Phil Bundy at the White House Putting Green

This post originally appeared on April 13 of last year. This year, Donna, Charlie, and I are traveling to visit family for the holiday weekend. Happy Easter!

Today, my family and I were guests at the White House Easter Egg Roll, the annual tradition begun by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878. The activities on the South Lawn were fun, and we have some priceless pictures for the family photo album.

While Donna and Charlie searched for the Easter Bunny, I wandered over to an area close to the West Wing to find the most exclusive putting green in the United States. Sitting just outside the Oval Office, the White House Putting Green is a small, undulated surface. Nearby, a left-handed putter and a few golf balls rested on a small bench.

In 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower installed the original putting green and a sand trap. The most avid golfer of all past Commander in Chiefs, he also used the South Lawn as a driving range, hitting five irons down the hill toward the Ellipse.

After President Bill Clinton took office, he had the original putting green moved to its current location with noted golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr. designing a 1,500 square foot surface.

Back in January on Inauguration Day, I volunteered to serve our country by providing a quick putting lesson for President Barack Obama. With my offer still extended, I stand ready to bring along the best training aids and putters and to share some putting drills and tips with our nation’s First Golfer.

If you were giving a putting lesson to President Obama, which training aids and putters would you bring along? What drills and tips would you share?

Until next time, enjoy golf, America!

{ 1 comment }

Inspiration from the Final Four and Jimmy V

by Phil Bundy on April 2, 2010

As a former collegiate golfer at Wake Forest and a recipient of an MBA from the University of Maryland, I am disappointed that my Demon Deacons and Terps are not still contending in the 2010 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, but each of the four remaining teams offer inspiration regardless of which school wins the championship as the Final Four takes place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana on Saturday and Monday evenings.

For its long tradition of championships in the ACC and the NCAA, the Duke Blue Devils represent preparation and excellence; the injury-plagued Michigan State Spartans are an example to never give up; the West Virginia Mountaineers — a hometown team for an entire state — play with true grit and emotion; and the Cinderella-story Butler Bulldogs demonstrate that anything is possible.

As you watch the exciting collegiate basketball season come to a close, also remember the motivational speech that Jimmy Valvano — the head coach of the North Carolina State Wolfpack and the 1983 NCAA Championship Team — delivered at the inaugural ESPY Awards in 1993. Given shortly before his death from cancer, Jimmy V said, “Take time every day to laugh, to think, to cry…. Don’t give up, don’t ever give up!” as he accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award. Unfortunately, he died two months later and was unable to return the following year to present the award to the next recipient as he had hoped.

Coincidentally, a new book about the famous speech has recently been released by Sourcebooks: Don’t Give Up…Don’t Ever Give Up with DVD: The Inspiration of Jimmy V–One Coach, 11 Minutes, and an Uncommon Look at the Game of Life. The hardcover book was written by Justin Spizman, Robyn Spizman, and Nick Valvano — the legendary coach’s brother who is now the CEO of The V Foundation which is dedicated to finding a cure for cancer and conducts a very successful charity golf tournament. Included in the slim book is a full written transcript and video of the poignant speech as well as a description of several important life lessons that Jimmy V shared.

{ 0 comments }

Phil Mickelson’s Tips Help Rekindle My Putting

by Phil Bundy on March 31, 2010

During one of my recent winter trips to practice in Florida, I briefly stopped in the PGA Tour Shop in the Jacksonville International Airport, where I watched a few minutes of Phil Mickelson’s Secrets of the Short Game.

In the video, Phil describes how he sets his eyes slightly behind the ball when taking his stance for a putting stroke. For him, positioning his head directly over the top of the ball forms a sort of wall that prohibits him from being able to see the line of his putt.

As a junior golfer, my strength was my short game, and I was able to make any putt from anywhere. Knowing that perfect putting will be a requirement for me to be successful in my quest to play on the PGA Tour, I have desperately tried to find that putting magic that left me sometime during or after college. In more recent years, my putting has been okay, particularly when I have focused on drills for short putts, but I certainly have not experienced the same feel that I had as a junior player, especially on long putts.

Back in the day, my technique was a bit unconventional and similar to Isao Aoki’s putting style. I used a short blade putter with my hands set low and the toe of the putter raised. Until I watched Phil’s tip, I didn’t realize that I, too, used to have my eyes set just behind the ball where I could see the line of a putt.

In addition to Phil, think about Ben Crenshaw, who is one of the best putters in the history of the game and who addresses putts with his head behind the ball.

