Tuesday, May 30, 2006

LPGA: Breath of Fresh Air Being Wasted

Not too many men say they are supporters of the LPGA and really mean it.  I am one of those few.  Really, women playing golf professionally, I totally support it.  I support it at the tour level and I support it at golf professional level.  Matter of fact, I enjoy watching the women play the game more since they demonstrate the fact that it does not take brunt strength to play or win at the game of golf.  I can’t find one dang thing wrong with it. 

What other sport provides such an equal footing to competition?  To rounding out the community of golf?  To the promotion of family?  I am sure there are a few that come close, but none of them provide the dynamics that golf provides and none of them provide the grace and fashion that the ladies on the LPGA provide to the profession as well as the game. 

If you have to have excitement to a sport before you will watch it, just watch Cristina Kim come down the fairway leading the tournament.  If you have to have skill or performance to watch the game, the take a look at the veterans, Julie Inkster, Karrie Webb, and, of course, the best women golfer today, Annika Sorenson.  Their complete game is a demonstration of the skills you have to have to play at that level of the game.  And if you need speed, the bang of the thunder-stick or the flair for fashion and the unusual, then take a look the youngsters coming into the spotlight.  And for those of you who are looking for ‘Shock & Be Shocked’, the drama is also in the viewing when the ladies of fashion come to town.  Yes, there is a new generation of ladies moving into the LPGA and they are coming from all around the world.  And all of them have one thing in common…they can play the game.   And most all can play better than me. 

My hats off to these ladies who have stepped up to tee to show everyone what they are made of.  And to the lady professionals of the clubs and golf courses everywhere, what you provide keeps golf moving for the next generation of girls who want to learn to play this great game.   So, my support is to help and I look forward to every opportunity I am provided to help these ladies succeed in the game of golf or in business or both.



Scot Duke


Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.




Author of: ‘How To Play Business Golf’, From The Boardroom To The Fairways…

The best investment you can make for your business…





Golf Tournament Registration: People vs Golfers

AH!, the golf tournament.  Have you ever wondered what it takes to bring together 100 to 150 golfers to play in a golf tournament and to be specific, a Charity Golf Tournament?


“No Problem! Others do it all of the time, I am sure I can fill a tournament with no problem!”  How many times have I heard this?  Recently, way too many times.  And, there are people out there who are having you pay them to tell you what I am about to say…


It boils down to this.. you had better personally know two to three hundred golfers to get forty or fifty to play in your golf tournament.  How do others do it?  Most of the time they are looking for People, not Golfers…  It is much easier to get people to play in a charity golf tournament than it is golfers, and to tell you the truth most of these tournaments that have over 100 players more than 75% play golf one a year.  Statistically, there are many more people to hit on than golfers.  All these events are looking for is someone with cash in there hands…


And why are these people playing in your event?

This is the big questions and I have the big answer?  The only reason they are playing in your event is because… They Know You…  That is the only reason…  They are playing in this event because they know you, they like you and they trust you…. And if you do not know a few hundred people, much less golfers, you are not going to fill the event.


Yaw, you can load up their car with free goodies and valuable prizes, which will get some attention from people and golfers, but that will not fill the tournament.  Only people, who like you, know you and trust you will fill the event.


So, how do you fill the event if you do not know a few hundred people who know you?  You have to find other people to recruit who know people that know them.   Sounds easy, doesn’t it?  But it is not…because most of those people who know people who know them are not going to know you.  And they are going to throw their clout towards someone they know. 


Now, there are those who want visibility and they are going to go towards an affair that is going to have a Big Name, or is for a big charity or cause.  That would be the case where they do not necessarily want to get to know you, but more to get to know who you know…


So, to get people who know people you have to get to know them so they get to know you.  There are several ways to do this.  I write about one way which is the best way and that is play Business Golf with them, but you can do it another way and that is just play in a charity golf event with them.  The charity golf event is a form of business golf.  Some outline of preparing for it.

Now, to get golfers to play is a much harder game to play.  Same goes with needing to know hundreds of golfers, but they are pickier.  They also play in a lot of events so they pick the events they want to go to a year ahead of time.  The same goes true with them needing to know you.  It probably is even more important.  And how do you get to know them?  Same formula.


Bottomline: Filling a golf tournament is not automatic.  And it could take years before you get to know enough people or golfers who want to play in your event.  People and golfers are not going to play in your event if they do not know you.  If they were going to take a chance and play in an event for someone they did not know it would have to be fore all of the free stuff they get and not because of the charity.  The people who know you will go beyond paying an entry fee, they will continue to support financially in games and other fund things that you charge for at the event.  The people who do not know you will be the ones who just come for the free stuff and the golf (and, yes, the free food).


So, think about how many people and golfers you personally know before biting off doing a golf tournament… Because, filling it will not be easy.



Scot Duke


Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.




Author of: ‘How To Play Business Golf’, From The Boardroom To The Fairways…

The best investment you can make for your business…





Saturday, May 27, 2006

WARNING: Business Golf May Be Hazardous To Your Competition

Yes, there is a hazard to using Business Golf as part of the way you do business. 

If used incorrectly, which a bunch of people are doing, it could hurt your business more than help..

If used correctly it could be the edge that keeps your customers from jumping to your competitors.

What it boils down do is:

·        Golfers like doing business with other golfers!  Period! No ‘If’, ‘And’ or ‘But’s’

·        Business owners who Golf like doing business with Golfers..


I think you get my point.


But, (Yes, I have to throw a ‘but’ into this), if you do not know how to use Business Golf correctly you could be helping your competition, especially if your competition is also a golfer.


Another distilling fact is that you do not have to be a scratch golfer to be the best Business Golf player.  What you have to be is someone who knows how to go about playing business golf. 


