The ABCs of Golf Etiquette and Play

By: Dan Merfeld So you've decided to take the plunge. Curiosity finally got the better of you and you're trying out the great game known as golf. Congratulations and welcome.

If you're concerned about not knowing the rules, proper etiquette, or what to wear on the golf course, please read on. We've got you covered.

Gameplay First, you should know, we'll be playing a particular style of tournament golf called a "scramble" - which is typically played for such outings as ours. The rules are designed to make gameplay fun and enjoyable for players of all skill levels - especially beginners - so you've chosen the right place to start! Here's how we play this particular style of golf.

You'll be playing on a team of four golfers. At each hole every player in your team takes a turn at teeing off. After everyone in your team has had a turn, the team collectively decides which ball has the best position and all the other players pick up their ball and play their second shots from that spot. That counts as one stroke for the team. This process repeats itself until the ball is holed (or as Happy Gilmore might say "finds its home,") a player dies, or someone gets frustrated and throws their club (bad form - never throw your club.) At that time, the total number of strokes taken counts as your score for the hole. The lower the score, the better.

Each hole is rated with a number based on its overall difficulty to play. That rating represents the "average" number of strokes to get the ball in the hole and is referred to as "par." As you score your team will either be "under" - which means you're doing really well and have a negative score - congratulations, you must be a pro; "even" - which means you're exactly average - congratulations are still very much in order, or "over" - which means you're playing at a level most golfers (even experienced ones) play at. How much you're over par is really the question you'll be asking yourself, so don’t be discouraged if your score doesn’t land in one of the other two categories.

Dress Code You might be wondering what to wear. The golf course we will be playing at does not have an official dress code (some do) - it's recommended that you wear a shirt with a collar, and pants (not jeans,) shorts (not jean shorts), or a skirt (not a jean skirt.) For that matter, leave out jean jackets, and, well, anything made of jeans. You're going to see a lot of Khaki and plaid out there, I suggest you just roll with it.

For footwear, avoid open-toed shoes, sandals, or bear feet (for your own safety.) If you have a pair of tennis or soccer shoes they will work just fine. If you're thinking of using grandpa's golf shoes, be sure to check with someone at the course to see if the shoe spike type is allowed (some older golf shoes have metal spikes that can hurt the greens and are not allowed to wear.) All modern golf shoes (the ones with plastic spikes) should be okay to wear.

One final point about dress, remember you're going to be out in the direct sun, bring sunglasses and sunscreen.

Three Tips To Hit The Ball Like a Pro  Well, you've made it this far. You're dressed, at the golf course and ready to play. But how exactly does one go about hitting a golf ball you may ask?

First, let's get your head straight. Keep in mind that some people spend a lifetime perfecting this game and only scratch the surface of what could be their true possible potential. It's important to make sure your expectations are inline with reality. If you're a new golfer, you should expect to hit the ball in the general direction of your target and not much else. That's okay, remember, your team can always use one of the other player's shot if you don't do well. If you play other sports, particularly baseball or softball - you might find it shocking how different the swing is and how that might actually add to the challenge of hitting a golf ball. Be patient with yourself as you work out the differences.

1. Go for accuracy - not distance. Everyone wants to hit the ball far, and while that does give you a competitive advantage on the tees and on the longer holes, it can be disastrous for new golfers to attempt to go for distance. Instead, focus on hitting the ball well, and in the general direction of your target.

2. Don't swing your club too hard. Again with the distance. Hitting the ball far means swinging the club hard and fast - or so it would seem. When you're swinging the club, let the club head do the work. The less you try to force it, the more accuracy you'll get out of your shot.

You'll know you're forcing it if, when you swing, you completely miss the ball. When that happens it's a sure sign you're trying to swing way too hard. Take it down a notch or two and try to make it more of a natural and even swing then a blast of power. You'll give up some distance, but you'll enjoy the game much more if you're not always fishing your ball out of the woods or a hazard.

Club Selection Another aspect of golf that can be confusing to the outsider is which club to use. It's really quite simple though, if you keep the following in mind.

