Friday, October 09, 2009

Golf in the 2016 Olympics

A great day for golf and the world stage! The Olympics has been accepted in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics. It will be first time since 1904 that golf has been played in the Olympics. It'll be a 72-hole competition with 60 men and 60 women competing. Can't wait to see Tiger, Phil, and others play in the Olympics.

Presidents Cup and more!

The Presidents Cup has started on The Golf Channel. I'm hoping the US can build on its slim lead.

Two interesting stories from the Presidents Cup regarding etiquette. I always talk about turning off your cell phones when playing with a client. If you're a golf marshal, it's even more important that you shut off your phone, since your duty is to keep the gallery quiet. Unfortunately a marshal's cell phone rang 5 times before Geoff Oglivy made a putt, and ended up missing his putt. Apparently, an obnoxious fan also yelled a comment to interrupt Oglivy. In a moment of class, Tiger apologized to Oglivy, even though he was not involved in disturbing Oglivy's routine.

The other is Michael Jordan's smoking of a cigar on Harding Park. SF has an ordinance that does not allow smoking on the golf course. So, poor MJ was told to stop smoking his cigar. Remember, they're playing in San Francisco, so there might be laws you've never heard of anywhere else, but in SF.

Besides having your concentration thrown off, golf can be dangerous to your well being. In Beaufort, SC, a 70-something golfer went to a lake to retrieve his ball, and an alligator jumped out and pulled him in to the lake. In the struggle, the man's arm was bitten off! The authorities were able to kill the alligator and retrieve his arm in hopes they can re-attach it. Best wishes for a speedy and full recovery to that golfer!

Here's a tip: When going to a golf course that you've never played before, ask players familiar with the course if there are snakes, alligators, or anything else that might bite or sting you. If there are such critters, I announce to my playing partners that I don't intend to be rude, but won't be looking for their lost balls or mine. I'd take a stroke and distance penalty any time over meeting a snake and anything else that I hope to never meet.

So, beware of cell phones, non-smoking rules, and alligators! Enjoy the Presidents Cup!!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Need a Site for Everything Golf?

Check out Resource Site for Everything Golf.

It's a site where you'll likely find everything you need related to golf. If you want the latest news, go to Media and find the golf wire services, or online golf magazines. If you want to compare different manufacturers clubs, go to the Club Manufacturers Tab and find sites to the top-name brands.

One day I was searching for a new wedge. I first searched Google for the URL of a company, then I'd go to the site. When I wanted to find another company, I had to go to Google again and look for the URL. I figured there had to be a better way to research golf, so I created the site.

Please visit and let me know what you think. And, if you have a site or a blog, please add a link to it.


Saturday, October 03, 2009

Golf and Tennis Aren't a Match

I was shocked to read Greg Norman and Chris Evert have already separated after a year of marriage. When seeing them in interviews, you would have thought they were inseparable. Each brought in fortunes, along with respective prenuptial agreements, so I'm sure a divorce will be very simple procedure. Maybe that's the problem, it's too easy to walk away. Perhaps, not to surprising when it's her third and his second.

It's too bad. They were an attractive couple in terms of looks and athletic star-power. I hope this won't interfere with Greg's duties as Captain of the International Team at the President's Cup.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Billion Dollar Man

According to Forbes, Tiger has earned a billion dollars since turning pro. This number includes tournament prize money, appearance fees, endorsements, golf course design, and bonuses. Not sure what bonuses he gets as a golfer, unlike football where players make millions just for signing a contract, but his IMG agent Mark Steinberg must do a great job for him.

He is the first athlete to surpass the benchmark of a billion dollars. His pal, Michael Jordan, may also earn a billion, but it is estimated that it will take him four or five years.

Congratulations, Tiger!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dual Winners at The TOUR Championship

I didn't watch the final round of the TOUR Championship today, but saw the final 4 holes on tape and the interviews following. Congrats to Tiger for winning the FedEx Cup and to Phil for getting his putting in gear and winning the Championship.

Unfortunately during Phil's interview he tried to make a joke about his not understanding why he shot 65 and got a check for $1.3 million only, while Tiger shot 70 and got a check for $10 million. I was happy for Phil given his trying year, but with that comment it showed his lack graciousness.

Meanwhile, I tried to play today, but after waiting on every shot and having three groups on one hole on several holes, my group decided we had had enough at the seventh tee. The foursome ahead of the field was playing in the final round of a match play event. They were at least 20 minutes behind and held up the entire field.

Worse is that one member of the foursome is a Board Member (he had previously complained that I disturbed him with the sound of my driver when he was hitting his second shot), it was pretty outrageous to play so slowly. Karma must have come into play as that Board Member and his partner lost today. If a Board Member can't figure out how to keep up the pace, then he should at least let groups through.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Friend to Have

Tiger Woods gave Sean O'Hair a putting tip before the start of the TOUR Championship. Who's on top of the leader board so far? Sean O'Hair.

Why would Tiger give one of only 28 competitors a tip to improve his game and scoring?

"It's very simple," Woods said. "You always help your friends. Sean is a friend of mine, and like all my friends, you always try to make their life better somehow. Sean has been struggling a bit on the greens this year, and I thought I could offer a little bit of help and insight to how he could change that."

As O'Hair said it was a classy thing to do. There is no doubt, Tiger is a class act.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Went Into Withdrawals

There wasn't a PGA Tour event this last weekend, and I sure felt it. Yes, I know the 30 top point leaders are getting ready to play in the TOUR Championship this weekend as the FedEx Cup nears end. But, since when did the PGA Tour have a bye week for the entire Tour?

I even recall other tournaments being held for those who didn't make it into another tournament. During the Open, there is a PGA Tour event for those who didn't qualify. Or, even during one of the WGC Championships, there is a PGA Tour event for those who weren't invited.

I was in S. Lake Tahoe until Sunday, and the house there doesn't have a t.v., so I wouldn't have been able to watch a tournament even if it were on. I didn't play because I had some work to do, but it hasn't stopped me in the past from going to Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. While there, I get to be lake-side, grab a drink with lunch, and watch a couple hours of a tournament. Or, going to and following the leaders and news online several times during the weekend.

