“I am Quitting Golf”

Rick Williams PGA:

Insight from Jim here that is so true. It’s a topic I’ll surely visit once I start playing again….next year!

Originally posted on The Grateful Golfer:

That is it, I have had enough! I am quitting golf!

How many times have you heard someone walking exasperated off the course, only to mutter those terrible words. They weave a tail of the course being too difficult, they have an injury or that their clubs are not suited for their game. I think that over 35+ years, I have heard almost every reason why someone is quitting golf. And not to my surprise, I see most of them on the links a couple of days later!

Proclaiming that it is time to quit golf is something I have never even considered. I have taken sometime off because of life, but to quit…..never! I guess I have been blessed with the desire to continue playing no matter how frustrated I feel when my game does not meet my expectations!

Having been around golf for so long, I believe that…

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Finished eggplant parm

I (almost) Followed the Entire Recipe for Eggplant Parm

The weather is slowly turning towards Fall.  The trees are starting to show a little dryness, a little color other than deep green, some leaves even tumbling from their limbs and laying softly on the still healthy, growing grass.

With that slight evening chill in the air as the sun settles, my food brain is turning toward more of the “cozy/warm/gooey” thought process.  Chili, stuffed peppers, roasted meat/fowl, etc.  I was thinking of dinner ideas over the weekend when I came across a post on Pinterest from Lick My Spoon for their Ridiculously Good Baked Eggplant Parmesan.  Bonus, it was a recipe for roasted eggplant instead of frying, so I was intrigued.  So intrigued, that I actually followed about 90% of the recipe, which is impressive when it comes to my often unfocused and “imaginative” cooking!

First, I got some Japanese eggplant from the local Produce Junction and sliced it about 1/4″ thick for each piece.  I did NOT salt it/weep it.  I actually never have done that in the few times I’ve worked with eggplant (or aubergine), and have not experienced any bitterness in the finished product.

Eggplants

I love parchment paper, what a great invention.  Brushed the slices with olive oil, little pinch of kosher salt and roasted for about 15 minutes on 350 degrees, then flipped them over.  ADMISSION:  I completely burned the first batch.  Negligence, pure and simple.

Roasted eggplant

Meanwhile, I began my sauce and ricotta mixture.  This is where I went off the recipe reservation a touch.  I bailed on the canned tomatoes and figured “What the heck, I’ve got a bunch of local tomatoes down the road at a farm produce stand, I’ll make my own!”.  Sauces are interesting and I’m not even close to understanding how to make them great, but I like where I’m headed.  The kitchen smelled really good right about now :).  Fresh basil, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, pinch of sugar….what’s not to like?

Simmering sauce

Ricotta is another resource I’m clueless about.  To me, there’s not a lot of taste to it.  What am I missing?  I mixed the ricotta with freshly shaved parm and created my “mix”.

Ricotta mix

Time to start building the dish.  I discovered at this point I hadn’t made nearly enough sauce and contemplated going to my reserve cans (yes, I purchased a few, just in case I screwed up).  Golfers, this is the point of the story where you think about the drive you blew 60 yards right and face a weird yardage to a front hole location over a pond.  The “JICYFU” yardage.

Time to think:  Can I get away with the lack of sauce?

Building the eggplant

 All worked out ok, just a bit of a condensed mountain of eggplant and building materials.  Looks good, time to bake!

Baked pre topping

This is about 25 minutes into the process.  Bubbly, smells awesome.  Time for the “crunch” of the dish.  I love Panko!

Crispy from over

The moment of truth, when you take something out of the saute pan or from the oven, take in the scents of your labor, the look of the dish….and say “dig in”.  The finished product below.  I’m happy to say, I almost made it look as pretty as @lickmyspoon!  Follow them on Twitter, there’s great stuff on their site.

Finished eggplant parm

This is post #199.  Over 600 followers, almost 5000 views.  So I ask you, fellow reader of blogs, what shall I do for post #200?  I’m also almost to the 2 year anniversary of launching this thing.  I thank you for reading and staying curious about the things I encounter and do.  Be well!

RW 2

Thank you Robin Williams, for the energy

RW 2

I was a fairly impressionable, open emotional sponge at 21 when Dead Poets Society came out in 1989.  I’m happy to say that I want to go back and watch that and feel a little of what that film stirred in me way back then, since I’d forgotten how good that movie is.  Silly how reading quotes from the dialogue can stir up feeling.

Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society, bringing the wisdom

The news about Robin Williams’ death yesterday is a bummer, but look at the wealth of art he left behind.  Yes, a documented “troubled mind” behind the mask of comedy and acting, but a seemingly very kind soul.  Life, filled with laughter, filled with pain, filled with joy, filled with confusion and unrest.  Filled with love and whatever makes you feel whatever you call happiness.  Life, quite short, ebbs and flows.  Each day an adventure in navigation of your chosen path.

From Dead Poets Society:

“Robert Frost said, “Two roads diverged in the wood and I, I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.”

“I always thought the idea of education was to learn to think for yourself.”

“Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Don’t be resigned to that. Break out!”

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My Tentative Return to Golf

2 more weeks of wearing the knee brace everywhere I go. Then, hopefully back to “normal” activity, like maybe walking on “un level” surfaces! I have a goal of getting back to doing this:

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Looking forward to starting rehab in earnest. I’ve been very much taking it slow and steady. Walking a mile or so each day, doing my prescribed static exercises. Still have a little pain in the medial/top portion of the knee cap area. Surgeon meeting next week to discuss.

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I’m shooting for a mid-August try at playing a little. Chipping/putting now. Orange Whip Trainer activity to commence soon!

