Wednesday, August 30, 2006

2006 Ryder Cup: Lehman's The Captain, But It's Tiger's Team

My friend Scott Walker over at has really captured an issue about Tiger which most golf fans need to understand. Tiger is starting to show maturity and compassion for one of the world's best events; the Ryder Cup. Great stuff here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Desert Golf Vacation: Let the Party Begin!

 (Following is the third of a six part report on golfing in the Palm Springs area in the summer.)


Our third day started off a little like the second day with arriving at the wrong Pete Dye Golf Course we were suppose to be playing.  I understand that there are a bunch of Pete Dye Golf Courses in the area, but to have two courses called the Pete Course next to each other at two different facilities names Mission Hills really tested my consciousness at 8AM (6AM Texas time).

So with Starbucks in our hands we jumped into the car and drove about three hundred yards to the Mission Hills Country Club where we were greeted by a security guard that did not have our name on the gate access sheet.  He asked us to call the pro-shop to validate who we were…yes, you read this correctly, we were suppose to call the pro-shop and ask them to validate who we were and let the security guards know by sending him a message. 

After his lengthy debate with my already irritated wife on the merits of his wisdom, he opened the gate and let us through.  A wise decision on his part since he did not want her to get out of the car…believe me…nobody gets in her way from play her favorite country club, and more importantly, in her way from shopping in her favorite pro-shop…

The golf professional advised us that we had a choice of playing the Pete Dye course that is in rough shape since the Tournament (Dinah Shore) had been closed for several months for reconditioning forcing them to put their entire membership and guest on the Dye course. 

He suggested that we might want to play the Palmer Course, which is Mission Hills Country Club’s Third course. Of course we were up to playing a course we never played so we agreed it would be fun and started to saddle up to play the Palmer Course.

After walking down the two flights of stairs to the ground level we got to the carts where we were met by a very friendly Aussie who gave us the run down for the day.  ‘Hav ya played the Palmer before mate?’ My quick reply of ‘Nope!’ tipped my hand to him that I was Texas… and from that point on we hit it off.  We received some advise on the 12th hole of it being a ‘bit of a bonker so keep the wicket sticky when you cut the corner’…when asked to translate that it came out as, ‘Really make sure you rip your drive if you are going to cut the corner of the lake on the 12th hole.  A little something to look forward to mate.

Looking down the first fairway did not rally tell us what we were going to be getting into.  Plus, the Sun was starting to get up over the roofs of the houses…so here we go…Desert Golf.

By the time we got to the fourth hole the sun was getting up and the heat was come on.  A quick reapplication of sun screen and downing of another bottle of water got us going again.  But little did we know that we were just in for the beginning of a REAL HOT day.

By the time we got to 9th hole we found out what the golf professional was saying about cutting back on staff for the season, because the halfway house was not open.  So, it was the bottle water and the ice in our bucket for the rest of the round.

Then we came up on the 12th hole that my mate told me about.  At first looking down the fairway I was trying to locate the green.  About that time one of the carts from the group in front of us darted off to the right and saw them climbing the next tee box.  Stepping out into the fairway confirmed my assumption that the green was to the far right but it also confirmed that there was water in front of the green.  Stepping back to the tee I then looked to see a huge bunker sitting to the corner of the dogleg about 235 yards.   Over it was a fairway going to the right.  No problem mate. 

I pulled out the big dog and stroked a real nice drive that I thought was over the bunker.  Strutting down to my ball the scene quickly changes when a Lake appeared in front of the bunker and a lake on the right side of the bunker and stretching around the bunker where my ball was laying in the lake…

Sticky wicket huh?  It would take about a 265 yard drive with all carry to make over the bunker and the finger of the lake to hit the fairway.  I quickly questioned if this hole was designed by Palmer or did Pete Dye sneak over one night while they were building this hole and do his wizardry of placing invisible hazards you can’t see from the tee?  I can only wonder about that.

Making my drop I shot a dart into the three feet of the pin and tapped in for a bogey…making me even more aggravating since where I dropped was probably a three iron from the tee…OH well, greedy will always get you into trouble.

We finished up the round just in time.  The asphalt surface of the parking lot was just staring to soften just enough so if you stood in one place too long you were going to lose a soft spike if not an entire shoe.  The temp was well over 100 degrees as we loaded up the clubs.

After a wonderful lunch we drove back to the Westin where I immediate passed out for about an hour before it was shopping time again.  But before I started on that adventure I wanted to know where we were going to eat dinner.  A short discussion resulted in us deciding to go to the Arnold Palmer. 

How fitting after being ate a live on the 12th hole of the Arnold Palmer Course at the Mission Hills Country Club, we are now going over to Arnies’ place to eat.  If there is an Aussie meeting me at the door telling be to watch out for the meat loaf I am leaving…

But before we ate we have to do the shopping thing…so we headed over to Rodger Dunn’s.  We had fond memories of our last visit to Roger Dunn’s eight years earlier where he had mountains of discontinued Foot Joy all leather Classic golf shoes for penny’s on the dollar of the retail value..