Golf clubs are broken into four main categories: Woods, Irons Wedges and Putters. The Woods and Irons have numbers on them. An easy way to remember what the numbers mean is to keep in mind that the lower the number, the farther the ball will travel and the higher the number the higher the ball will fly through the sky (referred to as 'loft.')

Let's talk about the main kinds of clubs.

Woods Woods are not actually made of wood any more, but that's how they originally got their name. They propel the ball the farthest (from 200-250 yards when in the hands of an experienced golfer.) They are only really used once, at the beginning of the hole. They work best when the ball is teed up and they have two defining characteristics - they are the longest of the clubs and they have a larger area to strike the ball on the club head. This is good and bad. You can get into a lot of trouble with your woods, so be careful.

Another thing worth noting, the 1 wood is the only one referred as the "Driver." It's the club that should, when hit properly, go the farthest and have the least amount of loft.

A standard golf club set might have a 1, 3 and 5 wood. Being new to golf, it's recommended you pick one of the woods (doesn't matter which one) and stick with it for your first rounds. You're not going to notice much of a difference between the clubs until you mature your swing a bit more with practice.

Irons Irons, like their woods counterparts, are no longer made from their namesake metal, iron. They are made of a metal mix. They're meant to be somewhat heavy to help strike the ball better. The club head is angled, and they will have much more loft than the woods.

Irons are numbered 1-9 - but it's likely you won't have all of them in a standard golf club set, so don't worry if you're missing a few. The "long irons"; irons 1,2, and 3 will get you the distance, while the short irons; 7,8, and 9 will get the ball up higher in the air and more quickly. What about 4,5, and 6 you say? Well, you guessed it, they're called the "middle irons" and they're for the in-between moments.

You should make friends with your irons before you make friends with any other club type - after all you'll be using them the most. It's recommended to pick one long-iron, one middle-iron and one short-iron and play exclusively with those clubs.

Wedges Wedges comes in all shapes and sizes too, and they don’t have numbers, they typically have letters (I know it’s like they’re trying to confuse us right?) There are really only two that you need concern yourself with - the Pitching Wedge (PW) is the highest lofted club of the bunch and the Sand Wedge (SW) which - you guessed it - comes in handy if you happen to be caught in the sand.

Putters If you’ve ever been mini-golfing, you’re probably already familiar with what a putter is, what it can do and how to use it. There is some discussion about how close to the hole you need to be before using a putter, but if you’re new to golf, it’s probably a bit unnecessary for us to get into such level of detail. Suffocate to say, if it looks like the putter might be a good club for the job, do it.

Etiquette rules to know Much has been written about the etiquette of golf and in some ways can be quite intimidating for new golfers. Here's a few tips to keep in mind.

1. Don't be loud - golf requires concentration and, at times, it can be frustrating to other golfers if they hear a lot of noise. It's considered particularly bad form to speak or make noise while a golfer is about to hit the ball. You might hear the warning "don't talk in my backswing!" which is golfer code for "please be quite while I'm attempting to hit the ball."

2. Position yourself - another consideration is where you stand while someone else is playing. It makes golfers nervous to see people standing in their field of vision or near them when they're about to hit the ball. Try to stand behind or off to the side of a golfer when it's their turn, and with quite a bit of distance between you and them. Avoid moving and remain quite, as not to distract them when they attempt to hit the ball.

3. Never Walk the Line - when putting it's generally considered bad practice to walk in-between the ball of a player and the hole, referred to as the "line." Why? Well, by walking in this area you may unknowingly affect the way the ball would travel over the grass on its way to the hole. Sometimes this is unavoidable, and if you have to walk over another player's line, try to minimize your disruption of the green you might create with your steps.

Well that’s it in a nutshell, you should be fully prepared to go forth and take on the sport of golf.

And last, have fun and enjoy!

Be "On Par" With Your Golf Course Attire


By: Taylor Kohlmann With our annual golf outing quickly approaching, we thought it would be a good time to share some tips on how to dress your best for the golf course. So whether you’re a frequent golfer or a golfing newbie, check out these rules on appropriate apparel. And be sure to sign up for #MagnetsDayOff at Pleasant View Golf Course on Friday, June 19th.

