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 .