Thursday, September 28, 2006

LPGA & Women's Golf: Deservers More Respect

OK, it is time to talk about the ladies of golf, and YES, and the LPGA Tour deserves more respect from the male golfing sector and needs to be brought back into the limelight of being seen on TV as much as the men’s tour.  Now that I have got my position on my support of the women’s golf out of the way, let’s move on, or above, the issue.

I would say that 80% of my golf is played with women who love golf just as much, if not more, than men.  And, YES, they can and some do regularly, play better than I.  Most of the women I play with are amateurs but they take the game very, very seriously and deserve the same respect I golf as the women professionals.

But today, I want to write about the women who have taken on the daunting task of being a Professional Golfer and those who play on the LPGA.  I know a few and I have played with a few of the local women golf professional and I hope that I get to meet more and play with more of them.  Thee are many reason why I enjoy playing with them and the least of which is because unlike the men professionals I know and play with, the women professionals play form the same tees I do, the Middle tees (not the forward tee)…which makes visiting and talking during the round a little easier and keeps me for getting a nose bleed from standing way back on the tips where my men professional friends tee it up.

It is really incredible how well the women professionals I know and the women on the LPGA play.  From my beginnings of playing golf avidly some 15 years ago I have respected their skill of the game.  And seriousness…guys, Tiger may have the stalking stare as he perfectly demonstrated when he watched his nine iron settle to the bottom of the lake while finishing his final match at the Ryder Cup, but have you seen Karrie Webb’s concentration on the course.  I would ask if you have seen her eyes when she is standing at 100 yards in the middle of the fairway starring at the pin, but since she wears those cool looking sunglasses, not many people have gotten to see if she too has the stare of determination. 

We can only assume Karrie does have a serious stare since she outstanding performance this year truly makes her the LPGA Player of the Year in my book.  What an incredible performance this year and I was a supporter of Karrie every since she hit the seen and even when she was not playing as well as she is now….AND,  because I respect ANY women who can hammer 280 yards drive with a Titleist Driver as Karrie did when she was sponsored by Titleist.  (Now I got my shameless plug in for my favorite golf manufacturer, maybe they will want to be my sponsor)

There are hundreds of others of the members or the LPGA Tour I will write about over time.  Karrie is just one.  I love to watch Michelle McGann, a seasoned vet that has struggled over the past few years, But I root for because of what she is dealing with health wise…  yes, I like the underdogs…Se Ri Pak, I like to see her smile now and coming back so strong with a new attitude.  And the rookies, I am keeping an eye on… I am sure we will see them kicking it up a notch soon.  And I can only hope that Michelle Wie will take some time off and enjoy her youth.  Life is a long road and missing being a kid will come back to haunt ya when you get older.

The women professionals I have had the pleasure of playing with are just as serious at Karrie Webb which putting all of he amateurs and professional women together makes me feel that women can focus better than the men.  But, I am not here to debate who is better, the women or the men, I am here to write about women needing to be respected for their ability to play the game and play it well.

So, what is it that I like about the way women play and why do I feel they need the same respect as men players.  Well, other than all of them dress better that the men, and they are not all consumed in how many beers they can drink or how far they can flip a cigar butt, I like their swings.  Yes, I like the way they represent GOLF and he mechanics of golf.   They all seem to set their goal on every swing to finish the seeing no matter if it was a bad swing or not.

And Women display a consistent style and profession image, even in the amateur ranks, that is good for Golf.  And that to me is why I respect what the women are doing for golf.  Bringing back a clean image is what I support, and not the over the top fashions that the young members of the LPGA are being paid to wear.

All of the women professionals I have had the pleasure to play with and watch have a perfect tempo in their swing.  (Now, I know I have lost most non-golfers who are still reading so for you, Tempo is the pace of the swing of the club.)  To me, the tempo has a lot to do with the ability to make solid contact.

Kathy Farrer, a LPGA member and who was part of the founding group of the LPGA, who is a very close friend, told me during one of my rounds of golf with her, she said  “you can get just as much distance out of a slower swing speed if you catch the ball square in the clubface as you would if you had a greater swing speed and caught the ball off center.  The chances of hitting the ‘sweet spot’ of the club face with a higher swing speed is far less than if you just slowed down, and concentrated on hitting the back side of the ball with center of the club face.”  And Kathy not only tells ya, she shows ya…again, gaining my respect (and also another women who can hammer a Titleist Driver…hint, hint..)

My friend Leah Berst, teaching professional here in Dallas for over 20 years and who I have had the privilege of taking a lesson from, told me, she said “the reason women swing the club fluidly and with a seemingly slower tempo is that their flexibility is greater and what seen as a slower tempo is actually a longer swing” .  And she is absolutely correct and since then I look at that particular portion of the swing and the women professionals do produce a larger swing arch when they hit the ball.

These are just a couple of examples from a couple of the ladies who are out there teaching golf and there literally thousands of other women who are all leading the way for more women to get out and learn this wonderful game of a lifetime.

I have a wonderful opportunity of getting to play with my wife and my daughter for the rest of my life.  That is just one perk of learning to play golf as it truly is the only sport that you can play for the rest of your life and getting to play with your wife is special for me and I am sure to others true men like me who support women’s golf.

Professional, supporting women’s golf is among one of the most important things of what I do and whatever door I can help knock down for the women that is in the way of them being respected for their ability to play golf, they can count on me to help.

So, lets show the women the respect they are due, lets get the LPGA Tour back in the limelight of golf so more men and women can watch the women professionals play golf as much as we get to see the men and lets all tee it up and have some fun on the golf course together. 

Let me know how I can 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


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ryder Cup: Nothing To Say, But Well Played Euro.

Mr Business Golf Podcast

I had a few people come up to me on the golf course this afternoon wanting to know if I was going to blog or Podcast something on my thoughts on the Ryder Cup. I have never been asked that before and now that I do speak on golf and business; maybe I should say something, but what?

Now, I have to admit, the first thing I wanted to say Friday afternoon when the USA was down against Euro in the Ryder Cup was, here we go again…the USA players just cannot play with each other to beat a bunch of Europeans who play together all of the time. But, I didn’t say it.