But, this weekend, there was nothing to follow! Well, I guess I'll have to get used to it as we approach the end of the season. After I got home, though, I watched the final hole of the LPGA's Samsung Championship. I did enjoy the intrigue as the leader hit into the water unfortunately, and the runner-up later made birdie on the final hole to win.

Yes, a definite realization of how much I'm addicted to either playing or following Tiger, Phil, Jim, Steve and the rest of the guys on the PGA Tour. Although not a fan of addictions in general, this is one that I like and will keep:)!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Women Shoots Two Holes in One on Same Day!

A 64-year young woman in England shot her first hole in one and, then ten holes later, shot her second hole in one. She had witnesses in her group and the men in the foursome ahead gave her a thumbs up to say it went in on the first one. Then, after not being able to find the ball on the second hole, she discovered it was in the hole.

That's incredible to shoot two aces in one day! I've had three holes in one over my 20 years of playing and feel very lucky to have done so. But, to get two on the same day after only playing for 10 years is amazing! She definitely needs to go and buy a lottery ticket!

Congratulations! I'm sure there were plenty of drinks poured in that clubhouse!

Fines in Tennis...Golf Next?

You've probably heard about Serena being fined a total of $10,500. for her behavior during her finals match at the US Open. Then, Roger Federer got fined $1,500 for his use of an expletive when talking to the umpire. I understand emotions run high in competitions and built-up frustration can cause someone to blow up. There are limits, however.

I agree with the fine against Serena because she did much more than just use an expletive. Besides her use of many expletives, she was threatening of the line umpire as she waved her racket in a taunting manner. Moreover, she didn't just explode once, she went back at her two additional times.

And, to get into a possibly sensitive area, I don't think the line umpire made the foot fault call because of her racism. Arguably the opposite could also be true that Serena was being racist as she went after the petite Asian umpire. If the line umpire was black would she have behaved the same way?

Calls of racism whether in sports or politics should be omitted. There is no way of knowing, without their admission, what their reasons are for speaking and acting out in whatever way. It only adds possibly unwarranted and unfounded speculation to an already bad situation.

As to Federer's fine, I understand why he was fined, i.e. you can't allow players to use an expletive when speaking to an umpire. But, I don't find his comments as extreme as Serena's. I suspect that word is part of his everyday vernacular. In this case, though, Federer shouldn't have said it to the umpire.

So, will we see fines in golf next? I doubt it. Tiger's use of expletives and slamming of clubs seem to be less recently. Understandably, it's objectionable because kids watch him and want to emulate him. But, his tirades are directed at himself. He's not gone after another player, Stevie, or a Rules official with his club waving at them, or even in any conversations that we've heard.

How does this relate to business golf with your clients? It should be pretty obvious that you can't pull a Serena and go after another player. That kind of out of control behavior will likely cost you clients and your reputation in the community. If you let loose an expletive or two, I'd apologize, so your business guests know it's not part of your usual way of speaking.

Most clients can understand a slip of the tongue. It's important though that they also know you realize it was inappropriate and have a standard of decorum.

Hope you get to out and play this weekend!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Golf in Perspective

Pro golfer Brandt Snedeker needed to two putt his final hole in last week's tournament, so he could play in The Tour Championship in two weeks. The Tour Championship is the final playoff to determine the winner of the FedEx Cup who will take home 10 million dollars.

Unfortunately Snedeker didn't just three-putt that hole, he four putted (watch the 1.33 minute video) it. It cost him tens of thousands of dollars.

In my presentations, I talk about the seven personal and business benefits of playing golf. The first one about playing golf is it's Fabulous Fun. I remind my audience that for us golf should be just fun (even, and especially, when we're playing with clients and prospects). We don't have to worry about how much a putt costs us if we miss it. Or, whether will we make the cut to play in the next round of a tournament.

If you're struggling with your game, remind yourself about the big picture as to why you're playing the game. Over the last two Sundays, I've attended two funerals of family members. One family member was only 62 years young. Life is short, so whether you play for the camaraderie, the competition, or exercise, keep playing and remember to have fun!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Las Vegas: PGA Show, Hoover Dam, and

I'm in Vegas and started with attending the PGA Show yesterday. It was pretty quiet, but it's not the big show, which is in January in Orlando, FL. Probably 4x as large. It was smaller, and I got a chance to speak to more of the manufacturers and vendors. Interested in a board game with golf as its topic and a never-dry out golf towel. Also visited the Callaway Golf Center. Learned more about golf fitting and excited to see the upcoming renovations of the Center...remodeling the Pro Shop and upgrading the driving range.

Today, I went to Hoover Dam and am amazed at the engineering feat. The brilliance of those people working on the world's largest dam!!!

Stopped at Boulder Creek Golf Course and didn't see many players. It was at least 100 degrees today, and I couldn't play in this heat. But, they're going into their high season as temps go down and Vegas courses close for seeding.

Then, went to and saw its headquarters. Met with its Golf Executive Officer and am excited to see how they make a presence in the golf market. Also, toured the offices and those folks are happy employees. No wonder the company does well.

So, a fun day of Wows. Inspiring to see such success!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Golf is Still Business Meeting of Choice

According to, add golf to your resume:

"If you are looking for a financial, investment, real estate, marketing, or other business related job, golf is for sure the sport for you. It has become the business meeting sport of choice. Whether you are playing a round with your boss or a potential client, they will be impressed with your skills. If you are at least knowledgeable and some what able to hold your own on the green, let your hirer know. It is always good for the boss to have a go to guy to send to the green."

Liberty National in New Jersey has spectacular views of New York. President of Barclays, Robert Diamond, said Liberty National was selected because of its proximity to New York and businesses. Barclays bought most of the assets of Lehman Brothers, and they certainly see its golf sponsorship as a wise marketing investment.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Another Reason to Play Golf

According to Australian scientists, the smell of freshly mowed grass is relaxing and good for people. They're even making a cologne mimicking that scent. Check out the article.

