Friday, March 4, 2011

Mid blog crisis I'm going back in forth in my decision to what I want to blog about. Golf or investing, golf or investing. Well you know what? Why not do both? So I'm gonna do both. I like both equally so why decide between the two?

I've been thinking about this all week and have realized that my posts have suffered due to this. Now that I have decided to go this direction I will continue with frequent posts.

Thank you all for your patience.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gas Prices

Well in case you guys have not noticed, gas prices have skyrocketed in the last few weeks and days. It is $3.34 at the Shell Gas station near my house in Northern Virginia. I remember two weeks ago it was only $3.15. This is supposedly due to the crisis in Libya but in reality it is just investor overreaction. Libya only accounts for 2 % of the worlds crude oil supply. That small of an amount can be made up easily but has still cause an average of a 25 cent increase in gas prices in the United States since Feb. 20th.

What I worry about is not how much oil is left in the world but the rising costs. There comes a point in time when Americans cannot afford 6 or 7 dollar a gallon gas. This can be very crippling to the economy. I think were in a phase were gas prices will rise to levels in which we cannot afford it and this will cause a big pullback in the stock market along with gas prices. Then the trend will continue and gas will go up once again until we cannot afford it. Then another crash will come. There will be no loss of market value, however we will continue on a rather bumpy course and end up in the same place ten years down the road in the DJIA. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Investing in Growing Trends

I want you to look around and think about different companies or products that have yet to reach popularity in your circle of friends. You may have one or two friends who use this product but the majority do not. Come on, think...

For the casual investor, investing should not be too focused on numbers. The casual investor, who is investing b/w 10,000 and 500,000 dollars, should really focus on growing trends. These growing trends are the things where your friend asks you if you've tried a certain new product and you say "No, I've never heard of it, what is it?" This should be your alarm to go check into this product.

Growing trends are easier to spot once they occur but after considering different trends it becomes apparent that certain companies/products are becoming growing trends. I consider Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) to be a past growing trend. I remember my English teacher telling me how cool it was to have movies sent to your house for a low monthly fee. Then, slowly, many of my friends began using Netflix and over time the stock price of NFLX grew from $6 a share in 2004 to over $200 dollars a share now.

I can think of two recent growing trends right of the bat. The first is Vera Bradley, the maker of those womens handbags or whatever. I don't know much about them but I have two sisters and I swear they have 50 different purse thingys from Vera Bradley. This is also true among many women...Vera Bradley seems to be taking off as of recently and the company just went public (VRA). It opened at $24 a share and is up $10 to $34 a share. Vera Bradley is a good example of a possible growing trend.

My favorite growing trend is a company that is not even public yet. I hope you all have heard of Groupon because I think its the next big thing. First off it is the fastest company to make a billion dollars in profit! IT has 35 million members so far and I can see a day-to-day increase in the people I meet who use groupon. Trust me, more to come on groupon as they are eyeing an IPO this year.



What do these companies have in common? Read the post!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Changes to be made

I'm feeling like switching up the blog. I love golf but there are other things I am interested in. I am going to start investing soon and I want to try out an investment strategy and this will be a great way to keep a log of the strategy. I will be making changes to the layout today.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Gilmore

Not feeling a long post today...If any of you have seen Happy Gilmore, which by the way is my favorite comedy, you will enjoy this video.

This is Sergio Garcia and from the looks of it he kills it

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Accenture Match Play Championship

The Accenture Match Play Championship started yesterday and is part of the World Golf Championships which are a group of four annual events for male professional golfers representing all major professional tours. WGCs rank below the four majors but above all other competitive tournaments, in stature.

This tournament is different than any other tournament in the PGA Tour schedule as it is match play whereas every other event is stroke play. Match play is a scoring system for golf in which a player earns a point for each hole in which they have bested their opponent. In case of a tie on a hole it is considered a halve. This is the basic description of the scoring system and it gets a little complicated at times but I will explain it further in later posts.

I was able to watch a majority of the coverage yesterday and this is a round-up of what happened

-Tiger lost on the 19th hole. He was a number one seed and lost to the 16th seed. This has happened before and is not as rare as say a number 1 losing to a 16 in the NCAA tourny, but still he should have won and this is pretty disappointing for Tiger fans.

-The other number one seeds (Phil Mickleson, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer) all won big.

-My second favorite player, Ian Poulter also lost.

