Motivation Monday is written weekly by NEPGA Executive Director Michael Higgins. It is his effort to help provide motivation and encouragement for NEPGA Professionals, Partners and Staff that will hopefully help you begin your week on the right foot. Motivation Mondays will include a “Quote of the Week” and a story that will hopefully keep you motivated and in a positive state of mind.
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Over the last few years, we have heard the term “Burnout” being used quite a bit. I recently read an interesting article on something called Social Burnout. I personally love networking, and love being around people. The pandemic was difficult for me, because I am much better around people and struggle with only connecting over a phone/computer. Social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family, and I personally have social media accounts on multiple platforms. I certainly go on my accounts to see what is going on with people a lot more than I make a post, but each person has their own social media engagement level. But when is socializing either in person or online too much? READ MORE
I was listening to this US Olympian talk about her training routine for the Olympics. The focus and training for an Olympian is at an elite level, and by the time we see them compete at the Olympics, they have spent countless hours preparing. READ MORE
Theodore Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena” speech, though it was delivered more than 100 years ago, continues to have a lasting impact today. Here is an excerpt from his 35-page speech that every leader should read to their team, every coach should read to their players, and every parent should read to their children. READ MORE
Each of us has a choice of how we want to perceive failure, and how we respond to failure.
Reggie Jackson struck out 2600 times during his career. That number is the most strike outs by any Major League baseball player in history, but no one talks about the strike outs. Reggie is remembered as Mr. October, and we remember his 563 home runs, way more than all the strike outs. READ MORE
When I was younger, I remember being difficult to my parents for things that I didn’t want to do, and I remember my dad telling me all the things I didn’t have to do. “I didn’t have to work hard in life. I didn’t have to train or practice. I didn’t have to study or put forth a lot of effort in anything I was doing.” He said, “Michael, you never have to do more than is required of you, and you never have to do anything that you don’t want to do.” READ MORE
If you are an NFL fan you probably tuned in for the Cincinnati Bengals/Kansas City Chief playoff game the other day. It was a great game that came down to the wire, and there was a late personal foul penalty committed by Joseph Ossai that potentially cost Cincinnati the game. There were millions of people around the country who witnessed that play and instantly became upset, especially Bengals fans. READ MORE
Are you a person who tries to focus on multiple things at the same time and expects to have the same success for each?
Have you ever tried to chase a rabbit? How about two rabbits? If you try to chase two rabbits at the same time, they both are going to get away. READ MORE
Michael Jordan missed more than 9000 shots in his career. He lost more than 300 games while playing in the NBA. There were 26 times during his career that Jordan was entrusted to take the final shot when the game was on the line, and he missed. READ MORE
A few weeks back a NEPGA member came by the office to see the Section’s new home. I always enjoy it when our Section Professionals come by for a visit, so if you happen to be in the Boylston, MA area, be sure to stop in and say hello. READ MORE
Do you want to change your life? The first way you can start this process is by cleaning your bedroom. Your bedroom is an externalization of your mind. This is a deep thought, especially for a Monday morning in January, but it is absolutely true. Look at your bedroom as you. Now I know many of you reading this will not think this way, but that is how it is. Your room is you. READ MORE
Hello 2023 and Happy New Year everyone!
I am sure over the last few days you have had some time to reflect on the previous year. Maybe it was the most amazing year you’ve ever experienced, or maybe there are a few things you would like to change in the new year. Maybe you ate poorly and didn’t work out as much as you would have liked. Maybe you didn’t fight for what you wanted in your year-end review. READ MORE
Every day each one of us will go out to our vehicles, start them up, and head out to start our day. If we are running errands or heading to work, there will be multiple times throughout the day when we will need to start our car to get us where we need to be. For one second think about how many times you start your vehicle and feel thankful that it starts. Unless we are in the middle of nowhere on a below freezing night, or in a low budget horror movie being chased by a man in a hockey mask yielding a machete, the thought probably doesn’t come to mind. Can you honestly say that you are thankful every time your car starts? READ MORE
Celebrating two years of Mike’s Motivation Monday
I heard a story that I would like to share about a man named Ryan Estis. Ryan was traveling through the Minneapolis airport a few years back on Christmas Eve, and he had an interaction with a barista that day that would impacted his life forever. READ MORE
I heard a story about a professor that conducted an experiment with his students using balloons. He provided each student with a balloon, asked them to blow it up, write their name on it, and then throw it into the hallway. Certainly, intrigued about where this was going, each student complied and soon the hallway was filled with many balloons. READ MORE
There are so many wonderful lessons that we can learn from playing sports. Teamwork, selflessness, leadership, just to name a few. Golf is the perfect sport that is reflective of how many of us should live our lives. Do the right thing when no one else is looking. Can the same lessons be learned from soccer? READ MORE
At the NEPGA Annual Meeting a few weeks ago I had some wonderful conversations with NEPGA Professionals, many of which I had not seen in quite some time. During one of the conversations a NEPGA Member told me that he played more golf this year than he played in the previous year. Excited to hear that, I said, “that’s great!” He replied, “last year I played 18 holes and this year I played 27 holes.” I inquired if he was injured and he said, “no, just too busy.” My response was, “I am sorry to hear that. That is awful. I hope that is something you can change.” READ MORE
