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July 08, 2003
Volume II, Issue 12
Fringe Clippings
Who's your caddy?
The great golf and sports writer John Feinstein (A Good Walk Spoiled) has agreed to a collaborative effort with Tom Watson's caddy, Bruce Edwards. The book is expected to detail the life of a caddy on tour, his long-term relationship with Tom Watson and, of course, his battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Edwards approached Feinstein about the idea at the Masters last April.
In a league of his own
Tiger has now won four or more tournaments in five consecutive seasons. No one — not Jack, not Gene, not Arnold — has ever before accomplished this feat. Mr. Woods alone holds this distinction.
The coefficient times the square root of...
The USGA and the R&A are finally releasing a new standard for golf balls. The first phase of standardization began last year and now is moving to stage two (hence the announcement), with testing procedures designed to include modern clubfaces and faster swing speeds. The ball testing procedures are expected to be adopted no later than June 1, 2004.
Spectator insurance?
Playing in the Smurfit European Open in Ireland last weekend, Darren Clarke had the misfortune of striking a gallery spectator with his golf ball. The spectator turned out to be playing partner Stephen Leaney's wife, Tracey. She suffered a small cut and a bruise. The irony? The last woman struck by an errant Clarke golf ball was Barbara Nicklaus. Jack Nicklaus's wife also checked out OK after that incident in the 1993 British Open.
Paralysis by Analysis
Business golf
In order to play smart business golf, we must first define what business golf is.

Business Golf — The style of playing the game of golf with the express intent of conducting business relations. Typically done with positive implications imminent.

In dissecting the art of business golf it must also be understood that you are not there to play golf. Rather, you are playing golf in lieu of sitting behind a desk or conference table.

Now that we have set the parameters by which business golf is defined, how do we better acclimate ourselves to play business golf? It is easier to enumerate the art of biz golf in nuggets of wisdom rather than editorial! So here are the five golden rules you must apply when involved in business type relations on the course:
  1. Maintain a mental agenda of what you want to accomplish on the golf course and what can or should be left in the office. You know, things like profit margin, inventory control and, of course, fake versus real foliage in the lobby!
  2. Determine beforehand how much time you will dedicate to talking about business, and stick to it. That is, unless good fortune is in the cards and you have made dinner reservations to sign the deal.
  3. Pay close attention to how your playing partner behaves after each particularly good or bad shot. These insights might be windows to their souls.
  4. Never, ever leave your cell phone on during a round! If you must be contacted then carry a pager. A quiet one! And check it often!
  5. Never make golf the first business affair you have with a potential client or associate, unless absolutely necessary. It sets a precedent of expectation and entitlement to such treatment in the future. Kinda like feeding a stray dog!
We encourage all of our business readers to get a better understanding of this concept, as it can greatly enhance how your peers and associates view you. Can you imagine becoming the corporate expert on business golf decorum and conduct? Wow! How much more enjoyable could your job be? Of course — and here is the point — it only works if you accomplish some meaningful business activity. With golf you have a considerable investment in time; it must be productive. You must learn to strike the delicate balance between business and making sure that your business client also had a real golf experience. Balance is the key. Having a game plan is critical. Economy of effort pays dividends. Wow, sounds just like golf.

There are many books and web sites covering this topic more in depth, but honestly if you use both your good senses of business and golf diplomacy, you should do just fine.

Good luck, and always play to win!
Reading the Line
Woozy Woosie!
Ian Woosnam made headlines again. It appears that Ian was enjoying the froth and bubbles with his mates in a pub in a small town in Ireland. Number of drinks — heck it was Ireland, who's counting? We all know what happens when we have a few too many, don't we, fellas? Ah yes, we start doing Tom Jones hip thrusts and singing "Delilah" on Karaoke, right? Well that's apparently what Woosie was up for in his "no pain" condition, and at some point he reportedly felt compelled to slug a fellow patron who was involved in an argument with one of his brethren. So let's get this straight. Wee Welshman slugs man after imitating Tom Jones. Sometimes it just writes itself doesn't it?
Daddy dearest
Most of you have heard about the confrontation between, Danielle Ammaccapane and Michelle Wie. For those that have not, let's quickly recap. Michelle, the 13 year old wunderkind on the ladies' tour, hit out of turn on Friday while playing with Ammaccapane and also walked in her line later that day. Ammaccapane confronted Wie about the incident after the round and gave her a "talking to." B.J. Wie (Michelle's caddy and Father) took exception to this scolding and also accused Ammaccapane of pushing his daughter on the green. Headlines and drama ensued the next day and throughout the weekend.

In an interesting turn of events, however, B.J. Wie was not on the bag for his daughter on Sunday for the final round. Mr. Wie also retracted his accusation, citing a miscommunication between him and his daughter. Whew! Glad I made that a quick recap, aren't you?

The real problem is not whether or not there was shoving or whether Michelle committed infractions in etiquette or even Ammaccapane berating Wie behind closed doors. The real issue is this: why in the world would a father allow more pressure and controversy to swirl around his daughter/protege. She has proven herself worthy as a competitor for sure, but hey, B.J., how about helping to keep the gleam of the spotlight off her psyche until she at least adapts to the adult world into which she has been thrust? She is 13 years old! Too young for such controversy. Too young to replace Annika as the most compelling women's golfer in the world! Too young, Mr. Wie, for what you have brought upon her by accusing a proven tour veteran of mistreating a 13-year-old girl!

Incidentally, although he retracted his accusation, Michelle was quoted as saying that even if Ammaccapane apologized for her comments, she would not accept the apology. Great coaching, Dad! In a week's time you have managed to undo a portion of the solid foundation that you had strived so hard to build. B.J. Wie, you just made Earl Woods look like he had only a casual interest in young Eldrick.
For the record...
If you did not catch any of the Women's U.S. Open this past weekend (and Monday's playoff) you missed the "A" tournament. While Tiger had the Western Open won by Friday afternoon, the intensity and drama of the Women's Open went down to the wire. Annika faltered on the last hole and little-known Angela Stanford dropped a 20-foot birdie putt to put herself into the 3 way playoff. Eventual champion Hilary Lunke had previously never won a tournament. Her career earnings had been less than $100,000.00. Now she has a major trophy and a major bank account. First place got her the surfboard check and $560,000.00!

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