-There was a record 9 matches that went to extra holes.

All in all it was good day to watch golf. It is kind of like the first round of the NCAA tourny, just a lot of matches going on and a lot of action.

The tournament took place at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ. Anyone live near here? It is just outside of Tuscon. Here's a few pictures of the desert course.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Proper Golf Attire

Nothing else in this world brings me as much pain as seeing someone show up to the golf course in cargo shorts. Actually, I lied, seeing someone in an American Eagle collared shirt is equally painful, however I refuse to believe people still where those. Stick with me and you will find out what to wear to the golf course so you will not be stuck looking unqualified for the task at hand.


I'll tell you what, shorts and pants are the most important aspect to the proper golf attire because there is only one type that you can wear. The only option for golf pants are the cotton material, with only two pockets on the side and two pockets in the back. No other pockets are necessary. Extra pockets on the side= cargo pants and this is no good. It looks cheap, golf is an expensive game, you cannot look cheap.

The type of cotton pants/shorts have been popularized by Polo Ralph Lauren and my favorite are the Andrew Chino. These are not pleated and come in many sizes and colors. I have 6 pairs of pants; gray, blue, khaki, red, yellow and green. A little variety helps.

The best shorts are made by Polo as well and they are called chinos. I have them in gray, red, green, orange, khaki, blue, yellow, and black. It is very important to have many different colors so that you can switch it up.


The next step for a crucial golf outfit is the shirt. My favorite shirts are actually the Nike Dry-fit because it can get hot as shit out there on the course and these shirts are the best for that. They are very light and come in many different colors. When the weather is not as hot, I like to wear a polo shirt, made by either ralph lauren, Vineyard Vines or Brooks Brothers. These are the only shirts I will wear to golf in. Notice how I did not say American Eagle or Abercrombie. Please never wear these to a golf course!


Always wear a belt because a well dressed golfer ALWAYS tucks his shirt in


The best shoes to golf in are the new footjoy Icons. They are the top of the line golf shoes.


Always wear a hat. I prefer the Titleist Mesh hats

If you follow these guidelines you will be able to roll up to any course in American and fit in.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sam Snead

Slammin' Sammy Snead had one of the greatest swings ever, and thanks to video recording it will now live forever. He was one of those athletes that could have gone pro in a variety of sports. Some golfers have said that he would challenge new golfers on the tour to a push-up contest, even when he was 50 years old. He would get down and start cranking out push-ups on his fingertips. It was said that he was able to stretch one leg out to the top of a door frame! He was very athletic and it showed in his swing.

Some notable achievements from Sam Snead

- He won a record 82 PGA Tour events.

- He had 37 hole-in-ones

-He won seven majors

Here is his swing

Sunday, February 20, 2011

TaylorMade R11

TaylorMade golf has released a new driver for the 2011 season. The driver is white and their marketing strategy is to focus on the fact that it is different than all other drivers. TaylorMade has made the first white driver available to the whole public but I must say I think they stole the idea. Last year, Cobra Golf released a white version of their ZL driver but it was a limited release, only 500 were made. It wouldn't surprise me that TaylorMade saw this and just changed the paint job for their new driver.

I talked to my friend the other day about the white driver. For some reason it took this long for a popular golf manufacturer to make a white driver, which is surprising. Most drivers are black and others have been blue but they have always been a dark color. Now, TaylorMade is making their whole series of drivers white this season and my friend and I agreed that it lost its zeal by making all the drivers white. Cobra only made 500 of the drivers white which is really cool. TaylorMade has allowed any old smuck to buy a white driver.

What my friend and I agreed on was that TaylorMade should have made their Tour Preferred  series of drivers, which are their top of the line drivers, the only ones that are white. This would have added a "wow" factor and would immediately tell someone that the person using the white driver was hitting a TP. I believe this would have been the better direction to go with the white driver, lets see if anyone else does it next year.

Here's a pic of the TaylorMade r11 and Cobra ZL


Cobra ZL

Which one do you like better?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My round yesterday

I was not able to post yesterday because I was outside enjoying the beautiful day. I even skipped my two classes. I went to a golf store called "golfdom" early in the day and picked up some gloves and looked at the knew clubs. I was unimpressed with the new equipment, it seems all the golf companies are trying to market towards new golfers and are forgetting about the old ones thus the clubs are all shit.