Speaking of grass, according to Paul Azinger, Captain of last year's victorious American Ryder Cup team, he doesn't understand why more professional players don't still wear metal spikes. Tiger and Phil still do, which should tell us something, but we can't since most courses that we play require that we wear soft spikes.

Finally, fall is soon on its way, which means a change in our weather. Play more and play often, even if it means only getting out for nine holes!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tiger-Stevie Twosome

In Tiger's last major, the Open, Tiger missed the cut and Stevie, his caddy, takes the blame. Stevie lost sleep for 2-3 days after the Open because he felt he didn't do his job as Tiger's caddy. Some may dislike Stevie after his comments about Phil, but I've never heard a caddy blame himself for his player's problems on the course. I've also never heard Tiger blame Stevie.

For some insights into Stevie and how he helped Tiger turn that first dismal first round into a victory at the Buick, check out this article by Robert Lusetich.

P.S. Got to love Stevie's wife, who also has a part in Tiger's success.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Padraig Takes the Blame

Tiger beat Padraig Harrington by three strokes, but did the clock beat Padraig? On the 16th hole, the rules official told Tiger and Padraig to speed up because they were 17 minutes behind.

Players are given 40 seconds to hit their shots after they reach their balls. Tiger believes Padraig had to rush his shots on that hole which was the demise of Padraig. First Padraig hit his tee shot into the trees, then a shot into the slope of a bunker, and then he had a delicate shot to a green running away from him, which rolled into the water. Padraig had an eight on that par-5, which Tiger birdied and took the lead by three shots.

When they shook hands, Tiger seemed to be apologizing to Padraig that the official "got in the way of a great battle." Interestingly Padraig doesn't blame the official for putting them on the clock, "If you’re put on the clock, you always want to be nicely in position so you’re not having to think too much. I got out of position with my tee shot, my second shot and my third short. I got out of position and just got myself out of the zone.”

Padraig showed he takes responsibility for his bad shots on 16, which I admire. He could have gone along with Tiger blaming the rules official for his loss. Would Tiger have blamed the official if things were reversed? I'm not sure. Or, did Tiger not like winning against Padraig because Padraig was rushed and hit into the water? Part of me thinks Tiger is a purist and when he wins he wants to know that he beat his opponent and not because some outside influence affected the outcome.

Can't wait to watch this week's final Major, the PGA Championship!

UPDATE: The PGA Tour has fined Tiger for criticizing the official. Not sure if I like this call. Frankly, I would have fined him for his language and behavior on the course instead, which by the way, seems much better in the last two tournaments. I'm sure if his cap could talk, it would say plenty.

UPDATE II: Ty Votaw of the PGA has confirmed that Tiger did not get fined for his critical comments of the official.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Persistence Pays Off for Tiger & Wie Selection for the Solheim Cup

After Thursday, I saw Tiger was tied for 95th in jeopardy of not making the cut for two consecutive tournaments. I thought it wasn't a good way to go into his final major, the PGA Championship.

Then, on Friday, he had a spectacular round and climbed his way to the first page of the leaderboard, and, of course, we know how this story ends. He wins today by three strokes.

His persistence and never believing he's out of a tournament are what makes Tiger a winner. Sure it's his great shot making and putting (except for Thursday), but there is just something else that makes him a winner from that far back.

Intimidation is still a factor. I'm in Tahoe where we don't have t.v. in the house, so I followed the tournament online and saw those ahead of him falling back as he rose up the leaderboard.

Given his past endorsement of Buick, I'm sure it's a nostalgic victory for him to win another Buick Open, especially since GM will not be sponsoring this tournament (or any other, I'm sure) any longer.

As to the Solheim Cup, Captain Beth Daniel selected Michelle Wie and Juli Inkster as wildcards for the team. A nice selection of veteran toughness and grooming a rookie for regular play on the team. Good luck, US Team!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Can You Play By Yourself During a Competition?

We have an interesting situation at my golf club going on. On Thursday, we played the first of a two-day tournament. On the first day, the score for the team is the best net ball of two teammates. On the second day, the best net score for each hole from both days is taken for the team's score.

On the first day, several people noticed a team was playing alone, i.e. there was no marker playing with them to ensure their score was correct. (See Rule 6-6 a.) We've questioned the pro shop as to why they were allowed to play, without a marker, especially given the history of the particular two-some. We're awaiting the resolution.

If you should happen to play in a competition, and for some reason find that you're playing by yourself, you have to ask for a marker. If you play your best and shoot a low score, your score will look suspect because you didn't have a marker, a witness to your great playing. (See Decisions on the Rules 6-6a/1 and 6-6a/2.) If you don't have a marker, you will be disqualified and your great playing will be for naught.

By the way, the two-some shot a net 59, 14 under 73 par. It's too bad they didn't play with a marker, so there would be no doubt as to the legitimacy of their score.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Painful Finish to The Open

I was so hoping that the first TW from Stanford could sink that 10 footer on 18 for the victory, but it had no chance. Such a disappointment and such a let down.

Then, to watch the four-hole playoff was even more painful as Cink sank pars and another birdie on 18 while Watson had bogeys and worse. Just not a way for Watson to finish a tournament that should have been his on 18.

Can't take anything away from Cink though as he birdied 18 to take the clubhouse lead and force a playoff. Congratulations, Stewart Cink, on your first Major and what a memorable one it will be!

I liked Watson's talk of spirituality during his press conferences over the weekend. He felt that something else helping him during this tournament, and was willing to admit it. Whether it was his long-time caddy or whomever, he had a guiding hand with him from afar. I'd hope we've all had that feeling. Don't know where it comes from and it's hard to describe, but you have that sense things will go your way that day on the course. Congratulations, Tom, on showing golfers that youth isn't everything in golf, and maturity in life will always serve you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Do you have golf rage?

Have you been a victim of golf rage? Yes, like road rage, it's where someone on the golf course, perhaps even a playing partner, gets enraged at something you said or did and that person gets physical (or threatens doing so) with you.

