play Formula

The USGA has announced a formula for pace of play that works. In the ten national amateur championships it had a major effect in speeding up play. On average, the threesomes sped up by 30 minutes in their stroke-play events.

Here's how it works: Each group has to hit four checkpoints -- the fourth, ninth, thirteenth, and eighteenth holes -- in a certain allotted time, depending on the course, or stay within 14 minutes of the group in front of them once the flagstick is put back into the hole.

The first breach is a warning and then a Rules official will monitor the players in the group to see if the culprit is one player or if the entire group is the problem. If the problem is the group, then the second infraction is a one-stroke penalty for each player.

How I wished this policy was implemented at most courses, or at least during tournaments.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Big Easy Just Isn't So

In a rare moment of losing his composure, Ernie Els threw his club while playing in the Nedbank Challenge in his home country of South Africa. Els was fined the equivalent of $138, which he paid after the tournament.

I was disappointed to see the video. He threw the club end-over-end at least ten feet. And, then grabbed a club out of his tour bag, which was standing nearby, so vigorously that the bag fell to the ground.

I haven't read his comments about the incident, but it's not a good showing of etiquette and sportsmanship. I know he's just human and frustrated as he makes his comeback from his knee injury.

A pro who makes his living with every shot, I am more willing to excuse his club throwing tantrum. But if I was playing with a client who did the same, I'd have to question whether I'd want to continue doing business with this person. How would he or she react if there was a problem in our business together?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Tasty Golf Tees

The love of the game (and the billions of dollars spent in the industry) brings out entrepreneurs with innovative, unique, and different golf inventions.

Typically, the latest golf item to hit the market is related to the golf swing. It's the best swing aid or putt maker.

Now, though, you can lick your tee. Yes, a couple of guys are marketing tees with flavors like mint, cherry, strawberry and grape. The tees are your good old-fashioned wooden tees, but with a coat of your favorite flavor.

The idea is after you've enjoyed your cigar, you can taste your tee to get rid of that cigar taste. Or, if you're hungry, just take a lick.

My only suggestion is you might want to get in your licks before you tee up the ball. I can only imagine that fertilizer and grass don't taste very good. And, another thing, if you're playing business golf with clients or prospects, stick to Tic Tacs or gum for your flavoring. You'll make a much better impression.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hitting the Course Without Knowing Etiquette

I recently read an article about women learning how to hit the ball and then heading to the links to play, without any etiquette tips. That might be a great way to get women enthusiastic about playing golf in a controlled environment of the class that they were all taking.

But if a woman who read that article thought she should do that, she'd likely have a very unpleasant experience. I strongly believe that whether a person is an enjoyable playing partner isn't determined by the score he or she shot. It's instead whether he knows etiquette and is pleasant to be with for five hours. I'd rather play with a beginner who knows how to play with proper etiquette and a great personality than a single digit that has a similar level of etiquette I.Q. and personality.

If you want to play without knowing your etiquette, play with friends and warn them that you're ignorant of etiquette. If you want to play with them more often, at least ask them to teach you proper etiquette while you're playing. You'll make and keep your golf friends around by doing so.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Think Business Golf is Played Only in the US?

Business golf is going to China. According to the Associated Press, a Chinese university is requiring law and business students to take golf lessons to prepare them for a business world where deals are made on the golf course.

Listen to Suzanne's interview on why playing golf with clients is valuable in London's BBC Newshour.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Furyk's Costly Sportsmanship

Jim Furyk may have a swing that would earn it "Most Unlikely to Succeed" in a high school yearbook, but he as a man would earn the "The Honest Guy" of the class.

During today's final round of the American Express World Championship, Ian Poulter inadvertently stepped on Furyk's ball, which was in the deep rough. while searching for Furyk's ball. Furyk was entitled to a free drop, but instead told the Rule Official that he'd take an unplayable lie penalty. He felt since his ball was in such deep rough that he wouldn't have found it but for Poulter stepping on.

Furyk went on to make a bogey rather than having a par. It was a costly display of sportsmanship because he ended up in third place rather than sharing in a three-way tie for second place.

As announcer Nick Faldo said, "At the end of the day, he (Furyk) puts his head on the pillow.

Sleep well, Jim. You earned it! And, to those fortunate to do business with him, he's certainly a man you can trust.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

How Is Your Gamesmanship?

Unfortunately the European team beat the US team definitively in the Ryder Cup. But, in a great showing of gamesmanship, Paul McGinley gave a long putt to J.J. Henry to tie their last hole and halve their match. If McGinley had not conceded the putt, the European team would have set their record in beating the U.S.

What's not good gamesmanship? Of course, cheating is an obvious. But it's also the subtle comments made about the water or O.B. before the player is about to hit, or taking a jab at your opponent's political or religious beliefs before you tee off.

If you have to resort to those tactics to "win" in your match, then remember Paul McGinley and how you want to be thought of as a golfer.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Time for Wie to Give It Up

Michelle Wie won't make the cut against the men at the 84 Lumber Classic Tournament. It's time to question whether she needs to give up on trying to be the first woman in 61 years to make the cut in a men's tournament.

