Monday, July 31, 2006

Palm Springs Golf & Martini's

I was just told by my better half that we are heading to Palm Springs for our late Summer Vacation....she is not having to twist my arm to go..  Yaw, I know. It is going to be hot, but the price is right and free golf is pretty hard to turn down, especially in Palm Springs.

We were out there about 10 years ago and rode out a 7.3 earthquake at 2:30AM and then got up and played in a couples golf tournament….that was fun..(not!)

We are going back to relive some of those memories…leaving the earthquake out of it.

I know where all of the cool golf is.   Yes we are doing A to Z golf.  We are even going to make a day trip over to Cota de casa Country Club (my very favorite golf course in Southern California) to play 36 holes.  It is the only golf course I have played where they serve sushi at the halfway house… you got to go play this one.  We will be playing a couple of the Mission Hills Resort courses. The Dinah Shore course at Mission Hills Country Club is closed for renovation so we will miss that one.  We will be playing at least one of the Indian Wells courses and maybe both.  And if we can squeeze it in, we might play PGA West Stadium course…

 But, Hey, I can’t stay on the golf course all day.  It does get dark in Palm Springs…and I know I am hitting the pool at the Westin at Mission Hills.   Besides, I am on vacation.  .So, what I want to know is if any one knows any cool bars to go to out there where the beer is cold and the martini’s are on a leash…



Scot Duke

President & Business Golf Mentor

Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC. 

‘My Blog’ 

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

The best investment you can make for your business…




The Future of Golf Needs Help:

This morning the future of golf paraded by my house and I liked what I saw.  I am just concerned that I might have seen the last parade for the future of golf.

I am fortunate to have several members of the PGA as personal friends.  These relationships have provided me with a different look at the profession of golf.   And I have developed a heightened respect for what these young men and women are going through to become a member of the PGA.

What was taking place on the golf course I live on was the periodic PAT (Players Ability Test) the PGA produces to test the new candidates for membership into the PGA apprentice program.  Like in most memberships there are minimum requirements that have to be met and in the PGA there is are minimum playing skills each candidate has to have to become a member. 

And from what I saw of the dozens of players I watched taking their test of 36 holes of golf, they take it pretty seriously.  There were men and women from all walks of life all decked out in their favorite and stylish golf apparel playing every shot like it was their very last shot.  And I am sure in some cases it could actually be their last shot.   The intensity was there and so where the smiles.

But I am worried that these kids are not truly aware that the profession they are testing for is somewhat of a bitter sweet career.  Yes, they are going after their dream of being a member of the PGA.  Their heads are full of thoughts of getting to playing golf all day for a living.  When in fact playing golf is probably what they will do the least. 

These men and women will go through what could take three years of working in every aspect of the golf professional duties.  Everything from learning how to re-gripping clubs to folding every shirt on display in the Pro-Shop a thousand times.  Or, getting the repeated opportunity of jockeying carts for a golf outing or to giving golf lessons.  Six days a week, up to 10 hours each day…non-stop.  If they are lucky, they may get to play golf on their day off.  And they do all of this for an annual salary that would equal the price of a Hyundai car.   I would say that is not a real good investment in the future of the game of golf.

Yes, if they continue to work their way through the program, finish their apprenticeship and pass their test they will then become a Class ‘A’ professional making them eligible for a Head Professional position.  With an annual salary of less than $50K a year.   Close, but no cigar.

So, you ask, where is the money in this profession?  Well, I am not sure.  I am with you in saying the pay out on the Playing Tour seems to be good, but like the rest of the opportunities available to these golf profession, there are only a few hundred openings on the player’s tour.


 What about the thousands of others who are just as well trained, if not better, on the rest of the golf profession?  Well, they are all vying for the few hundred positions at golf facilities where the value of a PGA members training is truly appreciated.  

What takes place at most golf facilities is they are managed and operated by a golf management group that runs the golf as if it was a retail outlet.  These golf course management groups look at what the PGA members’ training provide as no more than what a clerical employees cold provide at minimum wage.

Now I can’t say for sure since I have not worked for one of these firms, but from all indications it looks to me that these golf management companies see little importance in using the training of the PGA members to oversee the game of golf.  These firms see their need covered by hiring someone to run the cash register and make sure the tee times are scheduled.  Anything outside of that, like customer service or technical golf support is deemed not profitable so it really doesn’t matter.

So, what is in store for the future of golf?  Well, if there is not a way for these kids who sweated out their PAT this afternoon to make a descent living from being a professional golfer then we can kiss the game of golf as we know it good bye.  

These men and women are the future of golf and will be the next generation of professionals, club managers and golf instructors.  If they can’t make enough money to provide for a family from being a club professional then they are going to have to find something else that will. 

Where does leave me and you?  Or more importantly where does that leave the golf industry?  Well, simply put, we will not have anyone who knows how to teach the game of golf.   So eventually there will be no new golfers to enter the game to keep it going for the next generation and feed the golf equipment industry.  With no golfer buying equipment the manufacturers of golf equipment will pull back.  And as a result, golfers will lose interest in the game and leave the game forever.

