First Meal of 2014 for “Luck”

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I  wanted to kick off 2014 and try something with some sweet/hot tones, so I put together a sort of Thai inspired peanut/sesame slaw.  Peanut butter, fresh chopped peanuts, cilantro, mint, sesame oil, hot pepper flakes and a little cayenne….it’s been sitting for an hour and so far, tastes proper.  The aroma is fabulous.

I haven’t taken the time to Google, but I know pork, in some form, is considered to be a “good luck” meal to kick off the new year.  I’m not a huge fan of just the pork and sauerkraut, so I decided to make a pork tenderloin marinated in olive oil, basil and garlic and grill it.

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To go along with the pork, I gave a shot at grilling a head of romaine lettuce, drizzled with a little olive oil and dusted with salt and pepper.

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The finished plate turned out to be the grilled romaine heads drizzled with a French vinaigrette and pork tenderloin medallions on top of the Thai inspired slaw.

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The mint and cilantro combined with the cayenne was delicious.  The pork worked well with the slow heat of the salad, and the grilled flavor of the romaine with the fresh dressing was quite good.  Overall, a new bit of flavor experimenting to start the year.  A big thank you to the millions of recipes that float around the internet.  I enjoy the opportunity to mix, match, play with, modify and make all the good things that come to mind.  Like “Chopped”, I most of the time look for one ingredient, then make it up from there.  Tonight was successful.  I’ve had my failures of late (like the chicken dish with friends two weeks ago, sorry about that).

I wish all of you a great 2014.  Here’s to staying curious in our respective kitchens.

It Ain’t Fancy, but It’ll Do for Golf Workouts

The dungeon
The dungeon

Taking several 10 minute walks per day. I find they break the day up, clear out my brain and help me feel better.  Listening to a ton of music during workouts, as well as while working.  I’m finding the music to always be therapeutic.

Then there’s this basement room….at some point I need to actually clean it, but for now it’s a fine little workout area.  photo 1 (1)

Free weights (trust me, I’m not a “lifter”), my Swiss ball, pull up bar, step and tension cables. Everything I need, and I can vary what I want to do. I’m finding I like quick 15 minute bursts. We’ll see how it goes.

This Monday brought a little freedom with finding out I can workout a little harder as I gain back strength and range of motion to my right knee, but here’s so much more I need to do than just focus on the knee.  That’s why I spent time over the weekend getting rid of a bunch of clutter in this room.  I sort of like the mess of it…

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My hips are tight, as are my hamstrings and my glutes are really weak. I’ve got structural issues that create physical issues (like hurting my knees). This in turn leads to golf issues like poor balance and form, leading to compensations. I want to get to the point of limiting those compensations. I know I’ll have a few (don’t we all), but I’d like to get rid of the big ones.  Just the tip of the iceberg so to speak.

I’m fortunate to have a good friend who also happens to be a chiropractor and TPI Level 2 certified to supervise my rehab, so I’ve got that going for me (thanks, Dr. Chow).

Who’s doing what for their golf fitness this spring?

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3 concepts to drive awareness and engagement of your FUN proposition (golf)

Seriously, it was almost 60 degrees last week in Philadelphia. The practice facility at my club was free of snow cover for the first time since early December. I could almost see this picture in my head.Image

We could see the ground and brown grass! Yet this morning, as Spring quickly approaches, we awoke to another dusting of fresh snowfall (could have been more).  Thus is the plight of the PGA Professional dealing with winter.

Today, I bring some late winter inspiration to golf professionals with a solid 50 Inbound Marketing Stats. #34 is a good one.  Credit goes to the Pocket Your Shop Marketing Agency.  What ideas do you agree or disagree with? Get in touch with me to discuss.

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The question becomes: How do you keep your players and members engaged and interested during the off-season? How do you get them excited when we are this close to actually playing? What are you doing to be ready to spring when the doors open? Don’t wait, don’t guess; have a plan.