I got to the course around 1 and meet two friends there. We hit on the range for about 30 minutes and were actually able to use the iphone 4 to capture a few swings on camera which was pretty cool. We went up to the Championship course and started playing, We decided to play skins which is basically the low score on a hole wins a skin but if two people tie on a hole the skin carrys over to the next hole. In the end I had 5 skins, and the other two had 4 and 1 respectivley. So I won 5 bucks! It was a good day I must say.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Trump National, D.C.

I want to continue on about my home course, Trump National, D.C. Or as I call it, just Trump. I'd like to go into the history of this course located in Sterling, Virginia. Trump used to be called Lowes Island and was a private club that opened up in 1992. At first there was only one course called the "Island" designed by Tom Fazio and a driving range. The name island comes from the fact that the majority of the holes are technically located on an island due to the border of the Potomac River and a few creeks. Here is a picture of the clubhouse and how it looked leading up to 2008. As you can see it says Trump National but this is what the clubhouse looked like when it was Lowes Island.

Around 1999, management decided to open another course, due to the popularity of the Island course. this course became known as the "River" and was designed by Arthur Hills. This is my favorite course out of the two because it is designed to be like a links course. After the river course was completed there was another addition and that was a short game practice area.

I really enjoyed Lowes Island, it was  private club and I was able to meet many people who eventually became great friends to this day. I always tell people that I am lucky to have many friends that I would not have meet through school. There was also a pool that I frequented regularly and a gym. I would say that in my teenage years I would go there every weekend in the summer.

In 2008, Chevy Chase went bankrupt and had to sell the property. The land is so spectacular that it got the attention of Donald Trump. At first we all thought a bunch of members were going to pitch in and buy it but Trump eventually got it. There were changes right off the bat. People were getting fired, there was a caddy policy implemented and changes to the course were being made.

I enjoyed the caddy policy because it gave me a pretty good job for a summer. I would make between 300-400 a weekend. The work was hard but the money was great. The biggest changes on the outside were made to the clubhouse, which was painted white, and the Island Course which was renamed the "Championship Course." 700 yards were added and it is much more difficult, the word is Trump is trying to get a PGA Tour event to be played here. Trump always says that this is his course that he is focusing on and I see that by his frequent visits. I meet him once and shook his hand but that is about it, for the most part he is very friendly with the members, but not the staff. Only two out of 10 golf staff remain from Lowes Island.

Overall I am happy with the direction the club is going and I will continue to keep you updated on the ever occuring changes.

Heres a pic of the new clubhouse paint job and a few holes.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

First round of the year

Got to play my first round of golf in the new year today and ill tell ya it felt damn good. I play at Trump National D.C. owned by the great Donald Trump and it has undergone some renovations. The course used to be called Lowes Island and it was owned by Chevy Chase Bank. Chevy Chase went bankrupt a few years back and Mr. Trump came in a bought the thing, cause of the views of the Potomac River, for 18 million dollars. Trump owns about 10 other golf resorts all under the name Trump.

So now I have the luxury of playing a Trump course cause my dad got in at a considerably lower price back when it was Lowes Island. Trump has added 700 yards to the championship course, cut down trees that border the river and put a 60 ft water fall up behind the 18th green. All in all I enjoy the new additions especially his taste in waitresses and female management ;)

Anyways, I shot a 39 (only played 9) and the 9 nine holes were a mixture of the River Course and Championship course. They do this in the winter to avoid overplay of some holes. I was driving the ball well and hitting good iron shots but my short game was very rusty and this is something that just takes getting used to. Most of all I just enjoyed being back out on the grass with my friends and shootin the shit.

Tomorrow Im gonna go more in depth on my home course, Trump National D.C.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Birdie Ball

Yesterday, in Northern Virginia, we got our first glimpse of spring. The snow had all melted out in my backyard an it was about 60 degrees so I felt like going outside to swing the club a little bit. Only after a few minutes I realized that this was the perfect opportunity to use the birdie balls I got for Christmas.

The birdie ball (shown below) is a breakthrough for practicing golf. The main issue with practicing is the fact that you need to go to a range to hit balls. There is some value in practicing without hitting balls but come on wheres the fun in that? The birdie ball is perfect as long as you have about 40-50 yards of space. This is a considerably shorter distance than what is required for a range which is typically 400 yards long and equally wide.

