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We've Been Robbed

The following newsletter is sponsored by Grass Clippings. We highly recommend watching an episode of The Deadliest Catch before reading. *As always, none of the below information has been fact checked or confirmed in anyway.

"The Spouting Whale Gets The Harpoon"

  /T͟Hē spou-ting (h)wāl ɡets tHē härˈpo͞on/  - Origin unknown

1. is an old adage used to communicate that keeping a low profile or laying in the weeds ultimately leads to a better outcome opposed to overselling yourself or shouting from the rooftops . 

Used in conversation:

Son: "Dad I dropped 50 points in last night's game. I need to text Sara and let her know of my heroics. Maybe I'll finally get her to go on a date with me."

Dad: "Son listen to me. I'm sick of hanging out with you on Friday nights. The spouting whale gets the harpoon."

With that said, welcome to the Grass Clippings Monthly.

In this issue: 

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

  1. The Return of the Trojans
  2. LIV, Laugh, Rory
  3. Kevin Costner & The Resorters
  4. John Wayne, Elvis Presley, & Paul Bond Boots
  5. We've Been Robbed
  6. The Beginning of the Long Drive

Updates from the Shop 

  1. Shop Reopening
  2. Renovation
  3. New Product Releases

Investing 101  *a Hail Mary approach 

  1. Southwest Airlines
  2. Delta Airlines
  3. Carolina Panthers

1. The Return of the Trojans

The Grass Clippings team had a chance to follow the grounds crew around at the famed Coliseum last week to witness the laying of the turf before the start of the USC college football season. I'll be the first to tell you that there is a different feeling in that stadium entering the upcoming college football season. The head superintendent, Scott Luphold, told us that laying the sod for this season feels eerily similar to when he would lay sod during the Pete Carroll era. Lincoln Riley has the city of Los Angeles gased up for what they think could be a very special year. Most of ya'll are probably thinking that maintaining a football field is relatively simple. Well for one thing it's not. The turf seen on Saturdays is grown for roughly a year in Palm Springs and then shuttled in on semi trucks. Once the sod arrives, each strip is laid, manicured by hand, and then rolled and watered for several days. It's typically a two day process with work starting at 4 am to lay the entire field. Scott Luphold told us that not only are these the toughest days for his crew, but they will have to rip up the grass and resod roughly five times throughout the season.

Between Football games, large scale concerts are held at the Coliseum that require the field to be ripped up and new turf to be laid. in talking with Scott and his team, you can tell the importance of each detail. If a player were to lose his footing and tear an ACL, that could be the players fault or very well could be poor turf management. USC football has a list of future NFL players on the roster and high expectations this year. It's a bottom up operation and everything starts with the Grounds Crew. The Silent Heroes. If you're asking Billy, I expect the Trojans to be undefeated entering their last home game against The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

2. LIV, Laugh, Rory

Folks, Billy Dobson has about had it with recent developments in professional golf. The LIV Tour has attempted to disrupt the PGA Tour and reshape the way we watch the game. Some of the LIV Tour's "ideas" are great in theory, but do you really expect Greg Norman, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson to execute this "vision". Just because Greg Norman blew a Masters, created a shark logo, and posed nude for a magazine doesn't mean he's qualified to be the architect for the future of golf. Phil Mickelson lost over $40 million dollars gambling in a 4 year span yet is certain on the success of this new tour. Come on. Dustin Johnson is Napoleon Dynamite with a great golf swing. My concern is who is guiding golf into the future? Golf fans and more importantly the youth used to look to Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player to give us direction and hope for the future of golf. Now fans and the youth are confused on the landscape of golf? The LIV Tour keeps using the buzz phrase "growing the game". Well, Greg please explain how? We're listening. 48 players making hundreds of millions of dollars is actually shrinking the game. 