After USA slipped to 10 & 6 after Saturday’s matches I wanted to say, Is Crenshaw on his way over to talk to these guys? man, the rookies are chocking, where is my man Verplank and man, Furyk is looked tired. But I didn’t say that.

And after watching the USA finally tee it up for their strength in the match, the Singles, it was a heart break to see these guys taking every opportunity to get ahead and fall short. My fellow Texans Henry, Verplank and Campbell made us proud, with Verplank keeping the shots in the fairways and nailing the pins to a 4 & 3 win. How about JJ Henry taking all the way to wire, again one of the toughest Irishmen in the world, to halve his match. And Chad (Tex) Campbell, with his trademarked walk down the fairway like he has his spurs on, kept firing at the pen down the stretch when everyone thought he was out of it stirred it up when he place a 240 yd fairway wood to the green on 16 to keep the match going for one more hole. Even Tiger losing his 9 iron in the lake didn’t stop him from dismantling Karlsson’s game down the stretch. I could have said, well we have been here before, but I didn’t.

So what I will say, now that it is all over, is that none of the things I wanted to say really mattered, because the fact is, and will be now for another two years, the USA was out played by 12 great golfers from Europe. And that is all I have to say.

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, September 22, 2006

Business Golf: Customer Service Issues Solved


I have been asked to speak on how golf can be used to improve customer service.  When I sat down this morning to start to write out my notes my thoughts on this subject just spilled out into this blog.

Have you ever wondered what customer service is?  I have never asked myself that questions and to define it brought up a number of questions.  Like. do I even know who my customers are?  Are where they are from?  And the big one, do I know my customers needs?

All of these questions defined what customer service is.  How can you provide service if you do not know who it is you are serving?  Yes, a lot of customer service is provided when someone calls in to discuss a problem they are having with a product or service.  Those are easy, but what about knowing your customers needs, isn’t that real customer service.  Instead of waiting for the customer to call you, why not call the customer to see if there anything they need.

Just think of how many customer service problems that would be solved if you knew your customers and their needs.  You could project how to build something better or to meet all of your customers’ needs instead of just meeting the budget.

If you knew your customers you would know if they liked your product or not.  If you knew your customers you would know if they trust what you are going to provide a quality product.  And if you know your customers at all you would know if they are going to come back to buy from you again.

Sounds like to me, customer service is knowing what your customers’ needs are and truly knowing your customer….

Now I can hear those of you who are saying, ‘come on, there is no way for me to get to know each customers I have’.  Then my questions would be, why not?  

What does it take to call each customer or have someone from your company call a list and just to ask, how are you doing, how are we doing and is there anything you need?  Not to sale them on anything, just ask, how are you doing, and if there is anything you need here is my number.

Now at first this approach is going to increase your calls to your 800# to validate if the call you made to the customer was real, and I really hope that if you are using one of the offshore resources that they don’t get too upset with people calling. Maybe you will find that you don’t need that offshore resource. 

Matter of fact I know you would not need them if you really are concern with knowing what your customers needs are and want to make products to meet those needs.

So it sounds like to me that all customer service issues would be solved if you got to know your customer’s needs.  Simple enough?  Then why not do it?

Let me know how I can 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



Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Making Golf Work in Business: Do's and Don'ts

My days are getting filled with meetings with people wanting to know more about my book and seminars.  And I get a lot of questions from golfers who say they have tried the ‘Golf Thing and could get it to work’ and ‘what do you have to offer that I have not tried?’

This question and others similar to it are fun to me because it provides me an opportunity to find out what others are attempting to do with golf.  And usually after turning the question around and asking ‘what are you doing?’ I find out quickly that the problem with people not understanding how to play Business Golf is greater than I originally thought.

Two years ago when I started investigating how golf is being used by business people I found about an 80% to 90% failure rate among the golfers I interviewed or watched as they attempted to play golf with a client.  Now I have more data and it is up in the mid 90% range on business people making a good day bad by trying to use golf as a sales tool.

Now, I am sure back in the day, say early 50’s, when Golf was coming out of the dark ages with players like Arnold Palmer coming in from a blue collar background, adding business to pleasure was somewhat naval.  Nobody really knew how to use golf in business. 

Back then business people’s thinking  ...’Hey, this guy knows how to play golf, I must be able to trust this guy since golf is a trustworthy sport and this guys knows how to play.  I want to hang around with people who are trustworthy.  I think I will play with this guy to get to know him better.  Who knows, we might even be able to do business together’  Yaw, I know that sounded like a script for a 50’s commercial, but that was the way people who played golf thought when golf ‘hit the streets’.

Today, we have business people who really put themselves under tremendous pressure to perform or make money.  These people are not really concerned about tomorrow.  They usually are people who do not believe in taking a risk or getting to know who is making the money or paying them the money…’just give me your money and keep giving it to me’ pretty well sums up how some businesses are run.

What changed in golf was there now were business people who are use to earning the equivalent of the gross national product of South Africa before breakfast each day and they are now taking the attitude that develops from this success to the golf course.  

Their reasoning?  Well if I make this kind of money I must be doing something right.  If I am doing it right then I must know what I am doing and since I know what I am doing I must be a very important person.  So since I am important I need to be treated as being important in everything I do.  And since making money fast is what I know how to do and is what is making me important I will now use my fast money technique in everything I do.

When one of these monsters gets on the course you can bet he is going to try to close the deal before you putt out on the first hole.  And if that doesn’t work he will keep after you until your day of golf has now turned into a day in Hell…even when what the guy is pitching is something you need.  You choices will become, go ahead and agree to the deal and play the rest of the round of golf or drive back to the parking lot and get in your car and leave. Because generally these very important people never learned what the word ‘NO’ meant and feel nothing to the game of golf that they just destroyed for you and the people on the course that day.

That is what is happening to golf that is causing the questions I am getting asked.   More than likely, the success of one sale these overly-ego’d individuals made on the golf course was enough for an entire nation now to think that method of using golf as a Sales Tool was the only approach to take…WRONG.