The golf industry will be without anyone who knows how to put on a golf event, of how to explain how the golf swing affects a golfer from hitting a golf club correctly.  There will be nobody to help sale the ever changing golf equipment. 

In the private club sector, the Golfers will lose any respect they had from the clubs who use golf management groups to run the golf portion of the club. The members will tire quickly of coming in to the pro-shop and seeing the golf shop staff playing video games or horsing around like they worked at the pizza joint. 

Yes, that will be what we can expect if these smiling young people who paraded by my house this morning are not able to make their dream come true.

What is the solution?  It is not clear.  Skeptics say that if the salaries of the PGA professionals apprentices where brought up to their true scale of what they are providing the industry it would force an increase in the cost of golf that will be out of reach for most golfers.  This would have he same affect on he golf industry if there is not done.

The rebuttal to that is to provide more no-cost services to substantiate the increase. In the public section of the golf industry let the golf professional use their entrepreneurial training to add more value to playing golf at the facility.

In the private sector let the golf professional use their customer service training to substantiate the increase in any costs.  Let them play golf with the members.  How valuable is that.  Each person gets an on course lesson and each professional gets to do what they like to do…play golf.  Of course that is just one solution.  I am sure there are many.

So for me, I would like to see the parade of new golf professionals continue outside my backdoor and I want to see golf grow prosperous for the members of the PGA. 

And most of all, I want to help.


Scot Duke,  President of Innovative Business Golf Solutions, provides over 31 years of corporate management experience to helping small businesses improve their marketing strategies. As author of: How To Play Business Golf, Mr. Duke outlines the steps to sucessfully using golf as a business tool.  To learn more about Mr. Duke, IBGS or to purchase How To Play Business Golf visit


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Internet Group Sites: Activity Seems Low

I am a member of 22 different online group sites.  Some are very large like ‘Tribe’ and ‘Ryze’.  And others are small and growing like BizNik.  Several I have joined in the last six months are totally golf sites and a couple of sites I have found are the mega search engine sites with a network of fellow ‘Searchers’ you make connections with.

Overall, all the activity on these sites seems to be slowing up.  To find out why, I used some old technology and picked up the phone and called a dozen or so of my friends around the country I know are out here with me in cyberspace, but I have not read a blog or article from them in a while.

After spending a full week making these calls I came to a quick conclusion…It is Vacation Time and more people are out with their families enjoying the summer and a break from blogging or posting articles or chatting online.

So I relaxed to the fact that there is not much to be alarmed about as this is a cycle that comes around twice a year.  The first is summer break and then the second is the Holiday break.

I predict that everything will be back to normal with the buzz of interesting conversations and blogs burning up the internet as soon as school starts in a few weeks.

And looking at the calendar…I too will be taking another week off in a couple of weeks so if you are missing me I will be giving my fingers a break and will be out on the golf courses of Palm Springs, CA….

Scot Duke,  President of Innovative Business Golf Solutions, provides over 31 years of corporate management experience to helping small businesses improve their marketing strategies. As author of: How To Play Business Golf, Mr. Duke outlines the steps to sucessfully using golf as a business tool.  To learn more about Mr. Duke, IBGS or to purchase How To Play Business Golf visit 


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Fred Couples: The Only Captain's Pick That Makes Sense

Tom Lehman has his hands full making the right decision on who will help win the Ryder Cup.  The most logical choice is Fred Couples.  Freddy has been there, the Euro’s know what damage Boom-Boom can do and he is the only one who can take down the young guns from Europe.

Plus, Fred represents style and the image I would like the entire world to have about the people who play golf, both professionals and amateurs alike.   When you think US Golf, Fred Couples is like the Stars on the Red, White and Blue flag.

I know Tom will do what is right, but Couples is only a point behind at number 14 on the list.  Maybe Fred can kick ass at the PGA and jump in from the bottom, but if I was Tom I would go ahead and tell Freddy to get his back in shape…the USA is going to need ride him to a win.


Scot Duke

President & Business Golf Mentor

Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.


‘My Blog’ 


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

The best investment you can make for your business…




Tuesday, July 25, 2006

So You Want To Learn How To Blog?

My friend Orion Linekin, ( )the worlds greatest internet marketer, contacted me, out of all of the people in the universe, requesting I write an article for his fans on blogging.  How can you turn the lord of the internet down?  Scot Duke

So you want to know how to Blog? I don’t blame ya.  It is a lot of fun and I have learned a number of fabulous things from some really good Blogs.

I have been blogging for, oh, a little over 6 months.  During that time I have covered a lot of ground averaging 5 hours a day online looking and learning.  I would say my experience level on blogging could be considered somewhere between an advanced novice to an apprentice expert.  What makes me qualified to tell you about blogging?   Well, I am blogging on several sites and I was asked to tell you about blogging…plus, I am one of the few people around who is interested in telling you about blogging and not charge you for it.

Let me tell you a little bit about what I have gone through in the world of blogs to get to where I am today.  Once I get you to where I am, you can just follow along with me as we then learn together.

Like most of you, I had questions about blogging and I still have questions and from what I have learned, and have been told by people who have been blogging at least a week longer than I have, is that I will always have questions about blogging.  So let me list out the questions I had and the answers I was provided, or had to learn on my own.

