PGA Championship Long Drive Competition at Valhalla

Dustin Johnson, JB Holmes, Rory McIlroy and Bubba Watson are likely competitors in the PGA Championship Long Drive Competition.
Dustin Johnson, JB Holmes, Rory McIlroy and Bubba Watson are likely competitors in the PGA Championship Long Drive Competition.

The PGA has really found a home at Louisville’s Valhalla Country Club. With the PGA Championship Long Drive Competition as an added perk!

With the PGA Championship just weeks away, Louisville is getting excited. So how does the Long Drive Competition work?

From the PGA:

During a practice round on Tuesday, Aug. 5, all players will be offered the opportunity to hit one tee shot from the No. 10 Tee. The ball will have to come to rest in the fairway to be eligible to win the Long Drive Competition.

Jack Nicklaus, who designed Valhalla, actually won this competition in 1963 with a drive of 341 yards, 17 inches.

Now, if there were only more Louisville real estate opportunities that overlooked this beautiful golf course, I’d pack up my family and move yesterday!

Big Four Pedestrian Bridge Is Open to Enjoy

Photo of the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge
The Big Four Pedestrian Bridge is now open for your walking pleasure! (COURTESY WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION)

Just in case you haven’t heard, the former railroad bridge (an eyesore) that connects Indiana and Kentucky has been converted to a pedestrian walking bridge. It was either that or tear it down which was even more expensive.

The bridge, built in 1895, is now a 1-mile walking and biking destination. Taking something old and making it relevant again, is something we all need more of and seems to be taking place here in Louisville, especially around the NuLu area.

Here are the Rules of the Bridge from the Louisville Waterfront website:

Not Allowed:

  • No pets
  • No skateboards/in-line skates
  • No motorized vehicles (scooters, mopeds, motorcycles, cars/trucks)
  • HOWEVER, personal mobility scooters and motorized wheelchairs ARE allowed

Allowed:

  • Service animals
  • Bikes of all kinds
  • Service vehicles (motorized wheelchairs, staff/security vehicles)
  • Kids – fun!
  • Dates – romance!

HOURS: Bridge is open 24/7. Park hours: 6:00 am – 11:00 pm

So there you go! Get out and enjoy the Louisville Big Four Pedestrian Bridge everyone.

Things to do in Louisville, AKA Why Louisville is awesome

Moving to Louisville? Looking for things to do in Louisville? Allow me a #humblebrag and I’ll share on why Louisville is awesome.

There are so many things to do in Louisville. Let’s hit the Top 10!

(Shhh, I snuck in 6 bonus things to do at the bottom. Don’t tell anyone.)

Louisville Is Home to the Greatest

Photo of Muhammad Ali boxing
Source: Flickr user Cliff

Who’s the greatest? Sure, people may call Wayne Gretzky, The Great One but Muhammad Ali is simply, The Greatest. Doesn’t get much better than that. Did you have he has his own museum? Yep, the Muhammed Ali Center, so now you do.

Louisville Owns the Largest Fireworks Show in the USA

Photo of Thunder Over Louisville

If you guessed New Year’s Eve in the NYC, then you’d be wrong. Straight from the great Wiki himself, “Currently, the largest annual pyrotechnic display in North America is Thunder Over Louisville which kicks off the Kentucky Derby Festival.” Yep, we’re that cool.

Forecastle Music Festival in Louisville Is Huge and Growing!

Photo of Crowd at Forecastle held in Louisville KY

The Forecastle 3-day festival is an annual event is really picking up steam that draws tens of thousands of fans from across the country. Looking for things to do in Louisville in July? Head to the riverfront! Forecastle loves Louisville and Louisville loves Forecastle!

Louisville Sluggers Are Made in Duh, Louisville

Photo of Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum
Source: For Aslan

They say everything is bigger in Texas. But have they seen Louisville’s giant bat?! I mean, it’s ginormous! The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory is a National treasure and we’re proud they call Louisville home.

