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We Bought a Miata

The following newsletter is sponsored by Grass Clippings. We highly recommend drinking a warm glass of tap water before reading. *As always, none of the below information has been fact checked or confirmed in anyway.

"Sandbagger"

/ˈjərnēmən/- Origin unknown

1. a derogatory term for golfers who cheat by pretending to be worse than they actually are. 

2. The poker sandbagger is the player who gives off the notion that he/her is holding a terrible hand only to pounce on his opponents in the end most often taking all of their money. 

If this is your first time hearing the word sandbagger, you should most likely check to see if your golf handicap is up to date. The word sandbagger is often correlated with golf, but a sandbagger can present themselves in any walk of life. Hell, my old neighbor was a sandbagger when it came to fishing. I lost a lot of coin watching him reel in walleye after walleye.  

Example: 

Used in a sentence: "Now Tommy I don't care if you shot a 68 or a 96. Go on in the pro shop and post your score. I didn't raise you to become a sandbagger like our neighbor."

With that said, welcome to the Grass Clippings Monthly.

In this issue: 

Billy's Monthly Insights: *observations from the month of July

  1. The Romance of The Golf Swing 
  2. The Masters of Amateur Golf
  3. Grass Clippings - Long Drive Competition

Updates from the Shop 

  1. Silent Heroes
  2. Shop Opening
  3. Popular Products

Investing 101  *a Hail Mary approach 

  1. Soft Top Two Seater

1. The Romance of The Golf Swing

*It's recommended to watch each video between paragraphs

I recently heard  that a good friend of mine that I respect a great deal threw his clubs away and has officially given up the sport. He essentially got divorced. Folks, that's a big decision to make. Especially when we're living on a rock flying through space and tomorrow isn't guaranteed. See the problem for most people in golf is they haven't made peace with the game. Once you make peace everything starts to fall in line even off the course. See now people need to realize that golf is game of romance. It's like a marriage. Coming from a guy whose been through 3 marriages, golf ain't easy, but it makes for a rewarding existence.

Like life, a golf swing has it's ups and downs and it's never perfect. You might be hitting the ball great off the tee, but can't seem to putt. Or you're striping your irons, but you can't find a fairway. It never seems fair. Right when when you damn up one problem another springs a leak. It can feel as if golf is a single engine crop duster flying through the air with a broken wing and it's your job to land it safely with minimal damage. Now imagine that crop duster bouncing off a corn field 4 times before making direct contact with a barn and exploding into millions of pieces of shrapnel. That's what we call the shanks folks. 
Folks, the shanks are a real thing and typically they come out at the most inopportune times. The same goes for the putting or chipping yips. Back in the nineties a team of top American and Turkish neurologists tried to study the brain to find the answer to the age old question - "what causes the yips or the shanks or as Romeo says 'the Joseo'". They initially believed it was a rare genetic mutation in people's DNA and then they believed it to be faulty brain waves caused by low blood flow to the hippocampus. These theories were all discredited and this team of top doctors was disbanded and disbarred from working on patients is most of Eastern Europe. The only thing most philosophers can agree on is it's all in the head. Overthinking. External circumstances affecting your bodies response to gravity. The good news is it's curable (to a degree). 
Now the reason so many people are hopelessly addicted to the sport is because when everything does come together, when the stars align, it's supernatural. The feeling isn't from this planet. It's what pumps blood through our veins. It's what livin' is. The problem is most people are afraid to step up to the plate. Their hands begin to shake when 3 people walk up to watch their tee ball. Such a simple sport has a unique way of humbling the most proud individuals, but when you make peace with the game it all changes. When you're not afraid to walk up and ask the girl out on a date or when you're not afraid to hit 16 when the dealer's showing 15, you're whole existence begins to change. It's the difference between being a range picker in west Texas and being a US Open Champion. Folks, making peace is understanding that "it is what it is". Pick up your clubs and go hit the next shot. My only wish is my good friend at some point will fish his clubs out of the dumpster and give it one more shot at this love story we call golf. 
* The last piece of the puzzle with a golf swing is what Billy Dobson has been saying all along. A marriage and having children is the fast track to an unstable short game and this has been scientifically proven. Be careful. 
 

2. 101 Years - The Resorters

To piggy back off the The Romance of The Golf Swing, us golfers are always in search of that supernatural feeling. It's addicting. It's like a drug. Now you're not going to find that feeling Saturday morning playing bingo, bango, bongo with your wife's friend's husband. Especially when you're giving him 3 strokes a side. If it's out there, golfers will drive to the end of the earth for an opportunity at golf greatness.

Well folks, golfers have ascended on Alexandria, Minnesota (a town of roughly 14,000 people) since 1921 in search of golf immortality - The Resorters. The Resorters takes place every year the first week of August and it's been going on for 101 years. I repeat 101 years. For reference, the Masters was started in 1934. 

Golfers are in search of tradition. They're in search of greatness. Through the 101 years, the Resorters has grown to be the largest amateur golf tournament in the world. It's past champions include the likes of Tom Lehman, Jim Lehman, Harry Legg, Jerry Rose, Dave Kluver, Neil Croonquist, among others. Tom Lehman even said that his Resorters win in 1980 was as important to him as his British Open win in 1996. There's just something about small town ball. 