As said earlier, the spouting whale gets the harpoon and it couldn't be more relevant here. Just because players like Cam Smith are jumping ship doesn't mean the LIV Tour will succeed. I personally think the LIV Tour is unwatchable and once the dust settles the Saudi's are going to be more interested in taking over something like Nascar rather than the PGA Tour. The PGA Tour, Rory, and Tiger just had to let the dust settle before proposing preposterous ideas like the TGL league. Hitting balls into a simulator in a stadium is a far cry from the sunsetting over a beautifully manicured golf course. The very things like getting outdoors is what attracts people to the sport, not a Justin Bieber concert with guys holding 4 irons. To say the counter punch to the LIV Tour is a disappointment would be an understatement. With that being said, I'll leave you with this. The golf tournaments and their history are bigger than the individual player and they always will be. Like Herb Brooks famously said, "the name on the front of the jersey is a hell of a lot more important than the name on the back". Long live the PGA Tour.

3. Kevin Costner & The Resorters

Folks if you read last months newsletter, you're well aware of The Resorters golf tournament in Alexandria, Minnesota which took place at the beginning of the month. In our eyes, it's the Masters of Amateur golf. It's format is much like the US Amateur. There is a two day qualifier and the top 32 players advance to matchplay. In between qualifying and matchplay, there is a Calcutta. A Calcutta is much like an auction where all the players are auctioned off each player going to one buyer. If the player goes on to win the tournament, that buyer wins the lion share of the total invested pot. As the tournament has grown over the 101 years of its existence, so has the Calcutta. Billy Dobson makes the trip every year primarily for the Calcutta. Billy believes if one knows what they are doing, golf betting can be very profitable. The key in events like The Resorters, which incorporates a matchplay format, is to find players that have distinguishable  qualities. The 32 players that advance to matchplay are typically elite college golfers or older top amateur players. Of the 32 players everyone can hit the ball 300+ yards, stop a wedge on a dime, and hit a high draw with a seven iron. Not everyone though has the mental fortitude to win 5 matches which tests every facet of a players game. Well, Billy did well this year. 

When I got to the Resorters like every other golf event I bet on, I mingled with the players, asked vague questions and began my process of identifying golfers with said qualities. Well it didn't take long to identify my horse. After the first day of qualifying, I found myself at a card table with a college golfer from Texas named Zak Jones. Zak began explaining his first round, "I shot 2 under with a triple on hole 1". If you know the course, tripling number 1 is pretty tough to do given it's a straight away 320 yard par 4. Apparently Zak flew the green long out of bounds. Probably a 345 yard drive. I asked him what he hit with his provisional and without hesitation, "I hit driver again" he said. Folks at that moment I knew I was looking at Kevin Costner from Tin Cup. I've been betting on a variety of golf events throughout my gambling career and never had I stumbled into Kevin Costner like I did in Alexandria, Minnesota. Long story short Mr. and Mrs. Dobson purchased Zak Jones at the Calcutta two nights later for $5,000 which was a bargain compared to the players going for $12,000+. Zak, the 11th seed, went on to win his 5 matches and hoist the elusive Resorters trophy. Now again if you read last month's newsletter, you're aware of my admiration for the Japanese made two seater Mazda Miata. As fate  would have it, Mrs. Dobson and I are actively in the market for a 90's soft top Mazda Miata. 

Zak Jones College Golf Profile

4. John Wayne, Elvis Presley, & Paul Bond Boots

As a company, we are in pursuit of grassy people and grassy stories. The Silent Heroes of this world. Here is a story of Paul Bond Boots and its devoted employees. Full story can be found here

The Story of Paul Bond Boots began in the year 1915. Paul Bond was born in Carlsbad, New Mexico where he grew up on the family ranch riding horses and working cattle. In his teenage years, he found work with a local boot-maker and would even break in horses for the U.S. Cavalry. These experiences led him to the rodeo where he became a bronc trick rider. While committed to the Rodeo, Bond continued to make boots on the side. As his rodeo prowess continued to grow, so did the quality of his boots. Bond's part-time boot-making was designed to supplement his income from the Rodeo, but in the late 1940's he walked away from the sport and opened up a boot shop on the US Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona. 