Yes, even a non-golfer has a chance at getting involved with this rapidly growing business tool.  And, in my book, How To Play Business Golf, I really help those who are currently not playing golf to understand what they are missing out on, and explain how they can get a quick start at learning to play golf.


Avoid the hazards involved with playing business golf incorrectly by reading my book, How To Play Business Golf.



Scot Duke


Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.




Author of: ‘How To Play Business Golf’, From The Boardroom To The Fairways…

The best investment you can make for your business…





Friday, May 26, 2006

Why Am I Losing Customers and Employees?

I was challenged over on one of the online Social/Business/Skinhead sites (I want name it here so not to provide them any credibility) on the importance of what I am telling people about securing customers and employees in order to secure your business. 


My response over there was somewhat abbreviated due to my interest to provide them more content than it was worth.  But over here I wanted to keep my four readers completely advised on what is being preached by other consultants and coaches that will drive a business out of business.


Now it is well know that I am passionate about my mission and what I want to provide people who are looking for the answer to their ‘Why’ questions.  And the questions that caused this discussion was, ‘Why am I loosing my customer and employees?’.  This question is asked a lot and there is a reason I have now discovered for what has caused this question to now be so frequently asked.


I feel very strongly that all businesses, large or small, corporate or one person single practice professionals should spend 80% of their time with their customers or employees.  The reason being very simply and is the answer to these simple questions.  Who got you where you are now?  And, who is going to get you to where you want to be?  The answer to both questions is; your customers and your employees.


And here was where I was challenged.  Seems there are a number of consultants who feel threatened with this proven method of doing business and feel that more, if not all, of a business person’s attention and money spent should go to finding New Customers.  I cannot and will not disagree that new customers will grow your business and add more profitability, but cannot, will not and will stand behind the fact that it does not make a company grow or profitable if for every customer you gain you lose two existing customers.  And to take that powerful statement to the next level by adding, it doesn’t make a dang difference how many customers you gain and how many you keep if you are loosing employees at a higher rate that the customer gain or lose.


Those two components of business, where the initial work, time and money a business spent to win over customers and to hire and train employees to provide services or manufacture products for theses customers, are very important investments.  And like any investment it needs to be managed so you do not lose value of that investment.


What is the best way to manage this investment?  Take frequent opportunities to show both your customers and employees your sincere appreciation.  And what is meant by sincere is more than sending out a card or a gift with a note saying thank you.  To show your sincerity you have to spend a considerable about of Face-to-face time with each individual.  The more time the better…


What does all of this face-to-face time get you???  Well, amongst a number of things, trust, respect and loyalty push to the front.  Why?  Because time is a commodity, that if used correctly, is worth more than money can by.  You cannot buy trust, respect or loyalty.  Many have tried; consultants are still out there telling you should only throw something of value to your customers to thank them so you can focus on finding those new customers.  Why are they saying this?


To get to this answer, let me now wheel the sword of reality at the contradictions of these naysayers who challenge this sound business practice and feel threaten of the money they have invested pushing a proven philosophy that will take a business to edge of bankruptcy quickly.


I’ve been told that statistics show that a large number of a business’ customer base will not return for a large number of reason and no matter what efforts a business takes to secure their customer base will not reduce the number.  They base this upon customers today being ‘perpetually fickle’ or having the ‘not wanting to put all of the egg’s in one basket’ mentality.


For those who believe that then you can probably hear the stinging hiss of the edge of the sword of reality coming towards you..


Let me take on the perception of the ‘perpetually flick’ customers by starting with my favorite question, ‘Why?’.  The answer is in the question, ‘Have you asked these customer why?’.   AhOOOO that blade stings doesn’t’ it? 


Yes, did you ask them?  Do you even know which of those customers who are like that?  If no is the answer then the answer to the first ‘Why’ question is most likely NO with a perception being ‘you must not have cared enough to ask’.


OK, for the backswing of the sword of reality, how about the customers who have the ‘not wanting to put all of their eggs in one basket’ mentality?  I am sure you can not only hear it, but now can see the blade coming down on you so just stick you neck out and lets get this over with.  The answer to this ‘why’ question is exactly the same.   You do not even know who these customers are or why they have this attitude.  What a pathetic shame… a good business person wasted because they did not want to spent the time or money to manage their most important investment, existing customers. 


Now I stick my blade into the chin of large businesses who try to smash this method of doing business as ‘impossible’ or ‘out of the question’.  And then quickly provide justification of ‘there is no way we can spend that much time with the hundreds or thousands or millions of customers we have’.   This jab usually produces a defensive move to protect from a blow to the head by holding up a shield by saying ‘a certain portion of our customer and employee base will have to considered disposable and will be built into our model of doing businesses’.  Just the cost of doing business…  Isn’t that what they are telling all of the customers stuck on an 800# talking to someone in India about the product of services you bought from these large businesses?


Disposable customers and employees… the scream of pain from a wounded beast.


The bottomline here is this.  If these businesses who ask me ‘Where have all of my customers and employees gone’ had just taken the time to get to know their customers from the point of sale until the next time they need your product or services, the questions would not only be answered but not even needed to asked.


If you had taken the time to ask them ‘how you are doing?’ and follow it with ‘how else can I help you?’, you would found out right then the answer to the ‘Why’ questions.   This same line of thinking goes to the way you treat your employees.  Get to know then more than a payroll number.  Taking the time to get to know them will tell you why they think the way they do and why they do what they do.  This is worth every dime of your investment and every minute of the time you spend.