I usually find in my questioning of people that they are trying to use golf as a sales tool instead of a business tool.  Once I tell them that I get..HUMMMM! As their reply.

These meetings are getting fun and I am getting a calendar full of speaking engagements…hopefully I can get to more people and help turn the tide on all of these bad rounds of Sales Golf….  

Let me know how I can help.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Dress for Success On The Golf Course

I was encouraged to see that the Golf Channel has taking the time to address the proper dress for golf tournaments.  They asked three tour professionals to provide a quick outline of what they think would be appropriate attire for a Member-Guest tournament at a country club.

All I can say is….It is about time.   The golfers I see today look more like they are going to a Pearl Jam concert than going to play golf.  With the shirt tails out and shorts that are too long or, yes, too short on men… 

I guess there needs to be some standards shown and where else are golfers to get them than seeing what golfers are wearing on TV.  At least that was where I saw what to wear at a golf course when I started playing.  I am not sure where the youngsters of today are looking…it must be an Abercrombie-Finch ad.   

Hopefully the heighten TV exposure to what should be worn will get people to understand that white socks don’t go with Black golf shoes…that was a new one for me…Guess I better get and find me some black socks….hate to be shown the parking lot by the golf fashion police…


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Positive Attitude: Tough to Keep

What a wonderful day. Yes it is 106, but it is a wonderful day anyway.  I know the yard needs mowing and the house needs some maintenance done outside, but I tell ya, it is just one wonderful day.  I realize that I need to run down the guy who just hit a golf ball through our window and I have not forgotten that the wreaker is on its way to pick up you car that is dead in the driveway,. But I tell you, I cannot get over how wonderful this day is.

What a great place to work.  I know that the guy I did a favor for and produced his PowerPoint presentation he made to the Board today was just promoted to President of the company, but this place rocks as a place to work.  Oh all of that talk about out there in the hall about the boss being a hard ass and only letting his ‘fair hairs’ have the opportunity to show the company what they are worth doesn’t even attempt to dim the glow around this place and its abundance of greatness and being a fantastic place to work.  

Is this an outstanding country club, or what?.  Yaw the clubhouse needs to be torn down and brought into the 20th century so the plan to bring it into the 21st century can begin, but I am telling you this is one hell of a country club.  No matter how much the club manager is cutting back on the maintenance budget to keep from loosing is annual budget or how the members will run over anyone in their way to be put on the board of governors so they an prove their worthiness to their corporate bosses this is just one bitching county club.

What fabulous place to eat lunch.  The menus is so full of well balance meals that are priced like five star dinners I can’t tell you how excited I am that I was invited to eat here and then get stood up by the person I was to meet.  And that cellphone call an hour and half after wards was simply the best thing that could have happened.  And that look that waitress gave me when she looked at the door where there were a hundred people waiting and I was holding a table of four…well I think she was trying to hit one me…makes an old fart me just want to keep on going.

Wow, have you looked at what time it is?  I tell you this has been one hell of a productive day.  That computer virus that hit this morning from an email providing me a tip on how I can make my wife happy tonight, well it was the most touching thing anyone could have given me.  And how about those phone calls?  Especially form the guy wanting to know if I was interesting in him making me a few thousand dollars in the next few minutes.  Gosh, I wonder what he would have made for me if I had given him another hour to talk to me. I am sure it would have been in the millions.  To bad my finger slipped when reaching for a pencil to take notes and cut him off.  Oh he will call me back I am sure and then I will make it up to him.

And that email I got from someone I was introduced to that needed my services, man I tell ya, I cannot describe the excitement to hear that he wants to set up a five minute phone call two weeks from now for us to visit. How gracious of him.  I could have probably told him everything I offer in two minutes, but he gave me five.  Just goes to show you that there are people out there who really want to find out how I can help them and build those solid business relationships.

OK, enough of the BS.  How many people have you run into who just drive you crazy with the constant false positive attitude?  If you are like me, just about every other person is falling for the notions that if you are not positive in every aspect of what you say to a person or how you act you will turn them off.  Believe me, and listen close people, trying to turn every negative into a positive or to be positive about something that is down right grossly negative is just as bad as the fake positive attitude.

This reluctance of many of the people who are in the sales groups I work with who are taking the ‘positive mental attitude’ thing too far by trying to find something positive in every negative is starting to ware on peoples’ nerves.  And it is not just me, it is a number of people I happen to be watching recently in restaurants, in meeting rooms, at socials at someone homes and in the cubical empires of corporate America. 

One lady I was over hearing talking to another lady got really upset because the other lady wanted to be ‘Miss Gussy’ about a situation at work that was causing tremendous stress amongst the office.  The debate I, and the rest of the people within 20 yards of this couple, overheard was over need to stay positive or people are going to stay away because they don’t want to be associated with anyone negative.  The rebuttal was to site that it made no difference.   Many people are not going to like anyone who is trying to make light of a serious situation by telling everyone to join them in signing Komb-ba-ya .  I kinda like that so I made a note.

The other day, I was in a meeting with three people and one of the guys came in with this possum eating grin on his face asking ‘how is everyone?  Did everyone have a great lunch?’.  He was 30 minutes late.   We had gathered to talk about him being late on launch of the web-site he was developing for a company that had several thousands of dollars invested in joint advertisement and marketing. He just shucked off the fact that he was risking a considerable profit with explaining that life was too short to worry about something he couldn’t do anything about.   While that was going on the other guy I the room was on the phone talking to his staff and they said they could have it up in ten minutes if they had known anything about it.  His explanation, Oh those silly people, they have known about this for weeks, they just like trying to not make me enjoy life.”  The outcome…well the smiling faced lawyers are probably looking into his business as a lean on the clients investment.

I have a business coach friend I haven’t seen in a while who is still my bright light of hope and guides me to a better understanding of positive attitude through example and not words.  But even she can be over joyous sometime.  But I enjoy mentoring her on having a balance with the positive mental attitude and being aware of how long she has the positive attitude switched on too long in he presentations.