For men, appropriate attire typically means a pullover shirt with a collar, polo shirt, sweater, windbreaker, fleece, or vest. Avoid tank tops, t-shirts, or shirts with inappropriate words or images. Pants or shorts made of linen, khaki or cotton are appropriate. Be sure to tuck in your shirt, and maybe even polish off the look with a belt. In most cases, jeans and athletic shorts are not acceptable on the course. In terms of footwear, if you don’t have golf shoes, most places prefer you wear soft spikes or a good pair of tennis shoes.

For women golfers, try out a polo (tank or tee) with a skirt, skort, Bermuda shorts, or pants. Make sure your skirt, skort, or shorts are an appropriate length; typically that means near your fingertips. Avoid gym shorts, short shorts, or cutoffs. If it’s a chilly day, grab a sweater, pullover, or windbreaker to stay warm. Footwear can be a golf shoe, soft spike or good pair of sneakers. Stay away from street shoes with a heel because the heel could make an impression in the green.

Check out these looks for some inspiration:

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9 Reasons to Sign Up for This Year's Golf Outing


May 14, 2015

By: Corinn Ploessl and Barret Van Sicklen

Magnet's 9th Annual Golf Outing for Madison Area young professionals will be held Friday, June 19th at Pleasant View Golf Course in Middleton. As a reminder, tomorrow (5/15) is the last day to save $20 with the Early Bird Discount!

Without further ado, here are 9 reasons we think you'll want to sign up for this year's outing:

10351961_10152499029832485_7644726788195188000_n1. The Goal -- Have Fun!

We call this outing “Magnet’s Day Off” because it really is just that. It’s an opportunity for young professionals to take the afternoon off and enjoy spending time with friends, both old and new! More than anything, it's about having fun!

2. Experienced & Novice Golfers Welcome

Our outing is catered to golfers of all levels. Whether you golf in a league or golf once a year (like say for example, our Board President,) you’ll love our scramble-style outing where there will be more to do than swinging your clubs. 

 3. Awards

While this isn’t a highly-competitive outing, we do give out awards to our winning foursome! In addition, we’ll be hosting course contests including: longest drive, longest put, and closest to the pin.  We want to reward those who golf well, but there are still plenty of ways to win prizes on June 19… keep reading!

4. Hungry? Why wait…

10012609_10152499021782485_1667724917959702868_nIn addition to grabbing your box lunch prior to the shotgun start, you’ll have the opportunity to sample fare at a few "food holes." The Harmony Bar, Bubbles’ Doubles, and potentially others will have food sprinkled throughout the course for your sampling. You definitely won't go hungry!  

5. Beer!

Did that headline get your attention? Wisconsin Brewing Company will be there to quench your thirst with some samples of its tasty brews. In the words of Homer Simpson, "mmmmmmm beer."

6. Holes with a Twist

Clubs needing a rest and/or looking to spice up the game? Then you’ll really enjoy the activity holes we've added throughout the course. Think hockey sticks for putters and voting off your weakest player during 'Survivor'!

 7. Secret Holes

New this year! There will be two secret holes on the course. You won’t know when you're playing them, but they may end up being your favorite part of #MagnetsDayOff. Doing well on a secret hole could mean everyone on the foursome gets a prize or maybe the score on that hole gets deducted!

10422042_10152499028992485_1537768398741901904_n8. Raffle

We have an awesome lineup of raffle items at this year’s outing.  To give you a little preview, we're sharing the following items:

  • Madison Mallards Duck Blind Package
  • $100 Gift Card to Flemings
  • Overnight Stay at the Hyatt Place Downtown
  • Karben4 Brewery Swag Package

9. The 19th Hole

After 18 holes, you won’t want to miss our 19th Hole party!  Enjoy appetizers and a cash bar while we announce the outing winners, secret holes and raffle prize winners!

With all this excitement going on, you know you want to golf on #MagnetsDayOff! Sign up today to receive the Early Bird Discount. We'll see you on the course!


Grab Your Cape & Go!

by Corinn Ploessl, Madison Magnet Board President I was first introduced to Rebecca Ryan through an article I read in BRAVA Magazine, published in October of 2013. Rebecca authored a piece titled, Have a Stake in the World: Futurist Rebecca Ryan’s Love Letter. After reading about her enthusiasm for making the world a better place for future generations, I knew I had to book her as a guest speaker someday. Well, that ‘someday’ arrived this year, just in time for YPWeek! I was so excited to be coordinating an event for someone that has been so passionate about paving the way for young leaders and the next generation.