What is a Blog?  Yes, that is the question I had when I decided to learn more about blogging.  When you key that phrase into Google you get a definition I concur in.  A Blog is an online journal.  A journal can be considered anything from a day to day diary of life’s rambling events or a purposeful, well though out, thesis on a subject you are the expert in… In other words, a blog is anything you want to write for everyone on the internet to read.  Remember, I said EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET to read, so think about what you want to say before you say it.  Really, if you look at some of the blogs out on the web, it really doesn’t matter how or what you write…it is just a form of random communications to a broad base of readers.

Why should I Blog?  Yes, the question that is probably more important than all of them.  Why blog?  I had heard about blogging from other people I was networking with.  When they hear I am an author their first question to me is ‘What was my blog address?’  Little did I know that asking someone for their blog address is like in the 80’s when someone heard you on your CB and wanted to know your handle.   I have cause many people attending a cocktail party to spill their martinis with I answer their questions, ’What is a Blog?  It seems I, and probably you also, are considered to being way out of touch in today’s technical savvy society since I did not knowing what a Blog was.  So, I made it my mission to find out what a blog was.  I hit the internet.  I talked to other people.  From that I started to understand what a blog was.   So once I understood what a blog was I asked Why Blog.

There are several reasons to blog.  The reasons can range from it being a hip modern technological way for people to express themselves to others: to business people wanting to take control of their product and services information they provide to the masses.  There are the housewives who blog each month a receipt they created and there are the authors and journalist who write two or three blogs a day on a variety of subjects. There are humorist who just blog a cartoon and there are psychologist who publish 100 page articles on research they are working on.  The most popular reason people chose to blog is to express an opinion and promotion themselves.  That is the wonderful thing about blogging…you choice what it is you want to offer the world.

Where do you blog?  There are a number of places to go.  Some are very easy and some are for the people who are 5th degree Black Belts of web development.  There are some that offer just blogging and are very simple to set up.   Some blog services will provided you with stuff that some of my web developers friends are still trying to figure out how (or more importantly why) to use.  I am guessing you are wanting easy.  Most people do and that was my choice.  Life is hard enough to make it tougher with something that doesn’t need to be.

I went to is straight up blogging, just blogging and don’t expect to do anything but blog at  And best of all it is FREE.  It has a very simple walk through, 1-2-3, step by step set-up of your account and profile.  Before I go into the profile, let me tell you a little more about  One of the features I REALLY like is the link to your blog site by email.  You can sit at your computer and email your blog to your account.  Blogger automatically posts it to your web-site and you are Blogging….  This is a very simple and quick way to blog. 

The second site you might want to consider if you want more statistical information on your blogging and if you want to set sail on setting up you own web-site is  It is also a FREE blog service. is where I call home for my blogs.  Oh yes, I still use because it is so easy, but I get statistics with WordPress.  WP does not have the email feature which bums me out, but it does tell me how many people are reading my blogs and it also shows how and where the readers are finding my blogs.  These are two very cool charts that show you which of your blogs are interesting people.

OK, you know what a blog is, you have established a reason to blog and you know some places where you can blog.

How does a blog appear or what does a blog look like?  Both Blogger and WP have pre-set formats or templates you can use to establish a theme for the way your blogs are going to appear.  These templates are constructed to provide a different look or establish an image for the theme of your blogs.  WP has the ability (it takes a web developer to do this for you) to establish the same look as you Web-site.

Who reads blogs?  Answer: Anyone who is interested in what you are saying will be who will read your blogs.

If you just want to get a bunch of people to view your blog then you would need to write on one of the more popular subjects…which would have to be on something about what Britney Spears is doing since Britney Spears is the number one Keyword Phrase on the internet (more on keywords in a moment). 

How Frequently Can I Blog?  Again, it depends on your reason for blogging.  There are no limits, I am aware of, on how many blogs you can process a day and no minimums I know of on how many you have to blog.  You just blog away whenever you want to.  There is one note to make:  If you are after traffic (lot of people to read your blog) you need to blog regularly.  I will explain more on why a little later, but for business people who are trying to draw in traffic to their web-site the more frequently you blog the better. 

Can people make comment on my Blog?  They can if you let them.  You do have some control on whether someone can send you a comment or not, or you can screen the comments, meaning that you get to see them before they are posted on your blog site.  That way you can delete comments that are absurd or not wanted.   Most of the time you choose this feature during the set-up of your blog account. has a comment verification which I highly recommend since it stops Spammers from getting to you.  Or you can block all comments all together.  

What makes blogging exciting are the comments people make to something you have written.  Without comments you will never know if anyone agrees, disagrees, likes or dislikes or has a better idea…  But there are people who just want to write to write and don’t really care what other people think about what they are writing about. So, making comment to what they write maybe not worth it.   That is what makes blogging so cool.

What do I put in my Personal Profile?

If you are not really comfortable with everyone knowing your real name, you can use a ‘handle’ for your name.  A handle is a fake name or words with numbers that identifies you.  Some sites call this your usernames; some call it your group’s name or your profile name.  Most profiles will also ask for your real name, but make sure it reports that your real name will not be shown or used in your public profile. 

