Instructional

Appreciation of the Game of Golf and it’s Fans!

I so, so, respect the game of golf and the fans of the game of golf!

 

What is required to stage any golf tournament- let alone major national championships- is much work!  I’m here at the USGA Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club as a non-playing LPGA professional golfer this time around. My perspective is much different, more broad now.  When I played, I was single-minded and focused and didn’t care much to look around to see what was provided for us. Now, as an older, like I mentioned, a non-playing spectator, the bigger picture of what it takes to stage these premier golf events has me feeling so appreciative and grateful to the many, many unselfish volunteers and fans of this wonderful game.

 

The volunteers are regular people who leave their homes and their weekly lives, travel, incur all the costs, physically work hard in the hot sun, and then sometimes have to put up with some baloney from some rude spectators to help “stage” a golf championship. There is so much to cover at an event!   Committees of volunteers form teams for the many different areas that require attention.

 

Transportation Committees: Getting players and committee heads to and from the airport and to and from hotels during the week is a full time job. Coordinating areas around the course where they can place cars and vans in the event of bad weather and evacuation is needed is another role of these committee persons.

 

There are Rules Officials- lots of them!  It is not like Wimbledon, (which is being held right now) when there is only a chair referee and a few line judges. Golf events have ACRES of land that have to be “scoured” to see how the rules of golf would be interpreted to this unique scenario.  Also, rules officials have to factor in the “outside agencies” that were not supposed to be on the course in normal circumstances. For example; Large areas where “porto pottees” are placed, Huge corporate tents for hospitality out on the fairway, camera towers that are in bounds but prevent players from playing certain shots, large crowds in the way between a player and a green…. …………all these factors have to be thought out before hand and managed and it is not easy.

 

Food: These golf events have to feed a lot of bellys!   There is food that has to be cooked on site for all the fans.  Where do the players eat?  A large hospitality tent for the players and their families needs to be provided. Huge make shift kitchens are assembled and a staff of employees are supplied and they produce all this on site!

 

Media: These days, it is a worldwide media frenzy to get the action out and broadcasted to every nook and crany in the world.  There is a huge area comprised of portable tents where these journalists have access to power, computers, and wi fi.  There they sit and watch TV monitors of the action and write their stories.

 

Television: The TV Networks have to send in all their camera men- with their expensive cameras and erect towers all over the course to place the cameras at vantage points from where they can best film the action. They used to have to lug miles of cable in the old days.

 

Parking:   Hundreds of surrounding neighbors open their front yards up to park cars for the patrons who want to park close.  Committees find local large shopping malls of facilities where they can easily shuttle the hundreds /thousands of fans into and out of the property to observe the action.

 

Security:  Many, Many “fans” that come in to volunteer their time, receive the assignment of handling “security.”  That means, standing in the entrance gate to check to see if the incoming spectators have the correct tickets to enter.  Believe me, standing at an entrance gate out in the middle of a dusty, hot, parking lot – where they can see no golf action from the players is a great service to this game!   And…….there are hundreds of people who do this each week in different cities, just to help out, just to do it for golf!!

 

It is amazing what all has to happen to have these Cities/ Courses/Clubhouses’ ready to experience the onslaught of people that particular week.  Then, in a quick 7 days, it is over and you are left to pick up the pieces to a HUGE MESS- they have parked cars on your course and torn up the turf, thousands of people have stomped down the fairways and damaged your grass that will take weeks to grow back, huge holes in the ground where they dug holes to safely erect signs, or temporary tents, or camera towers……..You are just left with a mess when the last put on the 18th green is holed.

 

Behind, every great champion of the golf event is a GREAT COMMITTEE OF VOLUNTEERS AND FANS THAT MAKE THE EVENT EVEN POSSIBLE!

