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Author Archives: Nathan Crace, ASGCA

About Nathan Crace, ASGCA

LIPOUTS is the bully pulpit for Nathan Crace, ASGCA--golf course architect, author, dad, husband, host of The Lipouts Podcast, and the Pilot in the movie "Invisible World." Also at www.lipouts.com and on Twitter @lipouts

From the Office of the Tour’s new Slow Play Czar | Feb 20, 2019 Press Briefing

From the Office of the Tour’s new Slow Play Czar | Feb 20, 2019 Press Briefing

The following transcript is from the February 20th, 2019 evening press briefing of the PGA Tour’s newly-appointed Slow Play Czar—a position created earlier this week on Monday morning after the nearly six-hour final round of the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club.  More updates on the newly created Office of the Slow Play Czar will be given to the press as they become available.

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[The new Czar enters the briefing room in the Club de Golf Chapultepec clubhouse in Mexico City, site of the WGC-Mexico Championship, and approaches the microphone as reporters settle into their seats with notebooks and margaritas in hand—it is 6pm local time after all…]

Czar:  Thank you. Thank you, everyone. Please take a seat. Thank you. I appreciate all of you taking the time to be here for the briefing this evening because I know that slow play is a very important topic to a lot of people. A lot of people. It’s huge! And I cannot begin to overstate that fact. Let me start by thanking Commissioner Jay Monahan for creating this position and appointing yours truly to take the reins as we work together in a bipartisan manner to resolve this issue.  I also want to thank the player advisors who are with us this evening: Brooks “Fast Lane” Koepka, Dustin “Speedy” Johnson, and Bill “Hustle” Haas for agreeing to work as co-chairs of my first committee and for being player representatives for implementation of the exciting new policy we will be discussing here this evening.  I should also note that I politely declined Ben Crane’s offer to assist…

I will be presenting the 30,000 ft view of the new policy and how our office will implement and enforce the policy, but we’re not going to drill down too deeply just yet.  We have a framework, but the details are fluid right now and subject to change—not unlike the putter of a player struggling with Strokes Gained Putting.  Now for the reason we are all here: Slow play is killing the game of golf! I know it, you know it, everybody knows it.  If we want to grow the game with juniors and millennials, we must reduce the time it takes to play 18 holes from just above glacial formation to just under four hours.  The PGA Tour has finally realized how bad the problem is (thanks to the outpouring of spite and hatred on Twitter after the Genesis Open and the ATT Pro-Am the week before that) and has appointed me to implement my new system to not only address the issue, but to solve it once and for all.

As you know, the European Tour has shot clocks and they seem to be making an impact.  We thought about doing the same thing using a cooperative crossover with Rolex, but a recent study showed that most young American viewers cannot read an analog clock face…so we nixed that idea.  That said, I don’t want to put a bandage on the gaping, sucking wound that is slow play.  I want to heal that wound forever before we have to amputate.  So instead of addressing the issue player by player with a shot clock, we are going to drill down to the source of the problem.  After that, I hope our peers at the USGA and the state and local golf associations will allow the “trickle down economics” of saving time to work their magic so that amateurs will reap the benefits of following our lead.  If so, soon young players will emulate Rory McIlroy’s pace of play and not—well, some of the slow players—and millennials will find renewed interest in playing actual golf, hopefully catching an Uber to play 18 at their local muni instead of TopGolf or playing disc golf at the park or (Heaven forbid) soccer.

Now for some of the more pertinent details of my solution.  My approach utilizes a new methodology I have invented and patented called the TTI Index (or Time To Impact Index).  We were originally going to go with Seconds To Impact, however polling showed that the acronym STI caused confusion and HIPPA concerns among some of the younger single players…but I digress.  The TTI Index, used in conjunction with my three-prong enforcement approach, will rid the Tour of five and six hour rounds within months, increase the enjoyment of viewers, quiet the trolls on Twitter, and allow Nick Faldo and Jim Nantz more quality time with their families at home instead of staying over on Sunday nights to finish events on Monday mornings.  As an added bonus, the TTI Index is easier to calculate than Strokes Gained Putting (not to mention easier to understand for the viewers at home) and not nearly as confusing as, say, the NFL’s Passer Rating. Any questions so far? Yes. You there in the front row. Question?

Reporter 1:  Who are you and why would the Commissioner appoint you as the Slow Play Czar?

[Awkward pause as reporters shuffle nervously in their seats]

Czar:  Next Question.  Yes, you there in the fourth row.  No, not you. Yes, you. Your question?

Reporter 2:  How is the TTI Index calculated and what is your three prong enforcement approach?

Czar:  Both excellent questions.  The TTI—or Time To Impact—Index measures the amount of time it takes a player to actually play a shot.  No more ridiculous “guidelines” that are never enforced like 50 seconds for the first player, 40 seconds for the second, and so on.  Every player in the field of each event will have an Index and that Index is measured in three separate categories:  Tee Shots, Putts, and Others.  The TTI Index for a tee shot measures the time in seconds between the instant the player places the ball on the tee until impact.  For putting, the TTI measures the time between placing a marked ball back on the green and stroking the putt.  It’s important to note that tap-ins are not used to calculate a player’s TTI because that would artificially skew the Index lower.  The Others category includes approach shots to greens, layups on par-5 holes (though most of these guys don’t do that anymore anyway), and pitches, chips, flops, bunker shots, and the occasional shan—  Sorry. I forgot we’re not supposed to say that word.  Are you with me so far? Yes. You have another question?

Reporter 1, again: Back to you being appointed as Czar…

Czar:  Good! Moving on!  Because the TTI Index is measured in seconds and tenths of a second, the lower a player’s TTI Index, the better—much like the game itself.  The TTI for every shot in a round is measured and divided by the number of strokes played in that round—except for tap-in putts of course.  That average for the round is the player’s TTI Index for that round.  For a tournament, the four round average would be used to calculate the player’s tournament TTI Index.  Don’t worry.  If a player misses the cut, they will still have their two-round TTI Index calculated—we don’t want anyone to miss out on the enforcement phase. That’s when the fun begins.  We have a question right here in the front?

Reporter 2:  You would have to have an army of people to measure the TTI for every player on every shot.  How can the Tour afford that?

