Filed Under: Golf Tips
1. The marketing company becomes part competitor. Which tee times do you think the third party guys will sell first? A marketing company ought to be helping us sell our own inventory and we shouldn’t have to worry about them selling the tee times we gave them…becoming competitors AGAINST US!
2. These websites are “discount sites” that train the customer to wait until the last minute and look for a deal. Why would the customer ever go back to the course’s website or pay rack rate again?
3. The third party companies are using these barter times to create their own massive databases to market to, creating “virtual” golf courses…while using our tee time inventory to do it.
4. They are driving down the price of golf in every market by selling the barter times at obscenely low rates. I believe that customers make a value judgment about their experience at a golf course and once they’ve paid a bargain basement rate, they will have a very hard time ever paying full rate again.
5. Rounds continue to be flat or down, so no new rounds are being created by these guys…just the same number of rounds being moved around according to the lowest price available.
Remember, we don’t want to keep these companies from selling tee times on the internet…quite the opposite. Companies like Golf Now have great technology and can reach a lot of people. The problem is the bartering tee times as payment. As long as it is an option, it threatens our businesses. If every course would demand some type of commission based model, then they are no longer part competitor. If they can really increase our business, then we should be willing to pay for it. We would only be paying for what they actually did for us.
Golf Now has become a behemoth that wields so much influence that even courses that don’t want to use them are afraid to stop…I’ve spoken to dozens that have said those exact words. They have the perfect media outlet to reach golfers everywhere and are creating a database so large that the consumers are really becoming loyal to them instead of the golf facilities.
Finally, this is not just a couple of guys ranting about a non-issue. I’ve been following this for years and just about every industry “expert” and publication that I can think of has either spoken or written about the pitfalls of bartering – Stuart Lindsay, Edgehill Golf…Mike Tinkey, NGCOA…Jim Koppenhaver, Pellucid…Andrew Wood, Legendary Marketing…Harry Ipema, Fore! Reservations…Rob West, 1-2-1 Marketing…I could go on. As long as barter is an option, then I see this as an immediate threat and the PGA would be supporting a model that is bad for our industry.”
These are the exact feelings of many golf industry professionals. Until we as an industry can start to realize that we are the ones responsible for our own courses, many courses will continue to struggle without growing either their core group of golfers or their revenues.
The word “yip” is just like using the word “shank.” Neither of these dirty words should be repeated anywhere near your golf clubs or the golf course! Although the yips will be more common with the putter, they also show up around the greens. If you suffer with the yips, try two new thoughts with the chip shot.
Longer Backswing for More Momentum
Last week I talked about the instinct to “lift” the ball off the grass instead of brushing the grass under the ball. To be more consistent around the greens it’s very important to make solid contact with the ball and the sweet spot on the club face. When a golfer develops the chipping yips, it usually will happen because they take a short backswing. When you take a short backswing it will be hard to gain any momentum with the club head. Instead, try taking a longer backswing and let gravity and the weight of the club do the work. You will be amazed how far the ball will travel without the extra hit or force into impact.
Enjoy the Backswing
The ball is not moving so what is the rush to hit the ball? Watch someone with the chipping yips and you may wonder if this thought is going through their mind. The swing is usually short and quick, the hands flip through impact and the club head either hits the ground early or hits the top of the ball and sores off the other side of the green. Sound familiar? Instead of rushing to hit the ball, enjoy the backswing and transition. Take some extra time to complete the backswing before starting the downswing. The backswing in a chip shot should take the same amount of time to complete as the backswing with a driver. The extra amount of time in the backswing will create better touch and tempo around the greens.
Putting Yips? Try the same technique with the putter. Work on making an equal length putting stroke with the putter head. Swinging the putter head instead of hitting at the ball will create tempo and better feel for distance control.
I just recently obtained my bronze certification at the SeeMore Putting Institue. I would love to help you with your short game. If you need any more help with this or any general part of your game, make an appointment with me and I would be happy to help.