 

p.s.   Photos below of rules officials being briefed VERY early in the morning before the day begins, a lone camera woman doing her daily thing of covering a player (golfers walk fast- cameramen can’t stay in the arena and just sit and shoot all day. You have to strap it on you and carry it with you!  A rules official showing other officials what the official ruling would be in that area of the course. Graciously, a golfer signing autographs during the practice round to all the local young fans. (Alright ladies!!  The LPGA tour is fantastic at doing this for the fans!  Makes me proud!)  Lastly, a whole area of your property has to be supplied to create a great practice facility for the players. Nothing to it!

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“Posturing”

Posturing?

Do you know what “Posturing” means?

Well, let me ask you this, “Do you know what it means to be nervous or scared to go out to play a big tournament?” Everyone knows this feeling! I wrote a book on this topic, “The Mental Mastery Program- From the Classroom to the Course to Life!”   I have been presenting this workshop to my players for years to help them to deal with fear, self-consciousness, doubt, trying to hard………..all the obstacles we face as competitors. This is so important.!!!! I know we don’t have this type of training readily or affordably available for our youth to learn how to deal with all the common obstacles to peak performances. I learned these lessons the hard way, the long way—it took time. I want to help educate our athletes (and non athletes- we have fears in our regular lives too!) as to what it is to deal with these obstacles.

I was watching a student of mine in a tournament and I saw a player near him responding to fear in a way that really hurt him! He was out there trying to act like he wasn’t nervous.   To “prove” that, he was strutting around doing all this “posturing” and acting to be like a tough guy or a macho man; a guy who is really cool and calm, a guy who has it all under control, a guy who thinks his game is in good shape, and a guy who has no real concern about this particular tournament. (Hint; He was NOT performing well!) To keep this up, he started acting like this particular tournament wasn’t a big enough tournament for him, that the course was not a good course, then he started talking that his back was sore and he wasn’t feeling well, and everything else to convey the point that he was too cool and he had no concerns about not playing well in this tournament because he could always, at will, do better in the next “bigger and better tournament! “That is what I got to watch for 4 hours or more. It was almost comical and at the same time….SAD!

Because the trouble is, only he believed what he was trying to “Posture” and convey. Everyone else in the gallery could see for sure what was happening; he was afraid of losing to this player who was not as good as him and he was embarrassed that he couldn’t play well in this tournament where he felt some pressure to win. Simple as that! He was afraid of losing!

The sad part for me is I watched a young player start to create for himself a disempowering habit when he was dealing with fear and expectations. It is sad for me because I know this is a habit that won’t serve him and in fact will perhaps rob him of a possible career in his sport- he’ll have to quit to save face soon. It’s sad someone didn’t tell him, “Everyone sees you looking scared out there and we all know you’re trying to act like you’re not scared.”

I left the course that day sad for him.

Learn some empowering ways to deal with the inevitable fear that will show up in your games! Maybe start with reading my book or coming to a Mental Mastery Program!

Missie

Bring your ‘A’ Game to the ‘C’ Suite…

Sue McMurdy,

Co-Founder Business Golf Academy, Former CEO & CIO

Arriving at the executive suite brings many new challenges and opportunities. Proficient skills and business acumen are expectations to enter the boardroom; golf is not typically a requirement. That being said, relationships developed thru this preferred game of American business can be a big asset in the move up the corporate ladder for entrance into the C suite. Those that have arrived in the boardroom without the ability and confidence to accept an invitation to play a round of business golf truly need to develop that skill PDQ, especially women. Women need to be present when and where key strategic business relationships are made and the golf course and golf clubs are those places. While everyone’s ‘A’ game differs, it is important in business to have a game.   Women may also find a true joy in the sport itself, many of us do!

 

I had the good fortune to have a family who played golf together so I was very comfortable in the environment at a young age. Prior to beginning my career in technology and banking I had the opportunity to interact with all the business leaders in my community thru golf. When it came time for a true business chat, these leaders took my call, I saw them on the practice range and we played golf together.

There is no doubt that my golf helped me get to the ‘C’ suite.

Sue

 

 

 

 

 

Should I let my Boyfriend Win?

Q&A: Should I Let My Boyfriend Win?