How many of you reading this would call yourself a procrastinator? Since the beginning of time, human nature has shown that human beings put things off. Some are such experts at putting things off that they ultimately never get to them. We all tell ourselves; we will do something when we have a little more money. When we are a little bit older. When we finish another project. When we have more time. “We can always do it tomorrow.” And then tomorrow comes……and nothing happens. READ MORE
Do you remember Blockbuster Video? At one time they were a behemoth of a company where you would visit their stores and rent a movie. They were so big and so successful they even sponsored a college football bowl game. Today with all the different streaming services, the convenience of picking up a movie and bringing it to your home has become even easier that we never have to leave our couch. READ MORE
Think for one second about all the hats a PGA Professional wears. (Remember the badge ad?) A PGA Professional is a manager, instructor, mentor, merchandiser, player, leader, friend, parent…I could go on and on. A PGA Professional’s day is jam-packed with so many things it often feels as though it is very difficult to go from one to another and cross things off your list. READ MORE
Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz was asked what the secret to his amazing success throughout his career was, and his response was “we WIN every day.” WIN was an acronym that Holtz built his career upon, and what he drilled into his players; “What’s Important Now?” He encouraged his players to continuously ask themselves that question throughout each day. Whether they were in class, at practice, at a party, in the middle of a game, it didn’t matter, because asking themselves that question helped them determine what the most important thing for them was to be doing at that moment. READ MORE
In 2010 the Executive Director of the NEPGA left the Section suddenly in September. Joan Stuart, Jacy Settles, Ron Green, and I held down the fort for the last 3.5 months of the year. (Michael Packard was a big help too!) Making it known that I was very interested in the Executive Director position, I put my head down and treated the time leading up to the interview process as an on-the-job interview. READ MORE
I was listening to musical artist Babyface during a speaking engagement he was attending. He spoke to a group of aspiring musicians about his career and how he got to where he was, and then it turned into a bit of a Q & A session. The kids were very excited to be speaking with one of the most talented singer/song writers in the industry. Babyface was talking about motivation and managing your motivation once your focus begins to slip. We can all relate to our personal motivation slipping while working on a project, and his special method turned a light bulb on in my head that I implement in my own life. READ MORE
I heard a story about a kid who was failing out of high school. As bad as he was doing in school, he promised his mother that he would take the standardized SAT test. He took the SAT exam expecting to fail, since he was doing so poorly in his classes, but he actually scored a 1480 out of 1600! READ MORE
As the golf season winds down in New England, this is the time when PGA Professionals interview for new positions, negotiate contracts, and have annual reviews. Now more than ever being prepared for these situations is paramount. Having difficult conversations with department heads and owners can be uncomfortable, but with the current employment climate (not just in the golf industry) these difficult conversations need to happen. Unfortunately, it may be up to you to start the conversations, or they may never happen, and if they never happen, nothing will change. READ MORE
Every single one of us is valuable in our own way. We all bring something to the table and offer our employers our own unique perspective, skillset, and knowledge. At times we have all questioned whether we are compensated accordingly compared to our counterparts at different facilities, or in similar roles. There is no standard compensation for Head Golf Professionals around the Section, there is no regionalized first assistant weekly salary, and lesson rates vary from one facility to another. We also look at some of our benefits compared to what others have and wonder if we are valued the same. READ MORE
I heard a story recently about a PGA Professional who entered the golf business later in life. Trying his hand in a few different industries, he decided to take a leap of faith into an industry that he has always loved. This is a move that I highly respect and admire, but I know how difficult of a decision it can be, especially when a wife and children are involved. There is sometimes a lot less risk when you are taking that leap on your own. READ MORE
In the early days of my career, I thought I could help everyone. I thought that being in the service industry my entire life meant that it was my mission to try and assist everyone I could. When someone would complain I would drop everything I was doing to try and “make things right” for them. Then I started to realize that some people didn’t actually want me to “make things right,” and complaining was just ingrained in them. READ MORE
Did you know that the Guinness Beer Company started the Guinness Book of World Records because pub sales were down? The company wanted their sales to grow, so they conducted a lot of surveys and realized that people talked quite a bit about trivia while they were at the pub. Realizing this, Guinness decided to create the Guinness Book of World Records, so that the people in the pubs would talk about all the crazy world records, reinforce the Guinness brand, and then order a pint of Guinness. I think this was a genius move by Guinness since who at some point in their life hasn’t considered attempting some silly activity to create a world record of your own? READ MORE
10 Things That Require Zero Talent: Being on time, work ethic, effort, energy, body language… READ MORE
I recently taught my son how to play chess and he and I have been playing quite a bit lately. If you know anything about the game of chess, you know the goal is to get to the point where your opponent’s King can no longer make a move. Once the king is trapped, the winner declares “checkmate” and the game is over. READ MORE
During his post tournament interview after winning this year’s RBC Heritage, Jordan Spieth made a comment about what he did that helped him win. Jordan said that “he focused on staying external.” Personally, I think this great advice can not only be applied to help us on the golf course, but in our daily work and personal life as well. Just as long as we understand what Jordan means. READ MORE
While trying to build our building, work my day job, and be present with my family I found myself going in different directions by the minute. Most of the things I am responsible for are important, and what I struggled with was understanding the difference between those things that are urgent and those things that are important. READ MORE
