Tag Archives: golf

My Content Runneth Over

31 Jul

Writers like when ideas come easy, flow freely. As a friend and neighbor of a brewer, I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy quality content for the pen and the palate.

You want refreshing? In May, I refreshed a 2014 Eventide Brewing blog from this space into a paying piece on CraftBeer.com. Always good to recycle, I say. It nearly rivaled my grad school accomplishment of getting two paychecks from one course review article, which included a rather enjoyable, complimentary round of golf.

The month before I copy-edited my third beer can design for Eventide. Some assignments are better than others, even if there is no money involved. To refresh an ol’ football coach’s saying: pay is temporary, pride is forever!

I’ll never know the unique feeling a musician gets when he or she hears their song on the radio for the first time, but I was pretty darn proud last month when I first spied my brewer neighbor’s (superbly edited) products on the grocery store shelves. His perspiration and my inspiration turned into validation right there in the Publix beer aisle…

Speaking of musicians, my father-in-law’s band earlier this month contributed their own enjoyable content at our neighborhood pig party, a seven-year tradition made possible in no small part by our generous brewing neighbors. It is better to give than to receive, but I recommend doing both.

 

Feeling contented with the Gold Standard Band and Eventide beer near.

 

 

Pitch Perfect? A PR Test

28 Feb

My first successful (non-press release) media hit on the PR job started as a top 10 list pitch and resulted in a “7 Reasons Why” piece. So let’s call it a 70 percent conversion rate, right?

Below is the pitch and here is the media coverage end result.

No. 18 at The Oconee course at Reynolds Plantation

No. 18 at The Oconee course at Reynolds Plantation

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Top 10 Reasons Why Reynolds Plantation

Should Be Your Next Vacation Destination

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  1. It was good enough for The Ritz-Carlton and Jack Nicklaus golf.
  1. It’s pleasantly free of the gnats, alligators and traffic of your usual seaside destinations.
  1. Lake Oconee is Georgia’s second largest lake.
  1. It’s the only resort in Georgia with a Peter Burwash International tennis center and The Kingdom by Taylor Made golf instruction and club-fitting facility.
  1. It’s the only resort in the world with three-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Angel Sims on its health & wellness staff.
  1. Wanna see “King Kong’s Shed”? It’s here (and also known as the dry dock at Reynolds Plantation Marina).
  1. It’s good enough for head-coaching homeowners Bruce Aryans of the Arizona Cardinals, Miss. State’s Dan Mullen and U. of Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez.
  1. The numbers are in your favor: 19,000 acres of lake, 21+ miles of walking trails, a dozen restaurants, 6 golf courses, 4 marinas and now one Certified Master Chef (of only 68 total in the country).
  1. Reynolds Plantation has a knack for hosting: See the Lake Oconee Food & Wine Festival, the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge, the 10th annual Linger Longer Invitational, the Golf Channel’s Big Break Invitational and more. Did I mention the Ritz-Carlton Lodge?
  1. It’s only 80 miles from Atlanta.

My Top 5 Favorite Mistakes

31 Jul

I’m the king of mistakes. Just ask my wife! [cue rimshot]

Not sure if it was a country song, a Sunday sermon or perhaps just a routine counting of my blessings, but I recently got to thinking about the missteps along life’s road and the good that can come from them — luck, character, patience, unanswered prayers, etc.

5. DOUBLE BREAKER: I was hitting my approach to the 3rd green at my father’s golf club and was quite sure I’d be trying again with a new ball as my shot was destined for the middle of the creek fronting the putting surface. Except luck, usually a stranger to my golf game, intervened. I watched in pleasant disbelief as my ball bounced off the bridge spanning the water hazard and then proceeded to carom off a pine toward the green.

4. SUMMERTIME BLUES: For the summer of ’94 all this college student wanted was to leave Georgia and Hotlanta behind for independence, adventure and a resort job out West. Instead I found myself working a poorly planned concessions stand at Tank Top Golf Club in Bremen, Ga., which was a brutal hour or so commute west of the city. I also had a hydroplaning accident and an interstate breakdown trying to get out to the job! The good man upstairs took pity and rewarded me with an Alaskan summer the next year and a Europe-Olympics-Bahamas season after that.

3. THE ROAD MORE TRAVELED: After getting my master’s degree in ’03 the last thing I wanted to do is return to Atlanta, but a job brought me back to town. And the new gig was where I met my beautiful wife.

1-2. SUGAR AND SPICE AND EVERYTHING NICE: Hard to believe that for both of our beautiful babies I was rooting for a boy (Full Disclosure: the Lee name is still in doubt for the next generation). Now that I’ve learned to think pink and play princess there’s no going back!

 

Top 5 Ways to Befriend a Brewer

12 Mar

With great pride, I can say that I have achieved one of the ultimate goals in life: having a neighbor launch a brewery. Should hard work and a little bit of luck ever put you in the same situation, here are some important rules you might want to follow:

1. Make sure your brewer neighbor feels respected for his other talents and abilities. If he wants to fix your lawnmower and the lock on your front door, let him do it. If he helps you clear a fallen tree and haul off some old deck furniture, then more power to him. After all, you should care about the total person (whose day job totally rocks).