Czar:  That was an initial stumbling block. We know the Tour has very limited funds and struggles some weeks to even fuel the corporate jet.  There have even been times when some of the top officials could only fill the tanks on the jet to ¾ or even…well…fly commercially [the crowd of reporters gasps audibly].  That’s why the first prong is technology.  We will use the ShotLink system that’s already in place at every Tour event to measure the TTI of every shot of every player.  If we already have a system so advanced that we can tell you Phil Mickelson is 321.8 yards from the tee and 172.3 yards from the pin on a given hole—in real time with cool video game graphics and tracer technology—surely we can connect a stopwatch to it! We just need to make a few upgrades.  So the infrastructure is already there and my 13-year old nephew and his friends tell me they will have it up and running for testing by next Monday, depending on how far they get in the Fortnite tournament this weekend. Yes, you from ESPN in the back with the very large and quite manly beard. Question?

Reporter 3:  Can you explain how the TTI index is used to implement your three pronged enforcement?

Czar: Ah yes! That’s the genius in all of this.  After technology, the second and third prongs are money and public shaming.  And before you ask about that last one; I know it’s 2019 and we’re all supposed to be “woke” and not shame anyone anymore, but desperate times call for desperate measures! Plus, I think I saw on the news the other day that it’s cool now to shame millionaires…

Bearded Reporter 3:  Again, how does this speed up play?

Czar: Another great question, oh bearded one.  As I said, the second prong is money.  PGA Tour members are essentially contract laborers and like any contractor, the goal is to earn as much money as possible whenever they are working.  As the old adage goes, you have to “make hay while the sun shines!”  Although there hasn’t been much of that the last two weeks.  We will use a player’s TTI Index each week to hit the slowest players where it hurts—in the checkbook!  But we will also reward the fastest players by TTI index where it hurts us—in the checkbook!  It’s a real carrot and stick approach.  If your TTI Index is bad, you get the stick and a fine, if your TTI Index is good, you get a bonus and a carrot-infused smoothie or latte—your choice!  The top 25 and ties in best TTI Index each week will receive cash for their fast play.  The bottom 25 and ties in worst TTI Index each week will pay a fine to the Office of the Slow Play Czar, which we will in turn use to pay the players on the top of the list.  If you’re in the middle, you’re safe—that week.  We thought about letting the bottom 25 make a donation to a charity of their choice, but we don’t want to be handing out tax write-offs. We want the fine to hurt like the sting of an old school knit head cover across their sun-burned faces (below the tan line of their caps of course).

Reporter 1 again, while drinking from a carrot-infused latte:  How much will the fines and bonuses be?

Czar:  We’re still working out the details on that.  We want the fines to be enough to encourage players to not want to be in the worst 25, but not so much that they can’t afford their plane ticket to the next Tour stop.  Maybe we’ll do it based on a percentage of the purse like we calculate winnings.  And as an added incentive not to be on the bottom of the list, that fine must be paid to the Czar before the player will be allowed to play in another Tour event.  There is one caveat: if 92.6% of every round for the field for the week is below 4 hours and 15 minutes, there will be no penalties or public shaming that week! I mean, I’m not an animal…

Reporter 2:  And the public shaming?  How will that work?

Czar:  Most of you have a pretty good handle on that already.  Just ask Matt Kuchar…  But to answer your question, we will be listing the worst 25 players and the best 25 players by their TTI Index and the amounts paid in or received each week on the Tour’s web site and on the new Slow Play Czar app, available in the Apple Store or Google Play for those of you still clinging to your Android devices.  And we’ll encourage player shaming on Twitter and other forms of social media as well as praise for those consistently in the top 25 in TTI Index.  Again, we feel the shaming aspect of enforcement will come naturally to most every fan using social media anyway, as evidenced by tweets the past two weeks.

Reporter 3, wiping carrot-infused smoothie from his whiskers:  How will all of this make a difference?  The system in place already isn’t being enforced.  Why do you think this will be different?

Czar: Man, you ask some great questions!  First, the old system is gone.  Never again will J.B. Holmes be told he’s “on the clock” by a timid Tour official concerned about becoming the focus of his ire and steely gaze.  Besides, that disrupts play for the other players in the group and why should Matt Every have his round bumped or risk being assessed a penalty because he’s paired with Kevin Na?  Instead, the new system will be lurking in the subconscious of every player for every step they take…every move they make…every smile they fake…we’ll be watching. Think about it!  The nagging thought that their TTI Index is quietly being calculated by a bank of IBM laptops in a discrete Tour trailer on the periphery of the clubhouse parking lot will always be in the back of every player’s mind.  They will be forced to train differently and think differently.  They will have to put in time on the range to alter their pre-shot routines and have them finely tuned for competition.  Their trainers, sports psychologists, life coaches, and shamans will have to realign their thinking to always be mindful of improving their TTI Index.  But they can’t take improvement for granted because real time data will not be made available during an event.  They will not be allowed to ask Roger Maltbie, “How’s my TTI looking, Rog?” when he’s walking with them because no one will know until the weekly numbers are calculated, verified by the accounting firm of Dewey, Cheatham & Howe, and made public on the web site after the final round.  Every player on Tour will always be thinking “I wonder what my TTI was today?” and therefore be incentivized to speed up a bit on every shot—just to play it safe.

Reporter 1:  What role do the television networks play in your new program?

Czar:  None really.  This is an in-house Tour program.  We don’t expect the networks to put clocks on the screen—they have enough graphics distracting from the actual golf as it is.  But it’s a different business than it used to be when I was just a young little czar.  Back in the day, they would cut off coverage if the final round ran long on a Sunday to be sure viewers didn’t miss the start of “WKRP in Cincinnati” or “Charlie’s Angels.”  Now when they run long, they just shift coverage over to another network—sometimes even a competing network! We know some of you in the media have become jaded and think that both the Tour and the networks turn a blind eye to slow play because it means more time to sell more commercials, but I stand before you today to say that could not be further from the truth! Now excuse me while we take a 60-second “limited commercial interruption” for a word from our press conference sponsors…

[Press conference pauses for commercials from two sponsors]

Reporter 5:  You know this idea sounds crazy, right?