The mercy I offer to my now mortally wounded business consultants who have challenged me on this issue is, by showing your customers respect, and showing them you trust them, you will build loyalty amongst your customer base towards your business.  From loyalty of your customers will come the New Customers that grow your business and a much lower turnover in your employee base…this is fact, not fiction…


I can’t leave without saying that playing Business Golf is the only way you can attempt to rapidly catch-up to getting to know your customers and employees.  If you don’t play golf you should learn.  If your customers or employees don’t play golf you should provide them the opportunity to learn.  Golf is a VERY strong business tool that produces more than an opportunity for some healthy exercise, if builds trust, respect and loyalty.  Don’t believe me!  Try it before you criticize.  Lack of interest towards it is not justification for criticism.   I find that knowing what you are talking about has much more credibility than attacking on the bases of not knowing, or worst, your personal feelings based on lack of interest…  After you have tried playing Business Golf the way I instruct it, then come to me with criticism.  I will welcome your thoughts..


Scot Duke


Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.




Author of: ‘How To Play Business Golf’, From The Boardroom To The Fairways…

The best investment you can make for your business…





Thursday, May 25, 2006

Smooth Operator: Fred Couples still has Game

I did something I have always wanted to do and that was to go to a PGA event and follow Freddie Couple from tee to great for 18 holes.  And I almost made it happen at the Colonial in Ft Worth.  I made it for 14 holes, but the heat was too much for me, I could image it was getting too much for Fred also.  He was playing Freddy golf but seemed to be struggling with his back more than usual.  If you have ever followed Fred, he is always moving and stretching to keep his back from tightening up.


 I joke with David Feherty once during one our short visits during his charity contribution to my wife’s and my charity organization, that CBS should film all of the stretches Fred does during the round and produce a video for Fred to promote.  He thought it was a great idea and Feherty rolled that into a number of stories he had about Fred that I will not go into here.  But I am sure the heat and slower play took its toll on Fred’s efforts to keep his back loose.


But for a little while I got to walk along the fairway after each of Fred’s tee shots,  stand almost as his caddie as he made his approach shots and could almost line up his putts from where I got to stand on the greens or sit in the stands next to the green.


What an experience I and thousands had and what a golfer.  Boom-boom exemplifies golf for me.  The casualness of his stride to the tee, down the fairway, to the green, and through the ropes to the next tee oozes class and style.  He never changes the pace of play or his demeanor.  No matter if he hits his drive in the third cut of rough or eagles a hole from a 100yds with a lob wedge, his reactions stays the same.  His trademark; flipping of his visor, run his fingers through his mane, readjusts his visor and then, ‘snap’, it is Showtime is the only reaction he makes.  And this could mean he is excited, pissed, or just needing to get a tee out of his hat…it is so subtle of a release for him it has been the key I watch after almost every shot.


You will never see him make a jester of frustration, a pump of the fist in discuss, or in excitement.  He is just ‘Steady Freddie’ until the ball falls into the 18 cup.  And then it is all smiles and ‘Man, did I have fun’ attitude..


OH, he burns inside from making a mistake and he can flash that Cheshire Cat grin when he sinks a forty footer for eagle or flash the sternest Hawkeye glare when he slam dunks a shot from the fairway in his ‘in-you-face’ ‘I just took the lead’ statement and exhibition of excellence golf skills.


Now I don’t know Fred personally.  Never have met him formally, but being an overly observant person have gotten to know Fred from the outside.  I am like the thousand other of his fans and like most or not all, hope one day, before Fred or I get too old, we get to meet so I get the opportunity to personally thank him for the contribution he made to my golf game.  


I feel that every kid could learn a lot about how they should carry themselves on and off the golf course by walking the course and studying Fred.  What an outstanding example of how golf should be played.  From the swing that flows like molasses and produces so much power to the impeccable style and fashion in the clothes he wears, all or ‘Freddie’.


Now, Fred is not an angle.   That is what I like about him.  He is about one degree from being just like me or you.  He is not perfect; he is not guarded by a dozens of security guards and having to make attempts to change the world.  He uses his golf to do all of his talking to the world.  The only difference is that he can play golf better than me or you (and that would even go to you Tiger if you have honored me by reading this).  Fred can get mad and he is probably one of the best jokesters ever.  He message comes clear to all who have spent time watching him from the outside.   All he wants to have a good time. 


My wife jokes with me when we play golf together, mostly because I am a kid a heart and always want to be, about me thinking out load during the set up of my shots.  She knows how I have studied everything about Fred’s swing, his power stroke through the ball at impact and his only target when he aims his shot is the pin…no matter where it is placed on the green.  And she knows my frustration because I can’t do any of them.  But it is fun to try and mostly I credit Freddie for providing me an example of what could happen if I slowed my backswing down and placed the clubface squarely on the back of the ball.


Like most golfer I loose consciousness in my set-up to the ball for a pressure shot and it is not uncommon for me to say to myself out loud …”Freddy, Freddy, Freddy…what would Freddie be thinking about right now?”  That rhetorical question clicks my brain into visual mode.  And it generates the memory of the video one of my instructors made of my swing and then superimposed it over a video of Fred’s swing. 


That video was proof positive that the only thing similar to our two swings was when we were both addressing the golf ball.  From that point our two swings, as in life, never meet, but the memory of his swing broke down frame by frame with my swing provided me more golf instruction of one of the most powerful full golf swings in golf.  And what I feel is one of he best tempo’s of a golf swing there is. That one slow motion video produced more positive swing thoughts for me than any instruction from any golf instructor I have ever had.


What was the one thing that I remember when I am standing there in that pressure moment asking Fred what he would do?  The answer is slow down

Like almost all golfers when they get into that position they have one of two thoughts. Like ‘I have got to kill this ball to make that shot’ or ‘Oh boy, lets get this over with’…both produce a quick jerking shot that nobody knows where it is going to go.