According to a NY Times article, incidents of golf rage are becoming more common.

Those folks need to take a deep breath and focus on why they're playing the game -- for the fun of it. That's the f-word that I use when talking about golf. I know it can be frustrating, but if it's not fun any longer, then that's when I need to take a break from it.

As we've been reminded this last week with several celebrity deaths, life is short. So, whether playing for business or just recreation, have FUN with golf!

BTW: No one chose Lucas Glover as the winner of the U.S. Open. Congrats, Lucas! On Thursday, the Open Championship starts. Here's the t.v. schedule. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Women's U.S. Open Starts Today

Today is the first round of the US Women's Open. Unfortunately because of the existing qualifying process, both Natalie Gulbis and Michelle Wie won't be playing in it. They're two of the most popular women in the LPGA, but are not on the course this weekend.

This week's tournament is being played on the Old Course of Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, PA. I played there last year with the Lehigh University's women's golf coach when my niece was considering attending Lehigh. It's a beautiful traditional golf course with ties to Bethlehem Steel. Its founder started Saucon Valley and it's a sad to see the empty high rise of the former company.

Check out the Women's Open this weekend, especially during some tumultuous times at the LPGA. Several top players sent a letter to the LPGA asking that Commissioner Carolyn Bivens resign. Commissioner Bivens and the LPGA are discussing a buyout of her two years remaining on her contract. She made few friends with questionable edits involving the press, long-time sponsors of the LPGA, and Korean players. With the economy and loss of additional tournaments, the top players decided a change was needed.

Here's the t.v. schedule:

Today and tomorrow: ESPN 2-6 p.m. ET
Weekend: NBC 3-6 p.m. ET


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Two Friends and Two Victories with a Pond Between

I awoke early this Sunday morning to watch Wimbeldon's Men's Championship between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick. Torn between wanting Andy, the American underdog and comeback kid, and Roger going for his 15th record-setting Grand Slam victory, I just wanted a close match. It wasn't just close, it was epic with the fifth and deciding match going to 16-14 games. Amazing tennis!

I had a 10:36 a.m. tee time at my club and wasn't sure if I'd make it to watch the finish. I set two VCRs to make sure I didn't miss the finish. I was thrilled to be able to see the finish at our Pro Shop with Federer victorious.

As I teed off, my foursome was still talking about the match. My Dad is soon to be 81 and has never played tennis, but he watched as much of Wimbeldon as he could. He teed off first and suddenly I was thinking golf. Before I left my home, I also set the VCR to record the final round of Tiger's tournament and wondered if Tiger knew his friend won today. If so, I knew it would spur on Tiger.

After my round, I went into the Clubhouse and found Tiger was chipping on 16, and sunk his birdie to take a one-shot lead. It was no surprise to see Tiger also victorious today.

I can only imagine the text messages between Roger Federer and Tiger Woods! Congratulations, Roger and Tiger!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Final day Sunday is going to be an exciting onoe with Tiger and Anthony Kim tied at the top of Tiger's tournament.

I loved seeing the American flag on flagsticks today. I don't recall seeing that in past tournaments on this day.

I always learn a golf tip when watching a pro tournament. During today's broadcast was talking about your golf swing and your putting stroke are the same tempo. He was commenting about a player having a hard time with his swing, and that one's swing shows up identically on that person's putting stroke. It reminded me of the importance of staying positive and confident when playing golf. And, not giving short shrift to one's mental game.

Stay positive and stay well!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Tiger's Tournament Blasts Off

Tiger is hosting the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club, which started today. He hopes to be a "greedy host" and take the trophy home this week, which would be fun to see.

“Hopefully people come out, not only to watch the players, but also to say thank you to all of the servicemen and women who are coming out here,” Woods said. “If it wasn’t for them, what they are doing overseas, things might be different here.”

I have always admired Tiger's support of our troops and the military. I love the symbolism of holding the tourney during the 4th of July weekend and in Bethesda, MD, near our country's capital. When asked to speak at the Inauguration, I wondered if he'd use it as an opportunity to talk about how he and Obama were of mixed race and their respective accomplishments. Instead, Tiger made a speech about his admiration of the military.

Perhaps his father's influence includes imparting the love of not just golf, but of the military and our country. Or maybe he's traveled the world and he sees no other country that gives us the freedoms that we have, which includes a guy being able to earn nearly a billion dollars because he can sink a little white ball into a hole with fewer strokes than others.

I hope the press touts Tiger and his salute to the troops with this tourney, especially those wounded in action, since they have talked down golf recently. The press seems to like to promote divisions, whether black versus white, pro- or anti-military, or high- versus low-income. They have a chance now to talk about how golf brings people together to strengthen relationships and raise money or donations for good causes. I hope they take it.

Have a safe and Happy 4th of July!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Vijay Stands By Financier Allen Stanford

Stanford Financial founder, Allen Stanford, is being held for swindling $7 billion from investors. Vijay tried to put up $500,000. as bail for Stanford. The federal magistrate, however, refused to allow Vijay to post the bail because he's not a U.S. citizen.

Stanford Financial was a sponsor of Vijay's for several years, an endorsement deal worth $8 million. According to a USA Today article, Vijay wants to help, since Stanford has only been charged and not yet found guilty. It's obvious a friendship existed given Stanford's company sponsored Vijay on the PGA Tour.

As a token of that friendship, Vijay tried to help. Half a million dollars is probably not much money to Vijay. Good for him for sticking up for a friend.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lucas Glover Wins the U.S. Open

As Mickelson and Duval made charges near the end of the tournament, Glover held on for the victory. Apropos that he and his wife would love New York for him to win his first major and only his second pro victory in New York.

Mickelson and Duval tied for second, along with final round co-leader, Rickey Barnes. I'm sure disappointing for all. Amy won't have Phil's trophy in her hospital room as she starts treatment for breast cancer unfortunately. And, David Duval has to be pleased with his performance, yet disappointed with his tied for second place finish.

As to Rickey Barnes, it has to hurt to shoot six-over and lose the tournament. He admits to nerves and who can blame him. But, at least he'll be going to the Open in July, thanks to this finish.

