Thursday, May 31, 2012

Golf a Woman's Key To Competing In the Workplace?

Let me start with saying I'm not suggesting that if you're a woman that you must play golf to be successful. Of course, that's not true and there are many women who are successful without stepping on a golf course.

If your clients, prospects, supervisors, decision-makers that you deal with play golf, however, then I believe you're short-changing yourself by not playing golf. If these important folks in your life enjoy this game and have others in their life who enjoy the game, who do you think they're more likely going to want to spend time with and where? It's the golf course, most likely.

And besides, what's so wrong with being on most beautiful golf courses to do some business and seal some deals. Deals won't be made because you're an excellent business golfer. They'll do a deal with you because they'll discover that they like you, enjoy your company, and how you handle yourself on the golf course.

If you're thinking there is no way you'd play golf, please let me know and tell me why. Let's talk and see if I might give you another perspective on the game.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Former Steelers' QB Kordell Stewart Retires

I will never forget playing at Cherokee Town & Country Club outside of Atlanta, GA. I was there to speak at Deloitte and arrived early, so I could play Cherokee. I was headed out of the Clubhouse when I opened the door for two gentlemen walking behind me. As I looked behind while holding the door open, I did a double take because it was Kordell Stewart and Jerome Bettis, both of the Steelers.

That in itself wasn't the unusual  part. What was unusual is two weeks earlier I was at Pebble Beach and they were teeing off two groups ahead of me. I mentioned that I saw them there and they were both surprised that I would know that as we stood at a local country club in Georgia.

I ended up playing with them after talking to Kordell as we hit balls at the range. I remember asking if he'd consider joining the Raiders, and he said he didn't think so. I also remember him correcting me when I said he was retired. He said he wasn't yet. Today, he officially did so. I'm not sure the ramifications of doing so, but I'm sure there must be a reason for him.

The two were gentlemen and I thoroughly enjoyed the round with them. I know they were betting, but Kordell wouldn't tell me the stakes. I'm sure it was more than for just a round of drinks. I hope our paths cross again, and would enjoy another round with them.

Favorite Foursome

On Monday, I got to play with my favorite foursome: my 85 year-young Dad, niece, and nephew. Given that time is passing for each of us, I realize how much I cherish each time we go out to play.

My niece just graduated from University of Notre Dame and will be working at Deloitte in San Francisco. You can be assured she'll be using golf for business. Even if not playing with clients, she'll be able to talk the other language of business.

My nephew graduates from high school next Friday and then will be headed to Marquette University.

As you can imagine, I can't wait for see what the future brings for both of them and how they handle the good and not-go-good that may come along in their lives. Both are excellent golfers. Ryan is a 1.4 index and Melissa is still a single digit. I know that their time on the golf course has affected their personality, temperament, character and more. That's the beauty of golf. It's not just a game; it's so much more. It's time spent with loved ones, lessons learned, and a sense of generosity that I can't imagine experiencing in any other sport. 

Then, there is my dad. Melissa and I were paired against Ryan and my dad. We were two up with two to go, and my dad sank clutch putts on both holes to tie our match. He was thrilled and the three of us were even more ecstatic for him.Golf is my dad's therapy and it energizes him more than anything I've seen him do.

Who is in your favorite foursome? I am going to enjoy these more than ever, regardless of how I play.

Friday, May 25, 2012

More than a Snake

I wrote a post recently about not liking snakes. I won't search for a ball in tall grass if I think snakes are a possibility.

But a snake certainly is better than a plane door that fell onto the 16th fairway of a Florida course.

It's all a matter of perspective... I'd take a snake or errant little ball over a plane door any day.

Be safe and enjoy your Memorial Day weekend! A big thank you to the servicemen and women who lost their lives protecting our rights and liberties and those who are currently protecting us!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Don't Pull a Na

If you've been watching The Players, then you've seen Kevin Na's set up and his inability to hit the ball after six to eight waggles. The announcers have sympathized with his malady and praised how he's playing through it to be the 4th round leader.

I hope announcers tell viewers today that it's not acceptable in every day recreational, and especially business-golf, rounds. I was empathetic with Na and his struggles until I heard his post-round interview. He seems to have a routine with those waggles. First, a half waggle, then a longer waggle, and then another half waggle and longer waggle. If he can't pull the trigger after the sixth waggle, then the whiff.

I know about the benefits of having routines, but I didn't know it's even good to incorporate idiosyncrasies or whatever the mental game professionals call Na's problem.

I, too, am impressed how well he can hit the ball after his routine, but I hope viewers at home don't suddenly think it's okay to take that much time over the ball. In a business golf round, I know your playing partners will be rolling their eyes and snickering. Be assured that you'll not make friends or clients if you have Na's routine, even if you apologize profusely as Na has done.

And, how do you handle it if you have to play with Na or someone like him? I'd look away and just wait to look for his ball in the air after I hear ball contact. Zach Johnson declined interviews after his round with Na, but I hope Matt Kuchar talked to Zach and got tips on how to handle the distraction. I'm sure it's nothing most of the pros have encountered before, except maybe in Pro-Ams.

I look forward to watching the final round! Enjoy and hope you have a great Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 12, 2012


It was a beautiful afternoon and I was fortunate to be able to play at a local mid-upscale public course. My parents and I were in two different carts and I realized when we're in the middle of the hole that neither cart had a scorecard on the cart. I thought we would pick up a card in box that one typically finds on the second hole, but there wasn't one. I ended up having to call the pro shop to ask them to send out someone and bring us two scorecards. A young man came out, but unfortunately brought out only one card.

Maybe I'm spoiled after playing at a private club for all of the years, but for customer service sake, can't the cart folks put cards and pencils on the carts? I play another public course and that course doesn't put cards on carts either.

If it's too labor intensive, then I'd think it would behoove them to make sure pro shop and cart staffs remind players to get a scorecard. Or, when checking in, the pro shop give a scorecard. If the staff aren't going to do that, then at least have the box of scorecard and pencils on the second tee.

Seems to me that I'm not the only one who has had to call the pro shop to ask for a scorecard. Am I asking for too much? Would love to hear your experiences with cards.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

It's Just a Golf Ball

When playing at unfamiliar courses, I immediately check out the terrain. I'm not thinking course management and planning my shots. I'm assessing the threat level. Threat level? Yes, I'm checking out whether snakes and alligators are scoping me out as their prey.

Depending on locale, I'll ask members of my foursome and golf course staff whether I need to worry about snakes and alligators. If they say yes, then I declare to my group that I won't help look for their balls or mine.

It's just a golf ball... it may be a Pro V1 and a $4 golf ball, but it's absolutely a worthy investment for me to walk away from a ball if I think I'll be in danger looking for it. This applies whether I'm playing in a tournament or not. Call me chicken, and I'll proudly accept that label.

In Florida, a man was bitten by an alligator while searching near a pond for his ball. He said he was three feet from his death as the alligator dragged him into the lake. Fortunately for him, the alligator decided to release him. I can't imagine the terror that man felt.

Folks, it's not worth it; it's just a golf ball.