I realize this post may be a bit delayed but this Guru has been busy lately. Recently I was asked to share booth space with the IProfit Platform/Starbase Aviation companies… part of the Reed Automotive Group… at the NADA National Convention in Las Vegas. I used a golf simulator to give swing tips and run long drive and closest to the pin contests as a draw to the booth, and what a draw it was! Hundreds of people came by for a “test drive” (sorry but I couldn’t resist the pun) of the new DnA Golf private label drivers and to compete for prizes on the Tru Golf simulator.
Driving the Economy
You know me I’m always looking for positive signs in the current economic indicators and I am happy to report that the NADA Convention was chalk full of them. Attendance was up significantly as were the number of exhibitors. I got the chance to talk to many of the exhibitors and the general consensus was that people were buying what they were selling and that the auto industry as a whole was seeing positive signs for the year ahead. This isn’t just about car sales… it is everything from the companies that provide HR and benefits services pointing to hiring trends across the industry, to financial services companies that not only make car loans but finance dealership expansions, inventory, etc.
All and all I must say that it was as much fun as you can have in Vegas without stepping foot in a Casino…well except for that $20 bill donated to a slot machine that wouldn’t let me by on the way to my room without spinning the wheels… this was by far my cheapest Vegas trip to date.
PGA Tour Pro Gets It
The week prior to the auto show I had the privilege to help with the Xerox Silver Pro- Am at the Waste Management Phoenix Open… you know… the greatest show on grass. I served as a marker/crowd control volunteer for one of the groups. Now I have played in a number of pro-ams and know how frightening the experience can be for the amateurs. For most of them the largest gallery they have played in front of is when the group in front of them at their local club loses a ball and the group behind them catches up to them waiting for the fairway to clear.
Feeling Like a Gladiator
Now imagine standing up on the tee of the par 3 16th… you know the one that is completely surrounded by corporate sky boxes like a stadium. Even on pro-am day the seats are filled and the people are a bit more vocal when it’s just for fun. You certainly don’t want to top one into a cactus or heaven forbid shank one into the stands (I have seen that one). Our group acquitted themselves fairly well and left the hole with their self esteem fairly high.
Not only are the amateurs out of their element inside the ropes but in addition they are playing with a bona fide PGA Tour pro. They are as nervous about getting in their way as they are about having all of those people watching them…and believe me I have seen tour pros treat these amateurs just like they are in the way.
I think that some of the pros forget that these pro-am partners for the most part represent the companies that sponsor the events and therefore contribute to the prize money these guys play for. To that end I have to give a shout out to Martin Laird who was the tour player for my group. He went out of his way to engage with and to make as comfortable as he could the players on his team. He read putts high fived their net birdies and made it feel like a casual round. Oh and by the way he made 9 birdies by himself which provided quite a show for the entire group.