Golf Essentials (for Weekend Warriors)
By Casey Bourque - Former Professional Golfer | VP Marketing WebDesign-Phoenix.com
Here's what I believe about both golf and business:
1. Both are challenging, but don't need to be complicated - simple and consistent is best.
2. Large and infrequent improvement sessions aren't optimal - light, regular refinements are much better.
3. There's no magic pill (sorry) - it's about making the most of the time you're spending.
Golf Essentials (for Weekend Warriors)Oct 15, 2019
Why Processes, Buying Power and Expertise are Just Table Stakes in Golf Management
People buy into franchises for 2 reasons: better processes/buying power and brand.
In golf management, there's really no brand element...everyone is trying to differentiate themselves as experts, with buying power and better processes. That's not why you buy into a franchise.
You buy into a franchise because you want more customers coming in the door. You buy in for Brand.
Processes and buying power are just table stakes, not differentiators.
Add Some "Muscle Confusion" to your Practice
Read an article the other day about learning new skills and practice.
Turns out that repeating exactly the same move over and over is not nearly as effective as mixing things up...but just slightly. When we practice golf, I believe we need to work on technique, but we also need to simulate on-course experiences by hitting variations of each shot.
Do this and I feel it will help you improve fast.
Which Social Platforms are Best for My Business?
In this episode, we're talking about all the ways to win attention online. Every business is different, and you shouldn't feel like you have to win on EVERY platform...only the ones that suit your mission the best.
Not every platform is created equal, and your content needs to be applied contextually for the platform it's on. That means choosing which platforms to engage with carefully.
Practice Blueprint: How to Blend Science and Art on the Driving Range
I promise this practice session will help your game.
Today we're talking about improving our technique, and nailing down our setup and alignment (science)...
Then taking it to real-golf simulations on the practice range (art and creativity).
I believe it's super important to work on both areas. One of my best practice sessions yet.
College Golf - How to Win the Attention of Coaches
I grew up playing golf in Maine...not exactly golf central. I had no idea about how the college recruitment process worked, and how college coaches selected their teams.
Of course, premium showcases like the AJGA are great, but for most kids looking to play team golf, it's not a reality. There are other ways to get on radar screens and win the attention of a college coach who's willing to bet on you.
Here are a few strategies I should have thought about years ago.
Interview with a New York City Graffiti Artist: How he became a Head Golf Pro at Brown Golf
JP Longeuil is the Head Pro at Orange Lake Resort in Orlando...but it hasn't always been white glove country clubs and pure 7-irons knocking down flagsticks for him. He began as an artist...with lofty ambitions of helping people "see things differently".
JP grew up in a really tough neighborhood outside New York City. That "gritty" beginning made him into the person he is today...one of Brown Golf's go-to guys.
Today, we're getting into some of his childhood adventures sneaking into the city, the Graffiti art culture, and connections to his viewpoints on golf.
Practice Blueprint - If your struggling with your driver
I've been struggling with my driver lately...hoping to use some old tricks to iron out the big dog this weekend.
Here are some quick ideas for a short practice session to get your long game back on track.
Develop an Attitude of Gratitude
This episode is all about gratitude and how I believe it's super important in life (and with your golf game)
Building an Audience & Growing Influence - There are only 3 ways to do it
Whether in real life or in the digital world, there are 3 things you absolutely have to do if you want to grow a trusting and appreciative audience.
Here's a 6-min episode on exactly how to do it...
In short, we need to be diverse in our topics/knowledge to be interesting (curation), we need to listen and engage ($1.80 strategy), and we need to bring our own empathetic voice (creation/documentation)...relating to the interests, questions, challenges that our audience faces.
This isn't a quick win...but it's a big win if you can manage.
You Can Practice For Free - Why the Golf Industry Sucks at Welcoming Beginners
Most beginners feel too intimidated to go out to their local public golf course. They feel like they won't belong, or the course doesn't want them out there.
That couldn't be farther from the truth. The industry is struggling to bring people into the game right now...and golf clubs are still really lousy at letting newcomers know that they're welcome.
But there are some ways around it...and you can try golf for free at most public golf courses. Here's how.
If Your Golf Game Sucks Right Now - The Best Advice I've Got to Fix You Fast
Forget about your swing. Don't even think about changing your hip rotation or your club face angle at the top of your swing.