So the answer from my imaginary Fred Couples standing there telling me what he would do, my first move in my backswing is like watching that video in slow motion.  A slow and steady takeaway until I feel it get to the top where I am ‘Cocked & Locked’.  Then, as the memory is running in my mind, I think about that split second pause Fred has at the top and I make a one-two count, which in real time is a split second.   From the top my thoughts are still Pace…and then, just like Freddy, I ‘strike-up the band’ by bring those hands down and from inside with my only goal to hit the BACK of the ball…. The result: EVERYTIME, I do this I produce one wonderful shot that makes me understand for that short split second what Fred must feel when he is starring his shot into the spot he had targeted. 


I was on the edge of my lounge chair along with millions watching Fred at 2000 Byron Nelson standing on the tee of #17, joking with his caddy about the pin placement which on that Sunday, like all Sunday at the Nelson, is three paces from the front, three paces from the right and four paces from the left on the little finger of the green that sticks out on the pond of the TPC #17.   When Fred stepped up to that shot he wasn’t thinking of going for the fat of the green to the left and putting for a sure part to stay in the lead and win the tournament, he was taking it to the pin.  What was running through his head?  I can image from all of the studying I have made since Fred won the 1992 Masters that his thoughts, if formulated, would be something like..’Its not fun to go for something everyone can do and I play golf because it is fun. And this is a game…but a game of skill and I feel if the fans are going to come out to watch this game they want to see us make shots that players of our caliber can make and not the shots that they could make…So, I choose fun and the opportunity to test my skills..’  OR he would think something like that.  And what happened is in the history books and engraved in my memory.   Fred came up short on that shot which resulted in him losing the tournament by one shot. 


Most people remember that shot and how tense of a moment that discussion was to watch Fred take that risky of a shot.  The thrill was, Fred could make that shot…  My memory of that moment was when Gary McCord asking David Feherty, ‘Is he going for that pin?’ and Feherty’s reply was…well David’s reply is my wife’s remark to me when I set up to my shot and she sees my eye set on the pin behind a hazard or on the edge of the water.. and I talk to the wind asking Freddie what he would do…she blurs out to our playing partners.. ‘He going to put a Freddy on that shot’.. 


Yes, memory of that shot at the 2000 Nelson made me brave the Texas heat last week and walk a few miles in Freddy’s shoes. But it was not the memory most had of the ball bouncing off the rocks in front of the pin and going into the #17 pond, but the memory of the expression on Fred’s face as he walked down from tee-box to the drop area of #17 that made me want to pay my respect to a guy who knows what golf is all about.  Fred had that look of satisfaction standing at the #17 drop zone, flipping the Visor, taming his mane of hair and readjusted his visor.  He attempted the shot he wanted to make, He stayed committed to the shot and he was bound to have FUN at all costs and that is what I respect and think should be how golf should be played.  Nobody oozes style or reflects the positive image that every golfer should have after taking a high level risk and failing like Fred…nobody does it better,   Fred is a one of a kind, he always will be and is truly my hero…A Smooth Operator.


Scot Duke


Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.




Author of: ‘How To Play Business Golf’, From The Boardroom To The Fairways…

The best investment you can make for your business…





Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Reply when Contacted: Why Isn't It Done?

If you have been wondering where I have been since my last Blog, well have been waiting on people who have asked me to contact them to return my call or email.  Plus, it is premier golf season and there is a lot of business golf to play, which the waiting for others to reply to my contacts is really starting to cut into my business golf day.


I know I am not alone on this issue.  When I finally do hear from someone who asked me to contact, who I reach out to talk to, I will ask what took so long.  Their reply is generally has to do with something that is due to them having to wait on someone else to reply to them on something.


So, why is this happening?  On the most part what people are tell you and I when they do not promptly reply a call or email is ‘You are not important enough for my time”.  Pretty cold, but so true.    Even if they say this is not true it has to be or they would have returned your call or email.  End of that debate..


I have not done business with more people than I have done business with just because when I do get to take them out for a round of business golf I find that respect for other people’s time is not a worry for them.  And these are the same people inviting me out to play Business Golf to ask me why their business is in the toilet.  I cannot do business with anyone who does not return the same level of respect for my time as I do for theirs.  Can you?


Now, when I do pin them down with my frank questioning I usually get the ‘I don’t have time to return every call or email.  People are just going to have to expect that from me because I am so busy.  It is the price of doing business now days’  This is supposed to impress me that they are really successful.  But are they?


The other day I was playing a round of business golf with a guy who wanted to speak with me afterwards about conducting my seminar/workshop for his national sales force because he wanted them to learn how to secure their customer base for a new launch of a new service.  During the round he discreetly (even after I told him I would rather he concentrate on his golf and not the cellphone during our round) would apologize and step to the side to talk on his cellphone.  Each time he would return to the cart apologizing and quickly make a remark about the call. 


When we got to the Business part of the golf I asked how his bottomline was doing.  He reported he has doubled all profits.  I asked, what were some of the problems he was dealing with during our round of golf?  He reported that he has so many people in the field at all times he has to keep up with each persons performance to make sure they are not standing around waiting on him to answer their questions.  He went on to remark on his office staff needing answers to questions and operations needing to call a meeting with him.  He just felt that he needed to keep his fingers into every part of his business or it would not get done.  How many times have you met someone like this person?  Is this you? I really hope not.


I find that this is happening with more and more business owners and executives.  The fear of someone making a mistake and costing the company something is a basic instinct and in some cases is what some of these people are being told during their formal educations. 


So, when someone new comes into the equation or who they have met and need their help, calls or emails them, as they are requested to do, the urge to check on something else pulls them to make the wrong decision and not reply to these New contacts, potential customers or employees.


What happens?   Their customer base starts to dwindle and then their employee base starts to dwindle, mostly from the same thing; lack of respect.


