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To contribute to the Ranken Jordan junior golf program or to ask any questions please e-mail me at This blog is not affiliated with Ranken Jordan. The views expressed on this blog are those of the author and not those of Ranken Jordan. Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


The new year has really only just begun yet it seems like it is already flying by.  Super Bowl 50 was played last night and pitchers & catchers report to spring training in 10 days.  These are two sure signs that spring is just around the corner, or at least it is according to a certain groundhog in Pennsylvania.  As someone who is not overly fond of cold weather I sure hope Phil was correct and we are going to have an early spring!  While I was sitting with my family watching the Super Bowl and wearing my Carolina Panthers Luke Kuechly jersey (yes, it was tough for me to sit quietly and watch my team play so poorly), I saw a commercial that was aired only in the St. Louis region.  This commercial ripped the ownership of the franchise that just left St. Louis for sunny Southern California.  However there was one line in it that really struck me:  "just because it's legal and you're rich enough to do it, that doesn't make it right."

Some (or many) of you may be reading this and wondering how does that quote from a local attorney directed towards an arrogant, self-centered billionaire owner of an NFL team tie into this blog and the junior golf program at Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital?  Read it again and as the late, great Harvey Penick would advise his students on the golf range, boil it down to its simplest form.  What this quote is saying is that at times, regardless of any additional factors, you just have to do what is right.  It may not be the best business decision or might ruffle a few feathers, but you sometimes have to make difficult decisions with your heart rather than your bank account and focus on a greater good.  Again, a lot of you are probably sitting there thinking I am about as sharp as a marble and am doing nothing more than rambling.  What can be the connection?  Do I have any clue what I am talking about?  I think I do (for what that is worth).

When I heard that commercial and quote around halftime of the game, it reminded me of a question I have been asked numerous times over the past 5 years.  That question, even in its myriad deliveries, always carries the same meaning.  People have asked repeatedly why I started the junior golf program at Ranken Jordan.  A lot of them will add to the question as they know that in 2010 I had no personal reasons to start it.  We were fortunate that my son was born healthy and to this day his greatest medical issue has been needing tubes in his ears (like father, like son).  Why, then, if I had never had the personal need for an incredible facility like Ranken Jordan would I want to start a junior golf program there?  Simple:  It was the right thing to do.  There is nothing more to it than that.  As I mentioned, it really is a fairly simple concept.  Starting a junior golf program in a pediatric hospital may not be the most effective way to grow the game of golf but this is one of those times when it is about more than that.

I know that there are many, many options when it comes to growing the game of golf and introducing new players to the game that could do so in a more effective manner.  However when I started the program at Ranken Jordan none of that entered my mind.  The focus of this program is not growing the game.  Our main focus is using golf to put smiles on the faces of the kids in the hospital, allow them to heal faster, and go home to their families sooner.  I would be lying if I said I do not want to see new golfers come out of this program.  I absolutely do.  We are showing these kids and their families that they can play golf regardless of their medical conditions.  We just do that in a roundabout way and make sure the kids have fun first.  This junior golf program is about kids smiling, laughing, playing, having fun, and healing.  For me it is doing the right thing as my mother and father taught me.  I encourage each of you reading this to find something you are passionate about to do the right thing.  While you are at it tell a friend to do the same thing.  There are many things you can do which will increase your revenue in your business or inflate your bank account but those things can be gone just as quickly.  When you do something to put a smile on the face of a child or hear their sweet laughter, those memories can never be taken away from you.

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