That crap is NOT where you're going wrong. It's much more likely, and much easier to fix the stuff you're doing wrong before you even take the club back.
Focus on your pre-swing stuff forever...more or less...and I promise you'll improve like crazy.
1-Hour Practice Blueprint - Distance Control with your Wedges
If you've only got a small window of practice time this week (hopefully more), here's what I'm suggesting you can work on.
We're going to focus heavily on distance control with your wedges. Knowing your carry yardages for each of your wedges is hugely valuable on the golf course. By the way, there might be a significant difference between your carry yardages and your total yardages (where ball eventually ends up).
Let's try to get a solid ballpark of those carry yardages to arm you with info on the course.
What's My Pre-Shot Routine?
Someone asked me about my pre-shot routine...the steps I take before hitting each shot.
Here's the answer...honestly the secret is all about self awareness. Hope it helps you with your own game.
Marketing 101: Why Selling Golf Memberships is Not Like Selling Candy Bars
Bigger buying decisions follow principles known as a considered buying process. More risk means more consideration, more time, more stress in pulling the trigger.
Quick sells don't work in considered buying situations...here's part of a recent consulting session that outlines how it goes down and what you can do to bring more business in the door.
1-Hour Practice Blueprint - How to Take Your Game from the Bullpen to the Pitchers Mound
For those of us with limited practice time, it's really important to do our best to simulate real golf in practice. Here's my 1-hour blueprint for taking your game from the practice range to the first tee.
How Earning Trust and Attention in One Area Can Cross Pollinate into Other Areas of Biz
Lot of value in this episode. The fact that some people choose to do business with others with common interests is fascinating to me.
It doesn't matter if you're talking about specific things your target audience is looking for, or simply covering subject matter that you're passionate about. Either way, people with shared interests often do business together.
If you're a Boston Red Sox fan...talk about it...and other Red Sox fans will gravitate to you.
Answers to Questions About Building Consistency, Chipping Fixes, Slicing Cures and other stuff
The Facebook community has been really active lately with tons of Q&A. I've answered everyone's questions in the feed, but here's a quick recap of my findings after over 300 comments and conversations.
Hope it helps you break your personal best.
Why Keeping Your "Secret Sauce" Secret is No Longer a Good Strategy
If you're not winning the battle for attention on the front end of the buying process, you're not even hearing from a huge chunk of potential followers and customers.
Here's a quick talk about why you need to be more open about sharing your good stuff....whether for your personal brand or for your business.
Practice Blueprint - A Putting Challenge with a Driver Reward
When you're feeling good about those 3-5 footers, the whole world is a better place.
Today's practice is all about confidence over the "shorties". Hope you can get through the challenge and win yourself a chance to pound some drivers.
Sharing a Couple Takeaways from my Practice Session Today that Proved Helpful
I spent about an hour working on the game this morning.
There were a couple takeaways that I thought I'd share with you. One had to do with short game and chipping from short range. As for full swing, a focus on the "transition" of my golf swing produced some great results immediately.
Baby steps...just a little progress at a time guys!
Biz Take-Away - Producing Content that Doesn't Suck
Based on some recent consulting work, we're discussing some tips for writing better content around your business.
Good news is that there are definitely strategies that will help you out...bad news is that writing good stuff is HARD!
Hope this stuff helps you win some biz.
1-Hour Practice Blueprint - Some Range and Some Short Game
Working on a couple things today, based on the idea that I haven't been out to the course in a few days and want to get back in the swing of things.
1. Full Swing - Work on alignment, trajectory control, and set up a structure where I'm not hitting the same shots repeatedly.
2. Short Game - A little chipping and putting challenge to help with those up-and-downs we should be executing almost every time.
Nothing fancy today, just a little practice with intent.
Lesson from the PGA Tour - Finding the Vulnerabilities in your Game
It's such a fine line on the PGA Tour...just a 1/2 shot per round makes all the difference.
They're really good at dialing in their weaknesses and bringing up the rear so to speak. Same advice goes for the recreational player.
Let's find those quick wins in your game, remove your most fearful shots, and quick "playing around" your weaknesses.
Inside a Marketing Consultation - How to Build a "Content Machine" for Your Brand
This is part of a consulting session I had with a prominent golf management company a few weeks back.
In the 5-hour session, this 8-minute segment brings value by outlining exactly how large companies deploy so much targeted content for building brand and staying top of mind over time. It's also about how smaller companies can leverage limited resources to compete with the big boys.