I have many years experience of being the person of reason and rationality on why you need to stay positive.  Along with the years of training and application, I went to all of those seminars people go to that enrich a person’s sole to knowing the power of positive attitude.  I sit there and I listened to the lectures on how the evils of negativity will eat away at a person’s credibility and integrity if is constant.   I had to play that game so I know the damage that having the positive switch on too long can have on a person.  Having it on too long is just as damaging as being negative all of the time

Yes, I have the credentials to say where the limits are with this positive attitude skit people are now convinced they have to be playing 24/7.   I can tell ya, there are a lot of people who are taking it too far.  So far in some cases these people I finally spend time with to get to know and who have that On-Switch broken to On, are on the verge of dementia or not knowing what is real anymore.  It sometimes is sad to see their fanaticism on the need to portray a positive image in order for them to feel accepted.  By who?   Usually the person that is in their lives who mandates they be positive.  Most of the time it is a demitted boss who only wants his/her people on a sale every minute of the day and sometimes it is their insecurity to being portrayed as bitching if they say anything negative.

Well these examples sum up the need to temper the positive mental attitude to only e used when there is really something to be positive about.  Now, to my critiques who think I am part of an attempt to perpetuate the need for a negative attitude and with their assumption of me having a negative attitude will keep be from never succeeding. 

Well, I tell ya, I don’t know what I would do with you guys.  You are absolutely the best when it comes to knowing what would really make my day.  If it wasn’t for you guys providing me with some much needed inspiration I don’t think I could sit in here and type on this article anymore due to the excitement your criticism proves me.  In fact the excitement of what you are providing me being so much full of crap just make me want to …well, delete your comment because I am so excited and positive about what I have to say is an accurate reflection on the wrongs many people are making in business.  That is probably the most positive thing I could do since I really wouldn’t want anyone to see how negative I could be…

Oh, Mr. And Miss False Positive, have a nice day


Monday, September 11, 2006

Rex Dixon: He Has Gone And DId It Again

Rex Dixon over at Technically Speaking has gone and done it again.  Another innovative approach done in a grassroots no frill way that is just blowing me and all our fans away.

For that past week Rex and I have been playing around with an interview Rex wanted to do with me and produce it as a Podcast.  We got it done and here it is.  A full 27 minute interview that provides my viewers with their first, of many, opportunities to hear my voice and more on my point of view on Business Golf and where I am coming from with this approach to doing business with golf.

Here is the link….enjoy   



Friday, September 08, 2006

Driver License Renewal: In Black Ink Only, Please!

Yes, it is time again to go and renew my driver’s license.  The only memory I have about the last time I went to renew my license was the line.  This time: It was the line and the forms….

Oh, it was not the forms I had to fill out in Black Ink Only, it was the book of forms the guy from Russia who was in front of me and the guy with the DUI in front of him and the 90 year old lady with her daughter who did all of the talking in front of him and all of the forms they had to fill out that was what was different this trip.

“Take this form fill it out in black ink and bring it back when you are through.” was he instructions from the clerk.

On the form there were questions like, ‘has anything changed in your health since you last renewal’ that will really slow you down.  Do they want to know about the virus I had last summer that caused me to lose 10 pounds or how about the fever I got two winters ago that kept me in the bed for a week?  There was not enough room to fill all of that out so ‘No’ was the answer.

If you answer ‘Yes’ please go to question five and continue.  Wow, there were only 10 questions so if I answer yes on the first questions I got a bonus and did not having to answer the next four questions.  What an incentive….but I answered NO so I had to answer the next five questions…matter of fact when I got to question five, I had to answer that one too…..NO, No, No,

OK, got that through, now it is my mailing address and driver’s license number. 

And the answer to the next questions is Yes, my residence address is the same as the mailing address.

OK, now they want me to sign it and I ws done…for the forms part.  Looking up, there was another line and most of them were the people from the original line I was in.  This time I was behind the DUI and he was behind the Russia who filled out all of his papers and now had to produce his VISA…”Oh, where is that thing?   OH, yes, I left it in my car”…NEXT.

DUI, guy was up now and his story was he was found not guilty for DUI and was told that he would have his license mailed back to him in ten days and today is the tenth day, he wanted his license.   “Sir, our reports do not show that the judge has released your license and your status is still in code Red”, said the clerk.  She picked up the phone and before she got the phone back on the receiver there was one of the DPS’s finest stand like a Marine Drill Instructor in this guys face asking him to ‘Please, step into his office’.  And the there was a SLAM.

Oh to be at the DPS License Bureau.  You kinda fill safe there…

OH, I am next, ‘Thank You sir, if you will take this form and put it with the forms you filled out and get in the line going into the second door someone will be right with you’, reports the clerk with a smile.   Well, OK then…off to to the third line I have been in.

This line had been there as long as I had been in the two lines I had already been in.  But this time I could see through the door where there was a counter with a number of people taking other peoples fingers prints and photos….OK, we are getting to the end…NOT!

As it is every time I go to the DPS there are some really strange people standing around looking at everyone strangely.  This made looking down at the forms I had in my hand was the safest thing I could do.

Wait a minute, it says on this new form that this form needs to be filled out in Black Ink and presented to the clerk along with my DL and Social Security Card….what tha…?  Not having a pen with me I knew that if I got out of the line to go get a pin I would have to get back into the end of the line.  There now was four people behind me and I was second in line…OH, well, if they want me to fill the form out I will have to do it inside.

NEXT, OK, here I go, I am next..   Looking down the length of the counter I noticed that not all of the positions were filled and the clerk that was at the information desk was now heading for one of the empty positions.  NEXT, she yelled.  And it was show time for me.  I was moving right up to the counter.

‘Your forms sir?’ the clerk reported.  Here is the moment I was waiting for on the blank form and anticipating to hear the clerks say ‘Sir, you will need to fill this form out and then get back in line’.  So I was prepared with my line to explain why.   But instead she said, ‘I am not sure why you got this form.  We don’t do anything with it.’  My reply, ‘Well, you gave it to me’. 