A round of golf can be the ultimate relationship test. How does your guy react to adversity, and especially to losing to his girlfriend? The answer to how to handle that, and more of your golf-related questions, in this week’s advice column.

By Stina Sternberg, Golf Digest

Q: If I’m playing a match against my boyfriend and I can tell that he really wants to win, should I purposely throw the match so our evening is more enjoyable?

A: No way. Letting your boyfriend win might seem like an easy way to keep him happy, but it will only lead to more trouble. You have to be a good actor to pull off a believable fold, and you’ll always know that you threw the match, which means he’ll also likely sense it. In the long run, he’ll resent you more for that than if you beat him fair and square. The whole balance of your relationship will shift. If your boyfriend is the type of player who can’t stand losing to his girlfriend, then don’t play matches against him. Pair up as a team and take on other couples instead. That way you’ll always be equals.

Q: I’ve heard about “ready golf” in the past. Would you recommend that I tee off first if I can’t reach the group in front of me but the guys in my foursome can?

A: Absolutely—as long as it saves time, and the course design allows for it. If I’m sharing a cart with a guy and the forward tees are within walking distance, I’ll grab my driver and walk to my tee while he’s waiting to tee off. If he’s still waiting when I get there, I’ll happily go first. Then I’ll get out of harm’s way while my playing companion tees off and wait to get picked up after he’s done. But if it will take me longer to walk to my tee than it would for the fairway to clear, I’ll wait. I can still use the time to take a couple of practice swings and make sure I’m ready to swing away once we reach my tee. Common sense should prevail. It’s really no different from ready golf in the fairway.

Q: I shoot about 105 and move right along, but I get intimidated when golfers come up behind us. Even when the course is jammed and there’s no place to go, I’ll start rushing and play poorly because I don’t want to appear to be slow. How can I fix this?

A: It’s funny, you don’t often see guys fretting about holding other players up on the golf course, but a lot of women are so afraid to be labeled “slow” that we let it ruin our games. If you can’t ignore the group behind you and focus on your own foursome, there’s only one solution that will work: Let the group behind you play through. I know this might go against what you’ve been told—especially when the course is packed—but trust me, it will make you feel better and allow you to relax. And if done properly, such as on a par 3, it shouldn’t delay your round too much.

Q: I’m new to golf, and each time I play, I get blisters on my non-gloved hand. Why aren’t you supposed to wear gloves on both hands?

A: You can if you want to—PGA Tour player Tommy (Two Gloves) Gainey does. Golf shops carry gloves for both hands. Golfers typically wear a glove on their top hand (left hand for righties) because that’s the hand that grips the club more firmly. The lower hand is supposed to be your feel hand, which is why it’s common to leave it bare. It’s normal to develop blisters when you start playing, but those blisters will soon turn into calluses. If you keep having prob- lems with your lower hand, you’re probably gripping the club too tightly. Before spending money on another glove, try holding the club a little lighter.

PGA Merchandise Show Panel

PGA WOMEN’S INITIATIVES PANEL INSPIRES GREATNESS FOR FEMALE GOLFERS

By Mark Aumann, PGA.com

Published: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 | 3:47 p.m.

In order to grow the game for females, golfers of both sexes have to break down the barriers that intimidate women and keep them from enjoying the sport to its fullest extent. That was the unanimous opinion of the “Inspiring Greatness” panel Wednesday at the PGA Merchandise Show.

PGA Secretary Suzy Whaley, Golf Channel executive producer Molly Solomon, former WNBA President Donna Orender, KPMG vice-chair Lynne Doughtie and LPGA member Paige Mackenzie discussed Wednesday what is keeping women from taking up golf, and what can be done to level the playing field so that more female executives can take advantage of the networking and business relationships formed from playing golf.

Orender said one of the reasons why women have a hard time feeling comfortable is because it’s a sport created by men and remains very male-centric.

“Men were there first, and so therefore the culture around the game of golf is very male-oriented,” Orender said. “No blame, no judgment. It is what it is.