Things to do in Louisville? Duh, Kentucky Derby

Photo of Kentucky Derby held in Louisville KY
Source: Henry Huey

Churchill Downs needs no introduction. The Kentucky Derby is only called “the greatest 2 minutes in sports.” On that first Saturday in May, where are all the eyes of the world looking? Yep, Louisville, Kentucky. The Derby Museum holds all the history and is open to tours throughout the year.

The Cheeseburger, the Best Sandwich on Earth, Was Invented in Louisville

Photo of Kaelins Restaurant birthplace of the cheeseburger in Louisville KY

The cheeseburger was invented in 1934 at Kaelin’s Restaurant. Today, there’s not a corner of the globe that doesn’t know about this most glorious, taste sensation. Who invented the cheeseburger? Louisville invented the cheeseburger… the best sandwich on Earth.

Louisville Is the Bourbon Capital of the World, Ok Maybe It’s Bardstown

Photo of Famous Kentucky bourbons
Source: Everywhere Once

The world is starting to take notice of just how great bourbon is. Japan totally gets it! Heck, they’re buying up some of the best bourbon distilleries in Kentucky but “Hey!” we invented it. Ok, maybe Bardstown invented it but they’re little, we can take it from them, right Louisville? Looking for things to do in Louisville, try taking the Bourbon Trail.

The Massive Park System in Louisville Puts other Cities to Shame

Photo of Waterfront Park in Louisville KY
Source: Wikipedia

Type in “city of parks” in Google. Go ahead… I dare you! See what you get? Louisville, Kentucky. We are the City of Parks. Building on some of most amazing, Olmstead-designed parks, we’re now building out a massive initiative that will be the envy of every other city once complete. Overstating? Check Louisville City of Parks.

Louisville Gets Down, Even Underground

Photo of Louisville Mega Cavern
Source: Louisville Mega Cavern

Do your kids need things to do in Louisville? Well, the world’s largest underground cave system, Mammoth Caves is just 1.5 hours South. Your kids will love it! Louisville’s Mega Cavern is right here! This awesome place holds several events, like Lights Under Louisville the Christmas display tour and the world’s longest underground zipline—Mega Zips. Geronimo!

Stately Charm or Modern Pizzazz, Louisville Hotels Lead the Pack

Photo of Historic Seelbach Hotel in Louisville KY
Source: Southern Governors Association

Al Capone used to stay at The Seelbach. The world famous chef at The Brown hotel invented the delectable Hot Brown. Now, we even have the hip, must-visit modern hotel, 21c, Condé Nast Traveler named #1 Hotel in the South. The rich just keep getting richer.

Oldest Operating Steamboat, The Belle of Louisville, is a National Landmark

Photo of Belle of Louisville oldest operating steamboat Louisville Kentucky

Wanna travel the river in old-fashioned style? Yes, you can do that here. Twenty-first century Tom Sawyer and ride the Belle of Louisville—the oldest operating Mississippi River-style steamboat in the world. How great is Louisville?

Local Louisville Breweries Making a Name for Themselves

Photo of the Against the Grain Brewery in Louisville KY
Source: Against the Grain Brewery

Falls City Brewing Co. has been around for years but Cumberland Brewery, Bluegrass Brewing Company (BBC) and Against the Grain Brewery are building on the reputation of Louisville being a great place for local beers. Louisville has it all!

Of course, there are so many more things to do in Louisville but this article can only be so long. Just for fun, here’s 6 more:

Did we forget something? What are the things to do in Louisville that you love? Let us know!

Moving to Louisville, Kentucky? This video will show you why you should!

This time-lapse video is incredibly well done and highlights the many beautiful aspects of our fair city – Louisville, KY. Are you thinking about moving to Louisville, Kentucky? You will be glad you did!

It’s titled, “Louisville In Motion: A Time Lapse Tour of Louisville Kentucky” and is a little over 4-minutes long but really shows off so many Louisville landmarks in beautiful light.

