3 Skills of a Great Player

Adrian Rubin What makes for a great golfer? While many may suggest that it has to do with skill, focus, instinct, discipline and training I think that sportsmanship and etiquette make for the best golfing partners. While it may seem silly or perhaps contrite, I firmly believe that the respect that a player does or does not exhibit is  a true measure of his or her ability. Of course it’s always good to play with someone who is better than you to force you to improve your game, I would much rather spend a day on the green with someone who respects the game and is perhaps slightly less talented than be around someone who shows extreme disregard for the sport and the players. So what is it then that makes for this “good player”? I believe that exhibiting etiquette, good for and integrity are all key. A few notable ways to practice good etiquette are below:


Be mindful of your golf cart

While golf carts are now an inevitable part of playing the game, don’t allow these vehicles to be a source of disruptions and discontent for other players getting ready to make their shot. Try to be as unobtrusive and inconspicuous as possible. You don’t want the sound or the speed to interrupt any game play. Furthermore, you should be conscious of causing any damage to the green. Ensure that you’re not leaving a path behind you. Be sure to repair any damages left by your vehicle. In addition to being conscious of what you are leaving behind, try to avoid following the same heavily trodden path. This will lead to an even bigger problem for the turf – and more importantly the caretaker. Make sure that golf-cart traffic is dispersed throughout the green.

Turn off Your Phone

While it can be tempting to play on your phone or make a call on your phone during downtime…just don’t. Most people are looking to get away from the distractions of everyday life and instead focus on their game when they step onto the green. Phone conversations and constant pingings, and dings, and vibrating ring tones can absolutely distract other players and be absolutely awful. If you have to make or receive a call, do it, but be brief and be quiet…no one wants to hear it.

Play it Cool

While making an error, losing or just not playing your best game can be extremely frustrating, don’t let it show. While you many have the urge to throw your club, sulk for a bit or let the profanity pour right out of your mouth, don’t succumb! You don’t want to foul up everyone else’s time, just because things aren’t going your way. Instead of screaming the worst things you can think of,  try to get your frustration out in another way. Channel it for the next shot! And remember you can always curse into your pillow when you get home.


Top 3 Rookie Mistakes

adrian rubinAs is the case with any skill or sport, to become an expert requires practice, discipline and some talent. For those of us that aren’t immediate “naturals” most skills take time to develop or strengthen. That means that we will make mistakes, suffer losses and of course have a few victories thrown in there every now and then. Many mistakes are unavoidable -especially when starting out, and can in fact be beneficial to our own growth within a sport. When you make an egregious error, you know immediately what you need to practice, or what rules you need to pay attention to . However, there are some myths and mistakes in golf that tend to effect newcomers to the game. While, individually the impact might not be great, together , these errors can cause a serious handicap for the novice. So instead of suffering through needless errors, consider the following list for mistakes worth avoiding .

#1 Who plays first?

Many newbies believe that a golfer who isn’t on the green has to play a shot before the golfer who is on the green. In truth, however, the player farthest from the hole is always entitled to play first – no matter who is or is not on the green . However, there is no penalty for playing out of order. And keep in mind that  during match play, your opponent can make you replay your shot if you don’t wait your turn.

#2 Is a Ball Fall Fail a Stroke?

 Inexperienced golfers think that if a ball is touched then falls off the tee after it has been addressed counts as a stroke. However, generally speaking, this doesn’t count as a stroke and the ball should be re-teed with no penalty. Buy remember that this does counts as a stroke if the ball had already been in play, or if you were making a stroke when the ball fell off the tee.

# 3 Can you hit a provisional before searching for a drowning ball?Some amateurs mistakenly believe that if you hit a ball into the water hazard, then you can immediately hit a replacement before trying to retrieve the first one.  In truth, however, if you’re positive that your ball is in a water hazard, you’re not allowed to hit the provisional ball. The following shot you hit is recognized as a ball in play (with a penalty stroke). However, if you think your ball might be outside the hazard, then you’re allowed to hit the provisional. If it turns out that your ball is in the hazard, you must abandon the provisional.

While some of these rules may seem somewhat complicated or counter-intuitive, this is how you should be playing if you want to advance .