No matter where you work, what position you hold, or how long you have been there, you are always going to have people who disagree with you and make your job a challenge. Some may have an agenda; it could be the result of conflicting personalities and it may simply be that the person is not your biggest fan. I have seen this happen at clubs many, many times. The PGA Professional is dealing with a boisterous member who does a lot chirping around the bar, complains how things are run, and doesn’t truly have any idea what is involved or why things are done a certain way. You can’t wait for this member to leave the club, or for their term on the board to expire, right? READ MORE
In 1996 I walked into a small, 700 square foot office in Wakefield, MA located at the Colonial Hotel and started my internship with the NEPGA. After a few weeks I learned that we were moving from the Colonial to Hillview CC in North Reading, MA, and this is where we would remain until our under-construction office was completed at the Cyprian Keyes GC. After one season at Hillview, I helped the staff pack up the office once again and we headed west. We would enjoy 10 great seasons at Cyprian Keyes, but eventually our lease expired, and we packed up and moved for a third time (4th location) into a small building right down the road that shared space with the U.S. Post Office. READ MORE
I grew up in a small central Massachusetts town called Shrewsbury. Most people who grew up in the area have heard of Shrewsbury because of an old General Store that was a staple in the community called Spag’s. Spag’s was the nickname of the store owner, and it was a one stop shop for everything you could ever need. It was a Walmart or a Costco, long before they ever existed. READ MORE
The most efficient and effective teams (family, business, athletics) can learn a lot from a pack of wolves moving together from one place to another. Wolves live in highly organized and efficient packs, and the role of each member is clearly defined. Similarly, to these wolves, successful teams thrive where teamwork, loyalty, and communication are the norm. READ MORE
Some of the best advice I ever heard was feedback a colleague of mine received during his employee review. The comment in his review was you are “Resistant to Change.” We would joke and have a good laugh about that comment for years, especially during review time, but it always made me think about change and whether it is a good, or a bad thing. READ MORE
One day my son and I attempted a ropes obstacle course. If you have never tried one, they are very fun and can be quite challenging. At this location I was extremely impressed with their harness system. It was used to keep each of us safe from injury, but it doesn’t remove the feeling of discomfort as we navigated the course. Excitement and safety are a great combo, especially when you are with a 10-year-old! READ MORE
Yesterday was Father’s Day and it is always a great day that I spend with my children, but it is also a day that I think about my own father. When you are no longer able to see a person, you can not help but think about the special time you were able to spend with them. I can not help but think if I maximized the time I had with them, or if I would have done anything differently. These reflections make me think about a poem I read called The Line, and I would like to share it with all of you on this Motivation Monday. READ MORE
As a little experiment I would like you to think about how many times a day you say, “I’m Sorry.” Then try and remember throughout the pandemic how many times you said, “I’m Sorry.” I am sure that it is a lot higher than you thought. READ MORE
Many of you are leaders of a team, leaders of a staff, even leaders of an event. There are so many characteristics of great leaders, but one that we don’t always hear a lot about, but one that is extremely important in our profession, is being visible. Being a visible leader. If your team can’t see you, then how can they follow you? If your members do not see you and you are not visible to your membership, then how can they believe in and support what you are trying to do. READ MORE
Memorial Day is a day of ceremonies, speeches and parades. Today is a day that we honor the deceased men and women who lost their lives serving our country. We recall and reflect on their sacrifices, their valor; and we remember that they gave their lives for us. They gave their lives so that we could live. READ MORE
Last week Golf Digest published an article by Shane Ryan that was titled ’The Club Pro Crisis’. This article hits close to home for many of us working in the golf industry. There are stories of PGA Professionals sacrificing their own quality of life for what? READ MORE
It is extremely hard for me to comprehend that 25 years ago this past weekend I graduated from college. I remember it like it was yesterday wearing my burgundy cap and gown and sitting under the old oak trees at Elon College in North Carolina. I was the last graduating class before Elon rebranded as a university, and my closet only has one retro Elon College sweatshirt remaining. Leaving North Carolina a few days later I said goodbye to many friends that I have not seen since. Not because I don’t want to, it is just unfortunately what happens as life/careers make it a challenge to get together. Especially when everyone moves all over the country. READ MORE
This year at the Oscars we all witnessed the slap heard round the world when Will Smith walked up on stage and slapped Chris Rock across the face, because he had just made a joke about his wife Jada’s haircut. Smith followed up his slap with some yelling at Rock from his seat, to “Keep your mouth off my %#$@ wife!” There is no place for violence in a situation like this, and very rarely is it the answer in any situation, but I am sure that in the heat of the moment, Smith was enraged by Rock’s comment and in his mind, he was defending his wife. READ MORE
I’m sure if you try and answer the question in the title of this article you will follow it up with a little justification in your mind for your opinion. There are conflicts going on all around the globe. Social media is creating judgement and personal comparison to others. People are lonely, education and health care are too expensive, and the workforce/job market is all over the place. READ MORE
Bill Belichick is one of the most successful NFL coaches of all time and he has eight Super Bowl Championship rings to prove it! Six of those rings came as the head coach of the New England Patriots and two came as the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants. When Belichick started his coaching career, he was far from the coaching genius that he is considered today. Many consider him to be one of the most knowledgeable and experienced coaches to ever wear a headset, but there is one thing that has never changed throughout his career…his work ethic. Belichick is, and has always been, a workhorse! READ MORE