I share how we do it for our clients, and it begins some extremely fruitful conversation about where they'd like to take their company.
Quick Life Update
Super sorry to have been out of action for past few months. Been in Germany, but playing a ton of golf.
Plan on a lot more podcast action from me moving forward. Excited about my golf game right now, and really want to continue bringing value to all you golfers out there.
Also, career stuff has also gotten really interesting, so I plan on documenting parts of my journey there as well - interviews, ideas, and other stuff around growing a business. I want to do a better job of showcasing our marketing agency clients, and the tactics they're deploying to win business.
No matter what, it's all about doing my best to bring value to you. Reach out with anything you want to talk about.
Golf Kicks Your Ass Sometimes - Discussion on Handling Bad Rounds Optimally
I scored terribly (even embarrassingly) in my most recent golf tournament in Leipzig, Germany. Sure, it was a tough course, really windy...but my results were seriously disappointing.
If you play golf long enough (or even just a couple tournaments), it's going to happen to you. I believe that handling golf's disappointments optimally is a definitive sign of the kind of player you'll become.
Hope this one helps you after your next lousy round...
For Kids with Tour Aspirations - Learn to BOMB Your Driver
I played a Pro Golf Tour event this week in Leipzig, Germany. The course was designed to basically eliminate anyone who couldn't carry the ball 270...cross bunkers and fescue.
If you're looking to play at the highest level, add some focus to your physicality and carry yardage!
Try Squeezing the Hell Out of Your Putter
A conversation with a good buddy struggling with the yips led to some interesting insights that have helped me with all areas of my game. It started with putting stuff, but applies to chipping, pitching, and full swing too.
I feel super solid right now, ball striking is good and I'm making more than my share of putts. Hope this one gives you some food for thought.
How to Maximize Your Marketing Mailing Lists
So many businesses lack patience in their marketing...trashing their mailing lists with sales pitches.
Try proper nurturing where you're delivering more value than you're trying to extract. They'll come around when they're ready.
Golf Instruction is the Ultimate Gateway Drug in a Considered Buying Process
Golf courses need to make it cheaper and easier for newcomers to learn the game and meet people at their golf courses. Here's the best way I've found to do this.
Get Your 1/2 Wedge Shot Yardages ASAP
Learn how far your short shots fly - namely what I call a 9:00 swing for each of your wedges.
Stable Putting - Backswing vs. Follow Through
Most poor putters have short back swings and long follow throughs - try the opposite for more stability through the hitting area.
Balance - How to Get Better at Golf Quicker
Balance is a wonderfully simple swing thought that does the following:
1. Forces you to swing within your control
2. Removes many of the other tips and swing thoughts that you're dealing with
3. Forces you to basically make a reasonably fundamentally sound motion
4. Holding a balanced finish offers a ton of valuable feelings and feedback for you to improve
Give it a try...I promise it'll be refreshingly simple and effective.
Witnessing New Member Excitement and Referral Opportunity First Hand
I was invited to play The Golden Bear Club today here in Orlando. My friend has lived in the community for a couple years now, but only last week decided to join the club.
He was super excited to have us out there for the day...something we know is an incredible opportunity for a golf club to solicit membership referrals.
KPI Golf's 85/50 Program in action...
Your Chance to Talk Golf With Me Directly - Ask Anything You Want
Super simple...I want to talk with you about your golf game. Ask me whatever you want...
I've only got so much time in a day, but book a time slot as they're available at caseybourque.com/chat
I'll have you on the podcast and we'll talk about whatever you want - your questions, challenges, struggles or whatever. I'll do my best to point you in the right direction...and we'll share it with the world.
Looking forward to getting to know you.
Paired Up In Amelia Island - A Fix for Those Short & Right Glancing Blows
Got paired up with a great group of people randomly out in Amelia Island. I keep telling myself to do that more often...so much fun to go out and jump in with groups of people you don't know. Almost always works our wonderfully.
In the process, I noticed a tendency that I see all too often. Those glancing golf shots that fade to the right and come up short of the target. So many people have that going on, and the fix is often a lot simpler than they think.
Hopefully helped out my playing partners a little bit, and made their honeymoon just a half percent better!
Why Gary Vee's Killer Advice Doesn't Translate to Golf This Time
Gary Vaynerchuk has the record in my personal book for the highest ratio of total words spoken to me - words I disagreed with. About a million to zero.
His 79-21 rule is spectacular for business, but turns out it's not such a good strategy for golf.
If you don't listen to Gary, go check out his stuff by the way.
The Challenges of Scaling and Hiring for my Small Business
Finally found someone that I'm bringing on to begin helping us scale up our Web Design Phoenixmarketing agency.
Hiring as a small business owner is not without its set of challenges. How do you take time out of an already full day to train someone to know what you know? How do you get to the point of entrusting them with executing on things only you have done previously?
It'll always be a work in progress. I'm taking the mindset that I'm going to execute quickly and refine as I go...rather than delaying, thinking, calculating on something so riddle with uncertainty.
Hard work and trust in good people is sure to pay off in my opinion...so that's what I'm going with.
Interview with a Golf Course GM: How Access to Real-Time Performance Data Brings Huge Impact to Operations
In this episode, I'm interviewing David Mayo, the General Manager at Blue Sky Golf Club in Jacksonville, Florida. The club is managed by Hampton Golf, a company that KPI Golf is closely collaborating with on data-driven solutions.
Hampton Connect is a brand new proprietary software just entering the golf facility marketplace. It allows club managers to access real-time performance data at their facilities, and the effects are incredible. David shares how his team is leveraging data and collaboration with Hampton HQ to refine operations, contain costs, drive additional revenues, and streamline staffing levels like never before. He also shares the tremendous cultural shifts that have occurred at the facility with added transparency and understanding at all levels of the operation.
Hampton Connect software is offered in conjunction with KPI Consult - a package offering recurring lightweight and affordable insights and deployable tactics to reach performance benchmarks at golf facilities. KPI Consult's "Guide Posts" bring aggregated data from thousands of facilities to help clubs understand where certain spending and performance ratios need to be in order for the club to be successful.
For more info on KPI Consult, visit KPIGolf.com
New Clubs, New Season...How to Get UP to Speed
Whether you're testing out new clubs (like I am) or coming out of winter hibernation, it's all about self awareness. You need to learn your own limitations and capabilities.
One approach I've always taken in both respects is to try to temper expectations. It's easy to assume that your new clubs are going to be the miracle pill that solves all your problems. Hint: they won't
If you've been hitting balls indoors all winter long, it's similarly easy to assume that you'll come out of the gates with guns blazing and playing your best golf. Hint: you won't.
Best to taper your expectations, deploy patience, and bring a longer term set of goals to the equation.
How do Your Stats Compare with the PGA Tour?
Had a great time this weekend playing golf with some old college buddies. We had an intense competition called the Floyd Manny Invitational at the Publix Par 3 Course in Lakeland, Florida. 36 Holes of pure pressure.
It's actually the 16th event we've had dating back to 1997...great times.
In looking over the scorecards (by the way, we were victorious), I wanted to compare my scoring with the Tour. Turns out it wasn't too bad...although DEFINITELY not an apples to apples comparison. Nevertheless, I believe that an occasional statistical comparison is a good thing to do.
So, here's a link to the PGA Tour stats page for "Birdies or Better < 125 Yards"
Distance Wedges - You Know, Those Shots You HATE
So many players struggle with those 40, 50, 60-yards wedge shots because they don't have a real plan to pull them off. Usually it's a matter of guessing the yards, grabbing a lofted club, maybe opening the face a bit, and praying for some good luck. You can do a lot better.
This episode is about giving you something to work on in your practice. Practice with purpose right? Well, I know this methodology REALLY helped my game, and I know for a fact that most Tour players do something similar - including Nick Faldo.
Start simple and build it up. This part of the game is where you can really gain a ton of ground in terms of scoring.
Scramble Advice for Beginners - How to Deliver Value to Your Team
Charity and company golf tournaments are a blast. They can also be pretty daunting experiences for novice golfers. Maybe you're playing with the boss, or some prospective clients and you don't want to embarrass yourself. You haven't played golf in years, and you're nervous.
This session is all about a strategy for contributing to your team, and which areas you can focus on before you tee it up. Don't worry, you don't need to learn how to hit 300 yard drives the morning of the event.
A Logical Chipping and Pitching Strategy I Bet You Never Thought of Before
All things remaining equal, try to land your chips and pitches in low areas rather than high areas. This strategy alone will improve your results. This episode explains why you should always avoid landing short shots on mounds and high areas.
How to Dial in Your Stock Greenside Bunker Shot
I get a lot of questions about bunker play.
The pros make it look so easy. Well, of course they practice a lot, but there are other reasons they get such great results out of the sand.
They set up for huge margins of error. Even if they mishit shots by even a few inches, the outcomes are usually pretty good. They're really good at their stock, standard bunker shot. From there, based on the circumstance, they'll make adjustments. The key is to have your standard comfortable shot to fall back on under the heat.
How to Fix Yourself Without Relying on a Golf Instructor
As you play more and more golf, you begin to notice patterns. Maybe shots with certain clubs tend to go higher or lower, or probably curve left or right. Different conditions will affect these outcomes as well.
I want you to be able to "read" your shots and know exactly why the ball goes where it does. Over time, this helps you to diagnose yourself and gain the self awareness you need when you're out on the golf course.
Hope it proves helpful for you.
A Data-Backed Discussion on Golf Inclusion & Participation with Stuart Lindsay
Stuart Lindsay has been in technology and data-driven marketing research since the early '80's. He's one of the golf industry's foremost thought leaders on data-driven golf operations and decision-making.
Today, we're digging deep into where the golf business has been and where it's heading...and most importantly, what club owners can do about it.2019 Changes to the Rules of Golf
Stuart's of the opinion, just like Rory McIlroy, that the rules are the rules...deal with it. At first, I was surprised that this was his opinion. Stuart is a big proponent of making golf accessible and compelling to the next generation of players. As we talked further, he made it clear that the rules themselves are not the issue making newcomers feel confused or overwhelmed - it's more in the messaging and our on boarding processes. Many the rules, especially those having to do with etiquette, are designed around safety, pace of play and convenience. If our messaging would do a better job of clarifying, he believes that the rules would not be nearly the sources of confusion that they are today.
In fact, things like our focus on medal play rather than match play seems to be perpetuated my media coverage of the major tours. Match play simply isn't conducive to television.Using Data to Drive Golf Facility Business
Stuart has many years of experience consulting with and performing research for golf facilities - marketing research, feasibility studies, comparisons, operations reviews, etc.
As his career has taken him through various technological endeavors, he's well equipped to speak to the importance of data-driven decision making in golf operations.
Data allows club owners to understand the ecosystem that they exist in - their customers, competition, and potential differentiators."Data is going to do nothing but become more and more important" - Stuart Lindsay
The problem is that aggregated data in the golf industry is extremely hard to come by. Rounds, spending, and participation data is complete fragmented largely because point-of-sale systems haven't evolved to the point of truly integrating their respective data sets yet.
Stuart points out the importance of comparative data - simply measuring performance relative to prior weeks, months, years in real-time will prove to be a game changer for golf facilities.
He also points out that club operators need to be paying attention to this stuff and who is "owning" their customer data. Companies like Google and Facebook, as well as 3rd party bartering systems are really good at selling off customer data. This can drive a wedge between your club and your customers if you're not careful.
This conversation was fascinating for all of us at KPI Golf considering what we have on the horizon. We're rolling out performance tracking and real-time data technologies that even the smallest facilities will be able to afford.
If you'd like to reach Stuart at Edgehill Golf Advisors or Pellucid, he can be reached at (262)241-7088.
How to Consistently Work the Ball Left and Right on Purpose
It's all about club face ladies and gentlemen. The ball almost always goes in the direction that your club face is looking at impact.
If you miss to the right or slice the ball all the time, you're leaving the club face open. If you hook or miss left, the club is looking left at impact. It's that simple.
In terms of working the ball on purpose, you need to think about your swing path to get it started in the right direction. Basically, you need to take the direction you want the ball to start it's curve, then double that angle...and swing in that direction.
So, if you want to hit a 10-yard slice, you need to set the club face to look at your target, then swing 20-yards to the left of the target.
Hope this one helps clear up some misconceptions.
Where are the Best Golf "Guy Trip" Locations?
We've got our annual Floyd Manny Invitational coming up in a few weeks - a college buddy trip. This year, we're heading back to Hilton Head, South Carolina.
I'm super interested to hear your suggestions on other great golf trip locations you know of that we should be considering for next year.
Bad Boss = Toxic Culture = Get Out of There
Moral of the story is:Don't work for an asshole.