Friday, February 19, 2010

Tiger's Comments

Today Tiger finally spoke about what's gone on for him since his personal and professional brand collapsed on the morning after Thanksgiving. Since the announcement of his speaking, people have complained about his choosing today when the Match Play Championship is being played. They've criticized the lack of media questions and the controlled environment, etc..

There were no smiles and no jokes. I saw nervousness, humility, and sincerity. He's proud of his accomplishments with his Foundation, with equal adamance for his privacy.

The bottom line for me is this was a start to rebuilding himself as a man who has utmost respect for his wife, as a father his children won't be embarrassed to call "Father," and as a son that his mother can look at with pride. Whether he'll be the greatest golfer is the least that concerned him today. At least he has his priorities right for now.

His actions in the future will determine whether he was successful in rebuilding himself as a role model. Until then, the media or players tearing apart what he didn't say or should have done instead isn't helpful. It's a tragic situation, and none of us has been in the situation that Tiger has put himself in. It was a huge step today of many more for Tiger. I wish him and his family the best of luck in putting their lives together.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

PGA Needs More Steve Strickers

Congratulations to Steve Stricker! His win today and Phil's 45th place finish makes him the #2 golfer in the world rankings.

Many of you might have not watched the finish of the Northern Open Trust to turn to Super Bowl festivities, but Roger Maltbie talked about how PGA Tour Commissioner Finchem said the Tour needs 150 more Steve Strickers. Commissioner Finchem was talking about not only his on course demeanor (no swearing or club throwing), but also how he treats his sponsors.

Then, when interviewing Stricker, Maltbie asked Stricker how it feels to come from where he was four years ago nearly quitting the game to where he is today. Stricker responded humbly in tears that it's been a hard fight, including today's final round with Luke Donald cutting into his lead.

It's nice to see Stricker's gratitude, class, and humility. Enjoy your success, Steve!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Golf Is Fighting Back

The media has tainted golf with a bad image this last year. Corporate sponsors of tournaments or executives playing golf with clients to deepen their business relationships are targeted as extravagant, wasteful spenders. In reality these corporations and executives are using golf as a tool to maintain, and even strengthen, their client relationships during our troubled economic times. If clients continue to use golf for business, it would be foolish for businesses and executives to stop doing so.

One way that the PGA Tour has responded to the heightened criticism of corporate sponsorships is by creating the Tour Club. It is a yearly membership that gives an insiders' access to tournaments for its members. At the Northern Trust Open, for example, its members got to set pins with tournament officials and attend a breakfast meeting with Jerry West, the famed basketball player and the Tournament's Executive Director. At the Masters, members will have dinner with a Master's legend, and at the Players Championship, members will tour the Golf Channel broadcast location. It sounds like a great experience for executives and high-worth clients to enjoy together.

Another response to the negative media attention is a coalition of golf organizations called "We Are Golf." The group represents club pros, course superintendents, course owners and club managers, and aims to convince U.S. policy makers in Washington that golf is an important, job-creating industry that ought to be supported, not denounced. The coalition's central point is that golf is responsible for roughly two million jobs in the U.S. paying $61 billion in wages.

I'm responding to the attack on golf as well with a series of interviews (that I'll be launching soon) with golf and business celebrities about how they use golf for their personal, professional, and financial abundance. For the uninformed, golf may look like a silly game. But for those who use golf as a business tool, it's part of their repertoire to building their businesses and success.

I'm glad to see the industry is starting to bolster golf's image.