“But (the sport didn’t evolve) with the kind of things that women find enjoyable. We’re much more about comradery than necessarily winning. Women find a barrier there.”

So what happens, according to Orender, is that women feel somewhat “out of the loop” when it comes to understanding and talking about golf.

“There’s the physical aspect of it — these very dark, very male-oriented environments — the game itself and the language of it,” she said. “We don’t understand it, so we feel very intimidated by it. But male pros may feel a little intimidated by taking care of women who walk into their pro shops, too. So there’s all these things where people don’t know how to approach each other, but when they do, it’s fantastic.”

Tremendous progress has been made, Whaley said, but there’s still more ground to be made up.

“Certainly when it comes to welcoming women into the game and speaking a different language,” Whaley said. “I think we’re more aware of the things we’re saying that perhaps might turn them off or intimidate them.”

When women overcome that initial reluctance, they usually learn to love it, Mackenzie said. Golf is challenging on so many levels, which makes it so addictive.

“There’s nothing about golf that can ever be perfected and I think that’s probably way it’s filled with perfectionists,” Mackenzie said. “You can’t bowl a 300 in golf.

“When you introduce the game to somebody, there needs to be an emphasis on the process, and that there are stepping stones. And celebrate each of those stepping stones, and not try to be the very best the first time out. Enjoy the process and the game of golf.”

Whaley agreed.

“You may be really comfortable at a level where you are and that’s OK,” she said. “It’s OK to stay there. But it’s also OK to want to get better.”

If there’s one thing Mackenzie would like to see is more business women involved in golf. The PGA of America’s partnership deal with KPMG, kicking off with the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Westchester Country Club in June, is a key first step in the process.

“I play in pro-ams every single week and I can count on one hand the number of women executives I play with,” Mackenzie said. “The most elite companies, their CEOs, the top clients are there — and it’s such a great opportunity to network and build relationships in business. And it’s something I think there’s a ton of room for growth on the women’s side. So I’m really happy we’re bringing business to golf as well.”

How to Begin at Golf

Missie and Sue of The Business Golf Academy agree with Tina on these 10 Rules!  Thanks Tina!  teeball

10 Things to Know Before Your First Round

You’ve been practicing and preparing, and it’s finally time to go out for your first real round of golf. Whether it’s a work outing or a casual nine-hole joint with some of your best girlfriends in the world, this can still be a nerve-wracking concept. No need to worry; just keep these 10 things in mind and you’ll be fine. 

 

By Stina Sternberg, Golf Digest

 

1. Nobody cares how well you play, as long as you do it fast. You can whiff every other shot and still get invited back, over and over. Just make sure you move quickly between shots and pick up your ball if you’re falling too far behind.

2. The golf course is not a driving range. Even if you’re stinking it up big time, save your game analysis and repetitive practice swings for after the round.

3. Have fun, but keep the chit-chat to a minimum. Talking too much with your playing companions between swings will slow you down and take your focus off the game.

4. Focus on your playing partners as much as on yourself. If somebody else is swinging or putting, you need to stop what you’re doing, stand still and be quiet. Then proceed.

5. Bring lots of inexpensive golf balls. You’ll lose plenty in the beginning, and the worst thing you can do is waste everybody’s time by searching for them for too long.

6. Knowing the rules of the game is not as important as knowing the etiquette. No one will care if, as a beginner, you tee of an inch in front of the markers or ground your club in the bunker. But they will care if you don’t rake that bunker after you’re done.

7. Keeping score is completely unnecessary. Until you have a few rounds under your belt, it’s more likely to add a lot of stress to your round.

8. You don’t have to accept unsolicited swing advice from friends and/or strangers. Every Tom, Dick and Harry will want to “help” you hit the ball better. Politely decline and tell them you’re working on your swing off the course. Or your game will suffer.

9. Driving a golf cart is harder than you think. If you must ride, let somebody else take the wheel for your first few rounds, or you’re bound to drive it in places you’re not allowed to and blow past tees without letting people off.

10. Nobody cares how well you play, as long as you do it fast. (It’s worth repeating.)