Monday, July 6, 2009

5 Questions With Scot Duke - Business Golf Country Club

Today's guest is Scot Duke, founder of the Business Golf Country Club golf network. You haven't heard of BGCC? Read on as I let Scot introduce himself and answer 5 questions:

I am a fifth generation Texan who resides in Dallas. I spent 32 years in corporate America’s battlefield as an operations manager before being forced out the door into early retirement. Over those many years I saw too many times how business people attempted to use golf as a six hour sales pitch which was resulting in golf getting a bad name and thousands of people quitting golf because they either were tired of being hit on by sales people while on the golf course or could not figure out how to get an ROI out of playing golf. So, I set out to find how golf can be used as a business tool and to find someway to get the message across to all business golfers. I quickly found the only way today to communicate to the masses is through the internet. Five years ago I began my trek on the information highway to find out how to get to the golfers of the world to tell them what I learned from studying business golf. It was then when I also started to find out all of the things that people online suggest you do to get a message out to everyone on the internet that do not work. I also found there are not very many real golfers who use the internet regularly. I then set out to find out why golfers were not using the internet. Over the past few years I found that the deception, scams, schemes, and spam that has become the norm of the internet was why most golfers are not interested in coming online. My mission then included building a sanctuary for all real golfers to gather in a safe spam free environment so they can learn more about how to use the internet effectively for their personal and professional needs while meeting other like-minded people who play golf. All of this resulted into me creating and developing the Business Golf Country Club... ...that is where I am today...building a community for golfers.

1. How long have you been a golfer? What other sports are you involved in now or growing up? Other than golf, what sports do you follow?

I have been a golfer for over 30 years, but only been playing avidly for about 15 years. I played all of the team sports growing up and over the years have attempted to play almost all other sports. Out of all of the sports I have played I have not found one that holds my interest as much as golf. I understand all of the other sports since I have played them but bore easily to their violent approach to entertainment so I only follow golf.

2. How often do you get out on the course? What are your favorite courses that you've played on? What courses do you dream of/plan on playing?

During the year I studied business golf I was averaging 4 rounds a week. However, I have been dedicating more time to developing the BGCC and am now down to an average of 2 rounds a week, but have a goal of getting back to the norm of 3 rounds of golf a week. Living on a golf course helps me achieve this but I also travel around the country for business. I play golf nearly everywhere I go. I have played in a lot of areas of the country, but not been overseas to see those wonderful courses. I favor the beauty of the desert courses of Arizona and Southern California, but I have a list of golf courses I want to play someday. I am sure the BGCC will bring me to those areas. Pebble Beach, Bandon Dunes, Pinehurst, and of course August National have always been on the short list...maybe I’ll get to play them someday.

3. Okay, mandatory golf questions: What is your handicap and what's in the bag?

I currently have dipped down to a 10 handicap and playing more to a 15 due to some adjustments to my swing I was forced to make this year to overcome some old football and baseball injuries (another reason why I am not a fan of those sports anymore). However, under the watchful eye of the PGA and LPGA instructors I have had the fortune to meet over the years and from the golf school I plan on attending soon I feel certain that I can get back to the single digit handicap before I am forced up to the forward tees.

In my bag... Ping G-10 Driver, Titleist 975 13°, Cleveland 17°, Titleist 22° fairway woods, Titleist 802 forged irons, 48° , 52° and 60° Vokey Wedges, Odyssey (not sure the model) putter and hit Titleist Pro-V1 balls.

4. When did you start Business Golf Country Club? What is your main focus and what do you hope to accomplish with the network?

The concept of the BGCC began in early 2008. I launched the Alpha as a group on LinkedIn in August of 2008. Within in two weeks the number of business golfers interested in joining the private club grew so fast I was forced to move to a platform that had fewer limitations. So I continued the Alpha development of the concept by moving over to NING this past January. During my development of the BGCC, Dave Bisbee, PGA teaching professional, former tour player and president of eGolfGroup, contacted me about developing a synergistic partnering on several projects related to the development of business golf. Our business relationship grew positively and I brought Dave in to joint venture the development and management of the BGCC.

We have been very excited with the acceptance of the BGCC within the amateur and professional golf community and are now working day and night to jump the BGCC to Beta. This will open the door to all the things business golf can offer golfers and is much, much more than what is being shown in the BGCC today.

The BGCC is a club for golfers, business golfers, and golf professionals. The purpose of the club is to help bring more golfers online and get more people into the game of golf by providing them a safe environment they can connect to others online that offers not just the obvious business networking opportunities, but services and products that ad in the development of their golf game as well as their business needs.

In the next stage of the BGCC, there will be Regional Chapter Club developed around the country to accommodate the members who reside in those areas. The BGCC Chapter Clubs will offer members an offline opportunity to meet other members and play some business golf. Members, of course, will be offered tremendous discounts on a number of services and products we have found worthwhile. And much, much more .

5. Who can join BGCC and how do they do it? Can just anyone join or are their certain requirements?

The BGCC is not going to be for everyone and that is OK. The BGCC target member is everyone who really gets golf…who sees golf as not just an opportunity to get out and drink beer, not to say that the members of the BGCC are not going to drink beer. The BGCC is for golfers who also see golf as a healthy way to enjoy life, meet people, and learn. We encourage any real golfer who is looking to gain a better understanding of golf, business, and the internet to join the BGCC. There are few requirements to join. Every member must have an above average level of interest in golf to become a member. To show they are serious about themselves and image they need to portray to gain trust from others the BGCC only allows golfers who submit a headshot photo of themselves to join. We take the club seriously and monitor its activity to sort out individuals who attempt to gain entrance to the club for the sole purpose to market to the membership. We want members to be able to relax and experience how building business relationship through casual conversation can produce more than a spam email. Our membership exit program is much easier than the entry process. To join click here. Look forward to seeing you there.

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