Rodger Dunn’s was located at the same place  Date Palm Hwy and 111 Hwy.  But that was the only thing that was the same.  When we walked in the door we notice that there was something different…there were no people in the store.  The mountain of clearance shoes was replaced with a display of about 20 pair of shoes in sizes none humans could wear.  13EEE or 5 ½  AAA   What happened? 

Well none of the guys working there had any memory of what the place looked like before since they had only been working there for a few months.  What a shame, we left and did not see a thing we wanted.

Well Arnie’s Place, here we come…  Just entering the door you know you are at Arnies Place.  There is a photo of Arnold hanging on every wall that documented his very long career.  He was pictured with every player you could think of and there were golf bags with his name on them everywhere in the bar.  A really great place.

But the food was what I will remember the most.  After playing in the heat all day a good meal of normal food and vegetable really sounded good.  So I had he Pot Roast, which I was told was Arnie’s favorite but I questioned it since that was our waitress told the couple next to use about the Beef Stroganoff.  

The wine list was vast with all the wines from California….but I was in a mood for a martini…which they said was the best in town.  So my remark was …Bring them on!

In a few minutes comes a great martini.  On a scale of 1 to 10 with ten being outstanding…it was a 7.   Since I like my martini dirty straight up, they tipped the olive juice a little too much, but the flavor was excellent for a REAL dirty martini.  No complaints but I am still looking for the best martini in Palm Springs…

The evening closed with a very nice drive back to Rancho Mirage from La Quinta.   And then it was off to bed to get ready for the next Desert Golf adventure…the Indian Wells Country Club in Indian Wells, CA ..the Classic Course…Stay tuned. There is a lot more to this vacation.


Scot Duke,  President of Innovative Business Golf Solutions, provides over 31 years of corporate management experience to helping 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, August 26, 2006

Chris DiMarco: The 'Regular Guy' Golfer

I am the kind of guy who really doesn’t want to watch the marquee golfers.  Just like when I go to the event, when I watch golf on TV I look for the player that fits my mood for they day.  If I want to watch finesse I follow Fred Couples.  If I want to watch distances with finesse, I follow Fred Couples and if I want to watch flag shooting, well, I walk along with Fred Couples.   But there are more players out there than Fred and that is what makes GOLF the best sport to watch.


Most people want golf to be like other sports where you only support or cheer on one team or one person.  And the other players are the enemy and you are a loser if you support them. You have seen these guys; they are the ones who wear their favorite team’s shirt or favorite player’s jersey with their name and number on it.


So go the golf fans who only watch golf to see Tiger or Phil and have no interest in the other players.  In some cases they will boo other players who are playing better or even worst, beating the marquee player.


Don’t get me wrong, I am a Tiger fan, but I am also a Phil fan, and Ernie fan.  I am pretty much just a golf fan.  And I have to agree that there are some golfers I like better than others, like Fred Couple who will be my all-time favorite and some players I like less like Sergio will be my all-time loser. 


Now why do I make a statement of support of everyone and then state support for some and not for others?  Well, simply put, I am a golf fan, and not just a regular golfer fan who watches golf on TV, but I am a true golf fan who goes to the event when they come to town, that looks at stats and then watches other players that the TV sponsors don’t want you to watch.


And that brings me to Chris DiMarco. Wow, what a true golfer.   I will not hold it against him because he hails from Huntington, NY., because he doesn’t look or act like someone who hails from NY.  OH, there are a lot of other things I like about Chris than his diversity and the main one is his appeal to the ‘Regular Guy’.


Chris does not boom out 300 plus yard drives.  Neither does the regular guy.  Chris does not have the textbox golf swing.  Neither does the regular guy.

Chris has bad golf days.  So does the regular guy.  Chris…well, he loves a challenge and will face down a rabid Tiger any day of the week, on any golf course, from any set of tees, in any weather. 


Now that is where Chris steps just above the regular guy because the regular only wishes he/she could do this.  And that makes Chris the golfer the regular guy wants to watch.  Chris walks like a regular golfer, he dresses like a regular golfer and he shows his emotions like a regular golfer.  He is just a regular guy’s golfer.


From the Popeye forearms to the upside-down sunglasses placed on the back of his Ping Golf Cap, Chris, walks, talks and fights through a round of golf just like the way a regular guy would want to play.


Oh, yaw, there are people who would like to be able to stalk and pounce like Tiger or have the patience of Annika (Yes, I am a big supporter of women’s golf so I put the best women in there with the men).  Most regular guys want to support or cheer on a Regular Guy.


So, why Chris? And Not Jason or Luke or whoever?  Well there has not been any other player that has produced a vivid memory of play Chris displayed up against a wounded Tiger.  Chris matched the best golfer in the world shot for shot under tremendous pressure.  Even though Chris couldn’t close the deal, The Tiger did not walk over Chris and there was none of this collapsing with a drive off the hospitality tent or a ball in the trash can…it was punch for punch, blow for blow, full round, heavyweight, super bowl golf. Just what the regular guy likes.