Last Friday, Rebecca gave a keynote presentation over breakfast as part of YPWeek and let me tell you, she did not disappoint! She has been called a “human spark plug;” and rightfully so! Rebecca arrived ready and excited as ever to present her ideas to the emerging leaders that chose to join us. She even boasted about being over-prepared for the presentation due to the fact that she had prepared 17 trends to share, exceeding the promised 12.

IMG_3032During her keynote, Next Gen Wisconsin, we were given a presentation with three stages; 1) this is where we’ve been, 2) this is where we are, and 3) this is where we’re going. It was amazing to be given such perspective on what we need to do, as young leaders to make our communities what we want them to be. Or as Rebecca likes to put it, “No one is going to hand you a cape and say ‘Now you’re a leader.’ YOU have to grab that cape & go!” This statement means we all have to play a role in bettering ourselves and our community. The time to start thinking about making waves is now, while we’ve got the time to see the changes take place.

Rebecca gave an inspiring presentation and I feel as though I am ready to take on the challenges and obstacles in my life and prepare for a future that I believe in. I’ve got my cape and I plan to fly high!

If you missed out on Rebecca’s keynote, not to worry! You can view the recording of Next Gen Wisconsin on the YPWeek media site until May 17.

Want more from Rebecca Ryan? Follow her on Twitter at @ngcrebecca.

YPs Love Wisconsin

by Corinn Ploessl, Magnet Board President  Ask any one of your peers what they love about Wisconsin, and you’re bound to get a variety of answers.  Some will reference stereotypical foods like cheese curds, brats, and beer.  Others will talk your ear off about our beloved sports teams; the Badgers, Packers, and Brewers.  And many will mention their community – boasting about the people, places, and activities they have access to in their own backyard.  Young professionals in Wisconsin are proud of their Sconnie status.  If this is true, why is that we lose YPs to larger cities in other states?


Enter YPWeek 2015, an ENTIRE WEEK dedicated to emerging leaders with 80+ events in 8 communities across the state.  The statewide initiative was spearheaded by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and Newaukee in an effort to collaborate with young professional organizations throughout the state to develop a cohesive strategy promoting Wisconsin as a great place for young adults to work and live.

Magnet is proud to be leading the YPWeek efforts in Madison.  As you know, there are many groups in the Madison area that are geared toward young professionals.  This is the first time all of our groups are working together to feature the best and most unique things that Madison has to offer.  There are events ranging from morning hot yoga, to blood drives; from executive panel discussions, to socials surrounding our amazing, locally-sourced, foodie culture.  With over 20 events to attend in the Madison-area from April 11-18, we want to make sure you know what Magnet is bringing to the table!

Based on our three core areas of focus; community involvement, professional development, and social networking, Magnet has planned 3 awesome events you won’t want to miss:

Day One (April 11): Team Build Day with Habitat Young Professionals (HYP) of Dane County

Magnet has partnered with our tool-belt-wearing friends at HYP to coordinate a Team Build Day.  We’ll be working side-by-side on two homes in Sun Prairie. There is room for 20 builders on the team, and we’ve already filled them up!  There is a waitlist for those who still want a chance at the opportunity to build with us!

Day Six (April 16): High Spirits Social – Magnet’s April Happy Hour at Old Sugar Distillery

Join Old Sugar Distillery Founder and Madison alum, Nathan Greenawalt as he welcomes Madison YPs during Magnet’s High Spirits Social!  We’ll raise a glass (or two) of specialty-crafted spirits along with our friends at Pacific-Cycle featuring Schwinn who’ve generously donated an urban bike from their Schwinn line to raffle off at the event. RSVP here.