Czar:  Am I crazy?  Or is this idea SO crazy that it might actually work?  If the existing system isn’t being enforced, then why have it?  If police don’t enforce the speed limit, then everyone will speed.  Wait, bad analogy. This is the opposite of speeding…  Anyway, we have to throw out the old system and think outside the box.  Time is money, money is time, and we have to do something for the future of the game.  To sit idly by and say things like “Well, they play for a lot of money, so it only makes sense to take 7 minutes to line up a putt before they miss it anyway” is placing an individual’s narcissism ahead of the game and the respect for one’s fellow competitors.  [Czar turns to Brooks Koepka and pats him on the back].  Brooks here plays fast and he’s won a time or two recently—including three of the last six majors!  Look folks, something must be done and hand-wringing, complaining, and social media snarking are getting us nowhere.  If more players like Brooks would stand up and say something, it might help; but most players are not comfortable telling other players to speed up.  It’s awkward, it’s not their job to police other players, and it makes for a very uncomfortable ride on the Gulfstream back to Juno Beach.  The TTI Index is the only fair way to address the problem.  The computer has no favorites because the system sees only seconds on a clock.  No one has to slip out onto the course to explain to Jason Day that he needs to speed up or he’ll be put on the clock—because EVERYONE is on the clock on every shot!  Its true genius is in its simplicity!

Reporter 3:  When will this new system be implemented?

Czar:  We hope to test it in New Orleans at the Zurich.  We think players will be more relaxed there because of the team format—and the Hurricanes from Pat O’ Brien’s.  We’ll see how that works and then hopefully do a full roll out after The Masters.

Reporter 4:  Will this apply to The Masters?

Czar:  You’ll have to ask their Czar.  My office only handles sanctioned PGA Tour events and the PGA Championship.  Which reminds me:  you guys on the Web.com and Champions Tour need to step it up too.  We’re coming for you next.  Now I know it’s getting late, or early depending on who you’re going out on the town with tonight…so any more questions?  None?  Good deal.  I have to fly back to Ponte Vedra and clear out my condo before the Realtor comes over to list it and then skedaddle over to Friscoe and move my stuff into Jerry Jones’s guest house.

Reporter 2:  You’re friends with Jerry Jones?

Czar:  No, but his guest house is so big I’m hoping he doesn’t realize I’m there before I find a house.  Thanks again for coming this evening and if you need any more information, you can visit the official Slow Play Czar web site at SlowPlayCzar.com and follow our office Twitter account at @SlowPlayCzar for updates.  And for those of you who went to public school like I did, Czar is spelled C-Z-A-R.  Once again thank you, God bless you, God bless America, and God bless this beautiful game!

[Reporters clamor to their cameras to report the news back to their respective networks as the Czar exists stage left]

*  END OF TRANSCRIPT *

______________________________________________

Note:  Obviously, this is satire and I have not been appointed as the Slow Play Czar for the PGA Tour; but someone should be appointed.  That said, I think some derivation of the plan I have laid out here is an answer for addressing slow play on Tour because the TTI Index system treats every player with 100% equity and is completely meritorious.  Hopefully, someone will have the nerve to try some version of this in the near future–for the sake of the game…

                                                                                                    — Nathan Crace, ASGCA

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Posted by on February 21, 2019 in Golf, Professional Golf

 

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Sam Dunning: A Man So Full of “Content,” It Wouldn’t Fit in One Cover Story

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I wrote the August 2018 cover story entitled “Hunting for Unicorns” for Golf Course Industry Magazine (GCI) about one of the rarest creatures of all: the disappearing Pro/Super.  One of the Pro/Supers still working today who was kind enough to sit down and be interviewed is Sam Dunning.  Sam has been the Golf Professional and the Superintendent at Cleveland (MS) Country Club for more than 4 decades—yes, you read that right: he’s been the Pro/Super for 41 years!  Sam is a colorful and engaging guy (you’d have to be to stay at one club for that long without getting fired) and notes from his interview spanned pages!  There was simply too much information and not enough room in the magazine for all of his insight, humor, and stories from his time at the helm.  So now that the August issue of GCI Magazine is available online and the printed version is headed to mailboxes as we speak, I present to you my unedited notes from the interview with Sam Dunning.

Enjoy the following and let me know what you think on Twitter by tweeting me @lipouts.

All the best,

Nathan


When did you start at Cleveland CC?  July 11, 1977. I was 25 years old and they said here it is. I came for interview in June. They had over seeded greens and they kept them watered for an event in June and they were immaculate.  I took the job and started in July. I got there and the rye grass had died and there was hardly any grass on the Bermuda greens.  Holy cow! That was my first experience with grass. Unfortunately that was the beginning for me to start learning.

Were you hired to be the pro/super from the start or hired as one or the other and then given the other responsibilities?  I was hired as pro/ superintendent. Cleveland CC was a 9 hole course and actually very few golfers. So, at that time of my career, I spent lot more time on course. We had one other employee and quick couplers for water. Heck we were glad just to have water. We built another 9 holes in 1995 and also an automated irrigation system. I used to go out and push buttons and water whether it needed it or not just because I was so happy that it was automated. Whew, what a pretty sight after moving sprinklers and hoses every hour for 20 years! Now 18 holes and 400 members and I’m finding myself spending most of my time in the pro shop, preparing and running events, lessons, teaching juniors, and more of a consultant on the golf course. Of course when something goes wrong on the course, it’s still Sam’s fault [laughs].  Also, through the years I have found out when the course is perfect, it is because of rain and good weather.  When it’s not as good, it is always the fault of Sam and Avent–our head golf course supervisor and the real worker on the course.

Are/were you a member of both the PGA and the GCSAA? I have been a Class A PGA member of the Gulf States Section [PGA Hall of Fame 2008] for past 41 years.  I’m also a member Mississippi Turfgrass Association.

Why do you think there are so few Pro/Supers and why do you think young people are not choosing to go that route? Actually now, the demands and expectations for each position is overwhelming at times. To meet the expectations of most members at most clubs, you have to specialize in only one area. It is not appealing to youngsters because of the training process and education that is involved in each career. I also think the financial return is probably not very attractive as some other jobs they could pursue. Plus working weekends and holidays can turn people away.  I was so fortunate to learn turf, even though I am still learning, growing up at Canton CC in Canton, Mississippi.  I worked for a legend pro/super, Robbie Webb, during summers and weekends while in high school, and college at Mississippi State. I also worked for Mr. Webb as a PGA assistant professional at Canton CC for the last 3 years before coming to Cleveland CC. I worked on the golf course, in the pro shop, and anywhere else he told me to go. I also learned to cook great hamburgers and mix some really strong drinks working in the clubhouse. The hours were extremely long, but as I look back, it was a great learning experience. Plus I always had someone I could call or rely on when things might get a little shaky.