Sam Snead’s technique in the 1960s is another more exaggerated example. As he aged and suffered from the yips, he pioneered a croquet-style of putting, where he straddled one leg on each side of the ball while putting. After this technique was banned by the USGA in 1968, he went to side-saddle stance where he angled his feet towards the hole on one side of the ball and was still able to look directly down the target line as he stroked his putt.

During his video tutorial, Phil also mentioned another useful tip that I had stopped using: Putting to an intermediate target on the line of your putt. Now that I am again able to look down the line, I am able to see and putt toward an intermediate target in addition to the hole.

I wholeheartedly recommend Phil Mickelson’s Secrets of the Short Game, which is available as a two-disc DVD set or as a 224-page hardcover book. The DVD was produced by Emmy Award-winning producer Terry Jastrow, and the book features tons of great photos as illustrations.

Please share your thoughts about putting techniques by leaving a comment below.

Until next time, enjoy golf, America!

{ 1 comment }

The Wealthy Freelancer is Me!

by Phil Bundy on March 18, 2010

Last year, I was interviewed by Ed Gandia, who was working on an interesting book project about freelancing with fellow writers Pete Savage and Steve Slaunwhite. Recently, I received a signed copy of The Wealthy Freelancer, the result of the authors’ work which has just been released by Alpha Books of the Penguin Group.

As a practical guide, the well-organized book identifies 12 valuable secrets for consultants, independent contractors, and solo professionals. I am featured in the 11th chapter: Live and Work in the Wealthy Triangle. Ed and his co-authors wrote about my sports marketing business as well as my quest to play on the PGA Tour.

In documenting my effort to play on the PGA Tour, I have intentionally talked very little about my business. My quest is a personal journey inspired by my son that will hopefully encourage him to always follow his dreams.

Still, my 20-year career in golf marketing has placed me in a unique position to pursue my goal. Using my experience as an entrepreneur, I originally planned my effort as a project and wrote a document that resembles a business plan, and my large network of golf industry contacts has served me very well as I have recruited a Dream Team to help me achieve success.

Further, the synergies in my business and my quest offer the opportunity for me to continue serving clients while pursuing my personal goal. As I told Ed, if I was sitting in an office as an attorney or accountant, I would never have had the chance to embark on my journey.

If a wealthy freelancer is a person who has awesome clients, great friends, a wonderful family, and the chance to pursue a meaningful personal dream, I am rich indeed.

Stay tuned: In the future, I may blog more about business and marketing, especially how my sports marketing business and the golf industry impacts my quest.

Ed, I appreciate you and your co-authors including my story in your manuscript, and thanks for the signed copy, which now sits on a special shelf with other autographed books.

Please share a comment and tell me how you have pursued your own work and personal goals. Also, let me know if you are interested in reading more about the business of golf as I continue to document my quest.

03.30.10 Update: I just received another copy of The Wealthy Freelancer from the publisher, which I will give away in a drawing. To be eligible for a free copy of the book, just join my Facebook page at http://facebook.com/PhilBundyPage. The winner will be announced from fans as of April 15, 2010. Good luck!

Until next time, enjoy golf, America!

{ 4 comments }

KENTWOOL TOUR Redefines Golf Socks

by Phil Bundy on March 16, 2010

As a golfer, I have a complete wardrobe of golf pants, shirts, and sweaters, and I was thrilled when my wife offered to design my very own built-in-closet as a gift, last year. The result is an amazing collection of drawers, shelves, and bars configured in a small closet which she painted blue. In this efficient space, I am able to fit all of my clothes, including a couple of drawers of neatly folded Gold Toe Premier socks.

Recently, I was sent a sample pair of KENTWOOL TOUR socks. Given my affinity for the Gold Toe brand, I was reluctant to even put on the new socks. Since Mark Kent — the company president — is a fellow Wake Forest alum, I did test the new socks, and boy, I am glad that I did!

In the past, I have tried socks that were hyped as sports and golf-specific but really did not deliver. I distinctly remember a pair of jock socks that literally fell apart in the laundry, a couple of years ago. The KENTWOOL TOUR socks are definite keepers, and I may just replace all of my Gold Toe socks.

KENTWOOL is a five generation family business that was originally stated over 165 years ago. The company is headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina and serves a diversified international customer portfolio in the knitting, spinning, weaving and industrial textile markets. Now with KENTWOOL Tour, the business has launched its own brand of golf socks.

