Saturday, May 16, 2015

Book Review: Every Town is a Sports Town

Recently, I was fortunate to receive a preview copy of Every Town is a Sports Town which is a good history book about ESPN. It is about former CEO George Bodenheimer, and how he chose his career path over a couple beers with his Dad, to become employee #130 as a mail clerk.

Back in the day...when I was in grade school I read all kinds of autobiographies, and I loved reading them, I especially enjoyed learning how they got where they are. For ESPN's Bodenheimer, it was being a driver for Dick Vitale that gave him the drive to continue plugging away at his first job out of college. How cool would it be to have Dickie V telling you your Awesome?!

There are some very good nuggets in the book...the first commercial jingle, how Boomer started with the nicknaming of sports figures, the legendary speech of Jimmy V (all royalties to the author goes to the Jimmy V Fund ), and the first meeting with Steve Jobs over the "new" ESPN phone....remember that one?!

The book is more ESPN history than a business book, but it is a very good read because who doesn't want to know how it all began at ESPN? Bodenheimer is the true insider.

Every sports station today can trace its roots to ESPN some way or another. It is truly the leader in sports.

Keep it in the short-grass,


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Book Review: "Your Short Game Solution"

If I was 15 again, I would want to travel into the future... read, and make notes of, this great instruction manual "Your Short Game Solution" as taught by James Sieckmann.. For me, the short game is the most important foundation you can have in golf. Drive for show....putt for dough. Well, in this case it is chip for dough, and this book is critical in the learning process.

This book allows you to experience the flaws and fixes at your own pace, with illustrations of the right way and wrong way to address any "flaw" that the book describes as "fatal". So, when you get to Chapter 5, get ready for a deep dive into becoming a great chip artist.

What I really like about the book, is it moves through the learning process very politely, but then opens you up to what your mind brings to the game...or rather practice tee, to ensure that your whole body is ready to accept the new you. Chapter 8 delves into it with lessons and tips on how to take what you've learned in these pages, transfer them to an accepting mind, and with drills, successfully keys them into your inner game where they become habit.

My daughter is 7. Still in the figuring what sport she likes age. Sure we knock it around at the local driving range where the flying bugs bounce off the lights further than her tee shots, but we're going to get there.... and when she decides that this sport is what she wants to really go after, the lessons in this book will be the first that I give her.

If not, then I have great resource when I retire to golf full time!

Keep it in the short-grass,


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Book Review: 'The Wichita Kid: a Caddies's Story'

I just finished a fantastic read this weekend, and I'd like to tell you a little about it.

The Wichita Kid: A Caddie's Story is a novel about a young man's journey as he moves from a suppressing home-life in Salina KS, to one of character development with his Grandparents in Cleveland Ohio.
The story takes place with the young man (Kevin) earning his summer break "keep" at a golf club that employs caddies...although his interest in doing this job is about the same as the clubs' interest in having a caddy shack...where golf carts are ready to replace this unruly band of misfits at any given notice.

What happens in the pages of this easy to read, very fine book, is a coming of age story that picks a sickly kid up from the ground, and pushes and pulls him thru adolescent...eventually freeing him of believing he has no choices.
This first novel of Rob Fisher's coincidentally puts us in that time of having a lot of first time experiences.

In his book, the golfer that takes a shine to Kevin memorably says "never leave a birdie putt short..."

The author..who had put the book unfinished down for 2 years before a friend pushed him to finish...did not leave this birdie putt short. After you read it, you'll be glad he didn't either.

Keep it in the short-grass,


Friday, January 30, 2015

Book Review "You Can't Make This Up"

Ok, so this is not a golf book. Why did I review it? Because this book is about the essence of one man being in the moment in sports. That is what it is all about, right. I mean Tiger Woods transcends golf because he gave us his all and was in the moment unlike only a handful of great golfers in the past. As sports fanatics, we eat that up!

That is why I read books like this. Al Michaels is a player with his voice. Only a few people are lucky in the media business to earn chops as reputable as his. The book You Can't Make This Up delves into his beginnings as a sports beat personality that transported him to Hawaii, on his way to events in the states, that have shaped the sports world and have made him a superstar. Along the way, the book sprinkles name-dropped vignettes onto us that keep the read fast-paced and thoroughly entertaining.

Al Michaels is a lucky guy, as he so often states in his book. The kind of luck we mere mortals can feel part of with this fabulous book.

Many great stories, but one that stood out was the historic Team USA Olympic game he called. He was chosen to do the play-by-play because he was the only broadcaster at the time who had an iota of experience calling hockey games....his experience? A game...(yes 1 game) he called in 1972, the gold medal game in Japan. How did he get that gig? Because the other announcers were busy with other assignments. Divine Intervention happens in may ways...there's one you can put in your pipe and smoke!

This book is fantastic, read it enjoy.

Keep it in the short-grass,


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Book Review: Church of Golf

A lot of us wish to have 2nd chances. Some are simple mulligans that we take on the golf course, but most mulligans don't come in life. So is the story revealed by the author of a very enlightened book: Church of Golf.

The main character resembles a close friend of his that got caught in the addiction spiral, and did not make it out at the other end.
The story is about a guy that had fame, lost it, then had an opportunity for a mulligan from an Aunt... if he lives on a religious communal village for 3 years...oh, that happens to be on a golf Hawai'i...and after the 3 years he is bequeathed $3 million dollars.


Well, I'll leave you to find out what happens in this very engaging book that is light, yet allows you to think about the main character Donald, and take sides with him on deciding whether the grass is really greener over there

The real mulligan happens in the Postscript when the author reveals how he lost his friend, and decided to write this story, and model character Donald after him.
In doing so, the author Spencer Stephens got his mulligan in being able to think of his real friend Donald in a better place than where he ended.

That is a very cool story.

Keep it in the short-grass,


Monday, November 24, 2014

Book Review

I recently read How to Become a Scratch Golfer written by humorist Patrick Campbell. Written in the 60's, this Irish columnist for the London Times has a biting wit that takes the stuffinest out of golf.

This tongue-and-cheek look at what one needs to do to become a "Scratchman" is a very funny read, that suggests that golf for amateurs across the pond has the same satirical wit as it does in the States.

Chapter 6 is alone worth the read as it describes of how one must fake-it-to-make-it-mentality in golf...and realizing that not much has changed in today's terms.

You can find this book and other great classics at many of the best classic golf books—13 books by Bernard Darwin, books by Herbert Warren Wind, Bobby Jones, Hagen—and a new selection of architecture books—including MacKenzie’s Golf Architecture.

 All holiday orders get 25% off by using the order checkout code of ‘ darwin ’.

 Keep it in the short-grass,


Sunday, November 09, 2014

Plug for crowdfunding for golfers

My name is Justin Bryant and my company just launched yesterday evening. We are a crowdfunding platform that specifically caters to funding the careers of aspiring professional golfers. Currently, we have 3 professionals with campaigns: Charlie Harrison, Christian Heavens, and Natalie Sheary. Harrison and Heavens are both current contestants on the Big Break Myrtle Beach and Sheary is an LPGA Tour Rookie, who was the ACC Individual Champion and ACC Player of the Year in 2009. 

All the players are offering exciting rewards in return for sponsor contributions including golf lessons, space for logos on their apparel and golf bags and Sheary is offering a sponsor a chance for 2 people to spend the day on the course with Natalie Sheary and Karren Stupples, Women's British Open Champion and Golf Channel Analyst.

*Next week we are launching a player's campaign who is offering the chance for 2 sponsors to spend the day with Webb Simpson!!

Thanks for your time