Come Ryder Cup time. Chris will be the guy I keep my eye on.  The Tiger may prawn and stalk his pray for the TV gallery, but our man Chris will just walk up to them, kick their ass, then take their name.  Just like the regular guy would want to do…Go get them Chris.



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




Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Desert Golf Vacation: Ah, Southern California in the Summer!

 (Following is the second of a six part report on golfing in the Palm Springs area in the summer.)


First of all, if you cannot drive 90MPH for at least a solid one hour don’t even think about making the trip from Palm Springs to South Orange County.  NASCAR has nothing on the speeds those people drive out there.

Yes, Our 5:30AM drive over to Coto de Caza Country Club began with burning about a quarter of a tank of gas just getting on West bound Interstate 10.  I was glad we rented a Grand Prix or we might still be trying to merge into the 80 mph plus traffic.    And since they were just a blur as we passed them, but the price of gas out there is over $3.50 a gallon…do the math on the gas for a Hummer doing 90MPH for an hour…because that was what most of the people out there were driving.

Where are all of these people going?  Well, I can say most of them are heading to LA because when we made the turn South to Irvine the NASCAR changed to Grand Prix Racing action along a winding two lane Hwy 61 through the mountains of Riverside.  Who needs a Starbucks when you have these kinds of white knuckle driving for almost a solid hour? 

But all came to an end quickly when half the population of Orange County converged on the construction on Hwy 215.  The lines art the airport was a cake walk compared to the five lane parking lot.  And nobody was using the HOV lane…except for the occasional motorcycle going by on its back wheel… Just in case you have forgotten I was in California!   

Were we running late for our 7:30AM tee time?…OH, yes we were and what took place next I’ll leave for my personal blog, but I will tell you this… the next thing that happened involved me meeting some of LA’s finest up close and personal.

After a quick call to Coto de Caza’s pro-shop we rescheduled our 7:30AM tee time and after paying about six dollars in tolls to get there we finally got to the first tee of the South Course.

OK, let me calm down…hahummmmmmmmm…   AAHHH, What a wonderful view and course.  My first trip to Coto was two years ago and it looked just as good now as it did then.  Flowers everywhere with the golf course trailing along the valley with large plush homes all along the valley rim.

The course was set up for an American Junior Golf Association tournament that was held the week before and the rough was at US Open length.   Counting the first tee ‘Breakfast Mulligan’ I gave myself, I lost 12 balls on the first 18 holes.  Now I understand why the pros like for the gallery to stand along the fairways so there is someone who saw where there ball went. 

The greens rolled well but the break I saw in the putt was never there so the putting killed me.  There were some triple extra large par fours on this puppy and the par fives were so long they had the greens located in a different zip code.

We played the first 18 in record time…three hours and 45 minutes.  And I can safely say that the club record was never in fear of begin broken with my score.  

We had time enough to have lunch before our guests arrived to join us on the second round on the North Course.  What a lovely Spacious clubhouse and very elegant with waterfalls in the entryway.   And we had a great lunch on the patio overlooking the golf course.

The second round included Scott & Nichole Walker, from  Even with Scott’s knowledge of the course I could not keep from getting in trouble in the six inch rough.  But by now my swing was getting in the grove and I was hitting more fairways…that is until we made the turn and then my body realized how early 4:30AM PST really is.  Now, my golf swing started resembling the punches thrown in the 15th round of a heavyweight fight.  Not a pretty site.

Now, my personal goal for the day was to make it to dinner where the gloves came off and my quest for the ultimate martini continued, which after all I had gone through that day, I needed the martini, or two. 

Coto de Caza did not let me down on the food.  The martini…well, let me say I am still looking for the ultimate martini in Southern California.    Our day ended with the trip back to Rancho Mirage which seemed like it was much longer to get back than when we came and we arrived back in the room at 11:38PM PST (that is 1:38AM in Texas meaning I was up almost an entire 24 hours if I was in Texas).  As you can imagine, I did sleep well that night. 

And I needed it, because we were scheduled to play the Pete Dye Course at the Mission Hills Country Club the next morning at 8AM sharp…with a forecast of a mire 105 degrees. 

Now, we are getting to the Desert Golf…so stay tuned for day three of the Desert Golf Vacation…


Scot Duke,  President of Innovative Business Golf Solutions, provides over 31 years of corporate management experience to helping 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  


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Desert Golf Vacation: Can It Get Any Hotter?

 (Following is the first of a six part report on golfing in the Palm Springs area in the summer.)


Stepping off the plane in Palm Springs, CA. at 12 Noon in the middle of August is a true test of a golfer’s character and was a rude introduction of what was in store for any golfer who came to play golf for a week in he desert.  Flying in from Dallas, where the temp was 102, our arrival at the Weston Mission Hills Resort in Rancho Mirage, where it was 105, was like the proverbial ‘Jumping from the Frying Pan into the Fire’.