I tested the Men’s Tour Profile, which is an ankle sock, in natural color. Made from 65% merino wool, 24% nylon, 8% polyester, and 2% spandex, the socks are also manufactured in Tour Standard — or a crew sock — in natural and black, and are available in sizes for women, too.

Like Under Armour did for performance shirts, KENTWOOL has developed a true performance sock that provides an unexpected edge for serious golfers. In what the company calls an integrated foot technology system, the socks provide absolute superior support and comfort. If you have ever suffered from any problems with your feet and toes or experienced simple foot fatigue like me, you will especially like the feel of the strategic cushioning.

As for washing, which I did this past weekend, the KENTWOOL TOUR socks came out of the laundry looking super fresh.

To try the socks for yourself, you can visit the KENTWOOL TOUR website, where the socks are sold via a unique subscription program with the company shipping installments through a 12-month period.

Good luck to Mark Kent and to KENTWOOL TOUR!

{ 0 comments }

With the change of seasons, Charlie ends his first experience of organized basketball. I have written previously how Donna and I are consciously introducing our son to a variety of sports. At his young age, we want him to have the opportunity to try and have fun with all kinds of activities. Later in his life, he will have the opportunity to chose and focus on his special interests.

For his first season of basketball, Charlie was fortunate to have two enthusiastic coaches who shared values like sportsmanship, teamwork, and spirit in addition to teaching basic fundamental skills. One of the coaches also arranged a terrific clinic taught by Jeff Eakins, who has coached NBA players and knows a few things about shooting the rock.

Yesterday, I took Charlie to another clinic conducted by legendary high school basketball coach Morgan Wootten. Enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000, Coach Wootten now operates a successful camp with his son Joe, who is also an outstanding coach. As father and son alternated with instruction, a few of their top players demonstrate at game speed. Charlie’s eyes were as big as saucers, and he and the other kids were divided in groups by age to try and practice different techniques and drills. With his expertise, experience, and inspiration, Coach Wootten reminded me of Jesse Haddock, another legend who was my golf coach at Wake Forest.

Charlie’s introduction to basketball makes me think of two points. First, the fundamentals of other sports translate directly to golf and contribute to a sound, athletic swing. And second, the coach — whether a parent volunteering to coach youth sports or a professional instructor teaching the world’s best athletes — is a critical, important factor to learning and improving at any sport.

Please take a minute and leave a comment to share your own experiences with sports and coaches.

Until next time, enjoy golf, America!

{ 0 comments }

Want to See Me in the Hot Blogger Calendar?

by Phil Bundy on March 3, 2010

I was just notified that I have been nominated to be featured in the 2011 Hot Blogger Calendar!

By the look of some of the other male nominees, I am challenging some pretty stiff competition, but I’m sure my Mom thinks I am better looking than the wildly popular Gary Vaynerchuck. According to the contest website, “It’s an honor just to be nominated… Right?”

The Hot Blogger Calendar is all about fun. Founded by two creative bloggers — Jane Couto and Sarah Morgan, the calendar also supports a worthy cause with 100% of sales going to the American Red Cross.

If you like my links look and want to support my quest to play on the PGA Tour, you can vote for me at http://bit.ly/HotBloggerCalendar. The contest closes on Friday, March 5 so please vote now. Let’s be sure to see a golfer in the Hot Blogger Calendar!

03.05.10 Update: According to the Hot Blogger Calendar website, I am ranked in the top five of vote-getters for the male category as of this morning. Now, I am quickly explaining all of my new female friends and bromances to my wife. Chest bumps for all of my manly buddies. Voting will close within the next few hours so please vote for me now. Thanks!

03/06/10 Update: Thanks to all of the people who voted for me, but apparently, I was not hot enough! This afternoon, the Hot Blogger Calendar revealed the pinups for January and February. The bad news is I did not win, but the good news is that representatives for the remaining months of 2011 are not yet announced and will be determined by the contest rules. So, if you want to see me in the calendar and have not yet voted, you still have a chance to help me win. Also, I encourage you to think about nominating another blogger for this fun contest. And the best part is that sales of the Hot Blogger Calendar benefit the American Red Cross!

{ 1 comment }

Persistence and Patience

by Phil Bundy on March 2, 2010

In my experiences as an entrepreneur and in my quest to play on the PGA Tour, I have found that persistence and patience are two traits that are absolutely necessary to ultimate achieve success.

This morning, I watched the following video which reminded me that patience is a virtue. In the clip, Internet sommelier and social media guru Gary Vaynerchuck admonishes people who think they can build a sustainable brand or business in a short period of time.

