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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Give Me Golf Or Give Me Death

Reading my latest issue of The Deal, I came across an article that quickly got my attention. It seems that the New York Times has decided that John J Mack, CEO of Morgan Stanley, should be ostracized for playing golf. Worse than that, they think by appointing two of his 'golf pals' to his board he is 'less acute' than he ought to be. (read the article here)

I realize that I am probably not a newspaper quality writer (yet) and thereby can't legitimately criticize reporter Landon Thomas Jr. But because Mr. Thomas tread heavily on sacred ground, I'm going to give it a go.

First of all, golf is a great place to go for business. According to a 1996 study reported in this article:
  • 93% said golfing with a business associate is a good way to establish a closer relationship
  • 80% said golfing is a great way to make new business contacts
  • 35% said some of my biggest deals were made on the golf course

Second, let me say that after the onslaught of articles trying to diminish one of the games greatest courses and receiving criticism for how much bad press they were giving to this course, I find it funny that 3 years after publishing 40+ news stories, columns or editorials in 6 months, according to press critic, Jack Shafer's article (here), they still find cause to continue to bash the game that 25 million American's play.

Finally, let me say that my family has been back in Iowa visiting family and friends and I have been alone for almost a week. While I miss my wife dearly, and long to hug my boys, I have a certain level of relief knowing that they are bringing with them my golf clubs. I had to leave in Iowa when we moved to Colorado because we didn't have enough room for them. I can't wait to hold my wedge, cuddle my putter and stroke my driver. Perhaps I'll play a round this weekend. Perhaps I'll even conduct some business and place my chewing gum in a copy of the New York Times and toss it in the garbage where it belongs.