PGA Tour + Peter Ripa + Happy Fan = “I’ll Be Back”

Mr. Peter Ripa, PGA Tour, Tournament Director Farmers Insurance Open

farmers insurance open banners

Last year I attended the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, CA. Golf courses are known for their beauty & pristine conditions but Torrey Pines is a standout on the PGA Tour. The backdrop is the blue Pacific Ocean & in the afternoons the surrounding sky is dotted with hang gliders. Have you ever watched Tiger Woods gaze as the hang gliders come within several hundred feet of the fairways & I can’t help but think that he would enjoy strapping himself into the harness & glide through the sky over the place that we get to call home.  Hang Gliders over Torrey Pines

But I digress because this blog is about something & someone else.

At the 2012 Open I was disappointed that so many top tier players had chosen to bypass the Farmers Open so they play in Abu Dhabi where large player appearance fees are paid. The PGA doesn’t allow appearance fees to be paid and I’m not sure paying a player just to show up is a good policy. Our method avoids the occasional player who might commit to a tournament just for appearance fees & then mail in his performance.

Torrey Pines Ocean View
I sent an email to the PGA to voice my concerns over the cost of attending & not getting to see Tiger & Top 20 players in the field. They directed my email to Mr. Peter Ripa, who is the PGA Tour Tournament Director of the Farmers Open who in turn contacted me. We scheduled a call & talked for approx. 30 minutes; he understood & empathized & asked if it would be okay if he sent me passes to this year’s event. Of course I accepted his offer but was not anticipating passes for everyday of the tournament. Peter & his staff went way over my expectations.

Please understand that two key events came to pass as a result of my email.

1. The PGA didn’t just read my concerns & put my email in the trash file, they sent it to the right person to read.

2. Mr. Ripa, understands that one unhappy fan will tell at least 25 people who will then tell another 25 and so on and the tide begins to shift against all the hard work that goes into promoting an event of this magnitude. There is no stronger voice than word of mouth & I’ve always found it interesting that most people are eager to tell someone when they’re unhappy with something or someone but will very rarely tell others when they’re had a great experience.

I’m taking this opportunity to say that Peter Ripa & the rest of his staff and the people at the PGA offices are doing an incredible job. To them I simply say thank you. Thank you for listening to a disgruntled fan with an open mind. You now have a loyal fan that is committed to the Farmers Insurance Open, Torrey Pines Golf Course & the PGA brand(s)

Congratulations to Tiger, the PGA & Peter Ripa on a job well done! See you next year!

Are You Part Of The Solution Or Problem?

military at xmas time

While the holiday season is a happy one I’m always reminded of our active military who are spending time away from their loved ones to protect us and how little effort it takes to brighten their day.Have you ever been at the airport when all of a sudden you look up to see a group of enlisted men and women who have joined the Marines, Army, Air Force, Navy in their camoflauge uniforms? Do you ever wonder where they’re going? What small town/big city they’re from? Do they have children or spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends who are missing them? Will they all make it home to their loved ones? I know I do and then I ask myself what can I do to make their day a little brighter?

So here’s my challenge to you, the next time you’re sitting there waiting for your plane, sipping on an overpriced cup of coffee  round some of them up, march them to the nearest coffee concession and buy them each a cup of coffee. I guarantee you’ll go straight to the front of the line. You might say you don’t have the money and that’s fair, then at least do it for one, but just do something.

Me? I’m heading over to Oceanside this morning to go to The Breakfast Club, sit at the bar & enjoy some coffee & the first group of Marines that come through is going to get their meal paid for. I never make a big deal out of it, I’m not doing it for the accolades, I’m doing it because I appreciate what they do everyday for us.

farmers insurance open banners
I just received 20 upgraded passes to the upcoming 2013 Farmers Insurance Open which is being held January 21st – 27th at Torrey Pines in La Jolla. I don’t need 20 passes that include private seating on the 15th green at the new Tilted Kilt Tartan Terrace  so I’ve decided to give at least half of them to some Marines who enjoy golf and would enjoy watching one of golf’s premier events at no cost other than their food and drinks. Not a big deal to you and I but to them it will be a day that they won’t soon forget.

It’s not easy being away from your family and when you’re the age of some of these kids it’s probably the first time any of them have been without Mom’s home cooking, sleeping in a real bed, and and away from their childhood friends.

Now they’re on their way to a country most of them couldn’t spell before they got their deployment and they’re scared. I know they’re scared because I’ve asked them. A little constructive fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing for their upcoming trip, it keeps them aware of what their mission is.

Most of them will be back here within 6 months to a year, but they will have seen things no young person should ever have to witness. They will have changed, but at least they’re back here at home. Some of their buddies aren’t going to be so lucky.Our country, while the greatest in the world is governed by lazy, over paid politicians who have forgotten where they come from and many of them aren’t in favor of giving these heroes fair compensation.

Remember, it doesn’t take much to make someone else’s day a little better. Instead of handing a few bucks to the panhandler on the corner, take an active duty person to lunch, at least then you know your money is doing something positive.This blog weas prompted by something I just read and it angers and saddens me at the same time that these are the people who are making decisions for our servicemen and women.

Cindy Williams was appointed by President Obama  As an Assistant Director for National Security in the Congressional Budget Office.

She wrote a piece for the Washington Times denouncing the pay raise(s) coming service members’ way this year citing that she stated a 13% wage increase was more than they deserve. See this link for 2013 Military Pay Scale Chart for the Army, Navy, Air Force & Marines

It’s always fun to help someone else and it always makes me forget about what’s going on in my life.

Happy 2013