When coming up with a handle, think about who it is you are talking to and create a handle that they would understand.   But don’t be too weird with a name.  The concern your readers will have is, who the heck is this person?  They will ask themselves; Is this person a real person or thing or someone I want to be involved with? 

So my suggestion is to use a name that is relative to what you are doing.  Example:  You are blogging on gardening, your handle might be Mr. Greenjeans, Or Green Thumb…Something where people can address you correctly in their comments and in blogs they write about you.

Photo’s vs Cartoon Characters.  Again, what are you out blogging about or for?  If you are promoting yourself it is a real good idea to post a photo of yourself.  People want to see who it is they are talking to.  But if you are blogging on something controversial or really don’t want to show who you are, then most people put up a logo or photo of something abstract.  Just remember whatever you use it will be posted somewhere on your site for all to see.  Sometimes it is even posted just before your blog.  To not post anything is even worst.  So, get something in that spot no matter if it is your baby picture.   Remember, if you get too weird with your photo nobody is going to want to read what you have to say. 

What email address do I use?  As you probably have figured out, if anyone makes a comment or reads your blogs and wants to contact you directly you are going to get an email.  Your email address will not usually be published, but you need to know where the emails you are received are coming from.  And yes, even after all of the precautions, you are going to get SPAM.  The way I control that is I provide an email on my profiles I had specially created for blogging.  So when I see an email coming in for that address I know if is coming from one of my blogs sites.  If you have the ability to create a special address you might should do this so you can manage a problem if it comes from one of these sites.  I would not go so far to have a separate email address created for each site you are on, but I would have a separate one from your personal email address.

Now, you have set up your blogging and you are cooking up words to post.  So, if your mission was to blog, then you are there.  Now what?  That is the questions I asked. 

Well, if you are after traffic to our site let me tell you about how to produce some more traffic.

There are things called ‘spiders’ that search engines send out onto the web to find content for the search engines to provide their viewers. They are not real spiders so don’t freak out.  Spiders is a term for an software program that automatically goes out and reads all content on the internet. It takes on average of two weeks before the spider software gets all the way around the internet.  And if they just so happened to have just passed your neighborhood the day you started blogging it might take four weeks before they get back to your site.  The spider will hit your site in two weeks to validate there is a site and then in two more weeks the spiders come to look for content.  So, it will take a little time before you are the number one Blogger on the internet.

Keywords: What are they?  Keywords are words that describe what your content is about.  You may be asked to furnish a list of keywords in your blog site profile.  If you are doing gardening blogs some of your keywords would be; Dirt, Water, Seeds, Fertilizer… So when someone keys in a search for any of these keywords and the spiders have been by to tag your blog, your blog will come up on the search engines as content for the person searching to read. 

The more you blog the more spiders come to review your content of your blogs.  Once a spider catches on that you offer a large number of content with the keywords that are very popular, the spider will come back to your blog site frequently to review your content.  And one spider draws in others…before long your blog is appearing on every search engine site. And people will see it as being a popular site and will go to your site

Now, if you stopped blogging and the spiders returned and find nothing new, it might be several more weeks before they are back.  So, If you want to get your word out about yourself or business you cannot afford to have too much time between hits by a spider.  So make sure you Blog frequently.  The optimum is to blog everyday.   When the spiders come to your site they will find a treasure chest of content to offer their viewers and will be back with their friends more frequently.

Now, you are going to say, I don’t have time to blog every single day.  Nor do I.  Here is what I do; I set out one day a week to write blogs.  Whatever comes to my mind I write on it.  I then break up the blog into 5 or 6 blogs with the preceding blog ending with, ‘stay tuned for more information on…’  Then the next blog I start off with, ‘As I mentioned in my previous blog’.  That way I have the content for an entire week worth of blogs written and all I have to do is to post them into my blog site and submit it and I am off to do whatever I have to do that day.  (This is important information that the Big Boys of Blog would charge you $29.95 to learn…so you got that one Free.)

One thing you can do to create traffic to your blog site is to join an Online Group.  Another is to go out to other people’s blog sites you are interested in and make comment on one of their blogs…naturally leaving your blog address in your closing.  Online groups allow you to do this quickly and easily.  Plus, you can meet some really good people in these groups who know other people, who know other people. 

Yes, Online Networking Groups work well.  On the other hand there are some online groups that Suck.  There are some that charge you a monthly or yearly fee to be a member, or you can join their basic package for Free and then if you want to meet Real People you can buy in at a higher level.  Unless you really want to spend a lot of money, I would stay with the free groups.  They seem to work harder to provide their members with a platform for blogging.

There are online groups of all types and subjects and there are online groups that have groups within them.  Online groups are a great way to generate traffic to your blogs.

Is this all there is to blogging?  No, there is much more, but remember, I am still learning this stuff too.  But I think I have gotten you to where you can get to where I am today.  Some of the other stuff about Blogging, you will never totally grasp an understanding of what it is all about until you have blogged a while.  Then you can come back and we will visit on stuff I am looking at like RSS connections, Podcasting Blogs, and whatever else I have run into by then.