Bob Doria will get a SeeMore customer out of me, SCOR wedges will get some play. Joey Pohle will get a new student, and Dave Seeman will get credit for inspiration :)

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Happy golf everybody!

Why Is Tiger Woods Back?

Rick Williams PGA:

Hey Jim,

I give the. I’d to your thought of Tiger using his status to boost the charity aspect. The TW Foundation is his and he and the entire group take a ton of pride in it. I give him a thumbs up, too.

I think he went into the “playing” portion of the week with curiosity in mind, to see where his game is. He showed flashed of his old self and I’m sure his mind is on the Open. I expect him to challenge for the title over in England.

Originally posted on The Grateful Golfer:

PGA Tour TPC SawgrassLPGAThe World of Golf is funny! Each week we patiently wait for the PGA Tour or LPGA tournaments so we can cheer, discuss, lament, and ponder about who will rise to the top. Last weekend, the US Women’s Open champion, Michelle Wie, walked away finally playing to her potential! Kevin Streelman shot seven birdies in a row to close out as champion of the Traveller’s Championship. I would suggest that Wie was not a surprise, however Streelman came out of left field considering his late charge. As much as these amazing feats were the talk of the town on Sunday, shortly after the media dropped these young up-starts and focused on the return of Tiger Woods.

The media clamored over each other to cover what they thought was the biggest news story of the week! The discussion about his return to prepare for The Open in 21 days is touted as…

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How high do you rate “listening” to clients in terms of importance?

Survey_Awesome

This is an open post to RetailTribe clients (and golf pros on the fence about inbound marketing in general) about the importance of follow up to customers, and how important “listening” is.  “Selling results” is your job in growing the game,  your business, and increasing educational awareness about your products and process.  Let me know what you think, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Below is what I sent to my clients (the golf professionals, GM’s and owners) regarding a recent survey we conducted on behalf of our clients, sent to their golfers and asking questions about custom fitting for irons, brand preference and buying habits.

Client Message:

You now have received the final response data for your Iron Survey. The response from your Members/Golfers has been amazing! It is important to continue the communication with your members to continue to establish your “trusted advisor” role, as well as showing you’re listening.  FOLLOW-UP IS KEY!

WHY this benefits your TEAM

  1. You can directly contact those who answered the survey.  You now know your membership is engaged and they want to know that you are, too!  Show a personal touch and call them, buy them a burger, play some golf with them.  Do something different.  “Wow” them.
  2. You now know what brand of Irons your respondents have in their bag.  Use that as a metric to what is selling. Schedule a demo day or active marketing event around the brand.
  3. You may spot a purchasing trend you did not know was occurring at your club.  Look through more bags at the bag drop.  Ask questions.

WHY following-up matters to your MEMBERS

  1. Your membership base has taken the time to fill out a survey.  Acknowledge their time and effort.  This little effort on your part will make a HUGE impact on their feelings about your and the facility.
  2. There is valuable information in the survey (ex.: what Irons they are using or those whom to expect to be professionally fitted) and your follow-up could mean valuable education and coaching for them that help them play better golf.  Yes, they are helping you help them by giving you answers to your questions.  Weird, huh?  You will grow business and you will grow raving fans.

WHAT THE RESULTS MEAN TO YOU

  1. Your members have expressed their opinions on how they perceive custom fitting.  Use this info to continue to offer the opportunity to improve.  Golfers actively involved in coaching programs are much less likely to leave your facility and tend to play a LOT more golf (and spend more $) with you.
  2. Your members provided valuable information about their equipment, giving you customer intelligence you may not have had previously.  Don’t take this lightly.  Your results are huge.
  3. You have specific information to target marketing and promotional resources towards. Use this as the opportunity to open new doors to active marketing, selling and member satisfaction.
  4. All of these activities add up to:  Attract + Engage + Convert + Retain

This is a simple formula that takes repetition to make successful.  Make it your responsibility to follow-up on this information, or even better, create a “team” approach to increase success and reach out to engage your members! They want to hear from you and the Team!  Their survey responses prove that.

 

 

 

Thanks, Social Media Philanthropy

Inbound for Golf: Don’t tell me what you do, tell me why you do it!

Estimated Reading Time:  1 minute

I’m a huge fan of selling the “why”, and this blog post from Social Media Philanthropy states the concept well.

Nic Drezins is the Director of Junior Golf Development at the Rob Noel Golf Academies in Louisiana.  He is promoting the PGA Junior League and driving business to his junior golf programs.

pga jr league

I asked him, “Why would kids come to see you at the Academy to participate in the PGA Junior League?”.  He stepped up big time in his thinking and laid out the Junior League “value proposition”.  

Instead of telling me what the PGA Junior League is and what he will do, he gave me the following “why” ideas:

  • Have FUN!!!
  • Cool uniforms
  • Meet friends
  • Be part of a team
  • Build confidence
  • Play at 2 of the best courses on the North Shore
  • Great introduction to a lifelong game
  • Scramble format is low pressure competition
  • Get 2 additional hours of practice per week in addition to competitions

Nic said this brainstorming process took him 4 minutes.  I’d say 4 minutes VERY well spent.  Do you think the points above are more inspiring to parents and kids vs. a paragraph telling the “what” PGA Junior League is?

How are you selling the concepts of “why” golfers should participate in your programs this summer?  I love to hear from golf professionals who embrace the concept of focusing on players, improvement and fun.  It’s all about the golfer.  RetailTribe can help you tell your story with the best golf content in the industry.

Drop me a reply or an email to rickwilliams@retailtribe.com and we can talk ideas.