The first day of every vacation begins with and ends with travel pains.  Yes, security hassles at the airports, crowded airplanes, screaming kids, the lines at the rent cars, lugging luggage and golf clubs in hundred plus temperature can only be compared to what we will have to go through on the last day of the vacation when we do it all over in reverse.


So, as I poured into the lounge chair in our hotel room after getting up at 4AM to start the first day of vacation, I looking over at the clock and it was only 1PM.  My first training for desert golf, I have to get use to the two hour jump back in time. 


So, what does a vacationing golfer, author, speaker and entrepreneurial kind of guy first do?  Check emails!  Hey…its 105 in the desert! What did ya think I was going to do…play golf?


After spending an hour unpacking and setting up shop I cranked up the lap-top to find…..NO INTERNET ACCESS AVAILABLE…what tha…? Calling the front desk I was transferred to someone in Boston who walked me through procedures I am sure someone in NASA would be familiar with since it sounded like rocket science to me.  But even then, I was not able to get to my emails.  HUM…upon investigation I notice a light flashing on the phone and it was a message from the front desk saying that the hotel “is experiencing problems with internet access and hope to get the problem fixed soon”.


So, now what????  Hey, I am on vacation, so it’s POOL TIME!  MAN?  Have you ever jumped into a pool when the sun is beating down on you like a 105 degree sledge hammer?  The relief from the intense heat lasts only as long as you can hold your breath underwater because when you come up for air, if you don’t have your sunglasses and a hat on, the Ol sledge hits you again…  But, hey,  I am a tough Texan who is on vacation and who came to play golf in the desert in August…so I can take it…for about 10 minutes and I am back in the room in that lounge chair blinded from the sun, with a sun burnt head and burnt feet.


Now what!  It’s only 3PM and I am getting hungry and thirsty… Well there is always the old trusty Martini…yes, the cure all and a must for travel weary vacationing golfers.  So, we started our week long quest to find the best Martini in the Palm Springs area.    So, I literally hot footed it over to the concierge to get his opinion on where to start.  I was overwhelmed at the number of possibilities, none of which were in this hotel (Westin Mission Hills, more about their service, or lack of, later).  You would have thought that the Martini was invented in Palm Springs or as the natives want it to be known as ‘The Valley’. I did find out that the claim for the best Martini in the Coachella Valley was at Pacifica Seafood Restaurant in Palm Desert.  And as is everything else in the valley, it was located right off Hwy 111.   So our adventure started there for dinner…


Seafood in the Desert?  Yes, and it is great.  Pacifica was really a treat.  Not only were the Martini’s excellent, but one of the owners is from Texas and has family in Texas….so that was a comforting surprise.  I will not get into the details since I will review all of the restaurants we dined at in another blog, but I will say this…the food was so good and the menu so large we went back for lunch a few days later.  Does that tell you how good dinner was?


Well, after a long day of traveling to Palm Springs, a five star meal and a five star martini that was all this weary cowboy could take for one day.  So it was off to bed so we could get up at 4:30AM PST (that is 2:30AM in REAL TIME) to start our two hour drive to South Orange County to play 36 holes at Coto de Caza Country Club…


OH, it gets a lot better…SO stay tuned for day two….



Scot Duke,  President of Innovative Business Golf Solutions, provides over 31 years of corporate management experience to helping 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  



Monday, August 21, 2006

Palm Springs Vacation: I'm back!

OK, I am Back!  My week in Palm Springs was great!  Well, it was HOT, but I am back.  I am bronzed….well, pretty bunch brown…OK, I am just BURNT.  Did I say it was Hot out there?


It is going to take me a week or so to decompress all that took place while we were in Southern California.  So for the next week I will take a incident or situation that I was in while out there and blog on it.  SO, stay tuned because I am back…

Scot Duke

President & Business Golf Mentor

Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.



Thursday, August 10, 2006

Fred Couples: Just Hanging On at the International

The score may not tell the entire story on Fred Couples opening round at the International at Castle Pines.  The course is definitely cut out for Fred’s shot.  Just not sure if the course is the problem.  The double bogey did not help.  It is going to be a long round up hill, pardon the pun, for Fred to pull any Ryder Cup points out of this puppy.


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


Golf Travel: Now What?

OK, I just pulled out to the large suitcase and the Golf Bags to get ready to take our long awaited golf vacation to Palm Springs.  Over the past two weeks I have been researching everything from the latest sunscreen pills you can take to help control the amount of sun your body is exposed to, to where the largest and best martinis are made.  I have dealt with all of the hassles of getting the hotel, airlines and tee times set up.  I even have got the dinner reservations for the evening lined out.  I have even thrown in a business meeting or two just so I can take this time to play a round of Business Golf with my clients and associates who live in Southern California.  So, everything is set, right?


Wrong.  I did not take into account that the Dam Al Qaeda was going to set up a golf outing in Palm Springs and that every flight in the world was checking every passenger for  illegal golf clubs and golf balls that golfers were carrying on board the plane. 


I am kidding. 