If you are considering a move here, I’d love to be your Realtor! See what some of my other clients have said about me.

Kentucky Derby Festival Balloon Events

Photo of Kentucky Derby Festival Balloon Event
With three days of Kentucky Derby Festival Balloon Events, there’s something for everyone!

We used to have just a single Great Balloon Race as part of the Kentucky Derby Festival. Then they added the Balloon Glow.

Now we have Kentucky Derby Festival Balloon events that span three days. Here’s the official schedule of balloon events.

Thursday, April 24
5:00 PM: U.S. Bank Kentucky Derby Festival Crew Challenge [Waterfront]
8:30 PM: U.S. Bank Kentucky Derby Festival Great Balloon Glimmer [Waterfront]

Friday, April 25
7:00 AM: U.S. Bank Kentucky Derby Festival Great Balloon Rush-Hour Race [Bowman Field]
6:00 PM: U.S. Bank Kentucky Derby Festival Great Balloon Glow [Kentucky Exposition Center]

Saturday, April 26
7:00 AM: U.S. Bank Kentucky Derby Festival Great Balloon Race [Bowman Field]

Plenty of Derby balloon fun for everyone. Maybe next year we’ll have four days?!?

For more official information, head over to the Kentucky Derby Festival website for balloon events.

Thunder Over Louisville 2014 Schedule

Photo of Thunder Over Louisville
There’s always so much excitement with this year’s Thunder Over Louisville 2014.
Photo credit: Solomon J Parker

We’re almost there!

Thunder Over Louisville 2014 begins in just a few short hours. Want to know what’s planned?

We start with the Airshow at 3 and it takes off from there! Get it? Takes off??

Here’s the full schedule with all the details from the official site. Have a great day Louisville!