So, you are now able to blog away, you are getting comments from people all over the world and you are having fun and generating a lot of traffic.  Carry on until I get back to offer you more…


Until then,

Scot Duke

Author and Business Golf Mentor


About The Author:  As President of Innovative Business Golf Solutions, Scot Duke provides over 31 years of corporate management experience to helping small businesses to secure their customer and employee base through showing them how to play business golf.  To read more about what Mr. Duke has to say on everything visit his blog site at or his web site at


To purchase Mr. Duke’s book;  How To Play Business Golf visit   Scot can be reached by     


GrayHawk: The 'Word' That Describes the Best Golf In Scottsdale

Back in 2004 my wife and I went out to Scottsdale, AZ where she was to attend a conference.  I was going to vacation while she worked…but we both took time to go play a lot of golf.

When it came time to schedule the golf we were going to play while there I called my friend at the PGA to get his advice on where to go.   Being a friend of few words, he provided me with one word that said it all.  Little did I know that one word would be all I needed to know.

I told my friend what was going on and when I got to telling him where we were going all I got out of my mouth was ‘Scottsda…’   and he said ‘GrayHawk’… Stunned a little,  I said ‘But…’ and he said ‘GrayHawk’ and when I said ‘then…’ he said GrayHawk…  So, I waited a second and said ‘GrayHawk?’ and he said ‘Talon!’.  I said OK. 

So sitting there for a second I quickly realized that GrayHawk must be really special so I asked, ‘Now…’ and he said ‘Raptor!’.  Realizing that we were playing some sort of word association game I started to get in the pattern.  So, I said ‘Cost’ and he said ‘doesn’t matter’..  I said ‘where else’ he said ‘no place else’. I said ‘give me a break’ and he said ‘great martinis’. And he won. 

Of course we did talk normally once I got the point that there was no need to ask him for other places in Scottsdale, and yes, he had played them all so when he told me GrayHawk I could trust it was going to be a great place.

But back to GrayHawk… Now there are two courses at GrayHawk, the Talon and Raptor.  We scheduled our first round to be played on the Talon course.  

When we pulled up in GrayHawk’s parking lot I knew we had come to a very special place because we were greeted by another Texan (yes, we are everywhere and when we run into each other it is like to long lost friends..) who was going to be our ‘Caretaker’(the guys and gals who greet you are called caretakers there because they take care of your every need, unlike an assistant or a bag boy who assist you, these guys hang around with each group until they tee off…way cool). 

Plus, there was a big ass sign hanging over the entrance to the clubhouse saying “Congratulation Lefty for Winning the Masters” .  I looked over at my wife who was already grinning from ear to ear and I said…Wow!. We had not been told that Phil was a member there…but we quickly got into the swing of things epically when we walked through the door into Phil’s Grill’ to have breakfast.

After walking around the clubhouse I started jacking with the pros in the Pro shop about Phil where I was provided a few stories about Phil and what he has done for that club and community.  What a great guy and what Phil, and his wife, have done for that community.

I then strolled out to the carts to find the practice area….  (I know I will have to write another article just on the practice range at GrayHawk, what a facility.).  At the practice area they have piped in Rock Music.  The piped in music kinda fit since the Peter Costis and Gary McCord Golf School was on the other side of the putting green. I could picture Gary showing you his shots while AC/DC was playing in the background.   What a facility.  It really set the mood for the morning. 

But it was time for me to get to work.  I broke out my wedge to work on short game and promptly made my obligatory ‘bladed’ pitch shot of a brand new Pro-V1.  It went over the green and into the edge of the desert.  Well, I wasn’t going to let that new ball get away so I mossied off the edge of the practice green and step out amongst the cactuses to find that ball. 

To my wonder there were a half dozen or so other balls all scattered around on the ground.  This was going to make finding my ball a chore.  I reached out with my wedge (this is standard procedure to use a club to rake your ball up in the deserts since the rattlers are everywhere) and flipped one of the balls up . It was Pro-V1 with a Black #1. Thinking that was my ball I quickly inspected it and there was a GrayHawk logo on it.  So I thought I had better look closer for my ball since it did not have a logo on the ball I hit.   After four or five balls with logos I finally found my ball and headed back to the practice green with a pocket full of brand new Pro V1 logo balls and my ball. 

My wife had not made it out to the range yet so I was there alone to gawk at my findings.  I dropped one of the balls on the green and was lining up a putt.  When I got up over the ball and looked down I noticed that there were two letters stamped on the ball I did not see when I picked them up out in the desert.  I picked the ball up to inspect the letter closely and there were the initials ‘PM’.  I quickly pulled out all of the balls in the pocket and they all had ‘PM’ stamped on them. 

About that time one of the ‘caretakers’ that was assigned to us came and seeing the look of shock on my face asked if everything was OK.  I held out one of the balls and before I got ‘Is this..’ out he said ‘Oh you found some of Phil’s practice balls’.. With a quick comment the caretaker remarked,’ they must be yours now.’.  

He went on to explain that Phil flies out at several times a month to practice and play a few rounds with his close friends there are the club.  And (at that time) Titleist furnishes him with all the practice balls he wanted to use. So when he calls them to say he is coming in they put his balls out on the practice range where he will be warming up. 