Why do these people make the wrong decisions?  Well, on the most part, the reason is they are not properly staffing their business or in an attempt to keep costs down intentionally keep their staff down.  What happens?  Nobody can make a decision without the leaders input…. And that was my message to my friend I just played business golf with. 


I suggest that if you are so busy you have to work on your business instead of growing your business that this would be the first indicator that you need to get help, or more help.


Now it is another story if you are not profitable and too busy, then it means somewhere you are wasting time doing unnecessary things.  And the mistake these people make is not return calls or emails or even worse, take the time to visit with people without time restraints.  There is always something that someone is doing that could be cut out or done at the same time, but still get everything done, including return calls and emails. 


They think that spending time on the computer takes away from the finding business.  Or time away from working on a proposal or some other worthless action that they feel makes they are productive. 


People are always asking me how I write booked, blogs, got to meetings nearly everyday, conduct seminars and workshops be with my family, do my yard and still answer every single email and phone call?  Well, hold on, let me go turn the water off in the yard, answer an email that just came in, answer this call from a guy I am meeting in an hour, while I book my tee time for this afternoon.  That is how I do it and I am having a ball. 


The bottomline is that if that person you asked to call or email your could be the person that can probably provide you with the solutions to why you can’t get anything done.  Or provide you with the big contract that allows you to take your business to the next step.  Or provide you with needed distraction from you spinning your wheels in the mud and disrespecting other people’s time…


So, get the equipment you need, hire the people you need and step into the world of technology you need so you can keep in touch, return calls and emails to everyone who is wanting to talk to you.  Don’t say you can’t afford it because you can’t afford not to do this…


Simply put, reply to your contacts before they do business with someone else…


I’ll get back to you on why calls and emails are not returned from people who are wasting time reading books on ‘personal development’ and ‘how to find more time in your busy life to answer all of the emails and phone calls’…



Scot Duke


Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.





Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Caddies: Why don't we use them?

As the cost of fuel keeps going up golf courses will be hit on a number of sides as far as their operations costs or costs to keep the golf course and clubhouse in outstanding shape. 

Where do the costs of fuel effect golf curses?  Well primarily in the maintenance equipment.  Those tractors burn a lot of fuel everyday.  But there is one operations costs that is also costing these golf courses higher costs and that is in electricity costs.  And the biggest drain of electricity are the electric golf carts, which brings me back to the fuel costs associated to the many facilities using gas driven golf carts.

Now I know that these golf cart manufacturers have spend millions, if not billions, of dollars on justifying their existence and proving in their point of view that golf carts serve the golf course better.  And show how the bottomline can be improved.  And all of it is true especially when fuel was a lot cheaper.

Now the golf carts have provided more people to play the course for many more years and before the carts the only way to get around the course was to walk and carry your bag, pull or push it on a wheeled cart or hire a caddy.

All of these were done away with by the golf carts.  Again, there is nothing wrong with having the golf carts, but doesn’t it make scene with the fuel costs to have an option for those of us who care about the environment and want to experience the health benefits of golf by letting us use caddies. 

The benefit of caddie’s goes much further than just someone to carry a bag of clubs.  They help your game and help to enjoy the day.  And the only green house gases emitted would be from what they had for lunch.


Golf courses have one of two decisions to make, both of which will cause a ‘lose-lose’ situation.

They can pass on the rising costs onto the golfers through the green fees, which will drive off golfers.  Or, secondly, they will have to cutback on the quality of the course or clubhouse which will cause the golfers not to want to play there.


Caddies will provide a third option to carts and carrying a bag.


Now the argument for caddies has been that they are too expensive and the health benefits and so forth make having caddies more expensive than the lease on the golf carts.  But, with the rising cost on fuel these costs are now back to being equal.  And now, with the company I have found that manages caddies,  the caddies are much, much less than the golf carts.


Caddies provide jobs and being a caddie can be a great job for college and high school students. Lets look at bring the caddies back as an answer to a solution that is facing golf and will help keep the costs of golf down.


I recently interviewed the owner of the Caddie Golf Club, www.caddieclubgolf.com  and they are bringing caddies back to golf.  For those of us who like a great walk of the course for our daily exercise the opportunity is back to have a caddy.  Plus if you have a round of business golf planned or a business golf outing having the caddies as part of our outing really adds that extra touch of class and value.  Caddies: Why don’t we use them?


Check them out.

Scot Duke


Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.




Monday, May 15, 2006

For Golfers in Dallas or Ft Worth: It is the Nelson or the Colonial.

When it is May in Texas there are two dichotomies of golf.  You have on one hand the Byron Nelson where the golfer to non-golfer ratio is out of ten people who attend the Nelson about 8 of them are non-golfers.  And then you have the Colonial where out of every ten people who walk thought the main gates at the Colinas, eleven are golfers.  That pretty well sum up the two different environments and styles of PGA events held within a week of each other and are about 20 miles apart.

The Nelson or ‘Byron’ as native Texans call it, (but as it is more commonly and formally known as the EDS Byron Nelson Championship), is where golf is not really promoted being played.  And I think that the professional player field this year indicated that maybe the event has lost its golf tournament feel.


Why?  Have you have been to the Byron?  That use to be the questioned asked in every golf club in Dallas and Ft Worth during the Byron Nelson week.  No matter where you lived you could jump in a car and get there in ten minutes, though the gates and out to the course and back to the office all within lunch.  You use to be able to go to the event, grab a cold one and stand on the nearest green or TeeBox to watch your favorite golfer play. I mean you could WATCH them close up.   The feel at the ol Byron was more of ‘come on out and watch and touch the pros’. 

Now, to go to the Byron it you need to plan it would take all day just to get there and back.  And once you get there you get herded around by the crowds of ever roaming non-golfers who are usually bored and only came to be seen by the people who have big bucks.