2. When walking the dog, do not loiter in front of your brewer neighbor’s house for more than 45 minutes. Also, continual gestures toward your empty 32 oz. mug opposite your leash hand may be a turn-off for Mrs. Brewer.

3. If your brewer neighbor doesn’t measure up in some important aspects of the man code — like not knowing a whole lot about sports or favoring skateboarding over golf — just let it go. And realize that you’d go to see the championship of the North American Tiddlywinks Association if your neighbor was organizing the tailgate.

4. Even a brew bro-mance has its costs and obligations. You might as well listen to and learn from your neighbor’s ample beer-making knowledge. Some of it can be pretty interesting. For heaven’s sake, don’t just stare at his (ice) chest! Also, if things get rough & tumble out on the town, show some solidarity, if not muscle. There are plenty more bars to get kicked out of, but, odds are, not any more professional brewing neighbors.

5. Like beer, word of your neighbor’s brewery should be shared. It’s the least you can do. After all, the brewer brings together black and white, liberals and conservatives — heck — even Florida and Georgia fans. Let’s see a lawyer or accountant neighbor do that.

Neighbor Nathan, co-founder of Eventide Brewing and all-around nice guy, poses with a rather clingy fan at the brewery's launch party earlier this year.

Neighbor Nathan (right), co-founder of Eventide Brewing and all-around nice guy, poses with a rather clingy fan at the brewery’s launch party earlier this year.

The Top 10 (of 100) Reasons Why the Ryder Cup Trumps the Football Weekend

30 Sep

Impressive, yes, but were the hopes of your country riding on that shot?

10. No replacement refs. In fact, no refs at all. In golf, they are called rules officials and they’re only consulted if a player has a question. Golfers police themselves. Isn’t honesty refreshing?

9. Incredibly, no money goes to the Ryder Cup participants (a lot goes to their charities of choice though), whereas the NFL is rolling in cash. The SEC, too.

8. Johnny Miller, NBC’s Hall of Fame, spare-no-ego analyst, tops the tired, overdone act of Chris Berman any day. The ego of the ESPN NFL show host inexplicably dwarfs that of Jack Nicklaus.

7. Speaking of Nicklaus, the best golfer of all time led the charge in 1979 to expand the ranks of the opposing team (i.e., Great Britain to include continental Europe) to help achieve a more competitive balance in the Ryder Cup. Can you imagine anyone in football suggesting something that would give opponents more of a chance to win?

6. Sure, the NFL is five years older than the Ryder Cup, but the latter has 40 years on the Super Bowl and is just a tad more decisive than college football’s BCS.

5. An Irish accent beats one from Auburn or Austin and definitely from Boston.

4. Speaking of sound bites, aren’t you a little tired of football commentators’ hackneyed phrases like “they’ll get after ya” and “gotta establish the run” and “must win” calls (in September)?

3. We can always use more gentlemanly honor (which is par for the course even in the emotional cauldron of country vs. country competition). For this, see golf’s biennial event, not Penn St., the New Orleans Saints, Eagles or Raiders fans, Arkansas’ coach (past or present) or the NFL.

2. College football has the passion and pageantry, yes, but the Ryder Cup has patriotism. That makes the matches especially electric and obviously applies beyond one’s favorite player, school, city, state, etc.

1. Because my football team lost.

FAREWELL TO FURMAN

27 Mar

My first cover story with an assist from Furman Bisher.

Last week, sports fans everywhere, especially those living here in Georgia, lost a true legend when long-time columnist Furman Bisher passed away at the age of 93. His Masters reflections every April, take on the latest gridiron battle between Ga. Tech and Georgia, and annual Thanksgiving column were absolute staples of any Southern sports fan’s diet.

“He put more quality words on newsprint than any other writer in the last half of the 20th century,” Jim Minter, former editor of The Atlanta Journal and the Atlanta Constitution, told the newspaper. “He never wrote a bad column.”

Bisher started with the Atlanta Constitution in 1950 as a reporter, and by the end of his long, illustrious career had garnered Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame, International Golf Writers Hall of Fame, and National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame accolades, as well as the Red Smith Award for contributions to journalism.

Even with all his achievements, Bisher was still willing to share his time and encyclopedic knowledge of sports with a green freelancer like me. Eleven years ago this month, I was lucky enough to interview the legend for a Columbus (Ga.) Golf Guide cover story on the unprecedented amount of primetime golf events in the state of Georgia in 2001.

“No state in the country has that many golf tournaments of such proportion,” the preeminent pundit told me over the phone about a Peach State lineup that not only featured the Masters and two regular PGA Tour events, but also the PGA Championship, an LPGA Tour event, a senior tour championship and the two most prominent annual amateur golf competitions. “It’s about as full a calendar as I’ve ever seen in the state of Georgia.”

And, oh, the things Bisher had seen during his incredible sportswriting career! Thanks so much for your time, your inspiration and the many memories, Furman.

Selah.