The situation with the terrorist alert is no laughing matter and I stand behind everything HLS is doing to protect all of us.  And having seen what happen during the last time the upgraded the security level I an now anticipating what  to expect when we arrive at DFW with our car load of luggage.  The main thing that concerns me are all of the idiots who think the security searches don’t concern them and feel it is a violation of their privacy…


It embarrasses me to watch the news clips of people throwing fits with the security agents over something as stupid as having to confiscate their contact lens solution.  Come On, people….haven’t you heard of lasik…just kidding again, but that is about how absurd some people are with what they think is their civil liberties being violated.  


So, since I am now sitting on the floor in the living room going through my briefcase making sure I do not have any thing that could be considered an explosive devise and putting everything in my checked luggage, I have this to say to those people in the airport security lines in front of me.


When it comes to what terrorist are willing to do to freedom loving people like most Americas, the fuss over contact lens solution is exactly what they are hoping we will do…so FOOL, (now I am not kidding), think of what is going on here and who is effected.  The security lines are not just made for other people, they are made for you also, so, zip it and let’s keep the lines moving.  Let’s get the planes back in the air since that shows the terrorist they are losing the battle.  You can take up your civil liberty violations after you get through the line with who every really cares.


So, NOW I got that off my chest I can go back to thinking about my vacation and the martini’s that are waiting for me in Palm Springs…


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


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Pace of Play: Pick It Up

An old article on an old problem that still reads true today..


Wie Firing her Caddy! Where is this going?


An article I like.


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


Sunday, August 06, 2006

SPAM: Where is it coming from? Anubis?

I have never seen so much SPAM. Some of the characters
in the subject lines of the hundreds of emails I get each day look like the hydrographic
used in some of the SciFi Channel’s Star Gate show. I am wondering if it could be the ‘Ancients’
trying to send us a message on where Merlin’s weapon is located or to explain why
Richard Dean Anderson left the series.

Someone told me that the symbols and characters appearing on
the subject line are how our computes translate some of the Arabic symbols used
by some of the spammers. Kind of a
Off-Shore by product of out sourcing all of the American call center jobs.

But I digress…does anyone know where these Spams are coming
from? Is there actually someone out
there who is trying to find who these people or machines are who are pumping
this crap out by the thousands?

Golf Vacations: How Does A Golfer Live Without One?

OK, All Right, Yes, it is almost here… What?!  My golf vacation!!! 

For those many non-golfer friends of mind let me
explain.  There are not very many things
golfers experience that make them feel like they did when they were ten and
their parents reported that the family was going to Disneyland.  Or when they were six and were invited to a
birthday party at Six Flags.  Those kinds
of adrenaline pumping, can’t sleep at night, ‘I want to go now’ kind of feelings
kids get when they are REALLY excited.

Well, OK, if you did not get excited about those kinds of
things when you were a kid then it is going to be tough to get you to
understand what excites an adult golfer. 
So, hang in here.  I am going to

Outside of making a Hole-In-One during a match play
tournament to win the match 2 and one, for a golfer, going on a golf vacation
has to be the closest thing to those gitty feelings experience in early
childhood.  Of course if you are a golfer
who travels a lot and plays golf all over, the level of excitement of playing
golf out of town is a little lower.

I am kind of one of those golfers who does get the
occasional opportunity to drive a few hundred miles to play golf somewhere here
in Texas, or maybe make a family visiting tour of another state and sneak in a
couple of rounds with the brother-in-laws, so the thought of going to play golf
out of town does not really produce any feelings for me other that the thoughts
that revolve around the hassles of packing and getting to wherever it is I am

But, a Golf Vacation is totally different.   The
marriage of the two words, Golf and Vacation, pretty well sums up in a simple
package the two things that define Relaxation….  Golf, the only thing a golfer really would
like to do and Vacation, a time when there is no work or daily chores that have
to be done.   

Now there is a level of relaxation that is defined by the
adjective (or is it a pronoun?) that describes the vacation.  There is the lowly generic Golf Vacation that
could mean you are going to sit in your backyard and play your club the entire
week, or the high excitement outings that are reacted to with a WOW! when you
say you are taking an Out-of-Town Golf Vacation.  But the golf outing that will bring golfing
buddies to their knees, begging to go with you, is when you put a specific
destination in front of the words Golf Vacation.

And in my case it is the Palm Springs Golf Vacation.  Yes, I can hear the popping of arthritic
knees right now from all of my friends out there who are pleading to want to
go…and the yawns from the non-golfers who have not a clue on what the big deal

Well at the risk of inflicting more mental distress to my
golfing friends by describing more details on what Palm Springs
claim to fame is, I will continue to explain to my non-golfing associates on
what is special about Palm Springs.

Palm Springs…the Mecca of Southern California golf.  Palm Springs
is where the mega golf communities started. 
The desert location was started as a play ground for the Stars, or Hollywood
celebrities who were looking for someplace to go and get away from the Hollywood
crowds and who were bored with the Las Vegas
glitz.  Over time the area has grown to
have more golf courses per square mile than anywhere in the country.

