Slapping Hands With Famous People, Saving Money At Events & Priceless Moments

I had one mission this weekend, and that was to “high-five” as many famous people as possible. You see, The President's Cup descended on San Francisco. Thus, I was determined to watch America's best golfers tee it up against the rest of the world, less Europe (that's the Ryder's Cup).

Did I succeed in my mission? It depends on whether you count Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Anthony Kim, Freddie Couples, Greg Norman, Condoleeza Rice, Gavin Newsom, and Michael Jordan as famous people! For if you do, you'll understand why I'm never washing my hands again!

There's A Wide Range Of Golf Fans

In “Revenge of The Nerds: Golf & Tennis Are #1”, I write that if you want to make a lot of money, you should think about picking up either golf or tennis.

As the 30,000+ patrons at Harding Park showed me today, there's a darn lot of different types of folks interested in golf! All along the signature par 4, 468 yard, 15th hole there were tons of corporate tents. They included names such as Charles Schwab, PG&E, and Mastercard.

The tens were filled to the brim with rich looking patrons sipping Chardonnay. Ah, to gain access to one of these tents. Except for Citigroup, it's good to know there weren't any government bailed out entities partying it up on our dime. So, score one for the common folk!

Three Lessons Learned From This Weekend

I had a blast at the President's Cup. Seeing famous people was of course a big thrill. But, getting to enjoy some amazing golf and support our team was truly incredible.

Here are three lessons I learned this weekend that I want to share and remember.

1) Sports is the great equalizer of all people.

Michael Jordan is the best basketball player on earth and a mega millionaire to boot. Of all the famous people I saw at the President's Cup, he was the highlight. Yet, MJ was basically a volunteer assistant to the team at Captain Freddie's request. “Whatever Freddie wants me to do, I'll do,” said Michael to reporters. 

I saw MJ shuttle back and forth between holes. He was delivering things, relaying information, carrying some equipment, and joking around. When I asked him for an autograph while he was waiting to drive across the 7th fairway, he told me “Sorry, I can't now cause I'm working.”

That's dedication and a nice way to tell me to go away! One of the most famous sports stars in the world was just like one of us 30,000+ fans that day. He was willing to do whatever it takes to support our team.

2) Never get stressed out if you don't have a ticket to a sold out event.

No matter how big the stage, there will always be scalpers willing to sell you tickets based on your desires. The market is efficient, so don't worry. In fact, if you want to save money on tickets for future events, miss the first inning, quarter, or opening Hanna Montana song. 

If you do, you'll get prices for proportionately much cheaper than the time remaining. My two friends bought two $80 face value tickets for only $20 each because they arrived later in the morning on Saturday. Scalpers have no use for inventory once an event starts. As a result, they will go down to their lowest price, theoretically $0.01.

3) Never go to an event hungry!

This is especially true for a golf event because you end up walking around for miles. Try and stuff your jacket pockets with snacks and a mini bottle of water. 

You'll be happy you did when you walk by the concession stands. I did a double-take when I saw $10 dollar hot dogs and $8 dollar Gatorades! Going to an event full will easily save you $10-20 dollars. 

This is true even at the movie theater. If you look at their business model, much of their revenue depends on concession stand business.

Key Takeaways

Famous People - Tiger Woods President's Cup
Tiger In Deep Thought On Hole #2 (200 Yd Par 3). Had to use my crappy camera with no zoom since it was the only one to fit in my shoe!

This weekend was a great reminder of why it's hard to leave the Bay Area. 

San Francisco is the best city for millennials and so much more. It's a strong enough city to attract popular events. Thereby, San Francisco saves its residents a lot of money by not having to travel. 

Golf and sports fans around the world watched San Francisco this weekend. And I never would have imagined being able to interact with so many famous people in one sitting.

More than likely someone in your office will be talking about some spectacular shot they saw this weekend. If you have no idea what they are talking about, you may miss out on a chance to bond. 

Relationships And Experiences Are Key

Relationships are key elements to job success. And the more interests you have, the better your chances of getting to know someone who will support you in a bull or bear market.

Experiences trump material goods once again. My friends and I shared some unforgettable moments on Sunday. In fact, you may even see us on Sportscenter.

