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.