With Bond's connections not only in the Rodeo but with stunt riders in Western Movies, his boots became world class. Names like John Wayne and Elvis Presley bought boots from him in their era and today names like Tom Cruise and Gwen Stefani purchase boots from the same shop. 

Within the folk lore of Paul Bond Boots, one thing gets forgotten. Paul's Nogales based employees that have been building boots from scratch at the same boot shop off Paul Bond Road in Nogales, AZ. Their six current boot-makers have all been working at the shop for over 40 years. For them it's not about the money, it's about the craft. It's about their loyalty to Paul Bond who passed away in 2012. When I spoke with the store manager, he said "it was a real tough year around here when we lost Paul, but we had to get back to work".

5. We've Been Robbed... Kind Of

Folks, we had a strange occurrence over the weekend. Technically you could call it a robbery, but I don't see it that way. See on Saturday and in the early hours of Sunday morning of August the 27th a gentleman entered our shop through the back door. Now this gentleman as you'll see below entered the shop at 11:45pm on the 26th, 2:05am, and 7:45am on the 27th. For a burglar to return to the scene 3 different times especially at hours he could easily run into an employee leads me to believe that this isn't your typical burglar. This gentleman roughly 6 foot tall wearing seven jeans and a pristine white Taylormade golf hat made off with a bag of dirty golf clothes (that had been worn earlier in the day) and a Walmart backpack cooler that fits roughly 4 beers in his first visit at 11:45pm. During his second visit at 2:04 am, the subject entered the shop and made off with a broken Bose speaker and a pillow from our famed green couch. The final visit at 7:45am is the most interesting and has our private investigator scratching his head. The subject enter through the same backdoor, proceeded to walk around the whole shop and office, and then fill up his water jug from our water cooler and then exited. 

Now your average business would want answers. They would want the subject reprimanded and/or charged, but not Grass Clippings. See we are currently looking to hire a few shop employees to greet customers and sell clothes. The fact that the first item he stole was a bag of golf clothes that had just been worn in 110 degree weather tells me he's a golf junkie. Secondly, he showed up 3 times throughout the night. That type of persistence is what has been lacking with some of our other employees. My only knock on this candidate would be the fact that he was wearing a Taylormade hat. I never understood why people wear hats like Taylormade or Titliest. It would be like me wearing a Wells Fargo hat to a casino. Regardless, we'd love the communities help in first getting this guy a Stay Grassy Hat and secondly setting up a formal interview. If anyone knows the gentleman below please reach out to connor@grassclippings.com

6. The Beginning of the Long Drive

Folks, Billy Dobson is bullish on a lot of things, but none more than Long Drive Competitions. While Tiger and Rory are merging "tech" with golf, we're going back to the basics. No need for flashy simulators or disco lights. Just a driving range, a light tower, and the sweet connection between titanium and a rubbery, plastic sphere.

We held the first Grass Clippings Long Drive Competition in Alexandria, Minnesota at the The Resorters in early August. It was nothing short of inspiring. You can access the results from the event here - Grass Clippings Long Drive Competition

If you're reading this and think you have distance off the tee, good because we'll be hosting more long drive events in the future. 

Shop Opening & Renovation:

Folks, the shop has been closed for the past two months, but is reopening on Tuesday the 6th. We've renovated the shop and are hosting a grand opening party on Thursday the 8th.We'll have a food truck in honor of the start of the NFL Football season - Bills vs Rams. Come help us welcome back the fall season. 

Throughout September, we'll be dropping new Tee's, hats, and eventually shorts. Stay Tuned. 

New Shop Hours:

Monday: Closed

Tuesday - Friday: 10am - 5:30pm 

Saturday -Sunday: 9am - 1pm 

PRODUCT RELEASES

*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 financial advice.

Folks, I don't want to get on my high horse, but we did well last month. The average price for 1995 Mazda Miatas rose to $11,506 according to Cargurus.com. Thats a profit of $3,007 from the purchase price we identified at $8,499. Even if we include the closing costs, broker fees, and shipping costs, that's a profit of $1,506. In these market conditions, we'll take it. 