As to my contest, it should come as no surprise that no one selected Lucas Glover. Congratulations, Lucas!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tiger's Mouth

Whether on audio or by reading his lips, you've heard Tiger say expletives during his rounds. During this U.S. Open, as he struggles, I've heard or seen him drop a couple of F-bombs today.

He's fortunate to be married to Elin, who speaks Swedish. He apparently understands and speaks a few words of Swedish as well.

Maybe he should learn a couple of Swedish swear words, so he won't be caught on TV with his profanity.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

U.S. Open Winner Contest

Choose the winner of the 2009 U.S. Open before Thursday, the 18th, at 12:01 a.m. PT at this survey. Selected entry will win a free one-hour business golf consultation with me. So, enter now!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Winners' Clutch Shots

I watched the end of both of tournaments this weekend, the St. Jude Classic and the LPGA Championship. I was struck by how both winners, Brian Gay at the St. Jude and rookie Anna Nordqvist at the Championship, had phenomenal shots at the end of their tournaments.

Brian Gay hit a shot into a par-3 and on the final hole, both with water on the left. Both shots ended up being close to the hole and he extended his lead by two additional birdies. While Nordqvist finished as well with a shot into the final green and another birdie.

It was great to see how both stayed within their games and their emotions and could win with even bigger margins. They didn't get ahead of themselves and instead stayed focus in hitting good shots to the end.

As amateurs, we may not be able to hit the ball as far and pure, or putt as well as the pros, but one area that we can work on is our mental game. I think if we played our shots without expectation and, therefore, upset about errant shots, our emotions will stay more level, and we'll have better rounds.

Play well!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Phil's Return

Phil is back from time with his wife and focusing on her medical care. He's playing in the St. Jude Classic as he prepares for the U.S. Open in two weeks.

I've not always been a fan of his play, but have always liked him as a person. He seems approachable with fans as he gives high fives and tips his cap. At the same time, I've heard he's not so nice in the press room. Given the press these days, I can understand that.

It'll be interesting to watch how he does this weekend with what's on his mind. He said he'll be driving now and suddenly start to cry. He's obviously a man that loves his wife and family, and willing to let everyone see his vulnerability. And, I'm sure if he doesn't play well or even win the U.S. Open, he won't mind. There is only one battle that he's focused on now, and the one with Tiger and the rest of the field is not it.

Good luck, Phil, and best wishes to Amy, you, and your family!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Federer Learns from Woods?

I'm watching the French Open and Federer is trying to win this elusive career Grand Slam title today. He's hitting a forehand shot that has so much spin that the ball lands and barely bounces forward. It reminds me of Tiger hitting one of his shots with a lot of spin into the green. Tiger makes the ball snake back because he hits with grooves that bite into the ball. Federer, of course, can't get that much back spin on the ball, but his soft forehand is an amazing shot to watch. I've never seen it before, and it's won Federer several points in this second match.

Tiger and Federer are very good friends. I'm sure each has text messaged the other about each of their finals today. I wouldn't be surprised if the top competitors in their respective sports have collaborated to improve their games.

Good luck, Roger!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Playoff Weekend

This weekend's PGA Tour and Champions Tour both needed playoff holes to determine the victor. Congratulations to Steve Stricker, the winner at the Colonial, and Mark McNulty, the winner at the Principal Charity Classic.

Steve Stricker had to overcome several missed short putts during the round. If he had made just one of them, he would have been the winner without the extra holes against Tim Clark. Meanwhile Mark McNulty had to compete against Fred Funk for four extra holes before winning.

It made me realize how mentally tough pro golfers are and how they play a shot at a time. They must have amnesia when it comes to bad shots and putts, which allows them to then hit their next best shot.

I've only been in a playoff once and unfortunately lost in the playoff and finished second. I blame myself though because I wasn't mentally in the game. I went into the last round of a tournament eight to ten strokes behind the two leaders. When I looked at the leaderboard before I teed off, I told someone I just didn't want to finish last. But, when I was about to tee off on the first hole, I learned the two leaders were disqualified. Suddenly I was possibly in contention, but I didn't know my exact standing because the starter didn't have a revised leaderboard.

After the round, I went along with my usual routine of changing my shoes and putting my clubs away, thinking my day of golf was done. I didn't shoot well and certainly didn't think I finished in the money or would be in a playoff. So you can imagine my shock when I learned that I had to go back out to play in a playoff for the Championship. I didn't play well, and I ultimately lost on the second hole.

Where I made my mistake was thinking I was out of the tournament. I quit playing in my head and had already put my clubs away. I did so based on how I played that day, without considering how the other players shot that day.

It's clear that the pros don't think that way and are always thinking they're in contention until the leaderboard tells them otherwise. I certainly learned my lesson and will make sure to know the leaderboard the next time I play in a tournament.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Why Daly is a Fan Favorite

John Daly is playing in the final round of the BMW PGA Championship in England today. The good news is he's attempting to make a comeback. He's lost forty pounds and has a sponsor for those loud pants that he wears.

Today though he's wearing pink trousers in honor of Amy Mickelson and her battle with breast cancer. It's a sweet gesture from a guy who has a lot of demons of his own to fight. Keep up the great work, John!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fred Astaire--Dancing and Swinging

A friend sent me this YouTube clip and it's amazing to watch Fred Astaire dance and hit balls at the same time. You can fast forward to 1:22 when he takes clubs into his hands.

He's supposed to have been a 22 handicap. He certainly makes it looks effortless for him to dance and hit the ball at the same time.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Is This Statistically Possible?

I played in a Ladies Invitational today, and I'm hoping someone can run the numbers on this for me. I'm not a poor loser when I lose to a plausible score. But I have to question how a team can shoot 106 for two best net balls when par is 144. That's 38 strokes under par, or 19 strokes under per each side! Somehow this team shot two net birdies for eight holes, and on the other hole, the team shot one net birdie and one net eagle. They had to do this, or the equivalent, on both sides!