1) Attraction:  Position 2014 as the year of improvement, the year of the “journey”, the year of more fun. Those three words of “improvement”, “journey” and “fun” mean completely different things to people.
2) Build Trust:  Remember that every one of your players is different and unique. Treat them as such and find out more about them. Find out what they truly want out of the game. This exercise will make you a better coach.
3) Inspire: Keep inviting golfers to improve (in their own way). Use the playbooks and campaign overviews we provide to your advantage to create those moments of engagement.

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BONUS: It’s all about the client/member/golfer, not about the golf course, facility or you. Focus on what your players want and need. How can I help?  Tweet me, leave me a comment.  Visit RetailTribe to learn more.  Make 2014 a record breaking year in both member service and sales.  After all, you control the FUN!

How often do you take time to breathe?

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There are days when energy is flowing from you like a raging spring melt from a glacier down a mountain.  Others feel more like the misty morning of a humid July summer dawn.  In my case today, I sense the stiff, cold, dank, overcast March that is Bucks County, PA.  Nothing sinister happening here, just the seemingly interminable wait for Winter to bow out gracefully and Spring to pop into being, but it never truly happens that way.  Spring has her own schedule.

I wanted to take the time to write just for me today.  My hope is that my thoughts resonate with at least one of you.  I’m taking 20 minutes to dive “inside” and leave my inbound marketing conceptual brain explosion  Image outside, just for a quick break.  Oddly enough I’m thinking of inspiration today, regardless of writing tone.

I find inspiration from numerous things every day.  A picture, a blog post, a hug, a random act of kindness.  Music.  A picture from Italy.  If you haven’t found Jenny Blake on the web, check her site out for inspiration.  I highly recommend Jenny as a new found inspiring source of content and direction.   All I have to do for that to happen is keep my mind open to the possibilities.  Not be afraid to just ponder.  Not be afraid to hit “publish”.  Not to fret over things I can’t control.  Not to care about someone’s business more than they do (ok, projecting a little, time to bring it back to center!).  Listen to Husker Du’s cover of the Byrds’ “Eight Miles High” for fun.

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As I sit at my desk and type in my stream of consciousness way I do, I notice it’s been a while since I turned my brain off.  I’ve been busy, and that’s great, no complaints.  I also know from past experience what happens when I don’t.  Finding the balance between worlds is a challenge, and one that I’m finally aware of.  I just need to remind myself to stay curious and interested.  What does that idea mean to you?

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I’m having my second knee surgery in two months tomorrow morning.  I’m also turning 46 on Friday.  Happy Birthday knee surgery, right?  Mentally, I still feel 23.  It’s my body that isn’t 23 anymore, and I need to commit to a new direction.  I have it in my head, I’ve written it down here, and I’ve hit “publish”.  No excuses now.  Back to decent shape, playing with my family pain free, playing golf pain free, and get back to tournament shape by June or July.  I can sense a “feel healthy, look good” mentality coming back.

Thanks for taking the time to read this today.  I’ll be back on the “work blog” topics soon enough.  Today, this was the self-indulgent guitar solo.

Thank you, Facebook for being a community instead of showing me more cat videos last week

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Getting stuck in unfamiliar cities while traveling is never fun or convenient.  Having a connection somewhere is helpful.  Having a number of friends and family ready to help out with food, shelter and comfort is….heart warming.  Facebook came through the way I idealistically feel like the social network “should” be, a way to connect to people you know, have them share back, and in this case, be in the position to help.  I have family ties in Pittsburgh, PA as well as a number of friends from high school and Penn State.  When I posted that I was probably going to get delayed in Pittsburgh, people started to reply back with offers of a bed, dinner, a place to chill and the “my door is always open” kind of comments.  Ultimately, I did not end up even IN Pittsburgh, but would have been well taken care of nonetheless.

Like thousands of other travelers last week dealing with the nuisance of the nor’easter on East Coast of the US, I took a goofy path home from Dallas on Wednesday into Thursday.  I touched down in Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Cleveland, Harrisburg, drove a rental car to the Philly airport, finally into my own car, drove 90 minutes to my house and ended up stuck in my driveway (below).