I'm not saying she should quit on achieving her goal, but she needs to get her game in better shape before she has a realsitic chance to make the cut. David Leadbetter, her coach, has said he's concerned that her long irons into the green are too low and she can't get the ball to stay on the green. He stated simliar concerns at the Omega tournament as well.

She played the Omega tournament because Omega is one of her sponsors. She is friends with the family-founders of 84 Lumber. Other tournament sponsors like her to play because gate numbers go up.

But at what point does she (or her family) say it's unrealistic for her to continue to try to make the cut? She needs to play on the LPGA tour, win against the other gals, build some confidence, learn some shots, improve her putting, and then go for her other goal of making the cut against the men.

At this point, she's not close, and I don't see how continued attempts will improve her chances. If anything, it's getting embarrassing.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Listening to the PGA Tour on XM

I'm in S. Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where my family has a vacation home. The home has neither television nor telephone. And, my cell phone doesn't work from the home. So, it's a place that I come to when I need an escape and want to take in the view of the beautiful lake.

Unfortunately I can't watch the PGA or LPGA tours when I'm in the house. During the PGA Championship, I had to go to Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course to recall my steps at Medinah.

However I can at least listen to live coverage on a link from to XM Satellite radio. Coverage is pretty good and a lot better than nothing. So if you're cut off from t.v., but have Internet access, check it out!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

How to Avoid Playing with Cheaters?

In a previous BizGolf E-Tip, I shared with you my experience playing with a woman who played to a higher handicap during match play.

Five weeks after the match, I finally received a ruling from the Golf Committee against my claim because I didn't notify the player that I was making a claim when I learned that she was cheating. I made the claim to the Head Pro instead.

Moral of the story: Don't play with cheaters, who by the way is angry that I made a claim, and check on the posting computer your opponent's handicap before starting your match.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Are You Reading Golf Magazines Too Carefully?

Do you enjoy reading golf magazines and all of the newest swing tips?

I do as well, but be careful. You might get overloaded with new swing thoughts and make a mess of your swing. If you read a tip that really seems to make sense to you, try that one and only tip on the driving range to see if it works for you. Don't try to incorporate more than one or two tips at a time. You'll only get confused and frustrated.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Never Again Another Tiger in Golf

I saw Tiger's interview after he defeated the rest of the field at Medinah Country Club to win his third PGA Championship. The rest were playing their own tournament of who would finish second. Like Mike Weir in 2000, Luke Donald, folded during the final round with Tiger. Is it the "Tiger Mystique" that causes his competitors to play mediocre, if not poorly, when they're in contention against Tiger? Absolutely.

The interview revealed to me how Tiger has developed the Tiger Mystique. First and foremost it's the unique characteristics of his mother and father who raised him with complete unconditional love. His father and best friend, Earl, was 42 when Tiger was born. He already had had three children with his first wife and he probably learned how to be a better father by the time Tiger was raised.

Tiger said he could score 1,000 in a round and his father would not have chided him, be disappointed in him, or love him any less. How many junior athletes now can say that about their father? Unfortunately I think few as the parents of this generation seem to live more through their children's successes on the field, and sadly some want it even more than their children. Most junior athletes today don't have the luxury to try different shots or swings like Tiger did without the fear of disappointing their parent or losing their love.

Earl Woods also was retired military where he likely learned discipline, commitment, and focus, without worrying about having to prove anything because of his race. Who else could have instilled those traits along with Tiger's ferocious work ethic, determination, and maturity? A silly question asked of Tiger was what he could tell his opponents to do when they are paired with him on a Sunday, so they could beat him. Tiger swatted that question away as if it were an annoying gnat by simply replying, with a grin, that he wouldn't say.

Why would he? But, more importantly, how could he? His opponents weren't raised by Earl and Kultida Woods, and later mentored on how to handle success by one of the most successful athletes in the world, Michael Jordan. I believe Tiger credits his mother as much for his success with her spiritual grounding.

Without the fear of looking sentimental, Tiger uses a head cover that his mother gave him. Written in Thai, it says she's always with him. Tiger beams his pearly whites as he describes how he looks at that head cover and feels his mother's presence out on the course. Tiger ever consider wearing a blue shirt on a Sunday of a Major? Never. It would mean the death (of course, figuratively) of Tiger at the hands of his mother. His fondness of red is because it's a power color and blue will never do.

Will Tiger smash Nicklaus's Major records of 18? Barring an injury, or surprising loss of interest by Tiger in golf, definitely. In 10 years, he's already two-thirds of the way there. A golf-focused, healthy Tiger will set new records of golf that won't be broken in my lifetime, if ever.

Simply said, they don't make them like they used to. There won't be another combination of parents that will raise another Tiger.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Golf is a Game of Integrity!

Recently I played in a match play tournament and my opponent played the match to a higher handicap than she actually was. She claims to have told me that she was the lower handicap, but I somehow agreed to "give" her an extra stroke.