You must be thinking this must be a team comprised of four scratch golfers. In fact, they're not. Lowest handicap index is 8.1, the highest is 26.6, and the other two are about 14.5. They also only took 95% of our handicap, so the number of strokes we all received were even less.

Perhaps, there was a mathematical error and it should have been 116. Or, they played a different format than the rest of us. In any case, I find it hard to believe this score is correct.

If you're wondering, the second place team shot 118 and the rest were in the 120's. If you crank out the probability of a team shooting this score, please let me know.

On a much more serious note, it was reported today that Amy Mickelson has breast cancer, and Phil is on a layoff indefinitely from the Tour. My best wishes to her and her family as she fights this awful disease.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Golf and Banks

I had a conversation this morning with a gentleman who was involved with an investment bank that used to host an outing at the Masters. Given these days of criticism for banks involved with golf, this obviously occurred in the past.

In any case, the bank invited 40-60 guests for a very expensive outing at the Masters. It was extravagant, but it was worth it to the bank. The bank knew when those guests had to decide on a bank to finance a future transaction that interest points wouldn't be the make-or-break factor.

The bank knew that future deals would be made on likability, trust, relationship, service, and the like. The non-quantifiables that an invite to a memorable Masters outing would bring.

For that bank, it was a fruitful business expense because one deal out of the 40-60 guests would pay 30 to 40-fold the cost of outing. The CEO of Goldman Sachs says it best,"[T]here's a business purpose for the round of golf; it's not as if people within Goldman Sachs are playing with each other when they should be laboring at their desks. We're engaging with our clients in a context in which people can be more friendly, share more information, become closer — all with a commercial purpose, which is in the best interest of our shareholders. There was nothing wrong with it then, but it does have a different feel in the context of so much distress."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Steady Stenson

The last time I wrote about Henrik Stenson was when he stripped to his shorts to hit a shot in a water hazard. Today though he was flawless and victorious at The Players.

Stenson explained he was hitting the ball well, and he managed himself well. Commentators talked about his hot temper. In 2001, while playing in a tournament, he walked off the course at the 9th hole. He's obviously matured.

Tiger on the other hand has exposed himself in another way. I don't recall seeing him miss so many shots that we're so used to watching him hit. He claims that he knows what the problem is with his swing, but he can't do it yet. Given his nine months off and a new knee, it's understandable, even for the Tiger, to have this inconsistency. The good news for him though is he can play two weeks in a row without his knee being in pain.

Congratulations, Henrik! The U.S. Open will be exciting in six weeks indeed.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Phil's Memories on TPC Sawgrass #10

During lunch, I watched The Players and saw Phil Mickelson chipping across the 10th green. Although a downhill chip, it was pretty surprising to see his chip roll across the green into the rough on the other side. Brandel Chamblee talked about Phil not doing well on this hole in the past; in particular, Phil had a five putt on that green!

I've never had a five-putt. And, I would have guessed Phil hadn't either until I heard Chamblee's comments. I'm pretty certain Phil wasn't thinking about his five-putts when he hit his chip shot, but it still makes you wonder.

The leaderboard is surprising thus far. I'd love to play that course, especially #17. I'm sure there will be some great golf in the next few days! Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Sergio and The Players

Brandel Chamblee of the Golf Channel was talking about how Sergio Garcia, the defending champion of this weekend's tournament, The Players, has lost the joy of playing golf. He observed that Garcia seems to take his close losses, especially in the Majors, too much to heart. He said Sergio has forgotten that he's playing a game that he loves, and he should go out and have fun again.

Then, he mentioned a sports psychology statistic that I thought you might find helpful when thinking about your golf game. He said it takes eleven positive thoughts to overcome one negative thought. So, for every bad shot that you can't forget, you have to have eleven positive shots that you can recall.

From now on, I'll have to discipline myself to remember only my positive shots on any given hole, as I go through my pre-shot routine.

To watch The Players this weekend, here's the t.v. schedule, which starts on Thursday. By the way, do you wonder why The Players is often referred to as the "Fifth Major"? It isn't an official Major (like the Masters, the U.S. Open, the Open, and the PGA Championship) because it's not considered an official event on the European Tour, while the other four are considered as such.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Greg Norman Victorious at the Masters!

I've been a fan of Greg Norman's after he watching him lose a six-stroke lead and ultimately the Masters title to Nick Faldo. He handled it with class and I admire not only his good-looks and golf talent, but also his business acumen and piloting skills. A pretty incredible package in one person!

Yesterday during the Par 3 Contest with his new bride, Chris Evert, on his bag, he shot a hole-in-one! I don't know how many he's had, but this one has to be a special one.

Augusta hasn't been kind to Norman having never won a green jacket. So, I hope this ace will propel him to do well today and tomorrow, so he can make the cut. And, who knows, maybe he'll pull off the biggest victory of his career and win the Masters this weekend!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Some Fun Golf for Me

In mid-February, I caught a bug that I couldn't get rid of. I'd feel better one day, and then the next day I was exhausted. After five weeks of this, I had a trip previously planned for Lake Havasu City, AZ in mid-March. It was just the medicine I needed. I still had a nagging cough and after two days in the dry heat of AZ, it was gone.

So, I got to enjoy my golf outings in AZ. I played on three courses: Emerald Canyon Golf Course, The Refuge, and the Olde Course at the London Bridge Golf Course. The holes at Emerald Canyon wound through the canyons and had beautiful vistas. My favorite though was playing The Refuge. It had beautiful views of Lake Havasu and was a fun challenging course.

The recent highlight of my golf career though was playing in the Pro-Am of the Stonebrae Classic, the inaugural stop of the Nationwide Tour in nearby Hayward, CA. My playing partners included Nationwide Pro, Steve Friezen, former Raider and now 49er Barry Sims (see picture below), and 49er Jay Moore. I also played with a gal who is a member of Stonebrae.

It was a two-day affair, which included the Pairings Party the night before where I got to meet my playing partners. We also had a long drive show by Long-Drive Champion, Dan Boever, who can do amazing things with a golf ball, like hit a ball and make it travel ninety degrees, probably a total of 420 yards.