Biggest challenges of being a Pro/Super today?  Time!!!  Finding the 8th day of the week to catch up. But heck I have been trying to catch up for 41 years. It is very easy to cut yourself too thin and find yourself not doing a good job efficiently at either job. Obviously, I have been truly fortunate to have great staff on board. Avent Payne is phenomenal on the golf course. Also, a very supportive manager, Aaron Lasker, and board of directors, and fantastic membership seem to go a long way in making positive things happen. The time away from family life is a huge challenge. Being at work every weekend and on holidays goes unnoticed at work, but your family sure notices you are never home. Every day I go to work feels like my first day on the job 41 years ago. Those 19 greens are like children. I feed and water them and also many times seem to be punishing them with aerification and verticutting. There is always something to do; but you have to realize that doesn’t mean I always do it.

Biggest advantages/rewards of being a Pro/Super today? Biggest advantage is first, both of us seem to get along okay and we work great together when it’s time to coordinate events with course work. [laughs]  We are always trying to peak course for every event. But seriously, to see the golf course look so awesome and peak for an event, knowing how much work Avent Payne, my chief boss man for 24 years, Willie Scott, who has been with us 19 years, and his crew have done to make it happen. Also, for me to get outside on the course and take notes and push water buttons, just to get away sometimes from problems that occur inside. I could never be an inside man permanently. Way too many phone calls and issues to deal with that occur inside.  It’s good to get out on the course and clear my head.

Do you think the golf industry could be helped if there were more Pro/Supers? Definitely depends on the club situation. Possibly a smaller 18 hole club or definitely a nine hole club could benefit tremendously. But it can be overwhelming at a bigger club and would take a very special person to be able to handle both positions. He or she must have their heart in the job to make things look good. It is not a 40 hour a week job and you have to know what’s going on everywhere. I went to a nice club a couple of months ago and asked the professional what kind of greens they had, meaning which variety of bermuda (Champion, TifEagle, etc.)? He said “I think some kind of bermuda, but I’m not sure.”  That really woke me up.

If we could train young people to be Pro/Supers, which would be easier:  turning a young super into a Pro/Super or turning a young pro into a Pro/Super?  Why?

I definitely think turning a pro into a superintendent would be easier route to go. I’m sure there are cases where superintendent could become pro, but I haven’t heard of that situation. Both require extensive training. To become a PGA professional is a 3 ½ to 5 year process. Plus you must pass a playing ability test. I know there a lot of superintendents who can play well, but I don’t think most of them would want to go through the PGA process. Most supers aren’t trained to teach and most don’t really want to tackle that avenue.

On the other hand, most PGA pros have grown up playing quite well, and some have also worked on the course when they were younger.  It is easier to go through playing requirements early in career when you still have time to play, before the time of not having much opportunity to play once you start taking care of a course. But most pros also don’t have the technical training to do what an agronomist does.  That’s a tough question.

But I also absolutely believe a super should play as much as possible. You can tell so much more how a course is playing than just looking at it every day.  Oh and never get cocky about grass when it’s looking good.  It will turn around and bite you when you get a sense of complacency.

Share with me any stories or anecdotes about your time at Cleveland CC that you think the readers would find interesting. 

Oh my, where would I begin after 41 years?

I do remember in 2006 when we renovated our greens with Champion ultra-dwarf bermuda, I had a member after several days when the sprigs looked somewhat brown (but the roots were green), say to me “Any fool can tell these greens are dead already!” Miraculously, those dead sprigs have grown into fabulous greens.

Back in 1984, we were sprigging some tees and fringes and I had members tell me those upside down sprigs will not grow.  Amazing how those fringes and tees turned out so awesome.

I had been here 8 years and I had a ruling during our club championship that was not favorable to one of my favorite members and he said “Don’t you think you been pro here long enough?”  Then he just walked off.

Also, during a club championship, I had a member whose ball was clearly out of bounds between two stakes that were about 10 yards apart. He said he should be in bounds because if I had painted a line between the stakes to define out of bounds, I usually make the line more toward the houses and therefore he would be in bounds. He argued for a year.  An entire year!  Wow!!

A few years ago, I had a member kept telling me the holes weren’t set properly. He was lipping out every putt. I finally told him, do you realize how much you are raising the edges and also damaging the hole every time to get your ball out of the cup with you putter head instead of your hand? He said “Oh no, I don’t damage hole at all. I’m careful and press the hole with my foot when I finish every time.”

I remember one Christmas, I got a call about 9:00 a.m. “Sam, could you come mow the greens? My family can’t celebrate Christmas in Christmas Day this year and a couple of us would like to play.” The greens didn’t get cut that day.

This would be a very typical day:  I will have three members come in who just played together. One will say “These greens are slow as molasses!”  The very next guy will say “These greens are too fast! Did you spray bikini wax on them?”  The next guy in the group says “These are absolutely the best greens I have ever putted in my life! Good as Augusta National!” Guess who won all the money that day?

As I look back to the early and mid-nineties, my job as Pro/Superintendent, Delta State University Head Golf Coach, the building of an additional 9 holes at Cleveland CC, serving as Gulf States Section PGA President, those days were the most fun, educational, and learning experiences of my life.  And most importantly, I married my beautiful wife Mary Louise then too.

Anything to add?

In closing, after all the bumps in the road and headaches for the last 41 years, the biggest surprise of all came August 18, 2017 at the grand opening of our fabulous and amazing new pro shop.  The club president surprised me by announcing they were naming the golf course at Cleveland Country Club the ‘Samuel T Dunning Golf Course.’  I thought they were crazy, but what a great honor!  And I’m not even dead yet!