OH, why did I say that? That came out totally wrong.  If there was something that I learned in my younger days when getting pulled over on Friday night by the DPS was routine, was to never say anything but ‘Yes, Sir’ and ‘Yes Madame’.  And the thing to remember is to never, ever, ever get smart with a DPS clerk unless you want your license sent to you in six months with a picture of a gorilla in place of your picture.  You FOOL! …So I grimmest waiting for the dart to my neck.

“OH, yes, you are the one who was behind the DUI we…well; I can tell you what we did.”, she said quickly changing the subject to “read line four in the viewer’

Then came, ‘That will be $24.  Place your left thumb in the slot, now your right thumb in the slot, place your toes on the line and your chin up….BAM!, Thank you sir and have a great day.’

AWHHHHHH another renewal finished… I will report back in six years when I have to do it again to let you know what is new then. Hopefully this clerk isn’t there when I return.


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, September 05, 2006

Desert Golf Vacation: Saved the Best for Last

(Following is the sixth of six parts and final report on golfing in the Palm Springs area in the summer.)


Day Six:

Looking into the mirror as I was getting ready to wrap-up our last round of golf, I noticed I kinda had a Raccoon look with the white around the eyes and a blood red face.  I looked like I had been on a Ski Trip instead of a golf vacation.  OH, well, what was planned for this day made it all worth coming to Palm Springs to play golf in the summer.

We were going to finish our golf vacation where we played some eight years before, The Mission Hills Country Club Dinah Shore Course in Rancho Mirage, CA….our all time favorite course we have played in the Palm Springs area.

For the record, we have played better courses in the Palm Springs area over the years but none had the history and memories we have experienced from actually watching the ladies on the LPGA play the holes we were going to play.  Needless to say it was kinda exciting to step up on the tee and see exactly where the ladies would have teed off for the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

This time we had no hassles getting through the gate at the club.  They were expecting us.  We got to the pro-shop and they were expecting us.  Being a Sunday, there were a number of members milling around getting ready for some private group outing on the Pete Dye Course.  To get out of their way we headed over to the Driving range.

After beating a few balls to death we decided we needed to take a few photos.  Naturally we had to have the shot with Dinah so everyone would know where we were.  Since our last visit the club had a statue of Dinah placed right off the bridge you have to walk across to get to and from the 18th green.  A couple of clicks of the camera and we were called to the tee.

Again, we had the tee to ourselves.  We could not remember most of the holes on the front nine.  What we will remember most of this trip was the heat of this day was just about the same as the entire trip.  The difference was this time each fairway was lined by huge trees providing us shade to get under.

We raced around the front nine pointing out features that we thought we remembered or thought we saw from the television coverage from the late March event.  It was not until we stepped up on the 10th tee the fog of our memories started to clear.  Every hole on the back came back to us and after we clicked each hole off the card we kept thinking of the two finishing holes which was what we were looking for. To my wife and I, this is where Karrie Webb made her charge on the last two rounds of this years Kraft Nabisco Championship. 

Just for the sake of wanting to have something to remember my round there for years to come I played from the KNC Markers they placed on each hole.  It was not much of change since on these two holes they were behind the tees I was playing. 

On 17 I got to see what the ladies were challenged with.  A 171yd shot slightly uphill to a green with trouble all around.   The trees blocked any visuals on how the wind was going to affect the shot.  Since I felt a breeze coming towards me I powered a 4 iron and came up short.  Being way below the green I lobbed the shot up and putted in for a scrambling par.  OK, I got that over with.  But 18 was not going to be a cake-walk.

Taking the tee on 18 the first thing you see…water ALLLLLLLL the way down the left of a ribbon of a fairway.  What a great finishing hole.  The main difference with what I was challenged with that the ladies are not challenged with when they play this hole it the 105 degree temp.  The heat was beating me like a sledgehammer, so there was not going to be any heroics this time…just going for par.

As you look for the target spot on the fairway you are faced with a couple of Palm tress strategically placed where if you take it to the right of the Palm you are stuck behind a row of trees on the right side of the fairway and if you take it to the left your shot is all carry over the lake to a little finger of the fairway.  Being 105, I took it to the right of the Palms.

Now being 245 out and knowing that there was part of the lake in front of the green I didn’t want to spoil my last hole on this great course with something stupid like going for the green.  My lay up was to the 100 yard marker.  Today’s pin placement was front right of center and looked to have a kick to the right.  So I nuked a wedge to the left and sure enough it kicked right and rolled towards the hole…a true made for TV shot…  Staring down the birdie putt I could only think about the new pond that they built right next to the green.  I was wondering if they made it just for the winner to jump in…because as hot as it was if I three putted I was heading that way myself.  But I didn’t and did par the hole leaving me with that memory of paring the last two holes of the Dinah Shore course in the middle of the summer.

Now how do you cap off a great round on a great course…with lunch and a cold beer.  Now there is one thing that the bars in Palm Springs think they have but never deliver and that is a COLD beer.  They claim they have the coldest in Southern California but for this Texan, not even close.  So I have my beer over ice.  You may ask…doesn’t that water the beer down?  My answer…Not as fast as I drink it…

We wrapped up lunch and a cold one and headed back to clean up with our mission being…go back to Pete Carlton’s…of course. 

As we got to Pete’s we noticed that not much had changed since we were there the evening before other than the construction they were working on for the New Jamie Sadock showroom filled the store with the smell of fresh paint. 

We spent about an hour in the shop looking around.  Picked up a few things and then I heard my stomach growling so it was either dinner time or martini time…either way it was time to head out to were we were going to have dinner this evening…The Fisherman’s Market Grill. 

Since the referral we got for this restaurant said it was one of the best places to get REAL GOOD seafood we did not know what exactly we were getting into.  The address put us in the middle of a strip shopping center.  We saw AJ’s (one of the best steakhouses in the valley) but it was not until we went around behind AJ’s did we finally see the place.  A little shop on the corner of the strip center…what tha?