Considering the golf slump that I've been in for the last several months, I wouldn't give her or anyone else right now an extra stroke. Instead of disqualifying herself for playing our match with a higher handicap, we're still waiting for a ruling from the tournament committee. Regardless of the ruling, I don't look forward to playing with this woman again (and certainly hope to never have to do business with her).

I'll keep you posted on the ruling about my match!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Playing Out of Your Mind

Today was the last round of my Club's Ladies Championship. I'm not the Champ, but I'm pleased with the way I played.

We started our Championship last Thursday, and I started to feel ill on Wednesday. Sore neck, scratchy throat. The second round on Saturday was worse with feelings of nausea and wanting to throw up. Today, I've practically lost my voice.

I started last week hoping to contend, but realistic since I was sick and in one of the worst golf slumps I've ever been in. Shooting 93 was a small victory for me because I didn't totally embarrass myself and come in dead last.

On Saturday, holding my stomach after nearly every shot and shooting 87 was a huge victory. Today, after shooting 10 on a par-4 on the fourth hole, I shot 90. I was so out of it on 4 that I said out loud, "Am I right-handed or left-handed?" as I looked at the ball in the weeds, debating whether to take an unplayable from there or putt the provisional that I hit.

I ended up finishing First Low Net and winning a beautiful silver bangle bracelet. It's not Club Champ, but considering how I was feeling for the entire tournament, I'm pleased that I could pull it together. I also think I didn't try to play well or hit those perfect shots. Instead I was trying to survive out there. I got my mind out of the way of what my body naturally knows what to do.

I hope to take that attitude to the course the next time I play!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Wie Fires Caddie

It comes as no surprise that Michelle Wie has fired her caddie Greg Johnston. The chemistry between the two never looked very good. She was disqualified for an incorrect drop that he thought she did correctly. He also never helped her read putts, which Michelle's father has been rumored to have required. If true, that wouldn't make sense, since Johnston was a veteran caddie. She's young and will eventually find a caddie that fits her style and personality. Until then, we'll wait to see who she picks as her new caddie.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Congratulations, Tiger!

I'm sure Tiger's victory at the Open today is the sweetest of all. The focus, determination, and pressure were all released in the arms of Stevie and his wife.

Death of a parent, I've thankfully not experienced. Tiger and Chris have shown that although their loved one is gone from this life, they continue to inspire and instill in their children the desire to do well and make their parent proud!

Congratulations to Tiger and Chris!!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Played Medinah and Still on a High

On Monday night, I provided a business golf presentation to 60 executive women from the Chicago area at Medinah Country Club. It was a great event with women who've never played becoming enthusiastic to learn golf and experienced golfers ready to hit the links. I told them I felt like a kid in a candy store because I was playing Medinah's Course #3 the next morning with the General Manager and a board member.

With the two caddies and my playing partners, I took the advice that I often give to women business golfers, and decided to hit off the same tees as the gents. It meant playing off of the silver tees, which is 7009 yards and a slope of 147 for men. I have to ask for help to calculate the slope for me, but I have a pretty good idea that it's going to be high. For the ladies off the white tees, it's 6728 and a slope of 146. 149 or 150 for me wouldn't be surprising.

As I walked down the first fairway, I was in awe of the carpet-like fairways. I made the mistake of hitting my second shot in the rough and had to contend with getting out of 4 1/2" rough. Needless to say, I used the 7-iron quiet often during the day to get out of the tall stuff.

I stood by the tree where Sergio hit his famous slice onto the green in the 1999 PGA Championship. I saw the height of the collection area on 12, which is an incredible hole that Rees Jones found nothing to change. I stood at the tip of the 13th hole to take a picture of the 224-yard signature hole across water. When we reached 17, the gents suggested that I hit off of the white tee and I took their advice. I ripped my driver onto the green 8' behind the flagstick into the rough. After a weak putt through the fringe, I sank my par putt and celebrated.

I'll be honest, the course ate me up and I shot 106. My playing partners were kind and said that it was respectable considering my first time, near Major conditions, and playing a set of rental clubs. But, it's one day I didn't really care about my score. I was thrilled to be at the course where Tiger, Sergio, Retief, Ernie, and the golfers of their ilk have played.

Most importantly, my playing partners were gentlemen of the kind that I sadly don't meet often. It will be a day of golf that I'll not forget and I can't wait to watch the Championship in August!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Hindsight Not 20-20 for Mickelson's Caddie

Nicklaus, Watson, and others have all questioned Phil's poor club and shot selection on the 18th hole. Mickelson's caddie, Jim "Bones" Mackay, a single-digit golfer himself, felt compelled to defend his boss today.

He stated that there was never a question about using the driver on 18. They knew how each player ahead of them was scoring. He then says, ""So we knew that 4-over was going to win the tournament, and Phil was not playing for a tie."