PGA Director of Golf
Old Union Golf Course
Only the first two of these styles will ever hole putts on a regular basis, which is why you’ll see them used by the best players on Tour (Annika Sorenstam uses a “Straight Back and Straight Through” for example, while Tiger prefers the second “inside to inside” or “Arc” stroke.)
So why do they make lots more putts than you? Simple, they have their Putter properly fitted for the task.
A face balance Putter works perfectly for the “Straight back and through” stroke, while the toe balanced Putter is designed to optimize an “Arc” stroke. It all boils down to the laws of physics; and who are we to argue with Newton?
It doesn’t stop there either. Once you’ve identified your putting stroke it’s then time to decide on a design that both suits your eye and your ability. New lightweight materials allow for all manner of strange creations; all of which will provide different feedback, offer more or less MOI (Moment of inertia) on off-center hits and easier alignment. Come see us at Old Union to get your putting stroke straightened out.
Many people see trouble and tee up on the opposite side of the area they are trying to avoid, this can cause big problems, when you tee up on the opposite side, you must aim towards the trouble to try and keep the ball in the fairway. However if you tee up on the same side of the trouble you will be able to hit away from the trouble and still aim for the fairway.
Try this the next time you get to the hole that always “gets you”. If the trouble is on the right, tee it up on the right, if the trouble is on the left, tee it up on the left. Before you hit the shot, picture the ball resting in the fairway where you want the ball to end up, then picture the ball flying through the air going to that location. Then relax and make a comfortable swing, and enjoy the results.
Scott Rich is a Teaching Professional at Old Union Golf Course in Blairsville, GA. If you would like to schedule a tee time or golf lesson, please contact the golf shop at 706-745-4653.
I found this blog entry while browsing around the internet. This just goes to show you how social media is connecting the world today. Thanks to
Macali Communications Blog for the link.
“Jim Grundberg and I met while working at Wilson Golf a number of years ago. Jim has had a very successful career in the golf business working with Odyssey Golf and other leading brands. About five years ago, Jim and Jason Pouliot, who worked with Jim at Odyssey and on related golf brands, bought and began revitalizing the SeeMore Putter Company, a putter brand the late Payne Stewart made famous before his untimely passing in 1999. I have had the pleasure of working with Jim during parts of this revitalization. We all enjoyed pulling an all-nighter promoting Zach Johnson putting very well with his originalSeeMore putter and winning the Masters in 2007 (only a few months after Jim and Jason bought SeeMore). The SeeMore brand has a very strong and emerging presence and success with social media, and I asked Jim to tell me about it in this blog post interview. SeeMore is a great example of an emerging company using social media effectively and powerfully to build its brand and thought leadership in putting.
1.What is SeeMore currently doing in social media strategies?
We have a blog which has provided a powerful, engaging way to communicate relevant and compelling information about the SeeMore brand, products, golf and putting. We would like to develop the blog into being more of a series. Generally, it’s been very helpful and important to be interactive with people on our blog. Our audience tends to be advocates, we call them SeeMoreans. We talk to them, exchange e-mails and notes. The blog provides us with a base of fans to continue to interact. We also see our blog
subscribers on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and Facebook. Social media has allowed us to cultivate customers and new friends. It’s not like years ago where the customers talked about the product and that was about it. Now, they can go full circle and immediately interact and give their two cents worth. Sometimes, they offer their opinions first thing in the morning or sometimes right before bed. And people love to have the chance to communicate directly and almost instantly with the brand and its team. Another amazing idea is that social media is global and the interactions and communications are everywhere.
2. How did you decide to implement those strategies?
I was skeptical early on. And then you witness golfwrx.com, putterzone.com or the hacker’s paradise, mygolfspy.com and equip2golf.com, and you see this incredible pursuit of and passion for inside information. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure how our brand could participate, but we observed, began engaging and have seen the rewards. Golfers do want to associate with our product. They’re highly emotional because we have a highly emotional product that people love. So, it was valuable for SeeMore to jump into the conversations about us and our products. We’re small, more focused on our business platform. All day we think about putters and share information about them, so we are in the best position to talk to customers and friends about putters through social media.