Green Basics: 3 Tips for Beginners

Adrian Rubin

Mark That Ball

Although this may seem like a small detail, this is a critical habit to get into, no matter what level you are playing. Before picking up your ball, make sure that you place a small coin or ball marker behind the ball before you pick it up. Once it’s your’ turn to putt, you can then have the ball resume its original location before picking up the mark. If your marker somehow obstructs your partner’s line, just make sure to choose a stationary object, like a tree, so that you can still line your ball mark up with it and then move it x number of putter heads ot the right or left. Always return your ball to its initial spot. Again, this may seem like a relatively small note, but marking your ball correctly is a critical skill to develop from the beginning.

Reading the Green

The process of reading putts starts as soon as you step onto the green. Make sure that you are paying attention the topography of the green, where it slopes and peaks. And while others putt out, subtly start to ready your putt without distracting your golf companions. This helps reduce the lag time between set-ups. You should aim to develop a routine in how you read putts. First, look from behind the ball, then scan to the low side of the putt. Really observe your surroundings and try to figure out if you can tell how fast the green is. A general rule to note is that the faster the green is, the more likely that the putt will break. However, keep in mind that this is not the case on Bermuda grass, because it is more grainy, in turn affecting the putt.

 Fixing the Divot

It’s important to keep in mind that whenever a ball lands on a green it will most likely leave a mark. These indentations are to be expected and easy to repair, but if left unattended to, they can damage the green. Because of this, take responsibility for your ball and be prepared to repair these indentations. To fix this very common problem, come prepared with a divot repair tool – or just use the tee. Stick your tool of choice into the turf surrounding the outside of the mark. Then carefully lift that tightly packed soil in order to loosen it and move around the entire circumference surrounding the ball dent. Now simply tap your putter on the turf so that the former dent is filled in and even with the rest of the turf. Although you many not fix any spike marks during your game, it’s good practice and common courtesy to repair any marks you see before leaving as long as it’s not preventing or holding up any play.


When Golf and Giving Meet on the Green

Adrian RubinWhile many golf enthusiasts are busy watching the RBC Canadian Open, or perhaps gearing up to follow the games from Quicken Loans National in Virginia next week, there is some exciting and heartening news on the local front. A story out of Marshfield, MA reflects an annual event that re-invigorates the level of game play and competition by including a charity in the mix. Over the past 15 years, the annual “WHO” or “Women Helping Others” Golf Outing has raised over $53,000 in funds that go entirely to local charities that aid both women and families. Although the specific charities that are sponsored by the proceeds from this event vary, that focus on women and families remains unchanging every year.


The Marshfield Home Delivered Meals Program

This year’s tournament will go to contributing the Marshfield Home Delivered Meals Program. This food delivery program was established back in 1986 and has continued to expand every subsequent year. The Marshfield Home Delivered Meals Program provides hot and nutritious meals to those in the community that are unable to shop and/or cook for themselves. The program delivers food to this population seven days a week, and has even added the option of a bagged lunch meal to their offerings.  Through donations provided by the United Way, various grants and local donations, the Marshfield HOme Delivered Meals Program has been able to establish a scholarship fund that provides assistance through reducing delivery costs for people in low income brackets. This year’s Women Helping Others Golf Outing will donate all proceeds to this cause, hopefully offsetting the projected $3,000 shortfall of the organization for 2015.


The 16th annual outing will take place next Tuesday, July 28th at RiverEdge Golf Course in Marshfield, MA. It’s an 18-hole scramble that begins fairly early in the morning. In addition to the scramble, the event will include, prizes, raffles, a river shoot and all kinds of side activities. The entry rules also say that those planning to donate non-perishable food items or personal hygiene products can receive up to 2 mulligans. Although this event didn’t make national headlines by any means, it is a great example of what can happen when you take a great game or passion and find a way to add another dimension to it for the benefit of others. While this may be speculation, many of the people planning to participate in the event would do so whether or not the charitable aspect was included because from all indicators it looks like a great day of golf. However, the fact that this is an enjoyable event that provides fun for those golfers that day, the event takes it even further, by generating income for a cause that serves the greater community of this town in Massachusetts. To learn more about the event, please see this link.


How Golf Terrain Affects Performance

In the world of football, soccer, golf and other sports played on field, we often find the focus on performance to be the highlight of commentary and late night recaps. Our vision and vocabulary becomes submerged by terminology and words like assists, strikes, rebounds amongst others. The question of terrain hardly comes into play as much as it should. How important is terrain in sport and how does it affect the performance of the player? Taking this question to Golf, how much do you consider the terrain you play on?