Your first adventure of going to the Byron today starts by paying $90 for a ticket that use to be $25, which use to be $5. Then you cannot find parking less than six miles away and that costs you $10 and they bus you in like cattle by people who look like they herd cattle.  They let you out of the bus so everyone has to walk through the Walk of Fame and then the Hike Through Hell, where vendors or everything act like Midway Hockers grabbing and shouting at everyone to look at them and buy something that has been 400% inflated in price.  Then after you have walked almost a mile you finally get to the 18th green where there is a stadium seating set up for those who paid big bucks can seat in front of the people who paid even more big bucks who all paid big bucks to watch the players putt out on 18th.  Now for us who paid $90 to watch the people with big bucks watch the pros putt out we have to stand in the fairway about 100 yards from the 18th green to watch who we think are the PGA players putting out.  From that distance it is hard to tell if it is players up on the green or David Feherty and Gary McCord filming a commercial.   

It use to be that those people who got to the Byron early to pick out a place where ever they wanted on the course and watch the players walk by so close they could shake your hand to thank you for coming out.  Now, the guys in the red britches lined the fairways and greens so thick that if you reach out past the line they call in the people who directed you onto the buses to use the cattle prods on you.


Now, as far as the Colonial, it is night and day comparison with the Byron being in the dark of night.  The Colonial is in the shine of the day and has held tradition and continues to be the professionally run golf tournament that Mr. Hogan wanted to be held.  His vision holds true today that the Colonial would match the elegance and organization of the Masters which it used to gauge its quality.  You walk into the gates and you are in golf’s arena where golfers play golf and golfers watch golfers play golf.  If someone walked in with an evening gown and high heels she probably was one of the Professional golfers wife’s. The only downside of anything negative about the Colonial is that it is in Ft Worth.  Everything is golf and it is for golfers.  A non-golfer would carried out and would never last at the Colonial.


No what has happened to the Byron and the Colonial that has made them so different.  Well, unfortunately, the thing that is a negative for the Colonial is what is causing the Byron golf tournament to quickly become a golf tournament, it is in Dallas.   And the mission of the Byron has changed from being a golf tournament to being an event run by men who only want to raise money.  Yes, they claim it is all for charity and I assume that all of those millions do go somewhere for charity or we would have read in the headlines that the IRS says other wise.  And what takes place when there is money to be raised?  The game of raising money outshines the golf tournament.  And each year the new chairman of the event wants to outdo the previous chairman on how much money they raised.  So, you don’t want to be the chairman who did not exceed the previous chairman’s fundraising, they would run off to Ft Worth if they did.  So what do the event planners do to insure they make the millions?  They promote the event to the non-golfers.  They open up the Pavilion.  The nightclub that is open during the day.  The only place you can get a beer at 9AM.  Now, anytime there is a very large gathering of people and a large gathering of people with a large amount of money  there is going to be someone who wants to market to that large crowd of people. Now, to also control the way the event organizers make the millions they close off any promotions of any other commercial venue unless they pay the event planners big bucks.  So how do small businesses who can’t afford the big bucks market to these people? Well they resort to the only thing that non-golfers can communicate with and that is to saddle up a cute little blonde wearing a skimpy tee-shirt to stand around in the pavilion for a week so everyone in the pavilion will see her wearing their tee-shirt.  Let the organizers of the Byron try to ban that and they will have a riot…

Another way to raise the funds is to charge a premium to sit at any of the greens or tee boxes within one mile of the clubhouse.  And there are more tactics used to insure that money is made every year.  So, is it a golf tournament where you get to see the best of the best in golf who came to play for Lord Byron, or a carnival where the PGA members are just other there so the fundraiser can be called a golf tournament.

Now the professional golfers who come to play come for two reasons.  They want to pay homage to the last of the original gentlemen golfers.  It is pretty special to these guys to get a hand written note from Mr. Nelson inviting them to come play in HIS EVENT.  And they also come because it has one of the biggest purses to win.

I know Byron is getting up there in age and he use to run the event with a stern hand towards the focus of the event be for the golf, but it looks to me as the organizers are all playing ‘Hot Potato’ with who is going to be the chairman of the event that Byron passes away.  Because that chairman will be the chairman that rides a sinking ship down. I am afraid that once Lord Byron is no more so will the golf tournament.  He is the only reason the pros come and once they go there will not be a tournament thus goes the money making machine…

Does anyone need a ride to Ft Worth?



Scot Duke


Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.




Friday, May 12, 2006

Casting: Not Exclusive to Bass Tournaments

My mission to gain knowledge on anything always starts with asking WHY.  And, over the past 10 years I have asked a number of the PGA and LPGA golf professionals who have provide me instruction why I am not hitting my golf shots as far as the professionals or even my golf buddies.  I am sure many of your have wondered why (or an even a more powerful questions, HOW) the guys and gals on tour can hit their 8 irons 140 to 160 yards and I am only able to stretch it to 120 on a good day with the wind behind me?

 And over these years I have been told the answer to WHY, and provided the solution to the question on How, a few times.  Both of which generates the next Why question.  

Why is the solution so dam difficult for me to accomplish and so seemingly natural for others. 

The answer to my Why questions is that I, and about 99% of all golfers with 13 handicaps and higher, CAST the club somewhere in the downswing.  And casting causes all kinds of problems which develop in lose of power, club head speed and direction of flight.


Terry Alsup, PGA Profession, PGA Professional of the year for North Texas in 1982 and Director of Instruction for John Jacobs Golf Schools in Las Vegas (he is called Tex by all who have received lessons from him), has been the only person who could show me and explain it in MY native tongue (Texan) what is exactly meant when someone tells you that you are Casting Your Club…Tex, if you are out there, I’m still ‘swatting flies’..