So far this spring it has been great to see so many NEPGA Professionals at the Section/Chapter Meetings. At a recent chapter meeting we were trying to have a positive discussion on why PGA Professionals attend meetings. What are their reasons? Inevitably the conversation flipped to why people are unable to attend meetings. Working/not being able to get away seemed to be the most prevalent reason/excuse. READ MORE
I was at The Home Depot recently and with me came an unorganized list of items that I needed for a few at home projects. The vastness of The Home Depot is organized and without guidance I more than likely will eventually find everything I am looking for, but I am not ashamed to ask for help. The first employee I encountered was walking quickly and saw that I was obviously looking for something. He slowed down a bit and said, “what are you looking for?” I replied, “I need to replace a doorbell,” and he quickly responded, “isle four”, picked up his pace, and was off in a flash. READ MORE
Growing up a basketball fan in the 80’s and early 90’s I was very fortunate to witness some great NBA rivalries. Celtics versus Lakers, Bird versus Magic and Michael Jordan versus everyone! As much of a Larry Bird fan as I was growing up, it is hard to debate that Michael Jordan isn’t the greatest basketball player of all time. Jordan commanded the respect of his teammates as well as every player on the opposing teams. He was the player you wanted to have the ball when the game is on the line. READ MORE
At the end of last year my third contract with the New England PGA was set to expire. With gas still in my tank, a love for my job at an all-time high and with a lot still left to accomplish for the NEPGA, I informed the board that I would like to extend my contract. After months and months of grueling negotiations with President Belden and Vice President Bradshaw, both sides were able to come to an acceptable agreement, and I was honored to sign a five-year extension at the 2021 NEPGA Annual Meeting. READ MORE
St. Patrick’s Day was last week, and many Irish celebrated with a Guinness, some corned beef and cabbage, and possibly an outfit involving a lot of green. You also see a lot of four leaf clovers, hear about “the luck of the Irish,” or talk about people who seem to be very lucky. We all know a person who always seems to get that “lucky” bounce out of the woods, wins on scratch tickets, or seems to always have good fortune in their life. This started me wondering if some people can actually be luckier than others, and if it is possible, how can I become luckier? READ MORE
Last weekend I tuned in to watch the Duke vs North Carolina basketball game, not only because it is one of the great rivalries in all of college sports, but because it was Coach K’s last home game as the coach of the Duke Blue Devils. I matriculated at Elon University in North Carolina and for those 4 years I don’t think I missed a single Duke/UNC game. The state might as well have shut down during these games because it seems like everyone was tuning in to watch that amazing rivalry. READ MORE
I don’t think I have ever come across a PGA Professional who didn’t enter the golf business because of their passion for the game. Most will say they chose a career in golf because they were passionate about the game, they had a love for the game, and they found that they loved sharing the game with others. To me that sounds like an amazing opportunity. You are in an industry that you love, you have a passion for what you do, so how could that be bad? READ MORE
Every industry has seen record turnover during the pandemic and the golf industry is no exception. Not only is the golf industry seeing record turnover, but we are also experiencing more golfers coming back to the game, taking up the game, or simply playing more golf than ever. If you also add in the component of a reduction in people joining our industry, we are witnessing almost the perfect storm brewing right before our eyes. READ MORE
How many times in your life have you told someone to “mind their own business,” or how many times in your life have you been told to “mind your own business?” More than likely, probably not enough. If you think about your life in terms of following rules or being told what to do, you will realize that more than likely it has been happening your entire life. READ MORE
Many great leaders are self-aware of how they are viewed by others, and they have the ability to actually embrace feedback or criticism, but there are many others who cannot. As PGA Professionals I think it is very important to be self-aware of how you view yourself and how you are viewed by others. I recently read an excerpt from Mike Zani’s book, The Science of Dream Teams, that I would like to share. READ MORE
Throughout my many years working with employment I have met with many GM’s, club officers, board members and committees that were in full panic mode because their PGA Professional had either resigned or been let go. Either the career consultant or I will receive a phone call from these panicked individuals begging us to post their open position as soon as possible or their facility could implode. “We need to get someone in here as soon as possible! Can you post the job today?” READ MORE
The NEPGA recently conducted a survey to gauge the comfort level of our PGA Professionals and Partners to travel to the PGA Show in Orlando, FL. I found it very interesting to read some of the comments and personal opinions on the travel restrictions and Covid policies that would impact travel. READ MORE
One of the first lessons I was taught by my parents was to say please and thank you. It was something I tried to instill in my children at a young age as well. I’m sure you recall many times as a child being asked the question, “what do you say”, before or after you were given something. Every time I visited a friend’s house my parents always reminded me to say thank you to their parents before leaving. Saying please and thank you shows someone that you appreciate their efforts, their gesture, or their gifts. READ MORE
Many of you have heard me talk about the things we do in the unseen hours that help to make programs, events, even people a success. Working to get better when no one is looking differentiates oneself from others in their industry. I am certainly not the same Executive Director that I was when I started 12 years ago, and I certainly did not grow or find success by working 9 to 5, Monday thru Friday. READ MORE
On January 4, 1950, my father born in Worcester, Massachusetts. Three years ago today, on January 10, 2019, my father lost his long battle with Dementia. That was a difficult day, and if you know someone who had Alzheimer’s or Dementia, you know there were many difficult days leading up to that day. That disease doesn’t define my dad, and before he got sick, he loved to play golf, he loved music and he loved his family. READ MORE.