In a sport like golf where terrain has a strong influence on performance, what can be considered as the ideal terrain? What type of terrain do Golfers like? Every golf course has a different characteristics, according to this article by Dennis clark for Golf RXW here are some of these characteristics to be considered when playing Golf.

Conditioning Conditioning begs the question, is this Golf course in good shape? How does the allotted budget for a course affect the maintenance. Budget is very important because it can dictate important factors like how much land can be moved on a course, or even how much of the terrain can be altered to improve performance.

Routing– Architects take into consideration the impact and direction of the prevailing wind on a golf course. As a golfer, what direction do the holes play? Consider this, your par 3’s may be affected or played in a different direction depending on the incoming wind on the course. Inland or Parkland courses can have holes designed and routed in different directions because playing every long par-4 in the same direction can prove monotonous and frankly repetitive.

Design– Design may be one of the most important factors to consider in golf terrain and it’s effect on performance. Most golf terrains are nuanced in the design approach, and it is important to consider how the design of the course with features like bunkers slopes and greens affects your approach to holes, club lengths and club sizes. To quote Dennis Clark in this article ” if the hole is calling for a long iron or hybrid, the green might be long or open in front” .

Variety: ” Variety is the spice of life” they say. In golf, the best courses have a mixture of holes and a well designed terrain to keep you entertained and challenged.

There’s more to golf courses and terrains than we think about, and hopefully the next time you’re on a gold course you can get a scope of the course and see of it’s features match what you are trying to achieve whether for play or optimal performance.

A swing and a Miss for Trump

Adrian RubinAlthough golf is a notoriously quiet sport, Donald Trump recently turned up the volume after he made racially insensitive remarks about Mexican immigrants during the speech in which he revealed his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. While golf and politics appear to reside at separate ends of the spectrum, Trump managed to combine the two.

Over the past few years, Mr. Trump has acquired a number of previously failed properties with beautiful golf courses. As the current owner of 17 immaculate golf clubs, it’s no surprise that the U.S.G.A., P.G.A. Tour, L.P.G.A. Tour and the P.G.A. of America signed multi-year deals with Trump in order to secure these spaces.


In spite of this relationship to Trump, the top US golf organizations all released statements disagreeing with what Trump has said.  However, these statements do not explain how this debacle will affect their contracts with the mogul’s properties.

These inked contracts suggest a continued partnership with Trump and his golf clubs in years to come in spite of this current controversy, and any immediate decisions that change the location of these events this year.

According to a recent article in the New York Times, 4 major golf championships are slated to take place at Trump’s courses by 2022. Additionally, the P.G.A. of America agreed to move the Grand Slam of Golf from it perennial home in Bermuda to Trump’s course based in L.A. This multi-year deal finalized last year is in effect until 2018.

Trump and these major golf organizations reached these contractual agreements long before Trump made these comments publicly. Subsequent to this backlash, Trump has claimed that he doesn’t want the golf organizations that he has partnered with to suffer any fallout from his own comments.  But only time will tell whether or not this sentiment will also be reflected in amended contracts.

PIQ Golf Performance, Thanks To New Wearable

Adrian RubinIt seems like wearables are everywhere these days. With just a quick search on google, you could probably find a wearable that measures just about anything that you can imagine. Though the Apple Watch and FitBit seem to be dominating the consumer-ready wearables market these days, a new product has just launched that has the potential to completely change the game.

Yesterday PIQ announced the release of  the “most advanced multi-sport sensor platform” that the world has ever seen. While smart wearables are starting to become the norm, the PIQ differentiates itself from products like FitBit or the Apple Watch through its unique capabilities. These sport-specific accessories work in conjunction with a sensor to track and identify data and metrics for the user as he or she is engaged in the athletic activity.

Though most new gadgets tout the fact that the product integrates the latest technology into their design, PIQ not only deploys current sensor technology in the device, but it uses this tech in a unique way. The sensor technology NFC, BLE and micro processing technology to enable PIQ to draw from 13 axes and correctly measure performance metrics like; height, G-Force, velocity, air time, trajectory and even amplitude- among others. The devices are designed to be in the prime place for data collection regardless of the sport.

While PIQ already plans to release these sensors for over a dozen different sports, PIQ is premiering the line with the fully integrated platform and sensor dedicated to golf. Additionally, PIQ has revealed a partnership with the makers of the top golf app, Mobitee. This union situates these companies as the first wholly connected wearable solution designed specifically for golf.