And therein lies the problem. Neither Phil nor Bones thought to play for a tie when they're near the corporate tents with trees in front of them. Hence, they played for the most embarassing lost in the U.S. Open thus far.

It's just hard to feel sorry for the guy when he thinks that way.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Mickelson Muffs Again!

On the 71st hole of the U.S. Open, Mickelson with a one shot lead pulls his driver out on the 18th tee. It would be okay if Mickelson was hitting it well, but instead he had hit only 2 out of 14 fairways all day. He sprays it left onto the corporate tent and tries two miraculous shots only to double bogey the 18th and lose the U.S. Open.

I try to like Phil...he smiles all of the time, which actually can be annoying and makes him look like a dufus, he has a nice appearing family, and he even said, "Good morning!" to my Mom when he was at the AT&T two years ago.

But his course management skills can be horrendous. It feels almost too risky to cheer for him because you never know what incredibly stupid thing he's going to do. I don't mind a guy being human and making a poor shot. He, however, makes poor decisions and then loses tournaments that he should have won.

I wonder how he'd be as a CEO of a company. I fear he'd have some huge wins and huge loses that a company probably could not survive his decision-making. Even with an ever presence of brains around him from Rick Smith, Dave Pelz, his caddie, and I'm sure a sports psychologist, they've not taught him how to play smart and win the tournaments that will forever haunt him because he lost them.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

LPGA Championship & Calling a Penalty

I'm watching the sudden death playoff between Karrie Webb and Se Ri Pak. The latter just hit a beautiful second shot to inches from the hole. An awesome shot as she swung 65 feet behind Webb's drive! It's nice to see Pak's comeback after taking a break because she had started to hate the game.

I watched with anticipation Michelle Wie's attempt to win her first professional tournament. For some reason, I have a protective attitude toward her. She just failed to qualify for the Men's U.S. Open earlier in the week and then attempted to win in a major against the gals. Unlike any other professional that I watch, it's just hard to watch her disappointment. She has the opportunities, but hasn't shown the killer instinct a la Tiger yet. I anxiously await to see that develop in her.

Did you hear about Karrie Webb calling a penalty against Annika yesterday? Annika was removing a couple pieces of a divot before she hit, and Karrie called her on it. In a business golf round should you call a penalty against your client? My suggestion is that you not call a penalty against a client. Your client may be a new golfer and not know the rules yet. Or, your client is focusing on developing a business relationship with you and isn't as cognizant as the rules as he or she should be.

A caveat: If you and your client are playing in a tournament, then you need to call the penalty. You wouldn't want your foursome to win a tournament knowing one of you cheated. Handle it with finesse, so your client isn't embarrassed or humiliated. You'll keep your integrity and maintain your business relationship.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Interesting Math

Tiger Woods was in Arkansas for a children's golf clinic and he was asked about playing golf with Bill Clinton. Tiger's response, "Interesting math."

According to Woods, Clinton hits his first drive into the bushes. Then, he hits a second drive down the middle of the fairway. He then hits his wedge shot six to seven feet by the pin. And, then picks up his "gimme" putt.

Meanwhile Tiger hits a nice drive, but hits his wedge shot twelve feet past the pin. Tiger takes two putts to finish out the hole.

Back at the cart, Clinton writes down the scores: Woods -- 4, Clinton -- 3.

Golf is such an invaluable business tool because it is a true revealer of character and integrity. Tiger's encounter with Clinton on the golf course shouldn't surprise anyone.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Golf Club Leasing

An entrepreneur has applied his B-School education to the game of golf. After purchasing a new set of clubs every year or two, Damian Novak wondered if he could lease golf clubs like one leases cars. He founded Top Swing Leasing ( two years ago and has about 250 sets of clubs out on leases.

When you check out at Top Swing Leasing you simply pay one month's lease payment. The term of the lease will be 12 or 18 months with the option to buy out your contract, exchange for new clubs, or simply send back your clubs with no further obligation. If you opt to pay the lease up front, you'll have a cash savings of 10%!

A set of Callaway irons, which retails for about $700, can be leased for $35 per month on a 12-month or 18-month contract.

If you've wished you could lease clubs like you can your cars, check out Top Swing Leasing!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Have Some Spare Change?

Perhaps, this is the purchase for Tiger Woods and Michele Wie in the future. Airbus has manufactured a superjumbo plane. It's a double-decker and carries up to 850 passengers I'm sure more comfortably than any first-class seat on a flight that most of us could have.

You can catch a few winks in the bedroom suites, or sip champagne with "mood lighting" that changes as you travel the time zones to minimize the impact of jet lag. You can have a royal lounge and dine in a private dining room.

Best of all, you can have a driving range built into the plane! For the golf obsessed who don't want to miss a moment of practice, all of this can be yours for a mere $375 million!

Enjoy the Colonial...I miss the excitement that Tiger and Phil bring to tournaments, but it's still great golf!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Swinging Pink!