Day Seven (April 17): Next Gen Wisconsin with Rebecca Ryan

To close out YPWeek, Magnet welcomes Madisonian and futurist, Rebecca Ryan, to the iconic Memorial Union for her keynote entitled, Next Gen Wisconsin.  We’ll gaze at the beautiful shores of Lake Mendota over coffee and pastries, and then Rebecca will share 12 trends that will impact Wisconsin in the coming years as young professionals take our rightful seats at Wisconsin’s leadership tables. Save your seat today!

I look forward to connecting with lots of familiar and new YP faces during the week!  There are so many opportunities to choose from, that I hope you’ll attend more than one event.  I’m also positive we’ll be able to find Sconnie love sprinkled throughout!  For more information on YPWeek, check out the statewide website at!

Magnet "Masqued in Mystery" Holiday Party - Recap for those Who Missed Out

By Brad Grzesiak

As prescribed by most ancient tradition, Magnet hosted its annual holiday party last Thursday  at The Bayou in downtown Madison. Themed as a masquerade, the New Orleans ambiance of The Bayou made one feel transported not only to the South but also back in time. My only disappointment was the lack of southern drawls!

I attended with my +1, and upon arriving, we were greeted with an introduction to the evening's festivities and a few supplementary Venetian masks. Fortunately for the two of us, we came prepared.


After procuring a few New Orleans-themed drinks—the French 75 was quite delicious—we sampled the impressive spread of finger foods. We then wended our way back to the bar, taking the time to meet some new folks and catch up with old friends.

It was at about that time when the costume contest began. Two lucky  winners emerged and were each presented with a bottle of congratulatory wine. Throughout the night, another contest took place where party-goers could peruse photos and descriptions of famous masquerade attendees of the past. Among the six famous individuals, one had been mortally wounded at a masquerade ball and, as a sort of "Who Dunnit?" game, guessing the correct victim got you entered into a drawing for a year-long membership to Magnet! As the two of us left a little early to hurry on to the next holiday party, my companion dropped her guess into the fishbowl. As it turns out, not only did she guess correctly, but she also won the membership!

All in all, I'd have to say this year's holiday party set the new standard for Magnet. Lots of fun, great people, and a wonderful setting led to a great night out. And as a bonus, the evening's weather cooperated quite nicely. Hope to see you all at the next event!

What to Wear to Magnet’s Masqued in Mystery Holiday Party

Magnet’s Masqued in Mystery Holiday Party is one week away, and it’s time to start planning that masquerade ensemble! Masqued in Mystery will be a formal affair with a black, white, and silver theme. Think feathers, lights, beads, and masks galore.


We’ve scoped the web for the best masquerade party outfits for both guys and gals. And the best part? You shouldn’t have to look any further than your very own closet.


Girls’ masquerade attire is formal but definitely varies in style and color.


Must haves:

-A mask!: (No brainer, right?) This is the piece that ties your whole outfit together. Here’s your chance to get creative. There are no rules.

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-Dress or gown: Masquerade dresses can be any length (cocktail to floor length), color (black, red, chartreuse, and everything in between), or shape (sleek, poofy, a-line, you name it). Chances are, you ladies probably already own a dress that will work great for the event.

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-Shoes: Heels are most commonly worn at masquerade balls, but if you’re like me, walking, let alone dancing, in heels is nearly impossible. Wear whatever you’re most comfortable in and rock it.

-Jewelry: Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! Add in a fun, matching ring, necklace or earrings to complete your look.



Guys’ masquerade attire is formal, and generally follows a black and white color theme.


Must haves:

-A mask! Like stated above, the mask pulls the whole outfit together. Though not nearly as extravagant as masks made for women, there are still some pretty cool male masquerade masks out there.

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-Suit or tuxedo: Time to get fancy, gentlemen! Masquerade balls call for a nice black suit with neck or bow tie. Add in a nice pair of shoes and pocket square and you have yourself a complete, masquerade-ready outfit.

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Where to find the perfect mask 

We know by now that the mask is the most important part of your outfit. But where in the Madison area can you find the perfect mask? We’ve got you covered.

Party City West side location 223 Junction Rd Madison, WI 53717

East side location 2031 Zeier Rd Madison, WI 53704

Mallatt’s Costumes & Accessories Madison location 1255 Williamson St Madison, WI 53703

Waunakee location 233 S Century Ave Waunakee, WI 53597

Madison Theatre Guild Monroe St. location 2410 Monroe St Madison, WI 53711

Earthbound Trading Company State St. location 508 State St Madison, WI 53703


RSVP today for Magnet's Masqued in Mystery Holiday Party! And happy masquerading.