Finding a parking spot was challenging but not as challenging as what we had to deal with when we got inside.  The set up was you got in line to order.  The menu was a huge chalkboard on the wall listing all of the fish hey served leading me to believe that they must of bought everything the fishing boat netted because there were a few fish on the list I had never heard of.  

As we visited with the couple behind us we found that the favorite of the locals there was SandDa’s.  We had heard of them when we were over at Arnie’s earlier and was told that it was his favorite.  Asking what the heck a SandDa was the best description put them in the category of a Catfish…I order the Alaskan Salmon Fish Taco’s…my wife had the SandDa’s…

I was not too surprised to know that there was not a Martini to be had in this place.  This was like the Soup Nazi version of seafood restaurant.  You ordered what you wanted and the selection of the only two sides they had, you were provided a number which indicated what table you were sitting at, whether you wanted to sit there or not and that was that.

We went to our assigned number table and watch the locals all going past the line to grab the table they wanted and guard it like they just bought some land in Oklahoma or something.  

A few minutes later our food came out.  The pace of things in this restaurant was so fast you seem to take the pace of the crowd flowing through as the pace you were to eat.  So I shoved my Fish Taco’s down my neck and chugged my warm (cold by their standards) Corona and we were off… and out in less than 30 minutes. 

What a way to end our trip to Palm Springs.  But it was not on a low note.  The food was good and Fisherman’s Market Grill would be great place for someone who wanted to eat face and go…

But without having a martini it left me with pronouncing Pacifica with the best martinis in Palm Springs….and to proclaim that we did not have enough fun in the sun so we are coming back, but next time when it is cooler.  Now it was time to get back and start the long process of PACKING to go home early the next morning…Seeya…


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, September 04, 2006

Desert Golf Vacation: Skin Like Leather and Hands on Fire

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


Day Five:

This morning when I woke up it was fall out of bed and then cradle to the bottle of Advil.   I think I had just about had all of the sun I wanted.  My hands were so rare from picking up hot golf clubs and rakes in the bunker.  My eyes were so dry that they were just absorbing the Visine as fast as I could drop it in.  And thirsty…Two 16oz bottles while I am shaving and I was still dry.  Talking about cotton mouth…well I think you get the picture…I was dehydrated to the max.

There were a number of things we have learned about playing golf in the desert and the one we started to get in a habit about was putting on our sunglasses before we left the room.  It was kinda like what the welders do just before they would strike an ark…slap the visor down and then BANG…a light brighter than the sun.  The sun in the morning is even brighter in the desert

This morning we had a tee time at the Desert Falls Country Club in Desert Falls and we were in full survivor mode.  We loaded up all of the bottle water we could get into a golf bag, the sun screen in another bag and even extra towels to wet down while we played.

When we got to the Desert Fall Country Club around 8AM the temp was already in the low 90’s.  The forecast for that day was a high of 106…so we were well on our way for a hot round of golf.

We strolled through the Pro-Shop to check in.  They directed us to the driving range and we were off.   No messing around…it was too dam hot.   A few minutes later we heard on the public address system our names and a call to the tee.  It was show time.

Since we had been there we could not really tell what the course looked like. All we could see were roofs houses and townhomes.  Little did we know that what we would see after the first hole was one of the best maintained golf courses we had played during this trip.

From the first tee that was a dogleg left to a green over a pond we started to see that golf course was cut down below the grade of the houses.  This made a spectacular view from the houses of the golf course.

Each tee box was at grade and each shot was to a fairway carved through the residence creating kind of a valley look.  Every once in awhile there would be a bunker on top of a hill just where you were supposes to hit your shot.  The greens were usually sloped back to the fairway making some of the approach shots like throwing a dart…but that all changed when we made the turn.

The back nine was shorter but had more water hazards.  The par threes had huge greens making the view from the tee play with your mind on what club to hit.  The large greens made the hole look like it was much closer and impossible to know the slope since they were so large.  Here was where local knowledge came in handy from the couple who played with us.  They were members of the club and helped us not only know were to hit, but how to survive the heat when you got to the bottom of the fairways.

I noticed during the front nine that our partners would not dive down in their carts to the fairway until they got even with their tee shot.  They would stay up along the edge and then swoop down make their shot and then back up to the edge along the houses.  There was a reason…at the bottom of the fairway the heat was hotter and there was not much air down in the below grade of homes.  Our partners would stay up where there was a breeze.  Local knowledge is good to have on this course.

The finishing hole was spectacular.  A long par five where you had to blast a drive close to three very tall palm trees standing on the corner of the dogleg left.  If you made the shot you had a chance of going for the two tiered green that had a pond in front of it.  If you did not, you would have to lay up for your approach shot.  The pin that day was on the side of the transition from the upper tier and the lower tier.  A putting nightmare…

The Desert Falls Country Club was a middle aged club with nothing real special about the clubhouse.  The membership was friendly and we really enjoyed the company of our new friends Iris and Charlie…where Desert Falls was their second home.

We parted with good byes to our new acquaintances and headed back to the Westin to plot out the plan for our attack on finding the best martini in the Palm Springs area.

After a quick shower and a reload on the Advil we were off to find something to numb the sunburn and sore hands.  As we drove back down to the Canyon Highway (Hwy 111, where everything was) we decided to go back to the Pacifica for happy hour and to see if the $ 7 martini’s really were as good as they were our first night.

Looking at clock it was just 3PM and the happy hour did not start until 4PM.  So we walked around the shopping at the El Passé and went into some of the upscale shops.  Mainly just to get out of the heat….106 degrees.

Ding, 4PM and we were standing outside of Pacifica.  Walking in we thought we would be first, but no, there were people already belly up to the bar.  We took a seat and ordered up a couple of martinis.  Looking at the menu they had a Fish Taco that looked like it would hit the spot, so I ordered one up.

About the time I put my order in along came the owner, Mitch.  He recognized us from when we were there three nights before and shook my hand and really made us feel at home.  Then came the Martinis.  Small but lethal. 