Now, Casting is where you release the club before you get into the impact zone, which is about one inch before the actual contact of the ball with the club.   Releasing is when you take the club from the wrist cocked position during the full swing and straighten out both wrists.  Some people never cock their wrists during their take away amplifying the problem. Most, like me, cock their wrist by the time the club head reaches hip to shoulder level in the take away.   For those who do make the wrist cock and do cast the club start the down swing with a wrist cock but release their wrists anywhere between shoulders to hip high.  Some get below hip level with their wrists cocked but then violently cast the club thinking they are off line or in attempt to get the club back on line.


Now in Texan this is called ‘Swatting Flies’, ‘Chopping Wood’, ‘Beating the Dust out of the Rug’, ‘Taking it down the Third Base Line’ and (my favor) ‘Swinging a Chicken Stick’.    Loosely translated into Oklahoman or other foreign languages, ‘You are casting your club’.  And this is what I had been hearing for too many years and it wasn’t until I spent a number of years going to Vegas to sit in the heat of the desert of Vegas in July with Tex before I understood what the heck casting was.


Not to discount the fact that Tex videoed my swing during my first school and used it as a demo to the rest of the class on how ‘Hackers play golf in Texas’.  Tex had a great way getting his point across and explaining the importance of correcting the basics of the golf swing before advancing to the next step.


So, what causes the casting and what is the result of casting.  There are a number of things that causes the casting.  The two that show up in almost every golfers with a handicap of 13 or more swing video is No wrist cock and a premature turnout of the left shoulder (for right-hand golfers) before the hands start their downward motion in the full swing.  There are others that Tex said were caused due to ‘Lake of Table manors’, but I didn’t have those in my swing so he didn’t go into what they would be.

To answer the questions on Why there was no wrist cock in my take away Tex (and the other PGA and LPGA professionals I have had instruction from all agreed) said it was due to me feeling that I need to have control of the club from the take away or translated into Texan, ‘the get go’.  You can see this in every beginner golfer.  And it is carried into high handicapper’s swings due to it being a way for them to get control of the shot after they have had a miss-hit on the first attempt. 

My no wrist cock takeaway looked a lot like the hockey style a lot of people who play hockey want to use since it gives them the feel that they are actually going to be able to hit the ball better.  Tex would say ‘if you are wanting to ‘Mule’ the ball then stay with the Hockey style hit, but don’t expect to be playing golf much more than four or five years, because that style will cause a sever case of tendonitis, hockey elbow and all kinds of back problems.  This is due to that about 99% of the time the Hockey swing caused the club to hit the ground before hitting the ball making the ball not go its true distance.  So what do hockey players do to over come that?  They hit it with the power of a mule but still hit the ground first.  The power gets the ball to go a little further but that consent pounding the ground causes damage to muscle.  So, if you want to ‘Happy Gilmore’ around the course get after it, but you will be coming back to me in a few years wanting to know how to play golf with tendonitis.


 I just love the way Tex can put it to you and make you understand what happens if you take the wrong road in the golf swing.…


Now my swing was not that bad and I did produce a wrist cock after I got way above hip high in my takeaway.  My problem was and still does, my left shoulder want to be the first part of my body to move down the swing path.  What I call ‘having a happy shoulder’.   That is the first place I was loosing power and distance.  Once I start that move it changed the swing path to be on the outside of the swing path line or target line.  In order to get it back inside, I would instinctively release my wrist since it made it feel that I was getting my club back in control.  But what it was doing was throwing the club head even further outside so that by the time it got to the impact area the club was coming from far outside to inside, with reduced swing speed, producing a very powerful pull of more than fifty yards off line, or a very weak pull fade or slice.  Or translated to Texan, ‘trying to take a low and outside pitch down the third base line’. 

After three days of working with me in the heat of Vegas and probably after I hit over 1000 balls a day, Tex came up with the best description of my swing that sticks with me today.

He said, Duke, you are swinging a ‘chicken stick’!  Meaning that instinctively you don’t think you can get the distance in your shot unless you use your body’s strength.  So, you start your downswing with the largest muscle in your upper body, your shoulder.  Then once you body make that first mistake your brain tries to make corrections because it does not trust that you are even going to hit the ball.  So your subconscious brain is chicken to trust that instructing your hands to drop down first will produce a golf shot.  Thus, you are swinging a ‘chicken stick’. 


He went on to tell me that the only thing that a swing with a sever casting has to offer is if you are want to ‘swat flies, chop wood, or beat a rug’.  Tex went on to explain, you can hit a golf ball with a casting swing, but its not going to go far.  So, practice dropping the hands down first and keep the ‘Mule attitude’ in the barn.  I absorbed every word, but even after three years I am not consistently able to get dropping my hands as instinct and when I get tired I really have to stop and concentrate to keep my shoulder from getting happy.


So, this is to Tex…

Tex, it works and when I get my left shoulder tucked up under my wattle and drop the hammer before I turn my shoulder, I can tattoo a shot that would make it halfway to Vegas in a head wind.  If I can get that ‘Chicken Stick’ out of my noggin, I know I could do it every time.  But that dang Mule comes out of the barn every once in a while and once it gets out I am back to chopping wood and beating rugs until I stop and get off that third base line.  It is about time I get back out to see you again and dehumidify my swing.  So, fair warning let the Vegas chamber of commerce know that they need to stock up on cold beer when they get more than two Texan in town..


I’ll be back to tell you stories of my other PGA and LPGA friends I have met during my adventure to find the best golf swing….



Scot Duke


Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.





Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Time Management: Shows a Lack of Respect If Not Respected

What does it mean when someone reply’s to a message to you or said to you in person, “I don’t have the time right now….”?  How about when someone does not return their call or reply to an email asking them a questions?   What are they really saying?

They may not really mean it, but they are telling you that you are not worthy. 