New to Magnet? Join Us for Coffee on the 18th!

By Krista Laubmeier, Membership Committee Co-Chair If you’re new to Magnet, or even if you’ve been around for awhile but haven’t yet found your niche, please join me and other Magnet board members for coffee on Tuesday, November 18th at Panera Bread (3416 University Ave) from 7:30 – 8:30 AM. This informal gathering will be a great opportunity to get to know other new members in a small setting and learn more about the different committees and opportunities Magnet offers. Everyone who attends is eligible to win a $20 Amazon gift card!

RSVP today to reserve your spot!

Questions? Please contact me or Membership Committee Co-Chair Elizabeth Purcell: krista@madisonclub.orgor

Looking forward to seeing you on the 18th!

Save the Date! Masqued in Mystery - Magnet Holiday Party 2014

Magnet’s holiday party, Masqued in Mystery, is set for Thursday, December 4th at the Bayou in Madison. chic-black-silver-gold-mask

The masquerade ball dates back to the 14th century and gained popularity in colonial New Orleans in the 19th century.  Tucked away off the streets of New Orleans, masquerade balls were hosted in lavishly decorated rooms of grand hotels, theaters, and ballrooms.

Though often attended by aristocracy and other high society, masquerade balls were at times fraught with mystery and murder.

While mingling with Magnet members and guests, you will have the opportunity to solve a mystery and win great prizes.

So, join us to celebrate the holiday with a night of decadence and debauchery on December 4th from 7 to 10pm.  Click here for more details and to register.

Making Connections at the Inaugural YP Conference

By Dan Merfeld A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to represent Magnet at the inaugural Young Professional Conference that was held in Madison, WI. There were about 30 representatives from other YP organizations from all over the State of Wisconsin in attendance.

The conference was initiated by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), which sees attracting young professionals to the state as an extension of their overall goal to improve the economy in Wisconsin.

Young Professional Conference

The Lieutenant Governor, Ms. Rebecca Kleefish, kicked off the two day conference by leading a discussion about some of the struggles that the state has battled in attracting and maintaining young professionals. She pointed out that the jobs available in Wisconsin tend to be in manufacturing and agriculture, however, young professionals do not seem to be interested in those types of jobs. The question was then posed, “How do we make those jobs appealing to young professionals?”

No offense intended to our Lieutenant Governor, however, I must admit, I had a bit of a bad reaction to that question, I’ll explain why in just a moment. Of course the Lieutenant Governor went on to clarify that she was attempting to solve this problem from a government perspective, which meant the metric she was held by boiled down to jobs and job creation. The more efficient initiatives to attract young professionals would, instead, have to originate from the young professional organizations throughout the state. This was, of course, the reason for the conference in the first place. Instead, the state government role would be about trying to solve the mismatch supply and demand status that Wisconsin appears to be in at the moment.

The Lieutenant Governor set the tone perfectly for what was to be an informative and inspiring conference. I was fortunate enough to meet the leaders of nearly all of the major YP groups in the state. I was particularly impressed with some of the efforts of the groups in Fond du Lac, Wausau, Green Bay, and Milwaukee.

But rather than give you a play-by-play of the two days, I thought I’d focus on my reaction to the question posed to our group. To be clear, it wasn’t a reaction brought on by my personal political beliefs or by Ms. Kleefisch’s delivery of the question, who was gracious enough to personally introduce herself to every person in the room beforehand. Instead, my reaction was centered on the question itself. Because, well, it’s a bad question to ask.

I believe it was Voltaire who is credited as saying, “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” And I think that wisdom applies in this situation. The efforts to attract and retain young professionals to our state requires that we pull away from the chosen vernacular of tax rates, job opportunities, and even economic growth and start asking more people-centric questions. It’s my belief that those questions will be more fruitful in the pursuit of such efforts.

