So many of golf's lessons can be applied in your everyday life. This part of the course is where you can gain insights in how golf can teach you to live a more fulfilling life. Wander around the course, have fun, and score more pars!

Ideas for Managing Your Money (and Golf Budget!)

In the NY Times Your Money section of today’s newspaper, there is a treasure trove of ideas on how best to handle your finances. There is also an interactive online checklist which I also recommend you take a look at. Over the coming months, the MorePars team will use this as one of our main areas of discussion. We don’t know how long the link will remain current, but for now go to www.nytimes/yourmoney and you will see an area there for the financial tune-up.

One of the big trends that folks trying to get a grip of their spending habits are doing is tweeting their cash expenses to online budgeting tools like Wesabe. Another popular online budgeting tool millions use is Intuit’s site called Mint. At MorePars, we just got done processing our personal tax returns using Intuit’s Turbo Tax. Personally, we are fans of Quicken’s desktop software as well.

Tracking your spending is one of the first rules of personal finance, and online banking is one of the easiest ways to do so. You can download transactions (checking and credit card) and then “categorize” them into budget areas (dining out, utilities, clothing, etc.) The problem is always those pesky ATM cash withdrawals at $50.00 – $100.00 at a time. So where is all that cash going? For many of us, we have no clue, because it is too painful to track. Only the most anal will keep every receipt and then go plug those expenses into categories on their home computer. As the NY Times points out though, more and more apps are coming out, using cell phones, to track these expenses as they are made, making you far more likely to stick with this method of expense tracking. They promise to be far less time-consuming than the more cumbersome methods of holding receipts and keying them in on a periodic basis.

Track your spending and be sure to include plenty of budget for your golf game. Clubs, lessons, training aids, green’s fees, range finders and side bets will really add up! Wishing you MorePars and more cash in the years ahead!

Camilo Villegas Wins Honda Classic and Teaches Us a Lesson!

Oh, to be 28 years old and playing on the PGA tour each week for hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars! Don’t we all wish we could do that!

Yet somehow, many professional golfers lose sight of their good fortune. And yes, like any endeavor, playing golf on tour has its disappointments and bad days and can lead to despondency, depression, or worse. But when you sum it all up, come on, this is the life guys! Golf is a game! Let’s have fun and enjoy it!

This, in essence, is what Camilo told the sportswriters yesterday. When asked about his win, he said “my attitude’s a lot better.” He told himself that if he kept a positive attitude he would play good golf. Now, we all know it takes more than that, but your head can destroy your game like no other! And as a NY Times article stated today, “this attitude adjustment phenomenon is starting to become a mini-trend on tour.” Justin Rose is quoted in the article as “trying to get my mind-set back to when I first came out on tour, greateful to be out here, having fun.”

The article ended with a perfect quote that in essence, sums up what the MorePars site is all about. It is the lessons that golf can teach us about business and life in general. Camilo: “We keep growing as a player and as a person. Understanding the game, understanding life, understanding what we do. It’s got great things, it’s got bad things. You’ve just got to enjoy the good ones, put aside the bad ones, try to avoid distractions, and stay committed.”

Congratulations Camilo and thank you for passing on this lesson that I know we will all use to score MorePars in golf, business, and life!


Golf, Business, and Life’s Blue Monsters

In the early 1980’s, I had the good fortune of working in Coral Gable’s, FL, a chip and a putt away from Doral’s Golf Resort and Spa. The PGA Tour just swept through this club just as it has for over 40 years, with Ernie El’s being this year’s winner. The course they play is the famed “Blue Monster.”

Even 30 years ago, this course earned its name for the brutal rough; the treacherous hazards, and the whistling winds. For a long time, the 18th hole had the reputation of being the most difficult hole on the tour. And of course, as amateurs, we simply had to play it to compare ourselves to the Pros!

If you look at the price of a round on the Blue Monster (there are 4 other courses there just as fun and challenging to play that are far more reasonable) it is somewhere between $200-$300 each person. Ouch! Just starting my career back then, even as a yuppie this was out of my price range. But summers are steaming hot in South Florida, so the Doral during that time had a summer membership that allowed us to play each weekend for the summer months for under $80 per round. Those were the days!

The key to having fun on the Blue Monster (if that is even possible!) is to play the tees that are right for you. Of course, we all want to play the back tees and pretend we are pros. This usually produces a very unhappy and discouraging result!

When I think of the Blue Monster, I think first of an enormous challenge; something to shoot for and conquer! I think of my idol’s, the folks I aspire to be to bring out my best! I also experience fear; awe; and amazement. Whether you are on the course, managing your career, and living your life you will have your Blue Monsters. Take them on; have fun with them; respect them; and do your best to manage them. The result won’t always be a happy one, but you will feel more fulfilled that you took on an enormous challenge and didn’t always take the easy way. But be realistic. Don’t beat yourself up week after week on your Blue Monster’s. Just as at the Doral, there are other choices that are just as fun and challenging, that will help build your confidence. The Blue Monster’s will always be there to ensure that your head doesn’t get too big!

Wishing you MorePars as you take on your Blue Monsters!

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