Bob Hope, one of Palm Springs’ most prominent residence, use
to say that the golf courses were so close together out there he could stand on
a tee box with a nine iron and four balls and hit a ball in four different
directions and be in play on four different golf courses.  He said he found this out just trying to hit
the fairway of the course he was playing on… Next to Fred Couples, Bob Hope
stands pretty tall in my thoughts when it comes time to think about golf and Palm
.  Freddy
being the reining Skins King and Bob being the best comedian ever.

Yes, there are golf courses of all shapes and sizes, from
the Palm Springs Country Club that hailed as the Rat Pack’s party hangout to
the monster PGA West Stadium course that tests the best golfer’s skills.  

But there are other things about going to Palm Springs that
makes golfers drool and that is the after golf watering holes.  Ah Ha!, did I hear a non-golfers chair roll
up closer to the screen to read this thread? 

Yes, golfers are known for their 19th holes,
Caddy Shacks and Card rooms where the drinks are large and beers are cold.  And I hear Palm Springs
has a few.  And since it is going to be
REAL Hot, I can guarantee that if there is a cold beer anywhere in the Coachella
I will find it.

OK, that should give you a feel of what makes Palm
so exciting to golfers.

Now, I am not sure if it is the thinking of all of the golf
I am going to play that is getting me pumped or if it is the hunt for the best after
golf venues that is getting me excited. 
Either way, the only thing I am putting on the agenda for an entire week
is… Golfing, Eating, Pooling and trying to find the ultimate Martini and I
might even try to do it all at the same time…’Mommy, can we go now!!?’ 

Of course you can go if you want to.  And if you don’t get to go, Yes, I will tell
you all about it.

I have another week to some more writing done on my next
book, attend a ton of more meetings on launching my seminar/workshop, be on
more phone conferences on getting my web-site overhauled and get everything all
packed up but I can’t tell you how excited about taking a Palm Springs Golf

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


Friday, August 04, 2006

Blogging: Keywords Are Important

I just sat through a Podcast that was on the importance of using keywords in your blogs.  Words like Mel Gibson, Britney Spears, Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, Michelle Wie and Rap Music.  Why, because that is what people are keying into search engines to find.  No only those keywords, but Golf, NAZCAR, Baseball, and Tennis are also hot.  And we should not forget then less popular keywords like religion, peace, war, and sex.

So, if I caught it correctly the keywords I have just reminded you of here in this blog are the most popular keywords people use to search for information. Or that is what the lady I was listening to on the Podcast told me.

OK, let’s see if it works and I will blog this and see how many people hit my site.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Desert Golf: Yes, It Is Hot (Part Three)

So, you ask.  How do I deal with playing Desert Golf when there is so may hassles involved?  I was wondering if you were ever going to ask.   I am sure there are many experts out there, who I invite to chime in, who have played much more desert golf than I, but let me run down for you how I deal with desert golf in the summer.

First, before I leave town, I made sure I have gathered up a few supplies.   I make sure I have two pair of golf gloves for each hand.  Not that I might need them both, but there is always some rookie who will be wallowing around in a fairway bunker that I need to offer a pair of golf gloves to use. 

Then I go by and get a jar of pure Vitamin E lotion and some tubes of sunscreens.  I get a 5pfc that has some sort of moisturizer in it, a 50spf oil free cream that has aloe in it and a 45spr spray (it is new on the market, but the spray really works well since it forces the sunscreen into the skin.)    I make sure I have enough to last twice as long as my stay.  I am serious; you can never have too much moisturizer or sunscreen in the desert.

Next, I get ready for dehydration and dealing with the aftermath of being in the heat for several hours.  I stop by my health store and pick up a packet or bottle of 1000mg B12 sublingual tablets.  What are these for? Energy.   The heat is going to sap you of energy.  And it is going to take all of the fun out of all of the after golf activities if you don’t prepare for recharging or keeping your energy up.  Don’t get me wrong.  There is nothing wrong with taking an emergency nap.  I have a few of those already scheduled for my trip…hey, it is a vacation. 

But even with shutting down your body for a while, your body is going to need to replenish its electrolytes and vitamins and minerals it burned off out in the sun.  Your body really works hard battling that heat, so take care of it because you have to live in it a long time.

Now, I make my travel plans to arrive the afternoon before my rounds of golf begins.  This provides me time to gather up all of the survival gear I did not want to pack and carry with me.  Remember, find that Wal-Mart or whatever convenient store they have available at your designation.  Stock up on bottle water to have in your room and with you all the time you are awake.