We stood right next to Tiger Woods pitching out from underneath the 14th hole trees to beat Y.E. Yang and clinch victory for the US! In business, if you can experience unforgettable memories with your clients, you'll forever be on line one.


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13 thoughts on “Slapping Hands With Famous People, Saving Money At Events & Priceless Moments”

  1. I was never crazy about meeting with VIPs though I did have a few chances, either at home or overseas, to meet with some of them. (I was once in a hall in Shanghai with President Bush and many others!) But your meeting with Michael Jordan is a good story. It reminded me of Nelson Mandela. Stories like these always uplift my spirit.

    1. Lovingkidn – Oh wow, that’s pretty cool you were in Shanghai with President Bush and others! I remember meeting Nelson Mandela when I was in 7th grade I think. He was just released from prison a year ago and was teaching the world about freedom! It was awesome. FS

  2. I budget for event food. Much like the airport though for opposing reasons.
    At the airport, it is unpleasant enough to fly in many cases, so you might as well budget some $ to make it more bearable.
    As for events, event food tastes good when you’re having fun. Ball park hot dogs are nostalgic, as is movie popcorn with too much ‘butter’. (usually coconut oil or something)

    Although… if I started buying tickets off scalpers after the event started for cheap, I’d probably not be able to think of events as special anymore, and thus would eat beforehand.

    1. Hey Geek! Airplane food sucks. 90% of the time i’m at the airport is b/c i’m flying for business, so i have a business meal allocation. Not much, but enough to buy me a BigMac!

      Good point on the nostalgia part of eating popcorn and hot dogs.

      You may not have to buy tickets off scalpers after the event starts. Just 5 minutes before also helps b/c you can see the panic and desperation in their eyes! Then is the time to drive hard bargains!

      Best, FS

  3. John DeFlumeri Jr

    Don’t show up thirsty and hungry or you’ll pay $3.50 for water!

    Sports is a great equalizer of people. It’s basic!!

    John DeFlumeri Jr

  4. @greg
    Too bad I just drive a beater and don’t have friends with fancy Lexuses! good tip though. I think we should check out who are the sponsors before going to all events and bring the right stuff accordingly! FS

  5. @canz
    Oh yeah? Thought you were a programmer? I’ve always wondered how those guys work and make money b/c it seems like they work in big groups.

    So often, I walk by one scalper selling tickets, and another guy buying tickets even though the event is about to start. I told the one guy buying to buy from the guy selling, and he wasn’t too happy! How much do you guys make a year on this? FS

  6. pssst…I’m not sure about this event, but Lexus is a sponsor at many golf tournament. Just find a friend that will loan you a key to their car. Usually, if you simply flash the key with the big L they will let you into their hospitality tent!

  7. I saw in your flat-tax thread that you mentioned cell phones weren’t allowed. However, I distinctly remember watching a bit of the coverage earlier this week (Friday?), and some yahoo triggered his cell phone or some other device to go off 3 times in a row while one of the international players was preparing to take a stroke. Do you know if this rule was enforced throughout the tourney, or just over the weekend?

    I was very impressed to see Tiger go 5-0-0, Stricker 4-1-0, and Phil 4-0-1. What an outstanding performance by the US team!

    And watch out for Tim Clark–I am excited about watching him next year!

    1. Hey Dar! Yeah, cell phones, cameras, backpacks weren’t allowed. I was going to hide the camera in my undergarment (i.e. underwear) but that didn’t work out so well. Hence, I slipped it in my sock and shoe.

      I am 100% guilty of sneaking my 1 mega pixel ancient digital camera to the course, but I made sure it made no sound, and had no flash. Because there were security people with metal dectors at the entrance, and before you got on a free shuttle bus, I would say 95% of the population did not have a cell phone. So from the pre-entrance perspective, yes, it was enforced. While there, since not many had cameras/phones (I only saw two other guys), there wasn’t a big need to have the rule enforced.

      Yes, Team USA rocked! Since the individual match ups were such blowouts, we moved from the 16th hole to the 14th hole, b/c we knew they wouldn’t make it to #16. Luckily we did, b/c we caught Tiger’s birdie on the 14th to cinch the win. It was so fun :)

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