It is a growing problem.  And too many business people today are just taking it as the way business is done now days. 

NO! It is not.  Or at least it should not be the way business is done.  And if you feel it is, then you are probably not returning your calls and answering your emails because you are going out of business.

It can be done and I am a prime example.  I make it my mission to answer every call or voice mail message from every person I know who calls me and a few that don’t know who have convinced me they are not telemarketing.  I answer every one of the hundreds of emails I get (and the number is growing everyday) before I go to sleep each evening (which is about 9PM since my day starts at 5:30AM).

Some are saying I am a freak.  And say ‘There is no way I could do this with what I have to do each day’.  And my rebuttal is, Yes You Can!

I am not the only one who thinks enough of people to treat them with respect and more importantly treat their time with respect.   There a number of people I have business and personal relationships with that manage their business and personal time much better than I do.

I have a close friend and business associate who is an executive of the PGA who demonstrates through his actions with everyone everyday his respect for other people’s time as well as his own.  The PGA should be, and probably are, proud of the example that his setting to the thousands of members of that professional association.   And he is the best example since he does it so well.  When he replies to a message it makes you feel good that he missed your call or did not get back to you immediately to your email.  He has true concern in his voice as well as his actions.  That is why I cherish is friendship and wisdom of business. 

Friends’, knowing what he has to deal with everyday, in his professional life and his personal and family life, my message to you is, that if he can do it, there is absolutely no excuse why you can’t do it.

He gets more message and calls than anyone I know and I come from an environment where the calls are measured in ‘units’ representing thousands of calls per second.  Now I know he does not get a ‘unit’ worth of calls, but none the less, he gets enough that would be above the average that you get.  And some of which I would deem from some very important people.   And he makes contact, either by phone or by email, to each of them letting you know he values your friendship and I will get back with you at …(the specific date and time).  I know because I have opened up my emails many times at 5:30AM and see his reply to me at 1AM.  Here is a person that knows the absolute value of a solid business or personal relationship.

Like my friend, I think enough of the time anyone and everyone takes to contact me for a business issue or personal visit to let them know straight up I have the time for them.  Now as far as telemarketers and other none human responses, that is another story.  The bottomline is that if I am going to be in business, or want to have friends to play golf with, I need to respect the time and effort they took to contact me and return the favor respectfully.

Naysayers say I am wasting time and that I will never be successful in what I am doing if I don’t focus every minute I am awake to making a profit.

My reply to them all is based on not how I do business but on others who are much more successful than I am and the way they do business.  My friend in the PGA did not become an executive and hold that position by not returning phone calls or replying to contacts that he ‘does not have time right now’.  Nor will you if you make this your practice.

The other way business people feel they are managing their time effectively is that they have someone else monitor their emails and phone calls.  This is helpful and does goes along with my philosophy of managing your business instead of working at doing it.  But to have your ‘filters’ strain the message to a point that you do not get them, or even worst reply on your behalf that you do not have the time to reply right now, is even worst that if you just did not reply at all.

What is causing all of this lack of respect? Well, it is Lack of knowledge on the most part.

Most of new business people and managers of businesses today have never known or been shown how to manage their time.  Or, have their time managed by someone who does not know how to manage his/her own time. 

Most will quickly jump to the lame excuse that ‘I have too many demands on my workday to effectively get back to all of my calls and emails the same day’.  I say that if this is the case then you have more fundamental problems than the lack of the ability to manage your time.  You have operational problems that again need to be corrected before you go out of business. 

If you are being pulled in too many ways to be able to focus on the most important assets to your business and life, your customers and your friends, then you need to look to finding help to take on some of those demands or get out of that business before it goes out of business.  Tough Love Talk for those who believe what they are doing, not returning calls or emails, is doing business.

Even if not returning a call or message happened just once, you need to take time (even during a call back to your friends or customers) to review that incident and how to deal with it if it happens again.  Does it warrant hiring someone to put out fires while you manage the business?  Probably.   Can you afford it?  If not, you need to find a way to afford it. 

So, you see that you need to make a change and heed my warnings that if you do not have time to communicate to the people who are communicating to you then you have no time to do business.  And if you do not have time to do business by taking the time to personally communicate with your customers, clients and friends then you are going into the business of going out of business. 

No matter how big your business is, or how big you want your business to seem to your customers, if you do not have a solid line of personal communications to the most value asset of your business, your customers and clients, you are going to go out of business.  For these are the people who keep you in business.

Can I do business with someone who thinks nothing about me to return a call or message?  No I can’t.  And it is not totally because they did not return my call or replied with a disrespectful reply to an email.  It pertains to I cannot I trust them so why do business with someone you cannot trust.

Am I being insensitive to the realities of business today?  Am I out of touch for the way business is run today?  Am I being too sensitive to getting my feeling hurt because someone does not take the time to return a call or reply to an email with the information I asked for.   Simple answer to all of that; NO!

Now, my thinking is like most of yours, if someone does not have a solution to a problem they have address then all they are doing is whining.  So, as it is in my business to not address an issue, or problem, unless I have a solution here is what I have to offer those who feel they do not have the time to return calls or reply to emails;

  • If I am going to take my time to type an email to you at least respect my time and reply to the email with the answer to my questions or with a date and time to when you can get me the information.  Do this to everyone and you are starting to build your business.  No only will I refer more business to you, so will everyone else you treat this way.
  • Each time I pick up the phone and dial your number (even if it is on speed dial) I take it that I will have a 50% chance of getting you or your message service.  To respect the time I took to reach out to you, you should at least personally acknowledge the call immediately and personally let me know when I can expect to hear from you.  Doing this builds trust and when I and others can trust you then the business will be continuous and referrals start to flow.


RESPECT.  It does not cost a thing to use, but could cost you your business if not used.


Scot Duke


Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.