Of, course, I hit the internet and gather Intel on what restaurants are available.  Make sure you eat healthy.  Have at least one descent meal each a day.  The hamburgers and fry’s are OK, but man they really don’t look very well spewed all over the 16th TeeBox when it is about 105 degrees in the shade.  I think you get the picture on eating well.  Remember, your body is going to need all of the help it can get fighting off the heat.  Don’t load up on greasy food.  It doesn’t help you body if it has to spend the entire night fighting a greasy Mexican dinner when it should be pumping nutrients out to your tired muscles.  I don’t care how young you are…the heat of the desert will wear you out.  And I have been there when ‘Mr. Macho’ buckles at his knees because he can’t play golf without at least two beers a hole and a chili dog at the turn…

Get your TeeTimes as early as the course will let you.  You might have to call a month ahead, but what ever it takes; start as early as you can stand it.   I don’t really recommend playing desert golf in the afternoon in the summer and some courses will not let you.  But, t if you have to for some sort of weird reason, then double the preparation for an afternoon round of desert golf.

I lather up the sunscreen before I leave for the course.  For the best coverage I put on the sunscreen and lotions before I get dressed.  First, I wet my skin with water before putting on the lotion.  Then, I put a layer of Vitamin E location on all parts of my body that is going to be exposed to the sun and wind.  This helps keep the skin moist during the round.  The skin soaks up the ‘E’ quickly so don’t worry about the initial greasy look.  It will be gone before you get to the next step.  On top of the E I put the 5spf with the moisturizer on my face and the back of my neck.  Then I get with the 50spf.  Depending on how dry my skin is or burn it is from the previous day, I usually will trowel it on my arms and legs.    Now, I am ready and I get dressed for battle.

I wear white or as light of colors as I can.  I leave all of the dark colors for the evening.  Wear a golf shirt a size too big.  Don’t worry, you still will look sharp.  Just make sure it is a light weight material made of cotton.  Don’t do the spandex ‘Sergio’ look in the desert.  

Even wear light colored shoes.  The last time I went to the desert I wore my black FootJoys and my feet cooked inside the shoes.  I got a pair of white shoes this time

OK, if you have done all of the above you am ready to enjoy your  time on the course.  Now it is time to get your equipment ready.  First, take four or five golf towels with you.  You will use them for all kinds of reason.  Mainly to keep things cool while you are on the course.  Get a big towel and keep it soaked with cold water at all times. Use it to put over your head periodically.  Keeping your head cool is very important.  Put the towel around your neck while driving from shot to shot.  The wind generated hitting the moist cool towel will refresh you for that next shot.   Every water bucket you see, soak it down.  It will probably be dry by the time you get to the next bucket.   

Use another towel to shade your clubs.  Drape it over your clubs when you are not using them.  Carry a towel with you if you are carrying more than one club out on the fairway.  Wrap the grip of the club you are not using with a towel.  This will keep the grip from getting real hot when it is lying on the ground.  I can’t tell you how many times I have seen Mr. Macho take a cut with his wedge he laid on the ground and the grip stays in his hand the club goes flying over the pin.  The heat will loosen up the adhesive tape on the grips.  So keep the clubs cool.

And of course, keep a towel hanging on your bag that is soaking wet so you can not only wipe off your clubs, but use it to wipe down the grips periodically so you can get the sunscreen off and keep them cool.

Electrolytes:  There are several products out on the market you can use to keep your electrolyte level up in your body.  Don’t just rely on drinking water.   Of course the favorite most drink is Gatorade.  But there are some powders out now that can be poured into a bottle of water that works just as good if not better.  Take a look at these at the store when you are getting your water.

If you do all of this, I know you have a better chance surviving golf in the desert.  

After Golf Aftermath:  I suggest you schedule some POOL time for after golf.  If you are staying a few days to enjoy a few rounds of golf in the desert I suggest a dip in the pool right after each round of golf.  It refreshes your skin and muscles and cools your body down. 

If you can’t do the pool I suggest taking a shower right afterwards.  Start off with a light warm temperature and then gradually take it to as cold as you can stand it.

Hit the back of your neck with the nozzle.  That is where your bodies’ thermostat is located.  This will relax you and let you sleep better.

Ok, you went to the desert to play golf and to have fun.  If you follow my suggestions you will definitely have a better chance of accomplishing your mission than if you did not take my warnings seriously.

Even with the most preparation, sometimes the heat will get to you.  If you start to feel light headed or nauseated, make sure you let one of your playing partners know.  Do not shake off those symptoms as being part of your hangover from the previous night.   It could be that you need to cut that round of golf short and get to the air conditioning.  Don’t be thinking you will beat the heat of the desert just because you are strong and healthy. The cemeteries are full of strong macho type people who tried to play desert golf like regular summer golf at home.  Desert golf is a whole lot different that playing golf anywhere else.  Play it smart and take precautions.  Remember, stay away from the beer and alcohol, save it for when you are telling the story of the rattlesnake you saw trying to find your ball in the desert..  

Have fun and be careful.  I hope all of this helps.

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


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Golf Equipment: What Is The Goal? (Part Two)

In part one I explained what should be considered when purchasing golf equipment.  So, let me continue with this thought.