The birdie ball does not look like a golf ball, but somehow feels exactly like a golf ball when you hit it. The great thing about it is that it travels exactly like a golf ball for 20 yards before it looses speed and falls down to the ground after about 40 yards. It even shows ball flight (draw or fade) and will go a shorter distance on mishits.

I had a good time enjoying the weather and hitting the birdie ball around. Hopefully more of this warm weather will continue and I'll be ready for when the cold days are few and far between.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

What's in the Bag

From time to time, I'll give updates on what clubs the pros are hitting and the new technology influencing the world of golf. Today I'm going to go through my bag.

Driver- Cobra ZL, 9.5 degrees with an extra stiff Aldila VooDoo shaft.

3-Wood- Cobra S9-1 Pro 15 degree with an extra stiff Aldila VS Proto


Irons- 3-PW Titleist 690 Muscle Backs with Project X 6.5


Wedges- 52, 56 and 60 degree Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled C-C


Putter- Scotty Cameron Studio Stainless Newport 2

There it is. These are all my clubs, let me know what you think

Tiger's "promotional fee"

Tiger lost, he played like shit today, this is not too surprising. I'll leave it at that. In other news It was reported that Tiger Woods received 55.4 million dollars up front to promote a golf course under development in the UAE. This is all part of a contract where he will receive a total of 70 million dollars once the course is finished and has Tigers name attached in some way. All he had to do was show up and do a few promotional gimmicks. The course is not even finished yet and the construction is postponed due to the current market conditions.

Can you believe this? Do you think anyone's name is worth 70 million dollars? That is quite an astonishing amount of money and when asked about it Tiger had no comment...

Thought this picture was fitting as Tiger gets about a 100 million dollars a year from Nike. Tiger is the highest endorsed athlete in any sport.

Friday, February 11, 2011

ODDC 2nd round update

Just to let you guys know, my favorite channel is the golf channel and I was lucky enough to catch the extended highlights of the 2nd round from the Dubai Desert classic last night. Tiger Woods represented America well and threw down a superb 66, 6 under par, low score on the day, which was good enough to put him in a tie for 5th. Lee Westwood shot 2 under par and Martin Kaymer shot 1 under par as the top three ranked players concluded an interesting two day pairing with each other.

Tiger showed promise that his struggles are behind him and that he may be gaining confidence in his new swing changes. Last year, Tiger fired his swing coach and has since adopted a new swing philosophy.  A two time champion of the DDC, Tiger amassed 6 birdies and 0 bogeys and said after the round, "I feel good. We (him and his swing coach) worked out a few things last night that I didn't like." He looked to be in control most of the round, driving the ball well and gettingt the putter going, which has let him down the last year or so. Hopefully he will continue this play into the weekend and finally win a tournament since the big scandal.

Rory McIlroy still leads the tournament at 11 under after a 68 yesterday. Sergio Garcia, one of my favorite golfers, has continued his good play as of late and is in 2nd place at 10 under. No one else of note is in the top ten.

The pairing of the top three in the world is over and this will be my last post on this tournament. Ill let you guys know if Tiger wins on Sunday but I really just wanted to cover this interesting pairing. It seems like Tiger had a small victory by coming out on top and it is good to see USA on the leader board.

The Omega Dubai Desert Classic

The top professional golfers rarely play every event on the PGA Tour. For example, in 2009 Tiger Woods played in 17 events, and this was before the big scandal. This leads to a number of events on the PGA Tour where they do not deserve coverage but in any event that there are a number of top golfers or big story lines, I will follow them for the weekend.

Today's tournament I am gonna write about does not take place on the PGA Tour but on the European Tour. The top 3 golfers in the world are playing in it and it just so happens that they were paired in the same group for today and tomorrow. The tournament is the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and those players (in order or world ranking) are Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, and Tiger Woods. Tiger decided to play in this tournament because he gets a nice fat check just for showing up.

Westwood and Kaymer both shot 3-under par, besting Tiger who shot 1- under par. This does not carry much significance as it is only the first round but it is not very often that the top 3 ranked players in the world play in the same group. This field is also very strong and I will continue to follow the leader board throughout the weekend. Rory McIlory leads all players after shooting a 7 under 65, very solid shooting by the young Irishman.