The caretaker went on to tell me the story about the Lob Contest Phil always has with his buddies.  Phil usually beats them on how far they can hit their lob wedge and some of his balls end up in the desert…  

Smiling like I had discovered gold I gleefully walked over and shoved the balls in my Jewelry Pouch of my golf bag because I didn’t want them to get all scuffed up in my ball pouch.

About that time here comes my wife with another one of our ‘Caretakers’   She pulled out her putter and came over to where I was wondering if I should go back out to see if I could find more of Phil’s practice balls.  She said we only have five minutes before our tee time, so that ended that thought.

As we rode over to the first tee with our caretakers I was jacking with my wife telling her how great this place is and the service we were getting was far the best we have every gotten.   I said ‘Even Phil stopped by to provide me with a few pointers while I was at the practice range’.  She looked at me with this Yaw, Right look.  So I said, ‘I knew you wouldn’t believe me so he gave me one of his balls to prove it’  and I handed her the ball with the ‘PM’ where she could see it.

If I could have gotten a picture of the look on her face when she said, ‘You mean to tell Phil was at the practice range and you did not come get me?’   But I didn’t have the camera out so this article is just my way of remembering that morning at GrayHawk.

The entire day was a memory that will stay with me for the rest of my life.  What a great facility and what a great course.  Every hole has a different challenge and tests every shot you have in your bag.  And even some you have to invent on the spot.  Every tee box provided a spectacular view and all of the Par 3 were landscaped like back drops for postcard photos.

I have played a lot of the major golf courses around the country and it is my mission to play every more before I can’t play anymore (which is a long time from now).  If I was to be asked ‘If I could go back and play only one course I have played, which would it be?….my answer would be like my friend and have one word…GrayHawk.

I am sure I will find better golf courses as time and opportunity provide, but I will always chose GrayHawk not just for the quality of the golf course, but the quality of the service…which to me, if you did not have someone to take care of you from the parking lot to the tee box, then you are really having to do a lot of work to get to the golf part of the facility.  

So, kudos’ to the management of GrayHawk, and to Lefty for winning the Lob Contest at GrayHawk.

Scot Duke

President & Business Golf Mentor

Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.

 ‘My Blog’ 

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

The best investment you can make for your business…




Sunday, July 23, 2006

Cigars: A Danger to Your Golf Game

Even thought the number of golfers who smoke cigars is down, there are still enough of them to affect your game.

Yes, you can guess the bottomline: Smoking is bad for you. So what else is New? Nothing other than the fact that if you are a golfer, smoking affects your game.

The feeling a cigar smoker has the next day is awful. The dry mouth, not to mention the bad breath and body odor should be enough to tell you what smoking is doing to your health and relationships. After just a few weeks your skin starts to turn orange and your throat becomes so swollen you have a hard time swallowing. From here I think the American Cancer Society can better describe the decline in a smoker’s health.

As far as the effects cigar smoking has on your golf game!? Your endurance is voided. Playing 18 holes without a significant rise in blood pressure is impossible. The strain that smoking puts on the heart that is fight off the toxins from the smoke and trying to energize the muscles used to swing the golf club is incredible. And over time the smaller muscles start to shake and will not relax. Not good for a golf swing or putting. How enjoyable can the game be if your body is not allowing you to play golf without strain and stress?

How about the non-smoker golfers who are playing with the cigar smoker? They don’t fare much better. Secondhand smoke is just as dangerous as being the smoker.

What brought this up for me to be so concern? Well, I am concerned with the golfers I know who love the game as much as I do who will not be round much longer to play it with me because of their attitude towards cigar smoking.

Something they say to me, ‘Oh, Duke, get off it. I smoke these things because they relax me. You know, you use to smoke them’ is the comment I have heard more times than I want to remember. Yes, I smoked cigarettes, cigars and a pipe for 15 years and I quit smoking in 1976 and I have not regretted a day since. And I thank goodness for my health today. And, if I can do it, anyone can do it.

Please, if you are one of the few golfers left smoking cigars on the golf course, in the 19th holes and in the card rooms, think of the others you effect when you light one of those turds up. Quit while the quitting is easier. You will like yourself better and the golfers who play with you will like you ever more.

Come on, take out of your mouth what looks like something that came out of your butt, and join the rest of us who want to play golf a lot longer.

Scot Duke

President & Business Golf Mentor

Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.

‘My Blog’

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

The best investment you can make for your business…

Thursday, July 20, 2006

How To Play Business Golf in Vegas!

Ever since my pilot seminar where I told the story of my latest adventure on the golf course in Vegas, I have been asked many time to write on How To Play Business Golf in Vegas.


Well, consider it done!  I am working on the book now and if I am really luck it will be out soon for all to read about the real way to play business golf in Vegas.


So, stay tuned for more on How To Play Business Golf in Vegas! Baby!..


Scot Duke

President & Business Golf Mentor

Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.


‘My Blog’ 


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

The best investment you can make for your business…




Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What Would Freddy Couples Do?

Have you ever listen to golfers when they describe their game or a shot they made?  Seems the best way for most of them to describe what they did or something they liked or disliked about their game is to describe it with analogy of what one of the touring Pro’s did or said to describe a shot they made.