3. What social media strategy has been most effective for you?
That’s a great question. At the end of the day, it’s really been about the relationship building on a regular basis. It’s been fulfilling to see fans have come from Facebook to e-mail to following tweets and then they become a new customer. Social media does get the word out. It really is our primary marketing strategy. We have no TV or print ads to print that drive our business. So through our customer base, email registration and from Google searches, we are building a very positive following in social media.
4. How are you evaluating your strategies?
We are measuring the rate of clicks, time spent on our site and word-of-mouth discussions including SeeMore. Through all of this, we feel that SeeMore is a player’s brand that is considered within many golfers’ purchasing mindset. We are known as being a brand that wants to talk with golfers. Social media has leveled the playing field for putters and all discussions as we have seen in golf and other areas. It’s a great democratic system, and a great idea that gives people and companies of all sizes a chance to compete.
5. What has impressed you about your strategies?
What’s most impressed me and social media as ability to expand your relationships and your awareness on an exponential level? Personally, I have set up my profile on Facebook and LinkedIn, and I’ve been amazed to watch the exponential power of social media. People contacted me when I started on those sites, and then it has just expanded. And right now, I feel I’m just a casual participant. At the same time, I could see the circles of SeeMore and golf business friends and fans expanding dramatically and that growth has been across all different platforms. And I’m so glad we got a chance to get onto social media.
6. What has surprised you about social media?
The transformation in a short period of time from the mainstream media to social media focus has surprised me. For the first time, going into this golf season, I’m not worried that we have don’t have a TV or print campaign. There’s so much going on now and so much resources that we have feeding the social network. Most important, our business has been built on spending time off-line talking to customers one-on-one. That’s our customer service mantra. We continue to think these conversations are the right thing to do. So social media has just propelled this approach. We know that people enjoy talking to us about anything related to putting and we think we’ve transformed that into effective social media marketing.
7. How do you plan to improve these strategies in 2011?
We’re looking to engage more instructors, engage more advocates and influencers into our social communities and help them to promote the SeeMore brand of instruction, customer care and focus on everything new and important in putting.”
To many, putting is not as much fun to practice as hitting full shots, but I have two drills or practice routines that I highly recommend. Both are fantastic for improving your putting and both are games that will keep you interested in your putting practice.
The first is the “Circle of Death” putting drill:
The second drill is a distance drill:
Doing each of these drills 2-3 times a week when you practice will show a dramatic improvement in your putting.
Scott Rich is the Teaching Professional at Old Union Golf Course; located in the North Georgia Mountains, if you would like to schedule a lesson, please contact the golf shop at (706) 745-4653.
A little FYI on the Masters that is being held at Augusta National Golf Club.
Make sure to tune in and see who wins this years Masters and the coveted Green Jacket.
Scott’s first employment in the golf business was at the age of 16 at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Florida. After moving to Union County in 1992 he attended Young Harris College. Scott began working as an Assistant at Brasstown Valley in 2000 and from there moved to Cherokee Town & Country Club in Atlanta.
Scott began in outside operations at Cherokee Town & Country Club and quickly moved into the role of Junior Golf Leader, increasing Junior Participation by fifty percent. Scott led juniors in clinics, individual instruction, and tournaments, including interclub matches.
Scott passion for teaching grew into a greater teaching role within the club, including lessons for adults and clinics for ladies.
Two of Scott’s favorite golf memories are attending the 2000 final round of the Masters and Caddying in the 2009 US Senior Open at Crooked Stick.
Scott’s responsibilities with Old Union Golf Course will involve individual golf instruction, starting a Junior Golf Program, running Junior Golf Clinics, running Ladies Clinics, and help with the overall golf operation.
Make sure to stop by and welcome Scott!