A Golf Degree


If you enjoy spending your time on the golf course but don't have the swing to go pro, then maybe it's time for another option.

I recently returned from a trip to Scotland where I talked with James Campbell, owner of James Campbell Tourism. He says he has seen an increase in the number of American tourists over the past months for a number of reasons. He says tourists feel safe here, they are welcomed in with open arms and of course there's golf. But in Scotland, the love of the sport goes past the history making courses.  read more »

Giving Back the Green


A golf legend is still swinging for the good of the game.

Ninety year old Sandy Tatum is revered in golf circles for a lifetime dedicated to the betterment of golf. He was the first American Rhodes Scholar to play at Oxford, and then succeeded as a corporate attorney in Silicon Valley. But when not doing business deals he’s been promoting the game he loves, finding time to serve as President of the United States Golf Association and raise money to renovate public courses. Tatum is recovering from an operation on his vocal cords that’s left him with a raspy voice. But he’s back playing three times a week with a stronger appreciation for the game.  read more »

A Different Kind of Swing


The business of sports is taking a big hit in the weak economy, none more so thatn the Ladies Professional Golf Tour.

The LPGA depends on corporate sponsors to fund its tournaments and guarantee attractive purses. But in this economy, corporations are cutting back on sporting events. Only 25 LPGA tournaments are planned this year. Mike Scanlon was an LPGA spokesman at last weekend’s LPGA tournament at Blackhawk Country Club in California. He told me the LPGA’s new CEO Michael Whan is meeting present and potential sponsors individually to keep them in the game.

“It changed the way that we have to do business. We kind of had to go down to bare bones and figure out what is it that we can offer and how can we do it better.”

And their solution was to turn to the talent.  read more »

Filed under:

Picking Up The Club


They say most business deals are closed on a golf course. But what happens when the economy is keeping people off the green.

During a recent visit to the Greenbrier Golf Resort in West Virginia I spent some time with its legendary golf pro emeritus, Tom Watson, the winner of 39 PGA Tour events, and many majors including the US and British Opens. I asked Watson what the weak economy is doing to the business of golf. Watson says with high unemployment and those working not getting raises, golfers don’t have the extra money to tee off. So the industry is in a slump. But Watson is as confident of a turnaround as he is about winning.  read more »

Filed under:

The Game of Life


Corporate sponsored golf tournaments have been criticized by some politicians claiming it's not the proper use of stockholder money in these bad economic times. But defenders say such bogie comments are not up to par.

During a recent LPGA tournament at Blackhawk Country Club in California, I spoke with Acting Commissioner Marsha Evans about corporate sponsorships on the ladies tour. Evans says political pressure to end expensive athletic sponsorships is misguided. Such events bring thousands of jobs to local communitites that would not exist without corporate sponsorships. But as a retired U.S. Navy Admiral, she also wants to show young women what they can achieve with dedication and hard work.  read more »

The First Tee


The pressure to succeed weighs heavily on each generation. But for today's kids gaining the competitive edge can be as easy as stepping up to the first tee.

Joe Louis Barrow Jr. is CEO of The First Tee; a program that brings the sport of golf to children that otherwise might not be exposed to it. The program also teaches the importance of education and good sportsmanship. Started in 1997 the program now boasts 202 chapters in 49 states and has reached 2.9 million young people. But Barrow says the real score is in the results.

"We have had independent studies of parents that said 76% saw an increase level of confidence in their young people because of their involvement in The First Tee. Another 52% saw an increase in their grade level because of The First Tee."  read more »

An Outside Office

Ever fantasize about ditching that nine to five desk job for a professional golf career, sounds great but you'll have to start working even harder.

At the recent Sybase Golf Classic LPGA Pro-Am I has the chance to play with some of the best women golfers in the world. During our rounds, I asked a few of them about their chosen path in life. Pro golfer Paige MacKenzie, who gave up a desk job following an internship says the constant travel can be grueling and there's a lot of personal sacrifice but she loves golf and the career it's given her.

Paula Creamer known as the "pink lady" for always wearing pink while on the course agrees with MacKenzie and has some advice for anyone looking to take up golf as a career.  read more »

Sports is taking a big hit in this bogie economy

brian's big horn par.JPG

Golf courses, country clubs and golf equipment manufacturers all around the country are reporting losses. Not just in golf balls or bets lost by weekend golfers hoping their game shows up just in time to take a buck from their bosses. But in revenue that has suddenly dropped quicker than a handicap after a hole-in-one.

And the follow-through of this economic downturn is spreading throughout the sports world.  read more »

Filed under: