Today’s magic number is 14. That’s the maximum number of clubs you can have in your bag when playing a competitive round of golf. The penalty for carrying more than 14 clubs is two strokes per hole played with those extra clubs in your bag…ouch! When entered into a tournament, be sure to count your clubs BEFORE you tee off. Think of the max as a baker’s dozen (13) plus your putter (which rhymes with butter). Sweet!
Setting a date for a friendly round of golf is a piece of cake – who doesn’t want to go out and play for fun?! You might be a little more nervous or intimidated, however, if that round involves a prospective client or business deal. Jane Blalock, 27-time LPGA Tour champion and Founder/CEO of the KPMG Women’s PGA Clinics, is here to take the edge off with seven quick tips for your best business golf experience.
1). Let’s Make a Date… wondering how to get a prospect out on the course? “Do your homework,” says Blalock. “First, find out if they play golf. If they do, reach out and invite them to join you at your club or a favorite local course for a round. Suggest they bring a colleague or friend – this makes it more comfortable for them. Another option is to buy a foursome in a charity event and invite them to join your team. If your invitations are declined, at least you have put it out there that you play golf and established common ground that can be revisited in the future.”
2.) They Said Yes!… now what? “As the host, you need to be sure to send clear directions to the club and set a specific time and location to meet.,” notes Blalock. “Ask them if they prefer to walk or ride in a golf cart and prepare accordingly. When making the date, suggest lunch or at least make time for beverages afterward – build in a little more time than just the round of golf.”
3.) When YOU Are the Guest… have you been invited to play by a client who is footing the bill? “Show your appreciation with a token gift,” suggests Blalock. “A bottle of wine always works, or send a hand written thank you card shortly afterward with a gift card to a local restaurant. An easy way to say thanks is to return the favor – invite them to join you at your club next time!”
4.) Talking Shop… when is it appropriate to discuss business? “You want to create a relationship – to build a bond, to build trust,” says Blalock. “Do not initiate a business discussion before the round or while on the golf course. If you are asked a question that is business-related while playing, be gracious and keep your answer short and simple. Don’t expound – just say, ‘I’d love to talk more about that over a beverage afterward.’ A round of golf is an entrée to the next step. At the conclusion of play, points of interest can be revisited in a relaxed setting in the clubhouse, or offer to set up a follow-up call or meeting in the next few days.”
5.) Uh-Oh, I Brought My B-Game… not playing your best golf during the round? “No whining. If you’re playing poorly, don’t complain and don’t make excuses,” warns Blalock. “Your playing partners are watching how you respond to challenges. Grin and bear it even if it is uncomfortable. If you can maintain your dignity and composurewhile not playing your best, it is a plus and it will be remembered.”
6.) Yikes! They’re Bad… is someone else having a hard time? “Provide encouragement. We’ve all been there,” says Blalock. “We all have our bad days. If someone in the group is struggling, be supportive but keep things moving. Try to keep it positive.”
7.) Performance Anxiety… ultimately, does it really matter if you play well? “Good golf commands attention,” says Blalock. “When you hit impressive shots, others will develop a newfound respect for you, but the most important thing is to handle yourself well. Keep up the pace of play. Count all your strokes. Be an enjoyable playing partner. While it’s certainly not a deal breaker or required, I do practice harder and prepare more when I know I’ve invited a good player to join me or been invited to join a good group, because when you play well, it gets talked about. But even if you aren’t a fabulous golfer (yet!), you can definitely make a lasting impression with your demeanor. The goal here is to stay top of mind.”
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Call the Shot
Be one of the first 5 readers to correctly identify this LPGA Tour player who made a spectacular ace during the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open postponed and played without fans in December due to COVID. It vaulted her into the lead, but she eventually fell just shy of winning the championship, settling for a T2 finish. New winners get a prize from the KPMG Women’s PGA Clinics vault; if you’ve won before, play for pride! If you’ve never played, don’t be shy! Just respond to this e-mail with your call.
Got it right last time: Debbie Allen, Nancy Cidlowski, Jane Cotter, Patty Dautch, Siobhan Devlin, Sharon Dott, June Ferland, Linda Gilbert, Carol Hanks, Tana McHale, Patty Micewicz, Ellen Patton, Dave Sharpy, Carol Ransone, Cynthia L. Reed.
Iceland’s Olafia Kristinsdottir, an international professional golfer, is one of six KPMG Ambassadors.
Notables and key takeaways from the world of golf.
>> Too quiet at the dinner table lately? Bring out your golf nerd and break the conversation ice with Iceland, the country with the most golf courses per capita in the world. Ok, so Icelanders only have 65 golf courses (the bulk of them are 9-hole tracks) in all their land, but they also only have 321,000 people – and nearly 60,000 of them play golf. The most popular sport in Iceland right now is football (the soccer kind), but golf is a close second. Bigger picture: There are nearly 40,000 golf courses on the planet, and you guessed it, over 40% are located in the U.S. More on golf in Iceland.
>> We’re in the dark about some things but it’s time we shed some light on night golf, an activity that should be on every golfer’s Bucket List. Basically, it’s golf under some powerful floodlights that illuminate the teeing areas, fairways and greens just enough so you can see your ball to play the shot at hand. If you routinely hit a big slice off the tee, night golf might be a good time to bag the driver and test your driving prowess with a fairway wood or iron, for example. Any way you slice it, though, night golf is a unique experience that will definitely test your game. Most night golf courses in the U.S. are executive courses (short 9-holers). Fun Fact: It costs about $500,000 to light a 9-hole course.
>> Amy Alcott fell for golf when she was a little girl growing up in Los Angeles in the 1960s. Her mother gave her garden over to her daughter’s passion, and the front yard became a putting and chipping green. Soup cans were hammered into the ground to make the holes. It paid off. Alcott, now a World Golf Hall of Fame member, joined the LPGA Tour in 1975 and won five major championships and 29 LPGA tour events. Listen in as Katie Hafner, NYT Reporter and author of “Mother Daughter Me,” interviews Alcott on a recent episode of her podcast, Our Mothers Ourselves.
Hall of Famer Amy Alcott was recently interviewed on Our Mothers Ourselves, a podcast hosted by New York Times reporter Katie Hafner.
Pro tour tidbits for the virtual water cooler.
- The LPGA Tour is back in action this weekend with the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, a unique event that showcases tournament winners from the past two years teeing it up alongside celebrities from the sports and entertainment industries. Held in Orlando at the Four Season Golf & Sports Club, the event debuted in 2019 and carries a purse of $1.2 million for the field of 25 LPGA players and a separate purse of $500k for 25 celebrities. Check live scoring now and follow some of the LPGA’s best, including Jessica and Nelly Korda, Stacy Lewis, Angela Stanford, Danielle Kang, Lexi Thompson, Brooke Henderson and more.
- LPGA Tour player Mariah Stackhouse lives about 15 minutes from the church were Martin Luther King Jr. stirred the hearts of his congregants. And her alma mater, Stanford, is home to The Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute. But it is through Stackhouse’s presence – through her grace, her charm, her optimism, her actions and her smile – that the message of Dr. King resonates inside and outside the gallery ropes. More on how the Martin Luther King Jr. legacy lives on the LPGA Tour.
- LPGA Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam is embroiled in controversy after accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Donald Trump alongside fellow legend Gary Player one day after the violent U.S. Capitol attacks Jan. 6 in which five people died. As Sorenstam waited out an early-morning frost delay Tuesday at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, she spoke with Golfweek about her decision to accept the medal.
Kevin Na picked up 5th PGA Tour Win at the Sony Open in Honolulu last weekend.
- Kevin Na edged runners-up Chris Kirk and Joaquin Niemann by one shot to claim victory at last weekend’s Sony Open and continue a hot streak of posting at least one win every year for his last four seasons on Tour. This was Tour win number five for the Korean-American, who was three shots back entering the 13th hole of his final round before surging into contention with three straight birdies. Another birdie on 18 sealed the deal.
- Na earned $1,188,000 for his last-minute heroics and a trophy half his height in gold. T2 finishers Kirk and Niemann settled for $587k and change apiece. Here’s how the rest of the field fared in the purse breakdown.
- Red hot Chile pepper Joaquin Niemann was runner-up for the second week running in Hawaii – the 22-year-old Chilean lost in a playoff at the Sentry Tournament of Champions two weeks ago and fell one short in Honolulu this past weekend. Niemann played his last eight rounds at 41 under par and still came up short of the winner’s circle, but he’s moved up to 25th in the World.
- Charles Howell III continued his personal efforts to support the APGA Tour by rattling off 16 birdies during his Sony Open play, equaling an $800 donation.
Coming Up – keep your eyes peeled for these golf happenings.
LPGA Tour – Orlando, FL
- Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions at Four Seasons Golf & Sports Club – LIVE SCORING
- Defending Champion: Gaby Lopez
Watch it on TV: All times ET.
- Fri Jan 22: 12-3 pm, Golf Channel
- Sat Jan 23: 1:30-2:30 pm, Golf Channel | 2:30-4:30 pm, NBC
- Sun Jan 24: 2-3 pm, Golf Channel | 3-5 pm, NBC
PGA Tour – La Quinta, CA
Watch it on TV: All times ET.
- Fri Jan 22: 3-7 pm, Golf Channel
- Sat Jan 23: 3-7 pm, Golf Channel
- Sun Jan 24: 3-7 pm, Golf Channel
From Our PGA/LPGA Coaches
Sometimes it’s fun to brag that you can do things with one hand tied behind your back, but imagine if you actually tried it… LPGA Certified Coach and former National Teacher of the Year Cindy Miller demonstrates how putting one-handed can help you see the line and set up more comfortably over your putts, especially the short ones.
- Know someone new to the game? Share our Guide to Golf which includes great section on Etiquette and a Glossary of Terms.
- Need a coach? Check out our directory and search by your state.
- Want more tips? Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
Making It Official
Referees and umpires are front and center in many sports. They wear stripes and whistles and sometimes verbalize their calls to packed arenas over wireless mics. Dolls with tear-off limbs have been made in their likeness. Everyone loves to hate a bad call and calls can sometimes make or break a victory.
Golf is different. Rules officials set the course leading up to a tournament and then during the competition, patrol the course behind the scenes, available for reference to ensure the competition is played in accordance with the rules of golf as well as any local rules established for the event. Players call for a Rules Official when they need help determining relief or interpreting a rule, for example. Tour events typically need anywhere from six to eight Rules Officials depending on the scope of the tournament. Major championships can call for up to 40 or 50, often with two officials stationed at each hole.
Robin Jervey, our resident rules expert here at JBC Golf and a Rules official since 1992, officiated her first U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles in 2001 and her first U.S. Open in 2006 at Winged Foot. Asked to join the USGA Rules of Golf Committee in 2008, Jervey served in the volunteer position through 2011 and that tenure included an invitation to officiate at the Masters Tournament for four years.
“Officiating at the Masters remains the pinnacle of my Rules officiating career,” notes Jervey, who has also officiated at the 2013 Solheim Cup, LPGA Q-School, the LPGA T&CP Championship, the NCAA’s and numerous USGA amateur championships.
Jervey was thrust into mastering the Rules of Golf when she began work with the Colorado Women’s Golf Association as conducting State Championships was a large part of her job duties. A week after being hired, Jervey attended a USGA/PGA Rules Workshop and began to put her knowledge into practice on the course – serving on the CWGA Rules Committee and officiating at State Championships. “Meeting the right people and building those relationships during the education process helped move the journey along,” says Jervey, who was also required to pass the USGA/PGA Rules Workshop exam which allows 3.5 hours to answer 100 multiple questions, the first 50 without any reference materials and the final 50 open book.
Jervey admitted to scoring “miserably” on her first two attempts, even as a lifelong golfer and someone employed in the golf industry. “I thought I had a pretty good handle on the rules, but half the battle was just finishing before the clock ran out,” recalls Jervey, adding that most of the questions involved reading lengthy narratives describing a Rules situation and then selecting the proper resolution. “Many times, I had to rush on the final 10-15 questions,” said Jervey, “and that definitely impacted my scores.”
To become eligible for officiating a USGA amateur event (other than the U.S. Amateur), a score of 75 or better on the written exam is required; for the U.S. Amateur and any of the U.S. Open Championships, Jervey needed a 92 or better (today the minimum score has dropped to 90), a threshold she routinely crossed after a short stint of scoring in the 80’s. Remarkably, Jervey once aced the test with a perfect score of 100.
“It’s difficult to remain focused for 3.5 hours without succumbing to a stupid mistake, usually due to misreading a question,” says Jervey. “After I started scoring in the 90’s, I was invited to officiate the ‘big’ USGA championships,” she adds. “Being eligible and being invited are two different things. Rules Officials are expected to start at the local level and work their way up to more prestigious events.”
According to Jervey, not everyone who has the book smarts makes a great official, and vice versa – not all officials are great performers on the written test, but everyone must demonstrate a certain level of Rules proficiency before they can advance in their officiating career. “Just like the game of golf, becoming a skilled Rules official can take many years of study and practice,” says Jervey. “it’s a long-term commitment, but the experiences are quite rewarding.”
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
A great pick-me-up with the tried and true infusion of Bailey’s Irish Cream, you can’t go wrong after a great round, or no round at all, with a delicious Bailey’s Espressotini. No one will fault you for ordering one in leiu of a coffee.
- 2 oz Baileys Irish Cream
- 2 oz cold espresso
- ½ oz Vodka
- Dash of chocolate syrup
In an ice filled cocktail shaker add Baileys, Espresso and Vodka. Add a dash of chocolate sauce. Shake until cold and blended. Strain into martini glass and top with three espresso beans.
We look forward to announcing our 2021 national partnerships in the coming weeks. For more information about the KPMG Women’s PGA Clinics national, regional and individual market table sponsorship opportunities, please contact Executive Director Melanie Bedrosian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Clinics are title sponsored by the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, one of five major championships on the LPGA Tour. Sei Young Kim of South Korea won the 2020 championship. The next KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will be held June 22-27, 2021 at Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga.
Selections from the worlds of golf and business, easier to read than most greens.
On Learning Golf
An old classic…even though the book was written more than 70 years ago, Percy Boomer’s lessons on swinging a club are still applicable today. This book forms the basis of many modern golf books.
Percy Boomer, a professional golfer from England who played in the early 1900’s and won three tournaments
Jane Blalock, 27-time LPGA Tour Champion and CEO of KPMG Women’s PGA Clinics