Derek Jeter, David Eckstein, and ten other baseball sluggers will be swinging pink bats on Sunday's Mother's Day to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Pink is also making a comeback in golf, thanks in part to Paula Creamer, who likes it as an accent color. Adams Golf has put out a set of a pink graphite clubs for women.

If pink is to support Susan G. Komen, I'm all for it. But, if you're a female business golfer and wanting to show your professionalism and use golf to build rapport with clients and prospects, be careful of using pink clubs and balls. Unfortunately, the color can still conjure the image of cute, bubbly "pretty girls in pink," which may not be how you want to be perceived.

Always use white balls in a business golf round. It certainly can have the pink ribbon on it as a logo and your mark on the ball, but shy away from the purple and green balls during your business golf round.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Masters Brand Management --- Part 2

A couple of trophies won by tennis player, Martina Navritilova, were auctioned yesterday. She doesn't know how the company acquired them, but her attorney is investigating it. Bjorn Borg recently announced that he was going to sell his Wimbeldon trophies for "financial security." He decided to keep them after a couple of fellow players called him.

A Heisman Trophy has been sold to raise legal fees for a murder defense fund or a token payment of a civil judgment. I'm sure Super Bowl rings have also been sold for cash.

Winners of those high-profile accomplishments in their respective sports seem to place little sentimental value on their prizes.

Will the awards presented at the Masters end up on EBay one day? The Masters champion is presented with a replica of the official trophy, a gold medal, and, of course, the green jacket (it probably can't be sold since the jacket stays on the premises of Augusta National Golf Club, except in extraordinary circumstances). The runner-up receives a silver medal and a silver tray. Crystal items are also given to players who shoot the low round, or have a hole-in-one, an eagle, and a double eagle.

To maintain the Masters's mystique, I'd advise Hootie and his friends to issue another rule for the players. Something to the effect that any trophy or award received at the Masters shall never be sold or auctioned in the public. And, Augusta National shall have the first right of refusal on the purchase of any such items.

I hope Hootie doesn't have to take this step, but nowadays you never know what people will do for "financial security" or to pay off debts, especially gambling ones.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

John Daly's Gambling

I like John Daly as a golfer with long drives, yet soft hands around the greens. In his autobiography, he claims to have lost $50-60 million in gambling losses.

Perhaps the attorney-side of me is coming out, but my first thought is how could he not know the amount? If he doesn't know, you'd think there is someone in his organization who would know the amount. His admission is similar to a government agency who reports that its lost $25-35 million. Money that somehow just disappeared from the government coffers. It's bad enough that money is lost, but how can you not know if it's $1 million let alone $10 million.

Now, the author-side of me. By stating (unverifiably) the grandiose amount, he has received a tremendous amount of publicity. It's a great way to sell books. Create controversy, even if it reveals a negative characteristic.

On a personal note, I assume Daly can afford the loses while he's on tour and earning endorsements and tour monies. He seems to have an addictive personality, whether it's drugs, smoking, drinking, or gambling. If he decides to slay all of them, I wish him the best.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Check out

If you're a financial advisor and member of, I am the expert on playing business golf. Visit the discussion board and add your question or comments about the ins and outs of playing business golf.

It's been a very active forum and full of great ideas for financial advisors on how they can use golf to build their businesses.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Personal Note: Played 7-Hour Round + 5 Holes

Am I the only person who has a let down after the Masters or any other Major? I just couldn't get into the last two tournaments. I was interested to see Tiger racing stock cars and bungee jumping in New Zealand while attending Stevie's wedding. And, I was saddened to hear that Tiger was taking time off until the U.S. Open, only because I'm assuming time is short for his father, who is battling terminal cancer.

Speaking of fathers, on Sunday, I played a seven-hour round during the first round of a golf tournament with my father. It took five hours to play the first 18 holes! It was so slow because it was cart path only. I know to bring extra clubs, but in wet and heavy grass conditions, I would sometimes have to get more clubs to hit the next shot. I'm in Northern California where we've had more rain than ever and the grass was 5-7" long in the rough and 3-4" in the fairways. So, we spent more time looking for each other's balls.

In this tournament, we had three matches against our opponents. Two individual matches based on handicaps and then one team match based on best ball. After 18, we split the individual matches and tied on the team match. We had sudden death and finally my Dad and I won on the fifth hole.

Seven hours later, my father and I walked into the Clubhouse where he and my mother were hosting my niece's sweet 16 birthday dinner party. By the time we arrived, guests had finished eating and applauded when we walked in because they had heard we had won.

Talk about an exhausting, stress-filled lengthy battle. Imagine if we had lost and then still had to go to would have been even more embarrassing given how late we were to our own party.

Here are a couple of reminders for speeding up play. Instead of taking the time to put your clubs back into your bag, hold them, and walk or ride to the next tee to put your clubs away.

Also, don't stop at the putting green to keep score. Walk ahead to the next tee and get everyone's score then, so the players behind can hit their approach shot.

Finally, especially in the conditions that we were playing in, try to help your playing partners and opponents spot their balls and help them look for them.