For this coming month, we're shifting focus from the used car market to the airline industry and NFL Football. Folks throughout my checkered investing past, I've learned a thing or two. One of my key takeaways is that if you're able to test or use a product before investing it allows you to gain useful insights. Insights you won't find on a website like Motley Fool. Well folks, myself and the Grass Clippings team did a bit of traveling this month and I've had it with Southwest Airlines. I get it. No assigned seating, shotty air conditioning, and turbulent flights were cool back in the early 2000's, but it's 2022 and Billy Dobson has higher Standards. I had a round trip flight to Burbank, California this past month where my boarding number was C 14 each way. I sat middle seat in the last row and the air conditioning worked as well as a 1995 used Mazda Miata. On top of that, both flights bounced around like a billy goat in the back of a trailer on its way to a kids birthday party. Southwest Airlines I've had it.

As for the NFL, boy do we have some storylines entering the 2022/2023 season. There are teams ripe with controversy and players out to prove their doubters otherwise. When betting the NFL, things like travel, QB massage mistakes, and redemption stories are the key to finding an edge. We cash in week 1 folks. 

Message from Killer the CFO:

Billy made the decision to mix business with pleasure in August, and I'm happy to report things went exactly as planned. Billy was able to flip the Mazda Miati and transfer title yesterday for $11,506 (+15.6), to a professional demolition derby competitor on the Iowa circuit. Apparently the low center of gravity and forged titanium frame makes the Miati a perfect vehicle for prefessional demolition derby competition. 

For September Billy is playing ball in some familiar territory, back in the stock market and sports gambling, but with some unique strategies. For the first time in Billys investing history, he's going against his "Throw the ball" mantra and shorting Southwest Airlines (LUV). He's also weaving in another first, with a calculated hedge by going long on Delta Airlines (DEL). There's only 1 conclusion I can draw from this, Billys acting on some pretty sound insider information. The good news is he wisely allocated only $5,000 between the 2 investments in an abvious attempt to stay under the SEC radar for insider trading. To wrap things up, Billys making an emotional investment in the Carolina Panthers (-2) over the Cleveland Browns for Baker Mayfields homecoming. Safe to say Billy is betting on Baker to come for blood week 1.

Investment tracker doc can be accessed here

September Allocation

1. Short Position on Southwest Airlines Stock - ($2,500)

Folks, Southwest Airlines was trading at $45 dollars six months ago and is now trading at $36 dollars. Regardless of gas prices and overall market conditions, I think the broader market is waking up to the fact that Southwest Airlines is the new Allegiant and other airlines are stepping in to take their market share.
2. Purchase of Delta Airlines Stock - ($2,500)

Folks, I flew Delta back in mid-July and by golly do they have things figured out. It felt like flying on Air Force One in comparison to airlines like Southwest. Although Delta has struggled in the past 6 months as well, my gut tells me Delta will be trading well over $30 dollars a share come October. No need to buckle up. We have clear skies on the horizon. 

3. Carolina Panthers to Cover (-2) vs Cleveland Browns ($5,000)

Boy do we have ourselves a matchup week 1. The Cleveland Browns at the Carolina Panthers. The storylines entering this game could fill a leather bound book. Deshaun Watson suspension lingering over the Browns. Baker Mayfield playing his old team who ran him out of town to name a few. Baker is finally healthy along with Panthers running back Christian McCaffery. I think we're going to witness the resurgence of Baker Mayfield and the Panthers have a legit shot to make the playoffs. Lay the points here. We roll with the Panthers.

Let's have ourselves a hell of month SG Fam! 

-Billy Dobson

Stay Grassy


Blog posts View all

We've Been Robbed
We've Been Robbed
We Bought a Miata
We Bought a Miata
Paul Bond Boots
Paul Bond Boots

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3942 E. Campbell Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85018

Closed Mondays
Tues - Fri: 10am - 5:30pm
Sat - Sun: 9am - 1pm