To illustrate my point, let’s do a quick thought experiment together. I want you to imagine the best place to live in the United States. Be as specific in your mind as you can be by thinking of a particular city, or even an area of a particular city that you would like to live in. Okay, got that location in your mind? Great, now let me ask you a few questions about the city you’ve picked. As these questions are somewhat rhetorical in nature, I’ll trust you don’t Google the answers and I’ll count on you to grade your responses fairly.

1. What is the estimated population of the city you picked?

2. What is the current sales tax rate?

3. What’s the weather like?

4. What is the unemployment rate of the state and/or city?

Chances are, you were able to answer questions #1 and #3 more easily than #2 and #4. That’s because questions #1 and #3 will have a greater impact on your decision to move to a particular city, even though questions #2 and #4 will have a greater impact on your economic survival once you get there. That doesn’t make you unprepared, irresponsible or ignorant, it just makes you typical.

On the whole, if given the choice, people do not move to a state or a city because of the tax rates or their potential economic prosperity. They move for other reasons, and those reasons tend to be more about the community and environment that they want to be a part of, rather than the economic factors, such as cost of living.

That’s not to suggest everyone ignores these factors entirely, particularly if the city you chose is well known for a high cost of living (i.e. New York, LA, etc). In those cases, cost of living will top the list and be one of the primary factors for you to consider before moving there. That exclusion aside, you’re more likely to be interested in the people and the places you’re going to spending your time and less worried about how you’re going to pay for it all.

This, more than any other reason, is why it is important to spend time building and participating in the community that you belong to. And for me, personally, why I choose to spend my time and efforts working for a membership-based organizations like Magnet. After all, connecting people is at the core of what Magnet is all about. We are passionate about building and maintaining a vibrant and thriving community for young professionals in the Madison area and we hope you will consider being a part of that community.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. What do you think?


Dan Merfeld Vice President, Magnet




Sports and So Much More

Last week, Magnet hosted a Community Connection with Special Olympics Wisconsin.  Attendees were given a “tour” of the organization’s mission from President, Dennis Alldridge and Regional Director of Sports, Don Wigington.  They explained that when most people hear “Special Olympics,” they think of one annual sporting competition.  While they do host a variety of sporting events for athletes with intellectual disabilities, they do so much more.   Did you know what Special Olympics Wisconsin aims to provide access to healthcare for people with intellectual disabilities? They offer free screenings in 7 different health disciplines through their Healthy Athletes Program.  In addition to healthcare access, Special Olympics Wisconsin has created a program for creating social inclusion in schools called Project UNIFY. Project UNIFY was developed to bring together students with and without disabilities.

Special Olympics Wisconsin serves nearly 10,000 athletes in 180 communities throughout the state.  If you want to help make an impact for the 1,200+ athletes in the Madison area, we hope you’ll join Magnet on Saturday, October 18 at the Regional Bowling competition.  Magnet volunteers will be lane helpers and score keepers to support athletes during this joy-filled event – RSVP today!








Join Magnet on Saturday, September 13th to Help Clean Up the Arboretum!

Tucked away at the Southern end of Lake Wingra is the Dane County Arboretum. The Arboretum’s 1200 acres offer a place to get away from the busy hustle of life to:

  • Observe Nature: Be it bird-watching, looking at spring wildflowers, or gazing at the fall colors, there is always something to marvel about within the Arboretum's many ecological niches.
  • Hike and Walk: Hiking and walking trails throughout the Arboretum make for a great escape for a walk or hike.
  • Bike and Jog: Bikers and joggers can travel over 4 miles of paved road through woodlands, wetlands and next to Curtis prairie by following McCaffrey Drive.
  • Ski and Snowshoe: Enjoy the winter months on ski and snowshoe-designated trails.
  • Draw and Photograph: Plants and animals throughout the Arboretum make excellent subjects for drawing or photographing. Source: Dane County Arboretum Visitor Guide  

To ensure the Arboretum stays in pristine condition for all Dane County residents to enjoy year-round, the park relies on volunteers to keep it clean and maintained.

Join Magnet and the United Way of Dane County Rosenberry Society on Saturday, September 13th at the Arboretum! We will be cleaning up brush and clearing paths.