I can't wait for the sun to shine in Northern California!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Masterful Masters Management

Congratulations to Phil for his second green jacket. Although I wished Freddie had won because he's a favorite, I am glad to see Phil finally playing smart and with precision.

I love the Masters--the lore, the tradition, and the mystique. The folks at Augusta National Golf Club are the kings in brand management of their august tournament.

They're not spectators or galleries, they're patrons. You won't see a blimp shot or hear the annoying motor noise during the broadcasts. You see beautifully manicured golf for 56 minutes out of every hour. And, you only see ads from select companies. No ads from Cialis and Viagra, and no comments about bikini wax or Mark O'Meara belonging to Tiger a la Gary McCord.

I know I am supposed to hate them for not allowing women members, but I don't. It's the civilized and circumspect Super Bowl of golf.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Teamwork in Golf

Golf is usually thought of as an individual sport. It's you against your opponent or the field. But, teamwork can be a factor in golf in a couple of ways.

First, there is teamwork among the foursome. Each player should help other players locate and find their balls. There's the dance in the foursome of who should pull and replace the flagstick. And, the obvious is teamwork in team formats, such as scrambles where the player putting first should putt the ball to the hole to give his teammates a good read.

Another opportunity for teamwork to be a factor is the relationship between player and caddie. Think of effective player-caddie relationships. Tiger and Stevie, Phil and Bones, and last week's Steve Ames and brother, Robert, should come to mind.

While watching today's final round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, however, I didn't see that type of relationship developing between Michelle Wie and her caddie, Greg Johnson. He was the caddie for Dottie Pepper and most recently Juli Inkster. Yet, when Michelle was on the green, I never saw him help her read the putts or discuss club selection, especially on the 18th green when Michelle hit an errant sandwedge eleven feet past the pin.

Given her caddie's experience at Mission Hills Country Club, I don't understand why they weren't talking about every putt. I would have assumed Michelle and her family selected Johnson as her caddie for his maturity and experience. After the bad drop which caused her disqualification in her first tournament as a professional and his not helping her read putts, I question whether this will be a team we'll see much in the future.

Although they don't work together often because of her limited playing schedule, there's a chemistry lacking between Michelle and her caddie. With her youth and inexperience, she needs to take advantage of a caddie's experience.

Teamwork in golf can help foursomes keep the pace or players win tournaments. Let's hope Michelle finds a caddie relationship, whether with Johnson or another, that will lead to victories on both the LPGA and PGA tours.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Ames Right On

Stephan Ames won The Players Championship with confidence and precision shots I haven't seen in awhile from a third-round leader. What struck me was what he said during his interviews after the third round and before he teed off on Sunday. He repeated if he stayed committed to every shot, he'd do well.

He did just that. There was never a hesitant swing (except one putt on 10) or sense of indecision. His caddy-brother surely helped Ames with his comment, "Have fun with the shot!"

We can apply the wisdom of the Ames brothers to our business lives and our golf games: Commit and have fun with it!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sabbitani Slow Play Snafu - Round 2

Rory Sabbbitani made his dislike for slow play known when he teed off his ball on the next hole while Ben Crane (Sabbitani's playing competitor) was still putting out. On Thursday at The Players Championship, Sabbitani was put on the clock with playing partners Nick Faldo and Camillo Villegas. Sabbitani accused Faldo of slowing down play on purpose.

Sabbitani refers to Faldo's comments during the Nissan Open where Faldo suggested the way to beat Sabbitani is to slow him down. I didn't hear Faldo's remarks and he denies he played slowly intentionally. Instead Faldo explained they slowed to look for Villegas's lost ball and then got back on pace.

I don't particularly like Sabbitani, but he makes a good point about slow play. “When people say, if they are paired with you, that they will slow-play you, it leaves a lot of questions about their morals and professionalism,” said Sabbatini. “It is a matter of respect to your partners and the rest of the field.”

I hope Nick Faldo didn't slow play Sabbitani. So many golfers need to learn how to keep up the pace and keep rounds to four and one-half hours.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Take a Deep Breath

If you saw Greg Owen's three-putt on 17, which caused him to lose Arnold's tournament, you can feel his pain. I was watching the tournament after playing a wet, muddy round at my club. When he missed the first putt and immediately stood over the second putt, I yelled, "Take your time!"

Unfortunately, he didn't.

If you're working on a tight deadline, and things fall apart, say you can't find a document you thought you saved, it's best to take a deep breath and step back. Rather than randomly pushing different keys and getting angry, you need to push away from your keyboard. You might find it by doing a search of your hard drive, or the worst outcome, you'd have to re-compose the document.

The important thing is if you keep your head, you'll have a better chance to get that deadline met and make that comeback putt.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

LPGA Tournament Thoughts

I flipped onto Golf Channel to watch some of the LPGA MasterCard Classic tournament and to my surprise I saw Annika getting into a golf cart. In fact, she was driving and her caddy was the rider. Apparently because of the elevation changes at the course, carts were allowed.