What it gets down to is ‘Feel’.  Yes the feel of a good golf shot and a bad shot.  And the feel a beginner golfer experience when hitting a golf shot is a lot different than what a touring pro feels.  The beginner is struggling getting their muscles to all coordinate at once particular second to hit the back side of a golf ball squarely.  Where as the tour pros can hit the ball squarely blindfolded ten times in a role because their muscles are finely tuned and are orchestrated by the brain to do whatever the player wants to do. 

So, there are definitely two very extremes of the feel of a golf shot.  For a beginner to judge from a TV or magazine (or worst an internet) commercial on the feel they are going to get out of a club doesn’t make a lot of sense.

What it gets down to is quality.  And, like in everything else in life, quality costs more.   But, which manufacturer really cares about the quality of its equipment? 

If you have spent a moment on the internet you have seen that there are literally hundreds of golf equipment manufacturers.  You have on one end your Ranger Rick standing in his garage hammering out a new putter he wants to sell to Tiger Woods and on the other end you have Titleist who produces some of the finest quality golf equipment you can buy off the shelf.  And there are manufacturers all in between who mass produce or build one club at a time.  Yes, the quality is all over the board.  

Deciding on which club manufacturer to go with is what makes learning the game of golf so much fun and a great big hassle at the same time.  It makes it even tougher to be a beginner golfer and having to make these decisions since they have probably not had the opportunity to ‘Feel’ a good golf shot.  Picking a golf club that ‘Feels Good’ is impossible for a beginner because they have not learned what that means. So, most beginners usually default to the cheapest and that is the worst decision to make.  Remember, the ‘Feel’ of a good shot is not produced by a low quality club.  And cheap equals low quality.

Your questions should be, ‘How do I know what manufacturer will produce the best feel most often?’  The answer is simple.  If you go with the best quality from the beginning you are starting with a better chance of finding what a good golf shot will feel like from the beginning.  And with that you will not have the need to change clubs as frequently.   So, go for the best quality of club you can afford and you will come out a head in the long run.

Most beginners are instructed to just go out and get a set of clubs to hack around with because they are going to out grow the clubs.  Or, that the higher quality golf clubs are made for golfers who have developed a higher level of skill or swing than a beginner.  Now, I am not a golf professional, but I have spent 15 years on the ‘Lane of Pain’ (driving range) hammering out golf balls with almost ever club made.  And my experience has developed me to realize that: First, if I had started with a set of fitted quality golf clubs from the very beginning I started to be taught golf, I would have found out sooner than I did what a good golf shot felt like.   But I didn’t and it was not until I went through three sets of low quality golf clubs before I got my first set of used quality irons that allowed me to get close to producing the golf swing needed to hit the back side of the ball squarely.   

And Secondly, I would not have had to spend the thousands of dollars I spent on golf clubs as frequently as I did before I finally golf some fitted quality golf clubs.  Ever since I was fitted in my last set of irons I have not had to even think about anything other than change worn out grips.   My friends who started with me have had three sets of irons since I got the set I have now.  How much more money would I have spent to get to where I am now…Thousands, guaranteed.

If I had just faced the fact when I started and gotten fitted to quality I would have started with the best in quality and only traded up when technology changed to make hitting the ball easier.  Which looking back would have been three times in fifteen years has technology changed to make playing golf easier.  Like larger club heads on woods and forged cavity back irons. 

All of this is why I cannot agree with those golf professionals and instructors who tell beginners to run out and get any ol set of clubs.  Because as they will admit, that beginner golfer will run right over to Wal-Mart and pick up a set of the cheapest clubs they can get.  And what do they have, something they will have to throw in the trash in a few weeks (if not days) when they can’t produce a good swing that produces the golf shot.

Yes, it is not the equipment but the swing that creates the good golf shot.  But, only good equipment produces a good swing.  Even if it is physiological, it is a fact that if there is something in your mind that you can reason is he cause for your not being able to hit a good golf shot then that is what will keep you from hitting the good shot.

Even a professional, or a person who can hit a golf ball with a Dr Pepper Bottle on a stick will tell ya that they can Feel the difference and find it much harder to produce the Feel of a good shot with a lower quality made golf club.

The bottomline here is:  Golf has never been so easy to learn to play.  And it will only get easier if golf manufacturers open up and face the fact that making the game easier is in their best interest.  To play golf a golfer has to invest into their golf that gets the ROI which is Feel. 

I can tell ya, there is absolutely nothing outside of sex that feels as good as hitting a quality golf ball with the sweet spot of the quality golf club and watching the ball go further than you have every hit it before. Or better yet, go where you wanted the ball to go

If you are just starting, stay with it.  Get those spear chunking muscles tamed down to working together, get some quality equipment and in time, you will find out what I am talking about.

The goal of golf equipment manufacturers should be focused on making learning golf easier, not how good golf can make you look…that comes from hitting a good golf shot. 


About The Author:  As President of Innovative Business Golf Solutions, Scot Duke provides over 31 years of corporate management experience which he now is using to helping small businesses improve their marketing strategies and business development.  In his book, How To Play Business Golf, you will learn everything needed to make golf an effective buseinss tool.  To learn more go to