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I was trying to get to Pittsburgh from St. Louis (through Cleveland), and my plan was to either rent a car and drive to Philly, take Amtrak to Philly or hop a Greyhound bus.  All three options weren’t ideal, but they were options.  Fortunately, when I stepped off the plane in Cleveland, I saw a flight leaving for Harrisburg in 45 minutes.  I waited in the United line where every traveler was trying to rebook flights to get to Charlotte.  I didn’t need that miracle, just a seat to the PA state capital.  Ended up I didn’t even need luck.  There were 9 seats left on a small twin turbo prop.  Pam from United Customer Service made my day.

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A quick 2 hour drive to the Philly airport to return a rental car from Harrisburg nearly completed a 30 hour travel experience.  Then I drove my own car home, encountering 22″ of snow in Bucks County and my driveway above.  As I turned in, I lost control of the car and got it stuck.  So, I grabbed my bags and walked up the driveway, laughing at the experience and the fact I was home, even if I didn’t get my car in the garage.

To my family and friends in Pittsburgh, I love you and thank you for being kind and generous in your offers and encouragement.  Some people think Facebook is silly or a waste of time.  Sometimes, I don’t disagree.  But this past week, Facebook was the social network I needed to stay connected.

The New Year and Expectations

Rick Williams PGA:

Hi Matt, I love the targets! Aggressive, yet doable. I’m more of a tinkerer when it comes to practice. I can either go for 10 minutes, feel like I accomplished something, OR get caught up in playing games with myself and get lost in the flow of something. I take it as it comes.

But you….I like how you’ve written them down AND PUBLISHED THEM. Can we ask about them from time to time? I think it’s great.

Do you listen to music when you practice?

Originally posted on The Practice Range:

Each year I start off with noble and very aggressive goals, most of which I don’t reach or require far to many resources.  This year is going to be different.  I’m not going to focus on the outcome, I’m going to spend my time on the process and how I am going to get there.

My overall goal is to work on my golf game and lower my average score, but I’ve created multiple small and achievable checkpoints that will help me improve my game.  I typically shoot around 75 but have those rather rough days.  I’m working on a swing change and didn’t play well the other day….not well at all.

Checkpoints for the year

  1. Practice 156 times (45 balls and 10 min of short game)
  2. Workout 260 times (5 days per week)
  3. Play 30 rounds of golf
  4. Compete in 6 tournaments

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My focus is on the process and…

View original 64 more words

Not Ready for Walking 18 Holes Yet…

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One week post-op on the knee.  Keeping up with the more “static” exercises to regain range of motion.  Walking each day, and 1.5 miles on the stationary bike.  Not a furious pace, but it felt good.  Trying to figure out how to pace myself next week at the 2014 PGA Show and not wear myself (or my knee) out.  I see lots of ice each evening in the hotel room.

FootJoy Produces New DNA

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Footjoy has a new pair of shoes…this is the first link and picture I’ve seen of the DNA.  I’m admittedly a FootJoy loyalist, and I’m certainly going to check these out next week at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show.  What golf shoes are you currently wearing and do you think “evolved” technology can help your game, or at least make playing more comfortable?

NBC Tells Me a Story, Makes Me Care About Olympics

olympic rifle Thank you NBC Sports, for making me care (and aware of) the Winter Olympics.  Why do I wonder who will take home the curling gold medal?  Loudmouth pants sponsored curling teams!  I notice them everywhere now on social media channels and i actually stay on the commercials appearing on TV.

Because NBC has infiltrated my thought process with creative storytelling and imagery.  I’ve noticed for the last two weeks, at least once per day, I see a great promo for the luge, or skeleton, or snowboarding….and an athlete from the USA overcoming adversity to make the team and have a chance for gold.

NBC Sports appeals to my emotions and national pride in such a crafty way that they make me actually care for several weeks.  “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” type of caring.  Most of the athletes train in solitude (cross country skiing and rifle competition anyone?).  I can say that’s not on my radar.  But, I’ll watch and see what they do, admire the skill and grace of their sport for a few nights, and then fade away until 2018…

NBC Sports does storytelling well.  I’d love to see their engagement analytics and metric charts for the NBC Olympic team.  Plus, we get Bob Costas for a fortnight and that is always appealing to me.

Have you paid attention to the Olympic hype?  What are you excited to see?

Rick Williams, PGA: Where all kinds of things come together.

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