[END]

Be sure to check out 8 years worth of humorous stories from the world of golf in my archives at www.lipouts.com and buy my book “LIPOUTS: The Best I Could Do From the First Two Years” on sale now!  The eBook is only $1.99 and the paperback is on sale for $8.00, but only through Moonbay Media using this link >> BUY THE BOOK

 

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Upcoming Cover Story for Golf Course Industry Magazine’s August issue

Twitter is easy–sometimes too easy.  The ability to hammer out a few lines of texts on an iPhone and have it posted instantly on one’s timeline is addictive.  Having that seamless connection between one’s sub-conscience and the universe can be a problem for some (especially politicians and celebrities).  For me, it has taken me away from doing the task of actually “writing” and I want to thank Guy Cipriano at GCI for inviting me to write the cover story for the August issue.  I can’t say yet what the topic is, but the working title is “Hunting Unicorns.”  If that doesn’t intrigue you, nothing will.  When the magazine is published and the digital content is pushed out, be sure to check back here for a treat because I will be posting some additional content from the interviews I conducted for the story.  That content could not be included in the story due to space constraints, so be sure to check back in here at blog.lipouts.com

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2018 in Golf

 

Masters 2017 — Place Your (Prop) Bets

I’ll admit I’m not a gambling man. That’s probably a good thing given my luck in general the few times I’ve bought a lottery ticket or I’ve wagered a few dollars with a friend on the outcome of a ballgame. That being said, I just received an unsolicited email from a European betting service with a number of interesting “prop” bets for the 2017 Masters starting this week. Some of them are for things I never would have even thought of, but I thought it would be fun to share. There were too many to fit in a tweet so I’m posting them here for you to enjoy. I’m not providing the name of the service who sent me the email and I am not endorsing these by posting them here; so if you are a gambler, do so at your own risk. Enjoy the Masters!

WILL THE WINNER CRY ON THE 18TH GREEN?

Yes +550

No -1000

WHAT TYPE OF PUTTER WILL THE WINNER BE USING ON THE FINAL GREEN?

Blade -280

Mallet +220

SPONSORED WINNER WILL BE (LOGO MUST APPEAR ON FRONT OF HAT/VISOR)

Titleist +405

Ping +800

Callaway +800

Under Armour +650

Taylormade +325

Cobra/Puma +700

PXG +900

Other +400

WILL THE WINNER BE WEARING A HAT OR VISOR?

Hat -1215

Visor +765

No headwear +4550

WHO WILL THE WINNER HUG FIRST? (EXCLUDING CADDIE)

Child +225

Parent +605

Wife/Girlfriend +165

Wife holding child +305

No hug +825

Will there be a playoff?

Yes +300

No -400

WILL THERE BE A HOLE-IN-ONE?

Yes -140

No +110

TOP SENIOR

Steve Stricker +175

Fred Couples +325

Bernhard Langer +325

Vijay Singh +605

Sandy Lyle +5250

Larry Mize +5250

Jose Maria Olazabal +3250

Mark O’Meara +5250

Ian Woosnam +5250

TOP AMATEUR

Curtis Luck -117

Brad Dalke +714

Scott Gregory +267

Toto Gana +993

Stewart Hagestad +1244

TOP DEBUTANT

Jon Rahm +285

Adam Hadwin +725

Thomas Pieters +1409

Tommy Fleetwood +1415

Alex Noren +1410

Tyrrell Hatton +605

Mackenzie Hughes +3050

Billy Hurley III +4050

Si Woo Kim +3050

William McGirt +2550

Brian Stuard +3050

Daniel Summerhays +2550

Hudson Stafford +1015

Brad Dalke +7250

Curtis Luck +5050

Scott Gregory +6050

Toto Gana +8050

Stewart Hagestad +8050

WILL THE WINNER OF THE PAR 3 CONTEST WIN THE MASTERS?

Yes

+700

No -2800

WINNING SCORE OF THE PAR 3 CONTEST WILL BE?

Over 20.5

(-200)

Under 20.5 (+155)

WILL JACK NICKLAUS’ CEREMONIAL FIRST TEE SHOT SETTLE IN THE FAIRWAY?

Yes -300

No +240

WILL GARY PLAYER’S CEREMONIAL FIRST TEE SHOT SETTLE IN THE FAIRWAY?

Yes -315

No +245  

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2017 in Golf

 

“A Day with Pete Dye” (a reprint from August 2001)

pete-dye

Today is Pete Dye’s 90th birthday!  An iconic figure not only in the world of golf course architecture, but also of the game of golf itself.  Decades ago, he changed the way many thought about the design of golf courses and drove Tour pros insane (something many suspect he quite enjoyed).  But on his birthday today, I’ve been digging around the archives and pulled this story I wrote in my monthly Lipouts column from back in August of 2001.  It was actually written about spending a day with Mr. Dye and Tim Liddy walking the grounds of one of Pete’s first designs–originally named Marsh Island GC in Ocean Springs, MS.

The course had already been closed for years at the time (a victim of Hurricane Georges) and we were working with a developer to try and breathe new life into the old course.  That project never made it out of the planning phase due to regulatory red tape and now the property is dotted with what’s left of homes after Hurricane Katrina.

A few things I remember vividly about that day:  it was Election Day 2000 and it was pouring rain!  Not just raining cats and dogs–absolute deluges as waves of rain came whipping across the property as a cold front dipping down from the upper Midwest came crashing into the warm air of the Gulf of Mexico.  We were ground zero.

The other thing I remember was what Pete remembered.  By that, I mean we walked (on foot) the entire grown-up golf course through waist high grass at times and the edges of marshes and we had to hustle to keep up with Pete as he recalled a hole here or a dogleg there.  It was a great time!

I also thought it timely to re-print this because Pete’s wife Alice (an accomplished architect and player in her own right and also a Past President of the ASGCA) was just announced as teh recipient of the Donald Ross Award at our annual ASGCA meeting in May of 2017.  As you read the following, please remember that it was written by a 29 year-old me (so it may sound a little “fanboy-ish” at times.  But  if you are a fan of golf, you’ll understand and forgive me for that.  With that said, please enjoy from 15 years ago (when he was a spry 74 year-old youngster), my story “A Day With Pete Dye.”