But what does this wearable solution look like in practice? This wearable tech has the capacity to measure more than 3,000 different data points per second through 13 different dimensions. And the fact that this is a wearable device, means that the athletes needn’t interrupt their game to receive instant feedback and data.

According to CEO and co-founder of PIQ, Cedric Mangaud, these wearable devices are not solely intended for professionals, but they are also great tools for the more casual player. He believes that these solutions will not only provide helpful insights that can in turn improve the player’s game, but that it’s also a fun experience.


The Best Golf Quotes of All Time

What is the game of golf without a little fun. Some of these athletes that have played this game for decades have acquired the sort of attitude and expertise on the game that we expect a C-level executive to have acquired at his company. Athletics as well as any other business is about trusting in your training and improving on your mistakes. If an athlete focuses too much on the mistakes that they’ve made, then there will be no room for concentration on the play at hand.

One of the biggest mistakes any athlete can make are mental mistakes. Having the appropriate mentality is crucial to any sport. You train, you go out on the golf course, and you trust your training. Short term memory is vital in this sport because it’s so easy to get upset and get your head out of the game. Focus begins with mental preparation and ends after every shot. Golf is filled with failures, and some of the best golfers (and any athlete or businessman) learn from those failures and are able to move past them.

This is a long winded statement for the slideshare I will be posting below, but the point is that throughout their tenure, professional golfers have been able to create some quotes that are wiser than words and show that their head is in the right place when it comes to the game of golf.


Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy Pre US Open

Adrian Rubin 2015 US OpenThere was a strange sight at the golf course on Wednesday at the US Open. Tiger Woods was grinding. Showing up extremely early to his 5:28pm EST tee time, Woods did not sign up for a nine-hole practice round, rather he spend two hours simply practicing. We have typically seen Tiger Woods as a player that is on the golf course an entire day before a major event and the first to leave after the event. We are seeing a new Tiger Woods these days, as he struggled vehemently at the Memorial two weeks ago and is currently ranked 195th in the world.

Rory McIlroy’s tee time was at 5:30 so that he could experience the course at its fieriest, firmest, and most difficult. He want’s to play at a later time so that the course is at its most difficult. In this way, the world’s #1 golfer is able to play in the most difficult terrain. This is like adding ankle weights to your shoes, when you take them off, it’s easier to walk.

Tiger Woods has also noticed this trend. He stated that there is a big difference with how the course plays from morning to afternoon. In the late afternoon, the course is much faster and drier. The golf course dries out, and the ball does not stick to the fairway as well as it did in the morning.

The golf course in question? Chambers Bay, a public golf course on the Puget Sound in University Place, Washington. This course has been chosen to host the 2015 US Open.

An Attempted Modernization of Golf

Andrew Rubin PXG GolfGolf has taken a bit of a tumble over the last decade with numbers on the decline, as the sport is having trouble catering to new emerging markets. A startup company, Parsons Xtreme Golf is looking to redefine some of that market, by shaking up the sport a bit. You might know the founder of PXG, Bob Parsons, as he was also the founder of GoDaddy.

The PXG brand recently got a new spokeswoman in Anna Rawson, the LPGA player/model/Colombia Business School Graduate. She was also a GoDaddy girl, prompting the marketing question, is Parson’s at it again? That’s right, just like with GoDaddy, Parson’s is trying to market his company with sexuality as the front-runner.

In an effort to modernize the sport of Golf, Rawson has made statements reguarding the re-branding of the entire sport. Where golf is seen as a bit antiquated in it traditions, PXG is attempting to revitalize the industry to cater to a younger market.

Golf has been declining over the years partly because of the lack of youth participation. It is a game that requires money, patients, and folling the rules by the book – something that today’s youth lacks in. A lot of golf courses in America have been forced to go bankrupt because they haven’t been able to attract new customers, and the land is simply too expensive.

What’s happening now is an attempt to revitalize the sport in some fashion to attract more guests.  Ideas have been thrown around and implemented such as making the holes bigger, or adding more traps that lead to increased strategy and preparation. Golfing ranges have added big flashing targets and lights to aesthetically improve the game.

Golf isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, I love golf, and I know that people after me will too. The market for the sport is on the decline, and with the help of unit economics, we should see changes in the sport in the near future.