I chuckled to myself because when I speak to professionals I suggest that they drive if they're the host of a business golf round. The goal is to build a relationship and treat your guest well that day.

To see Annika driving, just showed who is in charge and is in the power position. I would have thought her caddy would drive, like he carries the clubs ordinarily, and she's thinking about her upcoming shot rather than maneuvering the cart.

As to seeing the carts in an LPGA tournament, it also surprised me to see that carts were even being used. I certainly remember the lawsuits over Casey Martin riding in PGA tournaments because of his illness that causes excruciating pain in his leg. I can't help but feel three-day tournaments and carts for players are not promoting an image of the LPGA as being on par with the caliber of competition in the PGA (at least that's what the LPGA and some players would like).

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Let's Talk Business Golf on Monday, March 13th!

On Monday, March 13, 2006 at 6 p.m. PST (9 p.m. EST), I'm having a one-hour teleseminar call. It's free. If you ask me a question at, I'll answer it during the call.

I won’t help you hit the ball farther, or help you sink those 20-footers, although I play to a 13-handicap and am the 2004 women’s club champion at her club, Mira Vista Golf and Country Club in El Cerrito, California. But I can answer these questions:
  • When are you ready to play golf with clients and prospects?
  • Why should you play business golf?
  • How good of a golfer do you have to be to play business golf?
  • What mistakes must you avoid while playing?
So, ask me your single most important question about playing business golf with clients and prospects at Submit your question along with your name and primary e-mail address.

I'll answer your question during the one-hour free teleseminar. Here’s the call-in information:

Date: Monday, March 13, 2006

Time: 6 p.m. PST (9 p.m. EST)

Phone: 712-580-0100

Access Code: 841845# (Enter this number when prompted.)

NOTE: Please call in a few minutes early. The call will start
according to

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Women's World Rankings and Wie

The LPGA and the other four women's professional golf associations throughout the world released a world ranking system of the ladies. To no one's surprise, Annika is #1, then Paula Creamer, and Michelle Wie debuts at #3. Similar to the men's world ranking, the Women's World Rankings will base ranking on the field strength of tournaments played and player performance.

In the Fields Open in Hawaii, Wie finished third in a 54-hole tournament. I'm not used to seeing tournaments end on a Saturday, but the gals can watch Davis Love III take on Geoff Ogilvy in the final match of the Accenture Match Play Championship.

Good luck, Davis!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Check out the Matches

The Accenture Match Play Championship has started at LaCosta in Carlsbad, California. If you're not familiar with match play, it's an exciting format because every hole is a match. Rather than seeing who played the best based on the total score like in stroke play, the winner in match play is the player who wins the most holes during the match.

For example, Tiger is back after his flu forced to him withdraw at the Nissan Open. At LaCosta, Tiger beat Stephen Ames, 9 and 8, which means Tiger had won 9 holes with 8 holes to play. A resounding victory in match play, which usually comes down to the last two or three holes to decide the match.

Watch this tournament and listen to the announcers describe how players may play differently because it's match play. There's more intimidation and mind games played because of the format.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Watch and Learn

During my presentations on business golf, I often talk about what you can learn about someone by watching how he or she plays golf. Confident? Selfish? Team player? These characteristics and many more will be revealed to you by playing with that person.

I was talking with someone about a person she knows that won't play golf on a golf course, but just hits balls at the driving range. He hasn't been on a golf course for several years. Money for green fees or lack of time isn't his issue. Instead, he prefers to hit balls at the range because he doesn't enjoy the pressure of playing on the golf course.

What pressure was my thought? Each of us plays the game and hopes to do well. We have great days and bad days. Yes, it's frustrating when I don't play well, especially if it's a prolonged slump. But, in short time, the joy of being on the golf course, talking with friends, and getting exercise always takes me back to the course.

Although I couldn't play with that guy because he refuses to get on the course, I have a good idea about the guy at least with regard to golf. He sounds like someone who has unreasonable expectations about his game and is afraid to look bad on the course.

It's really too bad, and somewhat sad, because ultimately we're out there to have fun and enjoy the game!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Pebble is Rocking

The start of the Pebble Beach AT&T has started. It's been glorious weather this week and will continue through the weekend.

Certainly the sponsors and corporate tent owners are having a great party. It's just not about great golf in a spectacular venue; it's about client relationship-building and schmoozing.

If you can go to a local PGA or LPGA tournament with a client, it's time well spent enjoying live phenomenal golf shots and building rapport.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Learn from Prime-Time Tiger

Tiger does it again. He needs to sink a putt to tie for the playoffs, and he fist slams after the ball dives into the hole. The odds weren't with Jose Marie and Nathan. One a veteran and the other a PGA rookie knew they were in for Tiger at his best. Jose Marie's smile on the driving range as the crowd roared said everything...Tiger is in the playoff.

In an interview before the tournament, Tiger explains why he always wins in the pressure situations. "You've got to have the guts to get it done," he says when asked why so many guys with picture-perfect swings can't win on the PGA Tour. "That's when it comes down to what do you have inside... . Some people may or may not have it, and that's something you can't teach."