It was cold. And wet. And miserable. And I couldn’t have been happier. As I watched the cold winter rain drizzle over the tidal marsh in the distance, it almost appeared that the tall upright marsh grass (turned a grayish brown from the winter temperatures) was stretching out to meet the rain as it fell from the sky. This was Election Day 2000 and it was also the day I was to meet the man some call a living legend. You could even argue that he has had the most influence on the game of golf of any architect since Robert Trent Jones. I was going to be one of a handful of people spending the day with the Pete Dye regarding an upcoming project on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Pine Island course (shut down since Hurricane Georges in October of 1998) was one of Dye’s first courses. The course — then named Marsh Island — was built in the late 1960’s for less than what we spend nowadays on eighteen green complexes. The owner felt that having Dye involved with the project again would not only bring notoriety to the Ocean Springs course, but that it was also the right thing to do since he was the original architect—good call.
I don’t really know what I had grown so nervous about as we sat waiting on Mr. Dye to arrive—his plane delayed by the bad weather. I have met a number of “famous” people in my life such as actors, comedians, politicians, and professional athletes, but for some
reason I had never been especially impressed by these others—let alone nervous about meeting them. However, meeting Pete Dye was going to be different. This insurance salesman turned golf course architect icon was self-made and time-tested for longer than I had been alive, with hundreds of golf courses around the globe to his credit.
To be honest, my first impression was that he wasn’t as tall as I had envisioned him being from seeing pictures in magazines. In fact, to the untrained eye Dye might even go unnoticed in a large crowd. No flashy clothes or fancy shoes. Maybe I assumed he would take over the room when he walked in like some well-traveled celebrity. That’s not to say he didn’t have the attention of everyone in the room—he did. But it was more like the respect all of the family gives your Grandfather when he prepares to bless the Thanksgiving dinner. Pete Dye is more of the quiet, thinking type than some might assume of a person with his extensive background.
There we were: eight of us trudging through the weather following Mr. Dye across 18 holes of overgrown rain-soaked fairways, along acres of tidal marsh, and through countless puddles of cold water up to our ankles—all on foot because he likes to walk a course. We spent about three hours walking the property and I got the impression that some would have had a difficult time keeping up with the 70+ year-old Dye if he had not kept stopping to admire the views from the course and out across the tidal marsh. Remarkably, he remembered a great deal about the course he had not seen in thirty years, commenting of certain holes that stood out in his mind.
As sunlight began to fade across the bay, about five or so of us decided to get cleaned up and go out for dinner before Mr. Dye had to catch his late flight home that evening. Just as he had been the entire day, Mr. Dye remained conversational and “down to earth” at the restaurant as he shared stories from years of travel and hundreds of projects around the globe. I tried to keep quiet and listen—at first not even mentioning our Indiana connection (both of us having family roots there). I wanted to hear what he had to talk to about and, after all, I can hear myself talk anytime. I learned from my parents at a very early age to take the time to “listen” to the stories of older generations and not just “hear” what they had to say. So, notwithstanding his impressive resume as an architect, I listened. And I learned. And believe me: you cannot imagine how difficult it is to spend a day with
someone like Mr. Dye and force yourself not to “pick his brain” at every chance you get.
As dinner drew to a close and we all said our goodbyes, we snapped a couple of photos and I ran off into the rain-soaked darkness, climbed into my car, and drove two hours home to my family—appreciating even more the value of time well spent with people worth admiring.
Copyright 2001 — Nathan Crace and Lipouts.com
 

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Remembering Bob Cupp: How Our Awkward Conversation 22 Years Ago Inspired My Career and Changed My Life for the Better

bob_cuppPhoto: Golf Channel/Morning Drive

Like many others in the golf industry who have had the chance to get to know him or meet him, I was saddened to hear this past Friday of the passing of Bob Cupp.  In the two days since the news was made public, there has been an outpouring of support from across the golf world with words of praise not only for his body of work, but also for the man himself. You can read many of those with a quick Google search, including a great story by Ron Whitten via Golf Digest’s website.  For my part, I felt compelled to write about my connection to Bob, the unusual way we met, and the strange way he kicked off my career—even though I didn’t tell him about it for 14 years.

To understand, you need to know a little background about how our paths first crossed.  When I was finishing up college at Mississippi State, I worked as an assistant golf professional at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Mississippi.  Bob designed Old Waverly in the late 1980s and it is still one of my favorite courses to play.  During my time at Old Waverly, I became friends with then golf course superintendent Bill Colloredo and told him of my desire since childhood to become a golf course architect after graduating from college.  I showed Bill some of my sketches and drawings and he gave me a copy of Bob’s original hand-drawn green plans for Old Waverly, which I carefully studied in my apartment while I sketched out greens I imagined for a “yet to be determined” golf course that existed only in my mind. I still have Bob’s green plans to this day.

This was in 1994, about the time that Old Waverly was talking with the USGA about hosting a US Women’s Open (which it would eventually host in 1999).  When I arrived at work one day, Bill informed me that Bob was coming to visit and look at adding a few bunkers to the course as part of getting the course ready for the presentation to the USGA.  To my delight, Bill asked if I wanted to tag along and listen.  I jumped at the opportunity.  The day Bob arrived, a group of us piled into multiple golf carts and followed hole by hole in what must have looked like a giant serpent snaking along the cart path.  Bob was in the front cart with owner George Bryan and I was way back in the back.  Each time they would stop, I would jump out and run toward the front, trying to listen and learn by osmosis.

When we were done and had returned to the golf shop, Bill asked if I wanted him to introduce me to Bob. “Of course!” I replied. We stood around waiting for the others to finish speaking with Bob and when the small crowd has thinned, Bill made the introduction.

“Mr. Cupp,” Bill began. “This is Nathan Crace.  He’s a student at Mississippi State and wants to be a golf course architect.”

“Nice to meet you,” Bob replied. “Good luck. It’s a tough business to get into.”

And just like that, it was over.  To this day, I don’t recall saying anything.  I was devastated.  In his defense, I don’t know what I was expecting.  Did I think he would say “Great! Pack your bags and let’s go! You can work for me!” Again, I really didn’t know what I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting what happened.  I tucked my tail between my legs and quietly slunk away to my car for the 25 minute drive back to my apartment in Starkville.

Then something strange happened.  About five minutes after passing through the guardhouse at Old Waverly, I thought “Who in the hell does he think he is? He doesn’t know me! He doesn’t know what I can and can’t do! I’ve wanted to be a golf course architect since I was ten and I’m not going to not do it just because he says so!”  I was, for lack of a better term, fired up.  I was mad and I was going to prove I could do it.  What I didn’t realize that day was that his brutally honest reply was the proverbial “kick in the pants” I needed to prove to myself that I could do it. I would have to work harder than others if I wanted to become a golf course architect, but I would do it.

That same year, I was taking a now-defunct course called “Golf Course Architecture I” and the instructor had convinced Bob to visit the class and judge our projects in conjunction with an upcoming visit he was making to the area.  He sat through the other students’ projects as I waited for my turn.  When it came time for me to present my design, he seemed to remember me.  Rather than asking me the same rudimentary questions he had been asking the others, he immediately engaged me in an in-depth hole-by-hole discussion of the entire course I had laid out.  Everything from the routing, the combination of holes, the angles of doglegs, and the placement of bunkers to the way he liked how I routed holes diagonally across natural features.  I was flabbergasted.  He was fully engaged and spent nearly a half-hour asking me about the smallest details and offering constructive advice for things he would have done differently.  It was as if we were the only two people in the room.  I left that auditorium feeling like I could be a golf course architect after all—all because Bob Cupp acted like he thought I could.