Years ago, I represented golfer Joe Inman for appearances. After an outstanding amateur and college career at Wake Forest, Joe struggled and was a journeyman pro on the PGA Tour. In 1976, he finally won the Kemper Open, which was then played at Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. Overwhelmed after his victory, Joe — who can challenge Yogi Berra in a talk-off – said that he had waited his entire career to become an overnight sensation.

For me, Gary’s message and Joe’s example are inspirational. Accomplishing something of significance — whether in sports, business, or other areas of life — normally takes great patience as well as persistence and talent.

Please take a moment and share a comment. What character traits do you think are required for success?

{ 0 comments }

WordPress Bible by Aaron Brazell Now Available

by Phil Bundy on February 15, 2010

Last July, I mentioned that Aaron Brazell — who set-up this blog — had signed a contract with Wiley Publishing to write the WordPress Bible. Today, the book has been officially released and is available for sale at your local bookstore as well as on Amazon.com and other online stores.

The 700-page book is the most complete guide available for WordPress and is a comprehensive reference manual for beginners to experts alike. Aaron included tons of tutorials, references, screenshots and walk-thrus that enable the entire WordPress community to benefit from his knowledge.

Aaron received his review copies in January. Watch the unboxing video to see the author’s satisfaction at seeing his own words in print for the first time:

From personal experience, I wholeheartedly recommend Aaron for consulting projects. He is a great guy and a huge talent. He is a member of my Dream Team, and to me, his expertise ranks in the same league with Darren Rouse, Chris Brogan, Steve Rubel, and other rockstars who combine technical and business aspects in social media. You can contact him through his website at Emmense Technologies website, at his Technosailor.com blog, or on Twitter.

Congratulations, Aaron!

{ 1 comment }

The Best of the 2010 PGA Merchandise Show

by Phil Bundy on February 4, 2010

PGA Merchandise Show

I attended the 2010 PGA Merchandise Show, in part, to search for equipment to help my game as I pursue my quest to play on the PGA Tour. After combing the 10 miles of aisles inside the massive Orange Country Convention Center, I am happy to share the best new products from the industry event:

Drivers: I saw some nice looking drivers, but I did not find any new driver that would replace my Bobby Jones Workshop Edition Driver by Jesse Ortiz, who may be the finest club designer in the game.

Fairway Woods: Tour Edge Exotics CB3 Tour is a refinement of the company’s popular CB2 fairway woods, which are the longest fairway woods that I have ever played.

Hybrids: With a slight offset, the Adams Golf Idea Pro Black is built for the better player and is the fastest growing hybrid on tour.

Irons: I hit the Fourteen Golf TC-550 — a great looking and feeling forged iron from the Japanese clubmaker — at the Equipment Test Center, aka the largest indoor range in all of golf.

Wedges: Scratch Golf, with custom fitting and grinding available, has attracted players like Ryan Moore and Cristie Kerr and must have other top wedge makers looking over their shoulders.

Putters: STX ProFIT 6 is part of a new line of the company’s soft face insert putters, which offer better control, less skidding, and truer roll than metal face and other insert putters.

Balls: For the last few years, I have played the Bridgestone Golf Tour B330-S after my original evaluation by the manufacturer’s Ball Fitting Challenge, and I am looking forward to trying the new Tour B-330RX, which will be available in March of this year.

Training Aids: The SKLZ Practice Pod provides a simple and lightweight solution to establishing a consistent practice station with proper alignment and ball position, and now, with the addition of a reflective mirror, the new Practice Pod Pro also allows monitoring of shoulder alignment.

Accessories: Cleatskins are designed to slip over shoes and take golfers quickly and conveniently from the golf course to the street and will become part of the daily wardrobe for someone like me who wears golf shoes, every day.

Video Analysis Software: For several years, V1 Pro has been the industry leader in golf swing video analysis, and the new version of the software offers even more capabilities for your local golf instructor to communicate valuable swing keys to you.

Photo Memento: Going beyond the shadow box design, the Ballkeeper is a patented three-dimensional memory holder that includes fitted spaces for a golf ball, photo, and signature card and will be an instant hit for memorabilia collectors and tournament committees looking for unique tee favors.

You may notice that I have not included products from the major manufacturers. When my nephew looks through my golf bag, he jokes that I am loyal to indie brands. As an entrepreneur, I am drawn to smaller ventures with interesting stories and innovative products. To be fair, Titleist, Callaway, Nike, TaylorMade, and other big companies make some great golf equipment, too.

Until next time, enjoy golf America!

{ 1 comment }

Subscribe to Phil Bundy by Email