I had mine with Tangerray ‘10’, dirty and straight-up.  My wife, Cosmo, with Grey Goose with a twist of lime.   Perfect, nail hit on the head, in Hog Heaven…and all of those other corny cliché’s.  The fact is both of these $7 martinis hit the 3 on the three olive meter.   Then here come the Fish Taco….what a great dish.  It had grilled Salmon and Tilapia with lettuce and hicjuma in a corn tortilla.  The perfect stack to have with a martini.

Since we did not come for dinner we enjoyed our drinks and left to do the shopping trip to Ladies Golf.  A little ways down the way was an upscale golf store for women.  A very upscale store to say the least.  My wife checked out the sale racks while I checked out the golf shoes.  I really like what they are doing with ladies golf shoes.  They are a lot sportier than men’s shoes and Ladies Golf had shoes you don’t see anywhere…and we have been everywhere.

Naturally my wife picked up a few things and she was ready to go.  She wanted to find a place she had been referred to that had the best deals in the Palm Springs area, Pete Carlton’s…  So we were off.  We drove back down Hwy 111 and walked into Pete’s place wondering what was so special about this joint….and I use joint lightly because it looked like the walls were going to fall in any minute.

But after being in the shop no more than a minute we found out why there were a bunch of people shopping.  Everything we put our hands on had some unbelievable prices.  Foot Joy Dry-Joy All leather Classics   $186 regularly, $325…  Ashworth shorts $19, regularly $49.  and the list went on.  Looking around to find my wife to let her know what I had found she was gone.  I wondered around looking for her when one of the ladies in the ladies department said she was in the fitting room.  A minute later my wife came out with an arm load of clothes. 

We had to cut the shopping short because it was 6PM and they were closing…needless to say, we were coming back before we left the area.

Overall, this had been the best day we had.  Great golf, met some great friends, had the best martini, a new dish to eat and two places to shop for women.  Now it was Marie Callandars time again….I have to have that Banana Cream pit…what, still don’t have it…OK, Coconut Cream again…

A lot more to come on.  Stay tuned for our last golf day in the Palm Springs area.


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, September 02, 2006

Desert Golf Vacation: Bring On the Sunscreen

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


Day four…the muscles are getting sour and the sunburn is getting redder.  

To give you an idea of the heat we were dealing with during this trip, as we stepped out of the hotel room to go to the parking lot, our sunglasses fogged up.  Yep, the morning humidity mixed with 92 degree temps at 7:30AM, hitting the lens of our sunglasses, that had been sitting in the air conditioned room all-night, fogged them like a frosty mug..and provided us with our first of many challenge for this day, which was being able to drive in the desert without sunglasses on.  The day before, we learned not to leave your sunglasses in the car overnight unless you wanted to barbeque the bridge of your nose for breakfast…

Our drive over to Indian Wells Country Club for our fourth round of golf was shorter than we expected.  But this time Indian Wells was expecting us.  No problems with the gate guard or the pro-shop…because there were no other members at the facility.  We had the whole place to our self…well, for a little while anyway.

Having not ever been to Indian Wells CC all I knew about the club was that it was one of the five clubs used for the Bob Hole Desert Classic.  They have two courses there,  the Classic and the Cove course…the Classic was the course we were playing.

When I walked into the massive men’s locker room I quickly was hit with how involved Mr. Hope was at the Indian Wells facility.  Along the 300 yard long hallway that lead to different smaller rooms of lockers were photos from every one of the Bob Hope Desert Classic that was held there. 

It was quiet impressive…too bad they did not provide the lady’s locker room with any of these amenity..  Maybe they will move into the 21st century like the other clubs in the area have done.

Our tee time came as fast as the rise in the temperature outside.  Again, my wife and I had the tee to ourselves.  Having not ever played the course before, the first hole was a little visually challenging.  Even with our defogged sunglasses on we were not able see exactly were to hit the first shot. There was a nice size lake was to the left and a guy standing in the shade in the rough on the right hitting a driver into the driving range.  That was all that outlined the fairway. 

Since I really did not want to cause any bodily injuries to anyone on my first shot I politely pulled my drive into the lake away from the fool on the right.  My wife, determined to not let the guy who was flaying away with a driver about 200 yards to the right off the forward tees, bother her. She hammered a drive that was like the shot the navy would makes over the bow of a ship to gets its attention.  It was not close to the guy, but the concussion from the vortex the ball produced as it shot through the air, along with the very vociferous FORE I yelled, seem to wake the guy up to the fact that he was not the only person I the world that morning.

Now our second shot was just as interesting because now we could NOT see what was between us and the green.  Looking at the yardage book was like looking at a Sponge Bob Square Pants story book.  It told us nothing about the 50 foot deep river bed that was 150 yards across just in front of the green. 

With the shot we need to make to hit the green being over 200 yards we yanked out the fairway metal and experience how playing below sea level affects the distance we can it the ball.   We both watch our ball disappear short of the green. 

The short drive over to the edge of the river revealed what we had to deal with next.  Even though the bottom of the ravine was freshly cut it still did not make the 100 yard shot straight up to the green an easy task.

When we finally got to the first green, the cart path seemed to be taking us back to the clubhouse.  It was one of the many times I said…what tha…?  Man, if there was any place that really needed to offer caddies, Indian Wells is one of them.  At least off the first tee.  The tee box for the second hole was back across the ravine and across a busy residential street where the residences were all trying to go to work…

Starting on the second hole was where we continually found that our Texas 240 to 265 yard drives now only traveling 190 to 200 yards.  This made our second shots on every hole on the front nine massive shots to get close to the green. And the par five became a slug fest of at least four shots just to get to the green. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, there were some very pretty holes that played right up against the mountains.   On one hole we actually attempted to hit a shot over a part of a mountain stuck out into the fairway…of course both of us hit the mountain since we didn’t have a club we could hit long enough and high enough to get it over the dam thing…

By the time we got back to the clubhouse our sunglasses were fogged up again, but this time it was not from jumping from the cool air to the humid was from the heat under our collars when we added up the score on the front nine.

After a short stop for a cool towel, we hit the back nine.  Here was the second time I said… what tha…??  When we arrived at the 10th tee all of the sudden the course was backed up with the members.  You could tell they were members because who else would be out on the golf course driving a cart that looked like a Humvee.