Flash forward to Fall 2008 and I had been designing golf courses for nearly 14 years.  Unlike others who worked under established architects, I spent the first eight years of my career working for a former golf course superintendent whom Bill Colloredo introduced me to in late 1994.  The two of us built an impressive body of work for two guys who had no formal training.  By 2008, I had been on my own for nearly six years and had been blessed to add some nice renovation work to my portfolio when I stumbled across a story about a project Bob was working on.  For some reason, I felt compelled to write to Bob to let him know that his words to me in 1994 were the catalyst for inspiring me to become a golf course architect—not to say “I told you so,” but rather to say “Thank you.” I sent him a letter telling him the story of our meeting at Old Waverly and how his reaction “lit a fire beneath me” to prove him wrong—and that I would always be indebted to him for that.

A week or so later, I received an email back from Bob.  He had been in Argentina working on a project and was just catching up on getting back to people.  To paraphrase, he said that he did indeed remember me from that day at Old Waverly fourteen years earlier as well as the night he came to campus to judge our project designs and that he was encouraged by my reaction to his verbal dose of reality.  He said he only wanted to be truthful with me back then that the golf course design industry is a tough one to break into without getting my hopes up.  He would go on to write a lengthy email explaining that he had been following my career from time to time (even noting my renovation at Ole Miss GC) and offering me sage advice going forward on everything from hiring staff to being a “gentleman competitor.”  He was genuinely happy for me and how I had responded to his challenge.  To this day, I have that email framed in my office and sometimes I read it when I need a dose of inspiration.

From that point, we would correspond off and on via email and the occasional phone call and Bob became the closest thing I had to a “mentor” in the world of golf course architecture.  In 2013, he and Ron Whitten were going to discuss their new book at the Golf Industry Show in San Diego.  On that same day, I was speaking at a panel discussion hosted by the National Golf Course Owners Association across the street and told Bob I would hurry from there and try to get over to hear them speak.  In an email, he encouraged me to come by if I could, if only for a few minutes to say “Hi.” Because of the timing of the two events, I only caught the last 15 minutes of the discussion, but we had an opportunity to speak for a while afterward.  As always, he was very gracious with his time and his words of wisdom and I enjoyed the stories he told in the short time we had that day.

The next year, Bob called to ask if I was interested in joining the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA). Was I?!?!?  That was my goal since I was a boy! He would become my lead sponsor and shepherd my application through the lengthy vetting process.  That’s why I was so excited to get to the 2016 ASGCA Annual Meeting in DC this past April.  We would finally have time to sit and talk in person—both as ASGCA members—and I could ask him questions and share stories and tell him in person how much he meant to me and my career.  The first night, a member of the ASGCA staff took me to the side and told me that Bob was not going to be able to attend and why.  He had just been diagnosed with cancer.  I was speechless.  Since he was my lead sponsor, they wanted me to know, but asked me to keep it to myself.  At the time, they were only telling a handful of people.  That evening, I sent Bob an email to let him know I was thinking about him and that he and his family would be in my prayers.  I closed with a note of encouragement, telling him that I looked forward to catching up at the next annual ASGCA meeting in 2017.  Sadly, we won’t get that chance.

Bob Cupp was many things to many people. Husband, father, grandfather, golf course architect, writer, craftsman, and Renaissance man.  There are many titles that applied to him and we should all strive to be as well-rounded as Bob.  We should all be so lucky to be remembered by all as giving of our time and inspiring to others.  Our industry may have lost a huge talent, but the world lost a great person and many people lost a true friend.  To me, he was the person who was brutally honest with a college kid who had his head in the clouds and forced him to buckle down and work hard to achieve his dreams.  I cannot believe that was 22 years ago, but I am so glad I told him what he did for me.  Too often, we don’t take the time to tell those who inspire us just what they have done for us in our lives.  Bob Cupp challenged me to be the best I could be and to become a golf course architect for one reason—because I loved the game.  For that, I will always be personally indebted to him.  I only wish I had the chance to tell him so in person one last time.

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2016 in Golf, golf course architecture

 

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The Lost Art of the Thank You Note

(Originally published in 2008 & re-published in 2013 and 2016):

Playing in the annual MidSouth Fourball this past weekend at Hattiesburg (Miss) CC–a course I could play everyday–I had an interesting conversation with my playing partner (some ASGCA members may know him as “The Wizard”) regarding the lost art of hand writing thank you notes. Emails and texts are much easier, but there’s a certain feeling you get when someone takes the time to write a hand written thank you note. That reminded me of the following article I wrote in 2008 for an online golf publication based out of South Africa (the name of the publication escapes me now) and later updated in 2013 as part of a promotion for my book “LIPOUTS, The Best I Could Do From the First Two Years.”  

The basis of the story still holds true today, so I thought I’d post it once again here. Let me know if you agree (or if you don’t)…

“The Lost Art of the Thank You Note”

We live in an electronic age and there’s no doubting that fact. If you live within a driver and a 5-iron of any degree of civilization on this planet, chances are that you can find at least one person with a cell phone and a TV. And the more plugged in you become, the more wired you feel. We have become so acclimated to instantaneous information on demand that we become addicted to our gadgets. From those addicted to multitasking by updating their Facebook status as they upload photos to Instagram (while driving to work) to the millions of Tweets flying through the air above your head through the ether as you read this (didn’t think about that did you?), how much is too much and at what cost to normalcy? Imagine what the air above your head would look like if you could actually see the millions of pieces of digital data flying back and forth around you! Okay, so technically you wouldn’t be able to actually read it if you could see it because it’s moving too fast. It would probably appear more like a band of blurry code comprised of 1’s and 0’s circulating in the lower atmosphere than actual words and sentences, but what if you could? Is the constant barrage of digital this-and-that cluttering the world like unseen pollution? Probably not, but is has cluttered our lives.

The act of taking one’s cell phone onto a golf course has actually been banned by some clubs, but in reality there are too many business deals made on golf courses for them to be kept off every course. I must admit that I take mine with me too—but I do turn the ringer off to keep from disturbing other golfers. Why do we feel the need to be connected at all times in all places? You know that feeling you get if you arrive at the office only to realize that your cell phone is at home? That feeling like you are naked in a public place or that some part of you is missing? To quote Any Rooney, “Why is that?” And of all places to NOT have a cell phone, it seems that a few hours enjoying the great outdoors on a golf course would be the ideal place. Unplug and unwind, relax and enjoy.