Here are some pictures of this gem in the desert.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Favorite Courses - Pacific Dunes

One of my favorite courses is Pacific Dunes which is located in Oregon. Pacific Dunes is one of three courses at a resort known as Bandon Dunes. The resort is located far away from any major city in the town of Bandon, Oregon. We flew into Portland and the drive to Bandon was 2 hrs, along the pacific coast. Bandon is a small town and does not look like the location for a prestigious golf resort.

The resort was built by a few men who made a fortune selling greeting cards. They wanted a resort away from all the hassle of the real world and they wanted to bring the experience of links golf to the USA. Flash forward to the completion of three courses and plans for a fourth and you have what I call a "nice track."

 This is a picture of me hitting driver on Pacific Dunes. Most of the terrain was very similar to this. There is the ocean, long grass and many dunes throughout the course.

Pacific Dunes is a tough course. The pacific ocean comes into play on 8 holes and since the course is so close to the coast, the wind is always kicking up. I played it in June and the weather was 65 degrees, cloudy and very windy. My game is not very solid in heavy wind but I still managed to shoot a 76 and take a few bucks from my pops. We had caddies and they were great in helping us navigate the course.

I liked this course so much because it is different than any other course I have ever played. Most courses I see are located inland and I just get bored of them. Pacific Dunes was a change up and even someone who doesn't play golf can enjoy the views.


DD's and The 59

The lowest score in a tournament on the PGA Tour is a 59. This feat has been achieved 5 times. David Duval is one of the players who has shot the record low. In 1999 he shot 31 on the front nine and 28 on the back nine during the final round of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. This feat is amazing in of itself but what is more unbelievable are the circumstances surrounding the round. Duval was trailing by 1 shot going into the final hole which was a par 5. He also needed an eagle (2 under par) to shoot a you see where this is going? What I think is one of the most remarkable feats ever on the PGA Tour, Duval indeed eagled the final hole to shoot a 59 and win the tournament by one shot. What an amazing feat that was.


A little about David Duval...

First of his nickname is Double D' sick is that??

In 1999 he was the number one ranked player in the world.

I have heard many players say that through 2001, when he won the British Open, he was in total control of his golf swing. Some say that it was mesmerizing to watch him play and he would make the game look effortless.

After Duval won the British Open in 2001, he dropped off the map. That win is still his last victory and he has only surfaced a few times with a run on the leaderboard.

Some say he had a mental breakdown and he has said that he won the British Open and thought "Is this it?"

Duval is still playing on the tour and it is tough to really feel bad for him because he is making good money and he is a fan favorite. I regard Duval as having one of the best swings ever, in his prime. He had great tempo and the whole swing was fluid one complete motion. Here is a video of him back in his prime.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How to hit the ball far

Every golfer strives for a 300 + yard drive. To explain how to hit it far I am going to turn to the reining world long drive champion, Jamie Sadlowski, whose personal long drive is 445 yards. To put it in perspective, Im happy with a drive of 280 yards. The most surprising thing about Sadlowski is that he is only 5'11 and 165 lbs.
In order to hit it far the most important thing is to create lag between the club head and your hands (the picture below is a prime example) Theoretically the most lag you could create (for a right handed golfer) would cause you to hit your right shoulder. In order to create lag it is imperative that the golfer initiate the downswing with a lower body rotation. This is the most difficult thing for an amateur golfer to grasp. The downswing is not started with a swinging of the hands but with a rotation of the lower body. This cause the club head to lag behind the hand creating lag which equals power.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Closest to the pin

One time I was out playing golf with two friends. I was pretty drunk and had just hit my drive straight into the river so I decided that I would sit out a few holes. While I sat in the cart and packed a fat dip, I was called a pussy and a faggot for not playing. My response to these allegations was simple, "lets do closest to the pin." Closest to the pin settles all arguments on the golf course. Closest to the pin is a very simple game which involves all parties hitting a golf shot at the green from the same place. The rules are that you have to hit the green and closest to the pin, measured by a walk off, wins. Normally the winner receives an agreed upon bet which is 20 dollars minimum.

The question is, has anyone ever played closest to the pin?


Golf, the great American past time, well maybe not, but it should be. I love golf, not only have almost all Presidents since William Howard Taft played it but many highly successful men have enjoyed the games greatness. Whether you are a common hacker or a seasoned pro, the joys of the game are limitless. This blog is dedicated to the game of golf and I will continue to post on its intricacies.