WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

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Technology Matters

My brother-in-law Derek is one of those guys who loves golf. He has a yearly weekend where he goes away with a bunch of buddies to play. We married sisters, so when our wives' family gathers for the annual week at the beach or other holiday events, Derek usually gets in a couple rounds of golf.

Me, on the other hand, I play golf about twice a year. One is for a fund-raiser that my mom works on for the Page Memorial Hospital in my hometown of Luray, Va. My team has come in last or next to last for about five years running.

The other yearly golf outing is for the annual Washington Technology Top 100 Golf Tournament, which is coming up June 18.

I didn't play in the Top 100 event for several years out of fear of embarrassment, just like I avoided playing with Derek. But I realized that the Top 100 event is too good of a networking and socializing opportunity to not participate. For me, it is a chance to interact with industry executives when I'm not trying to get information out them for a story.

I still have a fear of embarrassment, so when I knew that Derek and I and our wives would be in their hometown over Memorial Day to visit with our in-laws, I asked him if he wanted to play. I figured a practice round would get me ready for the Top 100.

I brought my clubs - a used set I bought from my brother a couple years. Derek and his wife were flying in from Atlanta with their two kids, so he said he'd rent clubs.

We started with a bucket of balls and I was pretty happy with the way I was hitting them. My drives were landing in the 100-yard range, which is good for me. Derek has been looking to buy a new set of clubs so he was anxious to try out what the pro had rented him.

He was having fun even before we left the driving range. With the big oversized Adams driver, he was hitting booming shots. The Adams irons too were adding loft and distance to his shots.

That is when he manta of the day began - Technology Matters.

On the back nine, after watching too many of my drives skittered down the fairway about 70 yards, he offered me the driver. He looked at my clubs - state of the art in the 1990s and said: Technology Matters.

My first swing with his rented driver went 150 yards. For the first time in my life I hit a shot where I was able to watch the ball rise and accelerate. My driver stayed in the bag after that. A couple holes later, he handed me the 4-iron and I was reaching the edge of the green in two-shots on a long par 4.

My score on the back nine - 53 - was seven strokes better than the front nine. All because of two clubs. My round of 113 is the best I've ever played.

I've checked with Westfields Golf Club in Clifton, Va., where the Top 100 tournament will be held, and they rent clubs. Callaways, the Big Bertha line.

I think June 18 is going to be a good day.

As Derek says, Technology Matters.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on May 27, 2008 at 9:54 AM

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