Ever since Tiger arrived on the scene the trash talk descriptions of a shot, or of the way a round was played, have been televised and the media sound-bite these phrases across the world.  Now we have the ‘Stinger’ shot being used and the ‘Ranger Rick’ method of playing golf being used in junior golf clinics.   All of these phrases and descriptions are now being used by the hordes of amateurs in every 19th hole in the country to describe their game.  Some have even taken upon the task of creating their own slogans or analogies. 


Let’s take a look at where some of these phrases got their start.  Lets go back to the day of Arnold Palmer…first we got the ‘Arnie’s Army’ description of the galleries around him when he played and then we got ‘swashbuckling’ for a description for the way he swung his club and that quick curl around at the top of his follow-through. You have Lee Trevino with the Merry-Mex one liners and a flat swing that only the Merry-Mex could get away with...making the phrase of ‘I put the Trevino on that shot’ very popular still today.


Then moving to more modern times you have Fred Couples who’s style of golf was way ahead of others when it come to being ‘Cool’.  Fred has no fear of going for any pin from any distance because to him that was the fun of playing golf.  It was not uncommon to hear a pin placement tucked two steps from a bunker referred to as a ‘Couples Placement’ or ‘I’ll have to put the Couple’s on this shot to get it close’.


Now, you have some descriptions that are cruel and cut like a knife, but really describe what took place accurately.  You have the ‘Phil shot’ or ‘I put the Mickelson on my shot.’ Or better yet I am hearing golfers on the tee say ‘Go ahead and put the Mickelson on that shot, it opens up over there’.


You see, there can be some interesting conversations going on about a person’s game that if you are not familiar with what the phrases are describing you could be totally lost.


So, let me wrap this up with an example of how a round of golf is described now days.. 


My round started with me having to pull a Jacobson and show up at the tee just as we were to kick-start the round.  Of course I pulled the Big Dog instead of the Chicken Stick and Mickelson the shot OB right.  Having pulled a Van De Velt to a creek in front of the green and I finished the first hole with a hockey stick.  So, walking up to the next hole which was a Nickel Dogleg Left, I going to have to put the JD on the ball to get to where I could Duce the green.  So, I Freddy’d my swing so I could make sure I got the Mini Copper on the ball with a Protractor.  After only Sulmaning the fairway I had a Little Dog to the green.  Of course I Trevino’d the shot and ended up with an Ashtray to the green.  Since the pin had been Coupled I was really Tigering on the next shot.  So when I pulled the Trigger the Rock clipped the Stick and dropped about 16 Clicks from the Jar.  I Sutton’d that hole and after that is was a Phil…


So, to translate this let me re-state this in layman terms and with explanations as I go.


I was late to my tee time. (Peter Jacobson uses to be the worst on tour on making his tee times and sometimes would be standing on the TeeBox putting his shoes on when they were calling his name)  Since I did not get to warm up I played the driver (the Big Dog) instead of seven wood (the Chicken Stick) and sliced (The shot Mickelson made at the US Open) off to the right going out of bounds (OB).  Having fluffed a shot out of the rough (like Jon Van De Velt did in the British Open) into the water in front of the green I ended up shooting a seven (hockey stick) for the first hole.  So walking up to the next hole, which was a Par Five (nickel) that turned to the left (Dogleg left) I really would have to put a very long drive (the JD) on the ball to get to where I could hit the green in two (duce the green).  So, I took the club back real slow (Freddy’d my swing) so I could make sure I got the large clubhead (mini cooper: small auto) on the ball squarely (with a protractor).  After only hitting the drive about 240yds but in the fairway (Sulmaning the fairway; Jeff Sulman is one of the shortest drivers on tour, but he always hits the fairway) I have a three wood (a little dog) to the green.  Of course I hit the ball with a very quick flat swing (Trevino’d the shot) and ended up with a Sand wedge (ashtray) to the green.  Since the pin had been tucked behind a bunker (Coupled) I was concentrating real hard (Tigering) on the next shot.  So when I swung and hit (pulled the trigger) the ball (rock)it  clipped the flag stick (stick) and dropped about 16 steps (clicks) from the hole (jar).  I survived (Sutton’d: reference to how Hal Sutton has survived in the PGA, just hanging on) that hole but the rest of the round was all downhill (Phil: in reference to Phil’s meltdown at the US Open).


So, there is a whole different language being formed around golf that is pretty colorful if you study golf and watch all of the tournaments.  Its is all in fun..


Scot Duke


Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC. 

‘My Blog’ 

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

The best investment you can make for your business…




Monday, July 17, 2006

Business Golf: Where Golfing Turns Into Businessing

I was on the phone recently with one of my associates who always greats me as ‘Mr. Business Golf..  I take it lightly, but I guess I should be honored since with the release on my book on How To Play Business Golf the reviews pretty much confirm that someone needs to be the expert on Business Golf… so why not me.


There are two questions I typically get when I am talking to people about my book.  From the business people who are golfers, who have tried to use golf in their business, the question is; “how can I get golf to work for me”?  And the second question comes from the non-golfer business people who find the subject on Business Golf beyond their understanding.  Their questions are always something like “How can Business Golf work for me if I don’t’ play golf?”