On the morning of the Pro-Am, I have to admit that I was a bit nervous. I was the highest handicapper at 11.3 and didn't want to embarrass myself. Funny thing happens to me though when I'm in competition or nervous, I swing easier and end up being more accurate. As a result, I shot three natural birdies from the forward tees, and had a stroke on each, for three net eagles. The gents will admit that the gals held up the team!

If you ever get a chance to play in a professional tour stop Pro-Am, treat yourself to playing. It was a memorable experience indeed and one that I won't forget!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Don't Do As Henrik

I'm finally back from a cold or virus that knocked me out for a month. I've never felt so sick and lethargic before, and it's nice to come out of my cave. Unfortunately, it was to see this picture of Henrik Stenson hitting out of the water at Doral.

Henrik, "What were you thinking?" I don't know the circumstances of why he decided to strip to his shorts for this shot, but whatever they were, he just shouldn't have. Was it in the beginning of the round and he couldn't stand to wear muddy clothes for the remainder of the round? Did he think no one would care if he stripped to his skivvies? Couldn't Fanny persuade him to not do it?

Needless to say, business golfers never need to go to this extreme to hit a shot out of the water. If a pro looks ridiculous hitting out of the water, an amateur-recreational golfer will be laughed out of his foursome.

It doesn't help that Henrik doesn't have Tiger's or Camillo Villegas's body. And, there is always something to be said about leaving things to one's imagination. Now, every time I see Henrik, I'll think of this picture. And, it's not a good thing!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Welcome back, Tiger!

With all the bad economic news, having Tiger back on Tour is great news for golf fans. He's brought back a spark of excitement that's been missing from the Tour. As can be expected, he had a few sloppy shots yesterday. And, he'll have a bigger test against Tim Clark today.

Golf has been getting a bad rap recently. We're hearing complaints about Northern Trust Company sponsoring the last PGA tournament since it received TARP money. Given that the sponsorship and t.v. commercial agreements were in place probably years before they got the TARP funds, Northern Trust would have been hit with lawsuits and penalties if they did try to pull out.

And, if Northern Trust has held parties for high-end clients in the past at the tournament and suddenly didn't this year, what would happen to their clients' confidence in Northern Trust? Companies have to continue marketing to their clients (and rewarding their top employees), especially in challenging times. Yes, it would be wise if not done so lavishly, but really who in government can complain about the waste of taxpayer dollars?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Congratulations, Michelle!

Michelle Wie finished second yesterday at the SBS Open in Hawaii. Although she had a three-stroke lead at one point, she lost by three strokes. This is her first tournament since becoming a card-carrying member of the LPGA. She looked disappointed and unfortunately didn't finish well on the back-nine.

I share in her disappointment, but am happy to see that she and her caddy are working together on reads and club selection. There was a time that her father didn't allow her veteran caddy, Gregg Johnston, to help read her putts. That of course made me wonder why hire a veteran then?

It's also nice to see Michelle has also matured in how she speaks and carries herself on the course. She still has her father hovering around her on the golf course though. Wouldn't it be nice for her to be able to play and not have her family be so close? Her parents moved into a home in Palo Alto, while she lives on-campus at Stanford thankfully. It would be interesting to have a camera on her father and see what looks he gives to Michelle while she's playing. I don't sense their relationship is like Tiger's and his late father, where Tiger drew support and positive feelings from his father.

No doubt Michelle will have her first win on the LPGA Tour. I will be thrilled for her to overcome all of the bad decisions over the last few years and be victorious!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Golf Equipment for the Troops

Do you have golf equipment strewn in your garage? Is your spouse tired of tripping over your driver that just won't draw?

Get rid of those disobeying clubs, make points with your spouse, and, most importantly, do something good for wounded soldiers. They risk their lives, so we have the freedom to play golf.

Scott B. Colton, a former Army medic and Navy Corpsman, is the founder of "Sgt Golf", a golf rehabilitation program that helps injured veterans get the best treatment possible using golf as a main part of their therapy. They need clubs, balls, bags and general golf equipment. The equipment does not have to be new, just in good, usable condition. In particular, they are looking for drivers, hybrids, and, putters.

They were robbed on December 5, 2008, so they are really in need. Send your equipment to:

Scott B. Colton
Sgt Golf
330 38th Ave NE
Saint Petersburg FL, 33704

Send what you have and feel good about your game again.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sportsmanship in a Positive Way

In an earlier post, I talked about sportsmanship in a negative way. Typical examples include strategically making a comment to get into your opponent's head or moving in the middle of her swing to distract her. Moves that won't make you new friends, and certainly damage a business relationship if intentionally done to a client or a prospect.

Today we learn a story about sportsmanship in the spirit of fair play. Shawn Crawford, a sprinter in the Olympics, received the silver medal in a race, even though he finished the race in fourth place. The second place runner was disqualified because he ran outside of his lane, as was the third place finisher. Crawford decided because the third-place runner was 10 meters (or nearly 11 yards) ahead of him that he deserved the medal. "He was going to beat me anyway. He didn't impede in anybody's race," explained Crawford.

Crawford received the silver medal during the ceremony. Without calling a press conference, he left the medal for the third-place runner at the runner's hotel. You can imagine his surprise.

An equivalent in golf of such sportsmanship would be to disqualify yourself because you violated a Rule of Golf. I still remember David Toms disqualifying himself from the 2005 British Open because he wasn't sure if he hit a moving ball when he tapped in his putt. Only he knew of the possible violation, yet he took himself out of the tournament.

These are favorable ways of being a competitor, and I wish more people were like that. Crawford and Toms are not playing to win at any cost, including their integrity and honor. They're competing in the game, while doing what's fair and right. I wish more competitors (also politicians and CEOs) would do the same.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Party is On!

Think golf is too quiet and polite? Then you'll want to watch the FBR Open starting today. This is the home of stadium seating surrounding the par-3 #16 hole--the only one of its kind on Tour. It has always been loud, especially when Tiger had a hole-in-one on this hole. But with the new seating, it's going to be thunderous!