But are cell phones on golf courses and electronic gizmos intertwined in our everyday lives really the problem or more a symptom of a more problematic epidemic sweeping the civilized world? Remember life without a microwave? How about caller ID? Most of us don’t even remember life without some form of television. My children don’t know what a vinyl record is and they’ve never seen a television with knobs on it! What kinds of stories will I tell them when I’m old? “Why I can remember when I was a little boy we’d have to get up and walk all the way across the living room to change the channel! Two, three feet of snow! We’d have to go all the way around the coffee table and turn the knob. And then your grandmother would yell at me for turning the UHF knob too fast between channels.” And then we got cable television and you no longer had to wait for the news. There was a 24 hour news channel with nothing but news all day long. It didn’t matter that it was the same news (more or less) all day long because it was the news and you could watch whenever you wanted—so long as you knew how to flip the switch and work the buttons on the converter box that had to be patched into the TV and sat on top like some electronic deity doling out entertainment manna to the lowly masses below. But now you can get movies on demand, weather at your finger tips, and more news than you can shake a “botoxed” news anchor at without leaving the comfort of your sofa! It’s all about now, right now, and how much faster can I get it then instead of now. Eventually, you’ll be watching the news BEFORE it happens so you’ll have time to check your email, IM your BFF, update your Twitter timeline, and nuke a meal in the microwave without missing any of the day’s events.

I know in writing this I sound at least 2.5 times my real age. The point is that as I write this, Y2K (that was when a bunch of bad stuff was supposed to happen in the year 2000, for those of you too young to remember) is further and further in the rearview mirror (that was also the name of a song by Pearl Jam about that same time) (oh, and Pearl Jam was a band that was popular in the 1990’s). Yet it feels at times like the things that were invented to bring us closer together are actually isolating us even more. How many times have you been typing on your computer while someone in the same room was talking to you and you responded “Huh?” when they stopped talking? You don’t know what they were saying, but you can sense that they are done because that constant white noise of conversation has ceased. So rather than be rude by not responding at all, a guttural grunt seems to suffice. Granted, men have perfected this into an art form over the past million or so years with the obligatory “Yeah, sure” “She said what?” and “Whatever you think, honey” while we watch football, basketball, or—back in the day—mastodon races. It requires no in depth involvement to keep the conversation going, just a simple amoebic awareness that there is some type of communication going on that we are involved with and it has ceased—and thus we need a cover. And though married men everywhere have effortlessly adapted to this form of spousal communication throughout history handed down like a worn pocket knife from generation to generation, other timeless forms of communication have slipped by the wayside and may never be seen or heard from again. One in particular is the thank you note.

There’s something about a thank you note that makes the recipient feel special. Not a text message, an email, a word-processed note, or even one typed by your secretary that you scribble your name onto…but a REAL thank you note. The fact that someone actually cared enough to take the time to sit down and handwrite a note to you is a feeling that cannot be replicated by any machine. No text message, email, or voice mail can take the place of a thank you note. When was the last time you received a personal thank you note? I received one a while back from a client following the re-opening of the golf course we renovated. I remember thinking “Wow, what a nice gesture.” So much so, that I went out and bought a frame for it and it now sits in my office as a reminder that perhaps personal communication is not dead. For the longest time, I thought I was the only person who still sent handwritten thank you notes—though I admit I too have fallen out of practice lately. When I was younger and working as an assistant golf professional, I worked for a pro who insisted that his staff write a personal thank you note to the professional of any course gracious enough to extend to us the courtesy of playing their course at no charge. I think it was partly because he wanted us to begin networking with other professionals, but also because he did not want his young assistants to feel entitled to a free round—or anything else for that matter—simply because we were in the business. He was keeping us humble…and it worked.  

My staff likes to kid me because I end most conversations with clients and others on the phone with “Thanks” instead of “Good Bye”—even when the conversation does not warrant it. It may seem strange to others and I don’t know how it became such a subconscious habit. I do know that years ago it occurred to me that people don’t say thanks enough and that it would be nice to thank more people, whether they necessarily deserved it or not, and that’s when I started thanking people more. If someone does something for you like holding open a door or picking up change you dropped while waiting in line, they deserve a thank you. But don’t you think more people would be thankful if they heard it more often? Much like holding doors for ladies and removing your hat indoors, the thank you note itself is a holdover from a time when people took the time to ask about other people and made an effort to remember the details. One of my favorite “life” stories (whether it is actually true or not) is of a young Arnold Palmer who had just burst onto the professional scene as a young superstar and one of the elder members of the professional tour had taken him under his wing to show him the ropes. They arrived at the site of a Tour event for a practice round on a Monday and the older pro asked of the golf shop staff what the course record was and who held it. After leaving the clubhouse, Palmer stated he knew why he would ask the course record, but wondered why they should care who holds it? The pro looked at his young protégé and said “If the club pro holds the record, I don’t want to break it in a practice round because this is his club and he works here all year long. We’re only here for a few days and his record means more to him than breaking it means to me.”

My wife insists that we address our family Christmas cards by hand. I used to think it was a waste of time, but as I get older I actually look forward to it each year. So try this exercise and see how you fare. Go to the stationers or an office supply store and buy two or three boxes of Thank You notes with envelopes—they usually come 20 or 25 to a box. See how long it takes you to use them all. Hopefully not very long. And it doesn’t have to be because you closed a big deal or signed a big contract. Thank someone for lunch. That means more than thanking someone for a big contract because it is unexpected. I guarantee that most of the people you send one to will be pleasantly surprised by the fact that you sent a handwritten thank you note the old fashioned way. And let me know your opinion on the lost art of thank you note. But you don’t have to send me a hand-written note, just let me know on Twitter @lipouts. Oh, and one last thing…Thank You!

Copyright 2013 Nathan Crace. Nathan Crace (on Twitter @lipouts) is an award-winning golf course architect and member of the American Society of Golf Course  Architects (ASGCA), a published author, and a member of the Golf Writers Association of America. You can purchase his book “Lipouts, The Best I Could Do From the First Two Years” from Moonbay Media on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and in the iTunes Bookstore. 

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Uncategorized