Friday, June 29, 2007

Puttering Around Big-D

Who’d’ve thunk it?
Playing golf indoors is a big deal, and businesses offering year-round, climate controlled access to greens and driving ranges stand to excel, particularly in regions where the weather doesn’t always cooperate.

Dallas has had string of days like that, with an endless onslaught of rain and thunderstorms that have swollen the Trinity River from a verdant greenbelt to an angry torrent of muddy water through the Metroplex.

I thought I was crossing the Mississippi River Delta instead of the Trinity River as I traversed the southern approach to Dallas on I-45.

We originated The Moneyman Report with Daniel Frishberg from Texas Indoor Golf in Grapevine, Texas yesterday. Timm Matthews was also on hand to provide color commentary to Daniel's colorful commentary.

It was literally over the river and through the woods for many of us—two busloads of folks traveled over from Ft. Worth. Okay, that’s not exactly an overland expedition, but a chartered coach is a nice alternative to having to fight cross-Metro traffic.

This was a first: simulcast video of the conversations. Now you know why some of us truthfully disclose we “have a face for Radio.”

Special kudos to Ed Moyer, our on-site producer, who worked in tandem with Drew Hubenak at the Mother-ship in Houston to get the broadcast on the air…

Texas Indoor Golf Czar Mark Zwartynski says the indoor putter parlours are a tech geek’s dream as well as good cyber therapy for weather-challenged duffers.

A combination of electronic sensors and strategically arrayed microphones in each driving booth create a sophisticated, sonar-like network that senses swing technique, driver positioning and pitch, and velocity and direction of golf balls lofted into screens at the backs of the booths.

When those balls whap into the screens, it’s like a big gun going off. Army Ranger vet, Vince Rowe, was having flashbacks, and resisting the urge to drop into the nearest foxhole each time a ball blasted into a the back of the booths.

Dallas Morning News journalist, Angela Shah, was also scoping out the scene. She’s doing research on a piece she’s writing about the BizRadio Network phenomenon.

Not to put her on the spot, but watch for her byline soon with some indepth reporting on how we do that voodoo that we do.

Most shocking line of the night came from one of the perky Glenlivet hostesses, who strolled past our broadcast position and asked, “do you want an 18-year old?” She was talking about an adult beverage, not an adulterous teenager.
I passed on both.

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