Whether it's Tiger to sink the putt, or his friend, Michael Jordan, to sink the basket, they get it done when it counts.

The body language tells it all. On the 72nd hole, must have birdie hole, Tiger walked up to his ball in a not-so-perfect uphill lie, but the announcers noticed his shoulders were back and he walked tall.

I talk about body language in my book, On Course for Business. If you're a beginner to business golf and have a high handicap compared to your playing partners, walk with confidence and enthusiasm as you play...and while you conduct business.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Playing to Pay for a Huge Mortgage

After signing title docs for a $38 million oceanfront estate on Jupiter Island in Florida, Tiger is back to work. He's playing his first tournament of the year at the Buick Invitational in beautiful San Diego. By the way, I'm sure Tiger just used some extra cash he had earning 4% interest to pay for his estate.

During his time off, he didn't touch a club for 24 days and spent valuable time with his father, who is dying from cancer. Tiger has always been motivated to win every tournament he enters. But, with his father ailing will Tiger make it a year filled with victories for his father? I hope so.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Missed Opportunity for Me?

Chris DiMarco won his first tournament of 2006 today. Playing in the inaugural Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, he beat the field mostly of European pros, but including notables such as Sergio Garcia, Vijay Singh, Miguel Angel Jimenez, and Colin Montgomerie.

Why a missed opportunity for me? The Abu Dhabi Golf Championship is played in Karachi, Pakistan, and I was invited to speak in Karachi last year.

At the time, I checked with the State Department's web site to learn about Americans traveling to Pakistan, and saw the travel warning advisory and closure of the four American consulates. So, I
politely declined the invitation.

Did the European and PGA Tour officials provided tight security for the players? I suspect so, but as a Chinese woman traveling alone without an entourage of security, I didn't want to risk it.

Would you have gone?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Chinese Discovered Golf -- Holy Scot!!

According to Professor Ling Hongling of Lanzhou University, the Chinese invented the game of golf more than 500 years before the Scots. Then, Mongolian travellers took the game to Europe.

The game was written about in the Song Dynasty (AD 960-1279) and was called chuiwan - 'chui' meaning to hit and 'wan' meaning ball. Players used ten clubs, including a 'cuanbang' (known today as a driver), and a 'shaobang' (a three wood). Chinese royalty inlaid their clubs with jade, edged them with gold and decorated the shafts elaborately.

The next time I tee it up, I'll pay reverence to my ancestors for the game, but wished I had their clubs instead.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Wie Misses the Cut -- What You Can Learn

Michelle Wie missed the cut during this week's PGA Tour's Sony Open. Reasons given for her poor play include she was nervous, it was windy, and even that she felt the nervous energy of her gallery, which was large since she was playing at her home club, Waialae Country Club.

After cheering for Annika and Michelle to make the cut, I have to wonder why they are attempting to compete against their male counterparts. For Annika to do so, I understand better. She's the number one ladies golfer in the world and she wants to see how her game compares against the men.

I question why Michelle, who hasn't won yet an LPGA event, has set such unreasonably high expectations for herself. As Tiger said, you learn from your victories. Thus far, Michelle has only suffered from nearly making the cuts and her disqualification in her first tournament as a professional.

When I speak to beginners wanting to play business golf, I tell them don't set yourself up to fail. Don't play your first business golf event by entering into an 18-hole tournament with a client. Obviously, take lessons first and learn a golf swing. Then, play with friends to learn the etiquette and the dance on the golf course.

When you're comfortable on the golf course, then your first business golf outing should be a practice session at the driving range with another beginner client or prospect. As your game and confidence improve, only then you're ready play 9-holes with a client, and then eventually 18-holes.

Everything in life requires first taking baby steps before one can "master" a new skill or behavior. The golf swing can never be mastered, but learning how to play proper business golf so you're effective in building business relationships on the course can be learned with patience and proper information.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Golf in 2006

The PGA Tour is back with The Mercedes Championships in Hawaii. I'm glad to see golf is back at least on T.V. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and we've been drenched for the last week or so.

If you plan to use golf to develop your business relationships in 2006, then you should make some goals about your game and how you want to use golf in your business. What you measure grows. So, how many business golf rounds do you want to play -- one per week or one every other week? Mark some dates in your calendar now, so you'll make time to play as the date approaches.

Do you need to take some a lesson or two to improve your game? Winter is a great time to take lessons. Find an indoor teaching facility. The teaching professionals will likely have more time to spend with you and you'll be ready when spring arries.

Does your favorite charity or civic organization have a golf tournament that you want to play in?
If not, create a committee to plan a fund-raising tournament for '06.

If you can't play because of bad weather, at least you can talk about golf with clients and prospects. Keep up with the golf news on or The pros will be making news soon that your clients and prospects may want to talk about!

If golf has been proven to help you grow and build your business, then make it happen again this year -- even if it's just talking golf until the weather permits .