We're still Tiger-less, but Phil Mickelson will make his 2009 debut. Here's the schedule so you can follow the action on Sirius or the Golf Channel.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Are your comments gamesmanship or compliments?

Gamesmanship between competitors can occur intentionally or innocently during a round of golf. Among friends, it may be part of the game. If you're playing in a business golf round, however, it could be the cause of some hard feelings, which you want to avoid.

The Wall Street Journal recently had an article entitled, "The Art of Gamesmanship." The writer talks about why golf is conducive to gamesmanship. First, the ball is not moving and is less violent physically. Thus, players are more vulnerable psychologically. Second, the players are in close contact with one another on tees and greens.

The article summarizes four categories of gamesmanship. First, a player gives unwanted tips on a player's swing or stroke. Second, a player deliberately becomes an irritant, such as by talking about controversial topics or by walking slowly when playing with a fast player. Next, the player becomes a physical distraction, such as by standing too close or jangling coins. Finally, a player knowingly gives false information about the course or states "Wow, I really hit that putt" even though the ball is short of the hole.

So be aware of how your comments may be construed as gamesmanship by your business golf playing partners. After you've determined how well someone plays, you can safely say, "Nice shot!" or "Great putt!"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pebble Beach is on Sale

I received an email about discounted rates at Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spanish Bay Links, and Spyglass Hill Golf Course. They're offering up to 54% discounts off of green fees and the promotion for Pebble expires on February 7, 2009.

If you live in the Bay Area or are visiting here soon, now is the time to take advantage of these low rates. The weather this week in the Bay Area has been spectacular...70 degrees in January?! While the rest of the country is experiencing global cooling, we've got incredible weather right now.

For more details, check out this PDF and play these famed courses at their lowest rates in a while. Make it a special bonus for a faithful client!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wedding Bells on the LPGA Tour

The two top female golfers have had wedding announcements over the last few days.

First, four-weeks retired and former #1 LPGA golfer, Annika Sorenstam married Mike McGee over the weekend in Florida. She's mixing business and pleasure as McGee is the managing director for her business brand. He's also been around golf all of his life as his Dad is a former PGA Tour player. If you'd like to see a gallery of photos, visit Annika makes a beautiful bride.

Second, the current #1 LPGA golfer, Lorena Ochoa, announced her engagement to the CEO of AeroMexico. They plan to marry in December.

Congratulations to both!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

PGA Tour Has Started

Today is the second-day of the start of the 2009 season of the PGA Tour in beautiful Maui, Hawaii. At the Mercedes-Benz Championship, the 33 winners of tournaments last year will be playing, except, of course, Tiger. Unfortunately, he'll be out until February or March.

When I talk about using golf to build and strengthen business relationship, I don't just include playing with clients and colleagues, but also talking about what's going on with the PGA Tour. Golfers typically follow weekly tournaments, but especially the four Majors: The Masters, the U.S. Open, the (British) Open, and the PGA Championship. Here's a list of the PGA Tour tournaments for this year. Bookmark it, and include a bookmark for the PGA Tour's or the Golf Channel's Web site, so you can follow the Tour easily.

You'll definitely will want to watch the tournament when Tiger returns to playing. I'm sure everyone, including even his competitors, are excited to see how Tiger will do on his return. Will he be as good or even better? I can't wait to see!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Play Golf and Lose Your Hearing?

A British medical report suggests players who use the new generation of thin-faced titanium drivers are at a risk of losing their hearing. Apparently the loud cracking noise of the club hitting the ball may produce sufficient sound to induce temporary or even permanent cochlear damage in susceptible individuals.

The good news is this report is based on only one 55-year old golfer. They don't say how often he plays or what club he uses, but there is one equipment manufacturer whose driver does make a very loud, annoying tinny sound when striking the ball. I couldn't hit that club no matter how much more distance I'd get from using it. One of my equipment buying tips is if you don't like the sound that your club makes when you hit a good shot with it, then you should replace it. The game is hard enough without you not liking some aspect of your clubs and feeling good about them.

The report even suggests using ear plugs when playing golf, but I can't see anyone doing that. Besides looking a bit silly, I can't be bothered to take ear plugs in and out when trying to talk to other players in my group. And, I'd want to hear other players who might be screaming, "Fore!" if a ball is coming my way.

I say we put our hearing at risk, and play as much golf in 2009 as we possibly can! How about you? Have you planned and budgeted for how many business golf rounds you want to play this year? Put it in your calendar, and start collecting a list of potential golf partners--clients, prospects, and referral sources--for you in 2009.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year!!

I hope you've had a great Holiday Season, and you're excited to start 2009. I certainly am as I've got a fun, high-end event and other product launches planned for my business this year.

I know the people in the supposed know say the economy will be bleak, etc. But I'm not buying into their negative outlook. In fact, I think playing business golf will become even more important. When the economy is tumultuous, a successful business person has to be out there building, maintaining, and strengthening their business relationships. Playing a round of golf, or even just a session at the driving range, can help do that.

On New Year's Day, I played my first round of business golf this year with my publicist. We played at a course that I've played several times, and this was my first time since it was "re-designed." It was such a disappointment and I've never seen a renovation ruin a course like I have with this course.

The "new and improved" greens reminded me of holes you'd find at a miniature golf course. The horizontal line on this green is a four foot high trough. Since it was a blind shot to the green, you'd think it was the safest to aim for the middle of the green, but it would have put you in the trough.

The ball in this picture is in a depression on the green that was about five feet wide and two feet deep. My publicist said it used to have "chocolate drops" in it, which he describes as deep, thick rough where you couldn't find your ball if it was in it. I've never seen a depression like this on a golf hole.

Several holes were re-routed and the course designer took interesting and challenging holes and made them into boring Vanilla holes. I can't imagine having this designer touch another course after what he displayed. Worst news is my Club has already paid him $60-70K to design a Master Plan for my course. Needless to say, I'm not pleased.

If weather permits, get out there and play, or at least hit balls at an indoor or heated driving range!