The first day of qualifying started yesterday. Nate Adams from North Dakota State University and Lincoln Johnson from the University of Minnesota both carded 66's (-8) to sit atop the leaderboard heading into day two of qualifying tomorrow. Braeden Sladek (future University of Kansas golfer) is the defending champion and looking to go back to back for the first time since 2016 (Nic Heinen).

Folks, it's an emotional week in Alexandria for the golfers who make the trip. Hell, Billy Dobson is flying into Alexandria tonight to offer analysis on players heading into the Calcutta Tuesday night.

"THE MASTERS OF AMATUER GOLF" 

3. Grass Clippings - Long Drive Competition

Folks, long drive competitions predate the invention of the internet. A long drive competition is as patriotic as a hot dog or a yankees game, or even a golden retriever. They've been going on since 1974 when the World Long Drive Competition was created.  Names like Jim Dent and Lon Hinkle will go down in the annals of history because of their importance to not only the sport, but this country. It's tough for Billy Dobson not to shed a tear or get goosebumps when thinking about a long drive competition. There's nothing more American than golfers from all walks of life swinging as hard as they can at a little white ball as the crowd cheers. I'm most likely alone in this belief, but I believe there should be a national holiday for the World Long Drive Competition. I get it, change takes time in Washington.

Regardless, Grass Clippings is doing it's part to grow the sport. We're hosting the Long Drive Competition at the Resorters in Alexandria, Minnesota. Tonight (August 1st) is the qualifier as seen in the picture above. The top 4 players from each division will advance to the finals Wednesday night and all qualifiers will be auctioned off in the Tuesday night Calcutta. There's names like Kyle Cox or Connor Riley who will be suiting up tonight to try and advance to the finals. Folks, you may not know those two names, but let me be clear they can hit the ball a Minnesota Mile. Connor Riley hasn't eaten a carb in 2 weeks in preparation for the event. This is America where excellence is expected. 

Picture the setting. Grand Stands, Under the Lights, the National Anthem and some of the longest drivers of the golf ball west of the Mississippi. Now this might not be Mesquite, Nevada, but I think we'll give those at WLD a run for their money. Buckle up and God Bless America. 

Shop Update:

Later this month, we will begin our Silent Hero campaign. Accompanied in every shipped product, we will include a postcard with a brief story about a silent hero we met that month. As you know, we started this company to give recognition to the greenskeepers of golf because we believe they embody what a true silent hero is. What we've realized throughout the Grass Clippings journey is that silent heroes come from every walk of life and are apart of every industry. Our intent is to help bring their stories into the light. 

 Shop Hours:

Folks the shop on Campbell will be opening back up on September 1st. We're coming back with a bang alongside the college football season. 

Congratulations to Josh Galvin on his 2022 Birchmont Title!

*A throw the ball investment strategy. Imaginary $10,000 is invested each month and we track the performance. "Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever." - Shane Falco. In other words, this is not finical advice.

In a down market it's all about being willing to roll up the sleeves, go against conventional thinking, and look for statistical outliers in parts of the market that typically go overlooked. Folks, that's where Billy Dobson lives. Have you noticed a surge of soft top Mazda Miatas being driven recently? Would you believe me if I told you that the average price of a 1995 Mazda MX-5 Miata has increased over 30% year of year? Or what if I told you Jay Leno has been vocal about his admiration for the Japanese made vehicle? In Lehman terms, Miatas are hot. Below's chart suggests that the timing is right to jump into the market. Although Miata's are up +30.4% this year, they have declined over 15% in the last 90 days. Now folks we are well aware of market conditions, but we firmly believe Mazda Miata's are a recession proof asset. If you've ever driven one, you'd understand the confidence. We believe the dip in Miata prices was an overreaction by the market to the July CPI print. When investors get a hold of their emotions, we expect a flury of activity in used Miata's. As Mr Buffet always says, "be greedy when others are fearful".

Message from Killer the CFO:

July's investments didn't go as planned, but they came from a good place. Will Zalatoris really let Billy down at the British, but Scotty Scheffler and Rory pulled enough weight to keep the ship afloat. Billys portfolio took a  -6.25% hit in July, which to my surprise Billy was pretty happy with. Given the s&p was up nearly 8% in July, we're a bit confused why Billy was so pleased with his 6.25% haircut.

Going into August, Billy is diving deep into the investment playbook. We're not always looking for the best investments, we're looking for the right ones. The ones you can get behind, the ones you really care about, the ones that make you feel good. For Billy, that's a beautiful lightly used 1995 Mazda Miata. Automatic windows, power steering & 22 miles per gallon. Scarcity creates demand, and Billy is really bullish on the used car market.

Investment tracker doc can be accessed here

August Allocation

1. Purchase of a used 1995 Mazda MX-5 Miata - ($8,499)

Link to Asset

Once again we are going all in on another month's allocation with the purchase of a 1995 Mazda Miata. After closing costs, broker fees, and shipping, we figured we're in for a full $10,000, but folks the added costs are costs were willing to incur. This 1995 pristine Mazda Miata has only had 3 owners, has under 100,000 miles, and currently has a clean title. In the used Miata market, that's as close to a slam dunk as you're gonna find. Now, I don't wake up in the morning excited to flip 90's two seaters, but its tough to ignore this trend. 

After going through a thorough due diligence process, we believe fair market value for this Mazda Miata is closer to $16,000 than the roughly $10,000 we're paying. By no means is this a rocket bunny, but we think were in the profit here.

 

-Billy Dobson


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