We found out a few days later that the back nine of the Indian Wells Classic course was the side of the course the members played in the summer since it had shorter holes and played quicker.  Since the clubhouse and pro-shop was closed, we were kinda on our own for the back nine.  

There was nothing we could do but to sit back and enjoy the back nine.  And we did... The back nine was much more enjoyable to play.  We were able to hit greens in regulation with the length of the holes on the back.  

About three holes out we found that we again were the only people on the course.  From what I could tell there must have been a shotgun start event on the back nine because the people in front of us, and the rest along the way, all packed up and headed to the clubhouse.  They left so fast that I had to look at the clock to see if it was 4:30PM yet…that is when the Chicken Fried Steak buffet started for senior over 65…( a little local humor).

The best hole was the last…the 18th monster par five, going back to the clubhouse started from a very elevated tee box with the mountain on the right and trees on the left.  I bombed a drive that stayed in the air for so long that we actually were able to power up a digital camera and take a picture of the ball before it hit the fairway…a real pretty hole.  Of course my wife politely out drove me.    

Working our way back up to the elevated green we notice the green was snuggled up against a patio where the members can sit and enjoy drinks from the bar that was about five paces off the green.  I could just imaged Bob Hope sitting out there telling jokes with his friends and watching the players come in.  What a wonderful club to play at…

But our day was not over yet.  By the time we got off the course the temp was way up there.  Getting back to the Westin was a snap and getting in the shower to cool down the sunburn I had was my first priority.  It did not matter how much or often I put sunscreen on, the sun was just baking me…it was definitely Martini time…

Our stop this time was to try out a place in Rancho Mirage, which I have a hell of time pronouncing….. Haleiwa (Hale-a-way-a) Joe’s.   We kept driving by the place which had one of the most interesting building we have every seen.  It looked like it was dug into the side of a mountain and had a Hawaiian theme.

Taking a look at the menu we were somewhat disappointed at it being so ordinary.  So we tried out the martinis. OK, I will say they tried.  I will give them credit for trying, but the wine we had with dinner was much more enjoyable than the martini…I am giving them a 1 on the 3 Olive Scale for their martini…

Now, on the other hand, the Mango salad was absolutely the best salad we had for the entire trip.  That was all we wanted for our dinner that evening since that night we were going to  Marie Callandars’ for the long awaited Banana Cream pie…but since they didn’t have any…I has to settle for second best the,  Coconut Cream Pie…

Oh to be on vacation in Palm Springs where you start our each day with Heat and spraying on sunscreen and end it with Martini’s and Coconut Cream pie….  

There is more to come, we have two more days left of the vacation and the adventure does not let up for a minute…stay tuned.


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  


Unique Businesses Draw More Attention

Recently, I had a very interesting coffee table discussion with a group of my business associates. The discussion surrounded the subject of marketing and some of the techniques being used by large marketing firms to harvest large volumes of business from small businesses.

In specific, the discussion revolved around an incident where one of the large firms had approached one of the members of the group to sell advertising space on an un-launched web-site that was affiliated with a radio station. The grouped quickly agreed that anyone buying advertisement on an un-launched venture would be foolish to do so. They likened this mentality as going along with the rationale many people use when buying franchises from businesses that has not been in business over five years.

The marketer’s claim that advertisers will receive hits from millions of people in their target demographic and their back-up claim that the radio station will pump attention to their ads, both sounded possible. In reality, the claims of millions of unsolicited, unpaid for, hits from actual real live people is something many internet marketing firms are not willing to stand up to and in most cases are not true.

The debate leaned towards the fact that consumers are more interested in businesses that are unique and offer services or products that are of interest or they need. The slick ads produced by the large firms normally what the consumers consider as SPAM. These unique small businesses draw considerable more attention from online viewers than the slick ads for unpopular items. The group concurred that the businesses the consumers are wanted more information on are really not being given credit for their value in market.

The traditional marketing approach to internet marketing used by the large marketing firms loses site of the big picture due generally from the pressure of investors’ demand of an immediate ROI. This need for an instance return and immediate profitability of a web-site venture results in mandating the sell of every inch of space on the computer screen to produce the profit needed to pay for these big box marketing firm’s advice. This is the old way of capitalizing on a product or service.

The interesting part of this discussion was the fact that these web-site marketing groups are now starting to realize they are pitching space to businesses that have more draw to their target demographic than the radio station they are selling space for. In reality, there are some very, very good, well run small businesses consumers are going to instead of to the product and services of company’s who produce the slick ads.

It was obvious amongst this group that the radio based web-sites should be out paying some of these Hot New Businesses to be on their web-site home page since most of these businesses have a bigger draw than the radio station’s format.

The benefit paying advertisers would have on these sites would be the exposure they would get from being on the same page with these highly popular catchy businesses. Up front marquee positioning of these businesses would draw more attention to the paid for advertisement than the radio station. This is espically the case if the station’s format is Talk or Country or other less desirable of the formats used by radio.

This group of business people, who would consider selectively using radio and web-site advertisement for their business, concluded that it would be better for a radio based web-sites, who are dropping a big bundle on marketing personnel to go out and sell the space on yet ANOTHER web-site, to consider setting aside a considerable amount of free space for businesses that will bring in higher volumes of traffic to their site. The logic behind this conclusion was based on the fact that these high traffic businesses would serve as back up to the radio station lack of drawing attention to the paying advertisers.

The benefit for the paying advertiser on these radio based sites would be the solid attention driven to them from these rising stars of business and would provide a back-up to the radio promotions, especially if a radio station starts having slumping ratings or proves to have fewer listeners that they claimed to have.

The group found the approach used by these internet marketing firms being a reverse from traditional marketing of the internet. The convention that every inch of space on a web-site has to produce revenue is dying quickly.

This discussion confirmed that the market is changing with the advent of unique Internet marketing of businesses that the consumers really want information on or buy products from. This group would advise the big box business to dump the MBA’s who are leading them down the path of demise and who are sell their over inflated high cost services.