How prepared are you to take on your day? How prepared are you for the entire 2022 season? Sometimes it comes down to basic preparation and being ready when and where others are not.
John Wooden, the former basketball coach of the UCLA Bruins, won 10 national championships, including seven titles in a row! READ MORE
Does your facility or your operation perform at a high level? US Navy Seals are one of the highest performing organizations on the planet. I watched an interview with a former SEAL who was asked during the interview, “who makes it through BUDS?” “Who makes it through the selection process to become a SEAL?” READ MORE
As children we all looked at some of our parents’ habits or tendencies as annoying or at times embarrassing. Then, as parents ourselves, we create similar situations with our own children that allow us to put how our parents acted into perspective. Many of us have become those same “annoying or embarrassing” people. READ MORE
Ten years from now, it won’t matter what you shot in that golf tournament, it won’t matter what type of golf shoes you wore, or what type of clubs you played. What will matter is how you lived, how you loved, and what you learned along the way.
I am not telling you something that you don’t already know or something you have not heard from plenty of other people, but most of us go through our days being easily distracted and we get derailed by the insignificant. Especially when it comes to work. READ MORE
A few weeks ago, we were finally able to conduct our 2020 and our 2021 Awards Banquets. Those two evenings are such special events for the award winners and their families. It is great to see the best of the best in New England and to celebrate them in front of their friends and families. Winning a Section Award is something that should be celebrated. Each award winner is the only PGA Professional out of the 1100 we have in our Section to receive that special honor for the entire year. It is special and huge honor! READ MORE
Best practices can be extremely valuable for coming up with new ideas for your operation.
I constantly connect with my fellow Executive Directors to learn about their member programs, education topics, tournament formats, partners, etc. Those conversations are so valuable and keep pushing me to do more with the Section to keep things exciting and new. I also love sharing some of the successes we have had in New England to help my fellow ED’s and Sections around the country elevate their games whenever possible. READ MORE.
During this week of Thanksgiving many of us have much to be thankful for. There are many others who are struggling this time of year and sometimes one simple act of kindness is all that is needed to turn around someone’s day or even life. I recently read this story about an experience had by a cab driver, which hopefully will inspire each reader to be just a little nicer this holiday season.
I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes, I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift, I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked. “Just a minute”, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. READ MORE.
In September of 2010 the Executive Director of the NEPGA suddenly left his position and the NEPGA ship was left without a captain. At the time, we were a very small staff and there were only four of us left to oversee the operation. Knowing that we were not going to immediately have a new Executive Director, we all took on a few more responsibilities and our goal was to make sure the Section didn’t skip a beat, and the membership was not impacted.
Over the next few weeks I did a lot of soul searching about what I wanted to do with my career, and I decided that I would apply for the open Executive Director position. I approached the leadership at the time and asked them for the opportunity to serve as the interim ED. I tried to sell them on my years of service to the Section, my industry knowledge and my desire to be in that position. The leadership appreciated my efforts but decided that it is in the best interest of the membership that a national search be conducted, and the proper diligence be done in this process. READ MORE.
A couple years ago the NEPGA Employment Consultant, Facility Relations Committee Chairperson and I conducted what we referred to as “Career Check Ups.” Each check up was scheduled for about 45 minutes and this was an opportunity for NEPGA Professionals to ask us questions about the industry, review their resume and cover letter, work on their career goals/aspirations, or what ever else we could discuss about employment that might be helpful with their careers.
We wanted to bring this service to the membership and attempted to conduct one check up session in each NEPGA Chapter. We tried to schedule between 6 – 8 PGA Professionals each day, and the range of the attendees varied. We had Associates, Head Professionals, Directors of Golf, Assistant Professionals looking for a Head Professional Position, suspended members and even a few new members to the Section. This exercise was as valuable for me as it hopefully was for each of the attendees, and I look forward to bringing it back this offseason. Hopefully there will be an interest. READ MORE.
It was great to travel to each chapter meeting this fall and see so many NEPGA Professionals. In many cases this was the first time in two years (non-virtual) that I was able to see certain people. It was like running into old friends that I had not seen in a while and picking up right where we left off. I think it is so important that we continue to gather at our Section and Chapter Meetings, as it is an important part of our business and our industry. There is no better way to network, engage others that are experiencing the same things you are, and be a part of the association of which you belong. READ MORE.
Author Seth Godin tells a story about a time when he was driving through the countryside. As the trip dragged on, he and his fellow passengers were amazed by how many cows they passed. Just the sheer number of cows they were looking at seemed as though they were being surrounded. Everyone in the vehicle could not stop talking about all the cows. “Look at the size of that cow.” “All those cows over there are sitting down.” “How much do you think that cow weighs?” But then something happened. The cows ceased to be interesting. There were so many of them that they became expected or boring. That’s when Seth realized that to be truly remarkable, a cow would have to be purple to stand out. If there was a giant purple cow in the middle of the hundreds and hundreds of cows in the field, it certainly would be noticed. How could it not be noticed? READ MORE.