All volunteers receive the following benefits:

-Invitation to the annual Volunteer Recognition Reception (food, fun and prizes!) -Mention in the annual volunteer recognition issue of NewsLeaf, the Friends of the Arboretum newsletter -An opportunity to feel good about making a difference Source:

Please RSVP and feel free to invite family members and a friend or two to help!

10 Trivia Facts You Didn’t Know About the Madison Mallards

The Madison Mallards have been a household name in the Madison area since 2001. But, there is a wealth of knowledge about this collegiate summer baseball team that you may not know. Impress your friends and colleagues with little known Madison Mallards trivia at the Magnet Night at the Mallards Duck Blind next Wednesday, August 6.

Did you know?

  • 1. The Mallards play 72 games per season between late-May and mid-August? (And you thought you were busy!)
  • 2. The team made it to the playoffs six times in the last 14 years
  • 3. Warner Park stadium seats 6,110 and continually draws over 200,000 fans per season
  • 4. The Mallards roster includes 14 position players and 16 pitchers
  • 5. The Mallards Duck Blind provides unlimited ballpark food, soda, and beer (over 20 styles offered!) and has room for 1,200 fans
  • 6. Before the Mallards, Madison’s minor league baseball teams have included the Madison Muskies (1982-1993), Madison Hatters (1994), Madison Black Wolf (1996-2000). The Madison Mallards were established in 2001 and have been around ever since
  • 7. If a fan catches a foul ball, he or she gets a free hot dog. Yum!
  • 8. Mallards players must be enrolled in college and be on an active college roster to play
  • 9. The Mallards stadium features seats that were once part of the Baltimore Oriole’s stadium
  • 10. Mascot Maynard Mallard can be seen flying into the stadium on a 180-ft zip line before the first pitch

  Got all of that? Then you’re ready to join us at the Duck Blind on August 6 to network with other professionals, have a cold beverage, and watch the Mallards take on the Alexandria Blue Anchors in one of the last home games of the summer.

We have reserved the Duck Blind Club Level for our group starting at 5pm, and the first pitch will be thrown at 7:05pm. The discounted member price of $28 will get you access to the game, plus all you can eat and drink. The cost for friends of Magnet is $38.

Hurry! Registration closes this Sunday, August 3rd. Space is limited. Reserve your spot today.

A Golf Newbie's Experience at the Magnet Golf Outing

Golf 1Let me set the stage: I do not golf. I run, and play tennis, and will play soccer when forced to, but I do not golf. So when a fellow Magnet member and friend asked me to join a golf foursome at last year’s Magnet golf outing, I politely declined. However, this friend is quite persistent and convinced me that it would be a great way to meet new people, learn some golf and get some sun on a Friday. So I signed up.

We arrived at Bridges Golf Course around 11:30 a.m., and it was a beautiful day. With coffee in hand, we registered and chatted with the gentleman from the Little Green Pencil who created a live scoring system via texting that we could use to track  the other foursomes.

With a shotgun start (which means that everyone starts on a different hole) we were off at 12:30 p.m. Thanks to my patient foursome, they were very forgiving with my driving (I’m just terrible) and they were impressed with my putting (I sank a 20-foot putt on the eighth hole!).

Golf 3At every other hole, we had a surprise waiting for us to sip and nosh on. Food Fight restaurants featured a drink and appetizer to refuel all of the golfers. We indulged in margaritas, Old Fashioneds, chips and salsa, and even apple pie at one hole. We talked work and even talked through some challenges we were experiencing, as well as best practices. Outside perspective is always helpful.

Not only did I get to know my foursome well, but I also met many new people as they caught up with us (I’m also a slow golfer) and afterward at the clubhouse and the Karben4 after party.

At the end of the day, my winter skin was sun kissed, my network expanded and my golf game…stayed terrible. But, if you’re looking for a judgment-free zone to try golf, meet new people and take a Friday off work, this is a great opportunity.

--Melissa Johnson

Golf 2

The Eighth Annual Magnet Golf Outing is Friday, June 13th. Members get special pricing (sign up to be a Magnet member here).  If you sign up before May 17th, you’ll also receive an early bird discount.

This year’s event is expected to sell out, so sign up today!

Register for the Eighth Annual Magnet Golf Outing