Thursday, February 21, 2008

Michelle Wie In Contention After 1st Round

Michelle Wie is currently tied for ninth in the Fields Open after her first round. There are more ladies playing, but it's great to see a negative number by her name. For too long we've seen plus numbers by her name in the standings.

I've always been a fan of hers, but not of some of her decisions, such as playing in men's tournaments, withdrawing from Annika's tournament, and her lack of remorse when Annika thought she behaved ungratefully. I hope Leadbetter has got her (and her father?) on track so she'll be a winner on the LPGA soon.

As to the men, Tiger is on his way to the third round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and will be playing Aaron Baddeley next. Phil got knocked out by Stuart Appleby, but Vijay is still in contention. Lots of great golf to be played and let's see if Tiger can win three in a row.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tiger Does It Again & Two-Putter Sergio

When I turned on the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, Tiger was two down with five or six holes to play. With the t.v. on mute and working on a new project, I saw he was three down with four or five to play, and thought the talk about winning every tournament he plays in this year is history. After working some more and looking up at the t.v., I saw he was tied at 16. Then, I had to go out, so I taped the rest of the match.

Anxious to watch the rest of the match, to my surprise (though I really shouldn't be by now), I see Tiger won 1 up. He can sink putts (of any distance) when he needs them better than any Tour player I've seen. His intimidation factor is also too much for most players, veterans and relative newbies, like J.B. Holmes, alike. I look forward to seeing if Tiger can make it three tournaments in a row. After his come back today, he looks unstoppable.

Everyone who follows golf knows Sergio struggles with his putting. Just like Phil put two drivers in his bag at the Masters, Sergio put two putters in his bag today--his belly putter and his short putter. It worked for him today as he goes onto his next match. Since putting is 50% or more of our score, why not?

What will we see next in golfers' bags? What will be the Tiger antidote? Whether two drivers or two putters, everyone on Tour is still searching.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Do You Hate Slow Play Too?

Slow play. Two dreaded words in the golf industry. For players, it ruins their tempo and timing. For golf courses, it hurts their bottom line.

Yesterday I waited between almost every shot. I watched the group in front and saw several reasons for slow play. First, one player would place his bag in front of the green rather than on the side of the green of the next tee. You should never need to walk (or drive a cart) backwards. It's really common sense and saves you a few steps if you're walking, but most importantly it speeds play.

The other reason for slow play is simply lack of consideration. If you know you're behind the group in front of you and see the foursome waiting behind you, it would be helpful to walk off the green a little quicker or walk at a slightly faster pace up the fairway.

Finally, one player wasn't too realistic about how far he could hit the ball. Some of us have visions of grandeur that we can hit a shot next to the pin with the longest club in our bag. But when you're consistently missing the shot left or right of the green and woefully short, then a reality check is needed. If it's safe to hit your shot, then do so, and prepare to yell "Fore!" if you did indeed hit the best shot of your life. To wait beyond what's realistic, however, just holds up the field.

Incorporate these few tips and help the pace of play problem on many golf courses. You'll likely play better and enjoy your round of golf more!

Friday, February 08, 2008

How Not to Use Business Golf

Did you watch the Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday where Tiger won his second tournament of this year? You might have seen one of the professionals, Henrik Stenson, hit his approach shot into the water. He then took his club and slammed it into his golf bag, hard enough to tip it over, except he caught it before it dropped to the ground.

I understand being competitive and wanting to do your best, especially for a professional where every lost shot is money and a possible drop in ranking as a professional. But, if you're playing business golf, you are presumably wanting to strengthen your relationship with your clients, prospects, and others. This means acting in a way that doesn't surprise or offend your playing partners. A business golf round is not the time to try to shoot your personal best round, so be careful in how you react to your missed shots. Throwing your clubs or hitting your bag with your club may turn your playing partners off and hurt your business relationships instead of improving them as you intended.