In April of 1911, Louis A. Biuso was born in a small town in Italy where life was extremely difficult. Food was scarce, money was even more scarce, and as a small child his family decided to move to the United States. Louie’s father Anthony was a barber by trade and a proud Italian who wanted to live in an area of the United States with a strong Italian population. When he arrived in New York he searched for someone who spoke Italian, and when he found that person he asked, “where do the Italians live?” That man could have said anywhere, but the town he uttered was Milford, Massachusetts. Anthony purchased a bus ticket, a sticker was put on his chest that said Milford, Massachusetts and off he went. READ MORE.
This entire year many of us have felt like circus performers juggling flaming swords at both home and work. There are so many companies in our industry that have been wrestling with broken supply chains and lack of a labor force, it doesn’t feel like we have had much relief. Add in the consistent flow of golfers at our facilities and we find ourselves having to say no more often. READ MORE.
When I was younger, my father would come home from work and the first thing he would do was grab the newspaper and for the next 45 minutes we knew he was going to read the paper from cover to cover. This was his way to unwind after work, and my sister and I knew that once he was done, we would have dinner and he would then have the rest of the night to be with us. We all know of people that have their own unwind routine after a long day at the office. Maybe it is a glass of wine or scotch, maybe it is hitting the gym or going for a run, maybe it’s even something such as cooking or meditating. READ MORE.
It is now officially the employment season in the New England Section. The employment season is typically when PGA Professionals or facilities decide to make a change. This is also when contract negotiations begin, and PGA Professionals negotiate their compensation for the following year. Currently the number of NEPGA Professionals who have filled out their compensation profiles is quite low. This does not allow us to produce strong, supportive data, and at the end of the day it could hurt you in your efforts. If you have not filled out your compensation profile yet, I implore you to do so. Help me to be able to help you and your fellow PGA Professionals. READ MORE.
At 8:46 AM on September 11, 2001 I was sitting at my desk in the NEPGA Office on the second floor of Cyprian Keyes GC, in Boylston MA. A friend of mine called me a few minutes later and told me that a small plane had flown into the World Trade Center. Ironically, I had recently watched a documentary on the construction of the Empire State Building, and how it was so strongly constructed, that in 1945 a B-25 Bomber flying from New Bedford, MA to LaGuardia Airport flew into the side of the building. Sadly 14 people were killed that day, but the building held. READ MORE
This year I have had a few conversations with PGA Professionals that claim their managers are not very good at managing. Some of these cases are a result of a new manager doing something for the first time, but sometimes a new manager will hit a roadblock that might not have to do with inexperience. READ MORE
The 101st NEPGA Section Championship was played last week and it has always been one of my favorite weeks of the year. There are many reasons why it is my favorite but being able to connect with many NEPGA Professionals over the three days, the ability to work closely with two amazing facilities, and the NEPGA team gets to put on a show are just a few. READ MORE
In the spirit of today’s Section Championship, I would like to share a quick motivational story from the 1976 NEPGA Championship. Each Section Championship has its own special feel, its own logistical challenges, and memories that the participants will hopefully have forever. 2021 will mark my 25th NEPGA Championship and I certainly have my share of great stories. From back-to-back victories to first time winners; from runaway wins to sudden death playoffs. The NEPGA Championship is never short on excitement, but one of the most exciting finishes almost never happened. READ MORE
By August we are all up to our eyeballs with the golf season. Nice weather and club events are keeping us busy and engaged at our facilities. During this time of the season I am always asking PGA Professionals “How are things going at your facility?” and I follow that question up with “How is your family?” READ MORE
The advice given in the following story always makes me think, and my hope is that you can relate, and it will do the same for you.
The story goes: The father, who was a chef, took his daughter to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot. READ MORE
There are many benefits to being a PGA professional. The ability to make your living around the game that you love, the ability to share your passion and help others enjoy the game of golf, the power to impact lives as a mentor, a leader, a role model, and to be a part of a fraternal community that extends well outside a PGA Professional’s home section. READ MORE
Towards the end of 2020, I started to hear about the “great resignation,” and the unprecedented turnover of employees at businesses. In April of 2021, almost four million employees left their positions in the U.S., and our industry was not immune. At this pace nearly 25% of the American workforce could be changing their jobs this year. In the New England Section I have had many pandemic related conversations of: “I am not sure how much longer I can do this,” or from some of the younger PGA Professionals, “I am not sure if this career is right for me, or I am not sure if I am right for this career.” READ MORE
At the age of 14 my high school golf coach came to me and asked, “the golf pro at our home course is looking for some help in the bag room. Do you have any interest?” I couldn’t say yes fast enough! That next Saturday I showed up at Mt. Pleasant CC (now The Haven), met my new boss Art Harris, PGA, and that is where I would spend the next six summers. In the summer of 1996, while working at Mt. Pleasant, I also started an internship with the New England PGA, and by the Spring of 1997 I was hired on full time by the NEPGA. My summers were right where I wanted them to be….around the game of golf! READ MORE
Starting a season strong or even starting a round of golf strong is all well and good, but it’s how well you finish that matters. My best round of 2020 included a shank and a double bogey on the first hole. For me, sometimes an early or mid-round reset is needed to start a comeback for what ends up being a great round. READ MORE
During the 1950s, Curtis Richter, a professor from John Hopkins University, conducted brutal and inhumane experiments to demonstrate the power of hope and resilience over a difficult situation.