Both of these questions are very good questions and I will spend a lot more time discussion this in the revision of my book.  To answer the first question ‘how to get golf to work for you?’, the answer is;


Golf is always working for you.  What is not working is the way you use it.  The only time golf will work against you as a business tool is when you try to use it outside the steps I lay out in my book.  Anything outside this process is not Business Golf; it is just golfing with a client.  And there is a huge difference when it comes to achieving a positive outcome.  Remember, the number one mistake business people make when attempting to play Business Golf is to try to conduct business during the golf…A certain way to fail.


For the non-golfers and the question ‘How can Business Golf work for non-golfers?’  In some ways Business Golf can really work to the non-golfers’ advantage more so than the business people who plays golf.  Non-golfers can approach playing Business Golf a little more naively and open since the conversation and an invitation to learn how play business golf would be more of an invitation to join them to learn How To Play Business Golf.  A lot of the business people the non-golfers will be inviting to play Business Golf will also be non-golfers.  This makes going to one of my seminar/workshops a great way for them to doing something together which will build that long lasting business relationships.


Look for more information on what Business Golf is truly all about in my upcoming articles and get ready to join in the online discussions about Business Golf soon.  More exciting stuff is developing on Business Golf, so stay tuned for more announcements on where you can find me on the web.


Scot Duke


Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.


‘My Blog’


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

The best investment you can make for your business…



Sunday, July 16, 2006

Club Championship: Bring Your Pitchfork and Hoe

I know many of you are members of golf clubs or country clubs.  If not, you should consider it, especially if you are playing at least six rounds of golf each month…But more on the advantages of being a member of a country club later.


One of the features a golf club or country club has for golfers is the opportunity to play in the Club’s annual Championship.  These tournaments have been going on since the beginning of time, or at least as far back when members of a clan would compete against each other for the honor of being the clan’s champion.  The contests would be something that included sword wielding or pole throwing or some other contest made for the burly men of the clan.


Who knew back when wearing Bull’s Horns on your head was in style that the member who won the clan’s annual contest would today be the club champion.  Not much has changed with the exception that the bull horns that the club champion wears today has a Taylor Made logo on it.


Back then there were huge advantages in being champion of the clan.  You received benefits like; the admiration from the entire clan as being their best…their champion.  The champ got things like; he is the first to eat from the fresh kill of deer or whatever the heck was killed that day.  He got to camp out next to the fire during the winter instead of being pushed out to the outskirts of town where it is cold and dark; and …OH,…AH…well, the champ got a lot of chicks and everyone bought his beers…


Over the years the contest for the clan is now golf and not battle to the death or nude leg wrestling or whatever the clan leader wanted to challenge the clan with.


In today’s club championship you usually have some pretty awesome golfers stepping up to the plate to try their hand at winning the club championship and all of its wonderful honors.  Oh, yes!  They get the honor and the members all slap him on the back.  The members admire his style and start wearing the same bull horns.  Instead of getting to eat first at the kill, today’s champion gets a dinner in his honor; instead of getting a spot close to the fire, today’s champion gets a parking spot two steps from the locker room door; and…AH….yes, they get all of the chicks and everyone buys all of their beers…but that is not the point.


The point is, like in the olden days, there were a bunch of dudes hanging around that really were not cut out for the championship…you know the dudes.  You saw them in the old movies.  Those guys standing on the sidelines when the white knight rides up and would always be holding pitchforks and hoes cheering the knight on to victory.  You know, the peasants… The same guys are here today, they just have 20 or 25 handicaps…


The pitch-fork guys where the warm-up band for the main event.  They usually juggled or do some sort of gymnastics in front of the crowd while the main act was back stage getting ready or …AH…you know,….  they always got the chicks and the beers so what do you expect they were doing?


These pitchfork guys did not have the skill needed to compete at the contest, but could have if they had some sort of equalizer.  There was not a handicap system for jousting back then.


The competition in today’s club championship is a little different.  There are still the guys juggling, but instead of a pitchfork and hoes these guys are holding Pings and Adams golf clubs. The P&A guys get to play in the club championship but they are more like the juggling and gymnastic acts of old.  The astonishing thing is that even after the USGA in concurrence of the R&A spent years of developing the tested and true player’s handicap and index system, the P&A guys still are not allowed to go for the club championship.  No, the Ping and Adams guys have to stay in their own flight and compete only for their name being placed on the scoreboard (and the newspaper if the head professional remembers to send it in and the newspaper has room to put in the 8th and 9th flight winners).


When you look at it, the process just does not seem fair.   If you questioned this back then you were carried off to shovel crap…Oh, wait that is also going on today.  


I agree with the powers of being that the best golfer should represent the club, and that is perfectly fine.  That is the way it should be.  I am sure it was the same back in the olden days; it would not be too cool to claim that your club champion was won by the guy with the pitchfork or hoe. 


So! My question to all of the P&A guys out there?  Why pony up the cash to compete in a tournament that has less glory for you if you win and no way for you to be the club champion.  Wouldn’t it be just as interesting to park in the auxiliary parking lot across the street from the club with the rest of us and stand watching on the sidelines with your pitchfork and hoe?


Scot Duke


Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.

 ‘My Blog’ 


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

The best investment you can make for your business…