Richter’s experiments involved placing rats into buckets filled with water to see how long they survived. He used both domesticated rats and those that were caught in the wild. Most of the domesticated rats would initially swim around the surface, then dive to the bottom of the bucket to explore their situation, but after only about two minutes they would give up and drown. READ MORE
This Motivation Monday comes to you on July 5th, which is the observed federal holiday of our nation’s independence. We celebrate the 4th of July, or Independence Day each year, but it was actually July 2, 1776 when the Continental Congress voted in favor of declaring themselves independent of British rule. July 4, 1776 was the day the Declaration of Independence was finalized and written. READ MORE
A few months ago, I wrote about starting your day by eating a live frog. Once you finish eating the live frog the rest of your day will be a breeze compared to that! There is another method that expands on “eating a frog,” that’s called the Ivy Lee method. The key distinction however is that it sets the stage for success the day before. READ MORE
Ever since I was a little kid I was taught about freedom of speech and how it was a constitutional right of all Americans. It is a principle that guarantees we have the right to share our opinions and ideas freely, without the fear of legal ramifications or censorship. READ MORE
Stress is a real thing. We all have a certain amount of it in our lives which can impact our mood and even potentially impact our health. Many of you reading this carry around an unhealthy amount of stress on a daily basis. Jobs, a spouse, children, traffic, and even the weather can all contribute to our already stressful days.
This time last year we were right in the middle of a global pandemic and my stress level was at an all-time high. The uncertainty of not knowing what was going to happen in our industry, not knowing when we were going to be able to conduct any of our events, and worrying about all of our Section PGA Professionals was wearing on me. READ MORE
Golf is viewed as an individual sport, but to have a successful golf operation you need more of a team atmosphere. To have a successful team atmosphere, you need to be a good teammate.
One of my favorite NBA Players of all time is Steve Nash. Nash was an exciting player to watch and I always enjoyed seeing how he made the others around him better. When Nash won the league’s MVP award after the 2004-2005 season, he amazingly led the league in only two categories – assists and touches. It wasn’t scoring or rebounding. It wasn’t playing time or field goals. He led the league in high fives, fist bumps and butt slaps. Nash was the ultimate teammate. He was the player you wanted on the court with you, and he was the player who brought out the best in you. Not only do you want a few Steve Nashes on your team, you want to be a Steve Nash. READ MORE
Memorial Day is a day of ceremonies, speeches and parades. Today is a day that we honor the deceased men and women who lost their lives serving our country. We recall and reflect on their sacrifices, their valor; and we remember that they gave their lives for us. They gave their lives so that we could live.
In 1863, President Lincoln spoke at a ceremony in Gettysburg and reminded the American people that through their deeds, the dead have spoken more eloquently for themselves than any of the living ever could. He said that the living could only honor the dead by rededicating themselves to the cause that they willingly gave their last full measure of devotion. READ MORE
How many of you have heard the saying “you can learn a lot about a person by the way they handle themselves on the golf course?” Or “if you cheat in golf you are going to cheat in life.” Now these certainly are bold statements, but their purpose shows how ethical our great game is, and you absolutely can learn a lot about someone during a round of golf. As a member of Worcester CC, I am reminded of these ethics every time I play the 11th hole and see the plaque commemorating the time Bob Jones called a penalty on himself during the 1925 U.S. Open. It may have cost him the championship, but when questioned/praised by reporters following the round he responded: “you might as well praise me for not robbing a bank.” There was no question in Jones’ mind that he must to what is right and play by the rules. READ MORE
In high school I wasn’t a big vacation reader, and I always dreaded the choices when the summer reading lists were distributed. Then one year a book by Robert Fulghum titled All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten was one of the options. It was an easy read, and quickly became one of my favorites. At the time the shared life lessons made sense to me, but they are even more relevant to me today, and this certainly is a book I will suggest my own children read. READ MORE
Over the past fourteen months we have all had to shift the way we look at life and certainly our own personal perspectives.
Just like many of you I looked at my surroundings and was reminded that being the Executive Director of the New England PGA is what I do, but it is not who I am. You may be a PGA Professional, a sales representative, or a Section staff member, but that does not define who you are. At my core, I am someone that feels inspired to help and serve others and help them improve their situations or even how they perform at their respective positions. READ MORE
Do you think you deserve a raise at your job? Do you feel the hours you put in, the dedication to your position and what you bring to your facility warrants an increase? Unfortunately, that’s not going to cut it. READ MORE
Like many of you I have social media accounts. I peruse them often and occasionally I might even create a post. Every individual has their own engagement level on social media, but recently I have noticed a trend, especially by the younger generation, that all major and not so major accomplishments/life activities “need” to be recorded and shared. Some in almost an over the top cinematic fashion.
When I was a kid the rhetorical, yet philosophical saying was: if a tree falls in the woods and there wasn’t anyone around to hear it, did it actually make a sound? Do you think today’s expression is the same, or might it sound a little more like: if a tree falls in the woods, but it wasn’t posted on Instagram, did it even happen? READ MORE
Last week I wrote about productivity and how the creation and utilization of To-Do lists can help with your success. Sometimes our lists can become rather long and if there are one or two large items on the list that you are avoiding, it can lead to procrastination.
Procrastination can kill the momentum of a project or an operation, and from the research I have conducted, there seem to be four types of procrastinators. Let’s see if you fall into one of these categories. READ MORE
How many of you put together To-Do Lists and try to be more productive? I am a To-Do list guy and I will admit that when I am able to cross things off my list I feel a sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately, when I cannot cross items off my list I feel like they are hanging over my head until I finally am able complete them.
I try to start each day with the best intentions. I am going to get up, eat a healthy breakfast, workout and start my day. Life typically gets in the way as soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning and it takes a lot of effort to remain motivated and productive.
Maximizing my productivity is very important to my daily success and learning how to maximize my productivity has become a life skill that I continue to try and work on every day. It is no big secret that the more productive you are the more successful you will be at performing your job. READ MORE.
Good things come to those that wait…or at least that is the saying. I believe good things come to those who work hard, but also to those that spend time to focus on what they can control in their life. Wasting time on things that are out of your control is only going to slow down your progress and hinder your success. I find myself sharing this message with my teenage daughter quite often. Stop worrying about things that are out of your control, it is not worth it! READ MORE
Great things are rarely achieved by just one single person. One person may be awarded the credit, but usually great things are accomplished by a group of people who are committed to an overall goal. As the golf season rolls out in New England having solid teamwork at our facilities is essential to conducting successful events and having a successful season. READ MORE
If you have been an avid reader of my Motivation Monday’s I first want to thank you for taking the time to join in my thoughts for a few minutes each week. I’m sure you can tell that I enjoy reading and learning from some of the great minds of business, life, motivation and success. This week I am going to allow Steve Jobs to provide us a little Motivation Monday, including me. These were some of Jobs’ last words on earth, and in my humble opinion they are spot on. READ MORE
Have you ever noticed when you meet someone their first question is always where are you from? And their second is what do you do for work? The perception of a person based on their job can create an image that a person is cool, or extremely smart, or even wealthy. It can create this image that can become synonymous with a person’s identity. Where we work, or what we do for a living can give us a feeling of belonging, self-esteem, recognition or even define our status. I know it’s only a job, but a strong work identity for some people can even have an impact on their personal wellbeing. READ MORE
A friend of mine mentioned that if I wanted to put life into perspective, I should read the book “Chasing Daylight” by Eugene O’Kelly. It took me a little time to get to it, but I listened to the audio version, and I’m sure glad that I did. READ MORE
How many of you can recall a manager who used to push you? How many of you would agree that their push led to getting the most production out of you? There are so many different leadership styles and qualities. Some of which can inspire and motivate, while others, well….not so much. Steve Jobs’ leadership was…READ MORE
Whenever I am with someone and we meet a person they do not know, I always try and do my best to make introductions. I never want to leave someone standing alone and not part of the conversation. It’s inconsiderate for starters, but it can make the situation uncomfortable for everyone involved. READ MORE
Recently I listened to an interview with former Ultimate Fighting Champion Frank Shamrock (born Frank Alisio Juarez, III). At one time Shamrock was pound-for-pound one of the deadliest men in the world. He was the first to hold the UFC Middleweight Championship and retired as a four-time defending undefeated champion. READ MORE
PGA Professionals come in contact with so many people day in and day out, and the number of individuals impacted by a PGA Professional throughout their career is difficult to tally. There are many different systems used by people to live a successful life and have a successful career, and I’m always fascinated to learn of how individuals apply these methods personally. READ MORE
This time of year there is quite a bit of preparation in our industry, and I certainly work with many PGA Professionals to help them prepare for job interviews. The preparation that goes into this process can be extensive and the hours and hours that are needed just for a thirty-minute interview can be significant. Preparation, or lack of preparation, is something we can relate to almost every aspect of our lives. READ MORE
Two weeks ago we talked about the importance of never getting too far from the basics. The most basic concept that we all have is our time. Respecting your time, appreciating your time and utilizing your time wisely are key components to your happiness and success. READ MORE
On this day of remembrance for the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I thought it only fitting to talk about him during my Motivation Monday article. I thought I might try and read some of his speeches and look at some of his quotes for inspiration, but I put my head down and the next thing I knew two hours had passed. READ MORE
In 2019, during my speech at the NEPGA Spring Meeting I shared a story about one of my friends from college. His name is Alan Stein and after graduation from college Alan became a performance and strength coach that worked with some of the most elite high school basketball players in the country. Many of the athletes he worked with are now household names from their time playing in the NBA. READ MORE
During our family dinner on New Year’s Eve we were reflecting on 2020 and the changes we would like to see in the upcoming year. My son Connor was trying to make a point about how much he despises remote learning and became jumbled up on what year it was and said 2020…. paused for a few seconds, and then blurted out ONE! It sounded like he was saying 2020 Won READ MORE
As the year from Hades comes to an end and you consider what New Year’s Resolutions you will attempt to keep in 2021, it might be a great time to review 2020 through your minds reflective lens and think long and hard about what lessons you’ve learned this year that could possibly help you in the future. READ MORE
I heard a story that I would like to share about a man named Ryan Estis. Ryan was traveling through the Minneapolis airport a few years back on Christmas Eve, and he had an interaction with a barista that day that would impacted his life forever. READ MORE