  • 3:00-3:08 Opening Ceremonies with the Kentucky Air National Guard Special Tactics Squadron Parachute Jumpers.
  • 3:08-4:08 The Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration squadron returns to the air show after federal government budget issues prevented them from flying in 2013.
  • 4:08-4:11 C-130 Hercules Kentucky Air National Guard tribute: The Hercules, which can reach 374 mph, is the prime means for dropping troops and equipment into hostile areas.
  • 4:11-4:19 Canadian Hawks CT-155. Each of the two planes is a British single-engine and a two-seat advanced weapons trainer and versions designed for the Royal Canadian Air Force.
  • 4:19-4:31 Matt Younkin, Twin Beech 18. This plane, built in 1943, was first used by the United States Army Air Corps.
  • 4:31-4:51 The Lima Lima Flight Team: The team flies sophisticated formations in six early A model T-34 Mentor aircraft that were used by the U.S. Navy and Air Force for primary training in the 1940s.
  • 4:51-5:01 Jay “Flash” Gordon, L39 Albatros: The Albatros is a Czechoslovakian-built ex-Russian Air Force aircraft built in 1983 and restored and painted in colors of the Royal Thai Air Force.
  • 5:01-5:11 German C-160: The Transall C-160 military transport aircraft developed by Transall, an association of French and German aircraft manufacturers, features turboprop engines, a high-mounted wing and an upswept tail above a rear-access ramp leading to a large-volume cargo hold that was used to transport troops and freight.
  • 5:11-5:26 Trojan Horsemen T-28: The team flies six T-28 aircraft, also called the Trojan, which has a frameless canopy and a Wright R-1300 engine.
  • 5:26-5:41 AceMaker T-33: The T-33 Lockheed Shooting Star was America’s first operational jet fighter and trainer with a routine featuring vertical rolls.
  • 5:49-5:59 Cliff Robinson, PT-17: Robinson of Madison, Ind., owns this modified Stearman PT17 bi-plane, from those manufactured in the 1930s and ’40s.
  • 5:59-6:11 Team AeroDynamix RV Custom: This team flies 11 RV-Series custom-built aircraft with fixed wings that can attain speeds in excess of 230 mph. Each plane has its own paint scheme.
  • 6:11-6:21 Billy Werth, Pitts S2C: Werth flies corkscrews, spins and tumbles in a Pitts bi-plane that sports a red-white-and-blue design with stars on the wings and has a top speed of 212 mph.
  • 6:21-6:33 Air Force F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team: The crew flies the Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft and made its last Thunder performance in 2012.
  • 6:33-18:43 John Klatt, MXS: Klatt maneuvers his MXS, a carbon fiber, two-seat tandem sport aircraft, through a series aerobatics.
  • 6:43-7:03 Air Force F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team
  • 7:03-7:13 Air Force Heritage Flight Program: Featuring the F-22 Raptor, the P-47 Thunderbolt and the P-51 Mustang aircraft, the performance combines state-of-the-art fighter aircraft in close formation with vintage fighter aircraft.
  • 7:13-7:23 UPS 767: United Parcel Service Inc. showcases its flagship Boeing 767, which in regular use can carry up to 24 package containers weighing a maximum of 132,000 pounds.
  • 7:23-7:33 Nick Coleman, Christen Eagle: Lt. Col. Nick Coleman of the Kentucky Air National Guard flies.
  • 7:33-7:43 Red Star, Yak-52: The Red Star team flies its formation aerobatics with seven Yakovlev or Yak-52s, which were designed in the USSR, manufactured in Romania and used as a primary trainer by both. The team is made up of former military pilots now living in Louisville with many working for UPS.
  • 7:43-7:53 Lee Leet, A-29 Super Tucano: Leet flies this two-seat turboprop basic trainer used by the Royal Air Force, an aircraft often used for training fast-jet pilots in all aspects of military flying.
  • 7:53-8:03 Trojan Horsemen T-28
  • 8:03-8:23 The barges for the fireworks show move into position.
  • 8:23-8:35 AceMaker T-33
  • 8:35-8:47 Team AeroDynamix RV Custom
  • 8:47-8:57 Lima Lima T-34
  • 8:57-9:07Matt Younkin, Twin Beech 18
  • 9:07-9:17 p.m. The flying of the American flags.
  • 9:17-9:29: Bill Leff, T-34: Left flies his “Texan,” one of the most widely used advanced trainers for U.S. Army Air Force pilots during WW II and the Korean Conflict, for his Starfire Night Skyshow. It features special computer-controlled lighting and firework effects on the plane.
  • 9:30: Fireworks begin!

Incredible medical breakthrough by University of Louisville for spinal cord injuries

Photo of patient raising his leg while stimulated at the Frazier Rehab Institute.
Credit: Photo courtesy of the University of Louisville

There are so many great things going on here in Louisville. Today I hear Four paraplegic men voluntarily move their legs, an ‘unprecedented breakthrough’ for paralysis community. Wow!

This is big news. Here’s an excerpt:

Four young men who have been paralyzed for years achieved groundbreaking progress — moving their legs — as a result of epidural electrical stimulation of the spinal cord, an international team of life scientists at the University of Louisville, UCLA and the Pavlov Institute of Physiology reported today in the medical journal Brain.

Don’t forgot, University of Louisville doctors were the first to perform a successful hand transplant surgery. The healthcare industry has really found a friend in Louisville.

What’s next? May I request the wireless Net access that Josh Holloway has in Intelligence? (Maybe not, those virus updates would be horrible.)

Paul McCartney Coming to Louisville

Photo of Paul McCartney thinking about his trip to Louisville
Do you think Paul McCartney is thinking about his upcoming trip to Louisville?

Did you hear? Paul McCartney, yes that Paul McCartney, of Beatle fame, is coming to Louisville and playing at the KFC Yum! Center.

Paul McCartney has labeled his worldwide tour “Out There” and he is! For tour dates visit his Official Site.

What does this have to do with Louisville real estate?

Well, glad you asked, here’s what I want all your out-of-town fans should do. Come visit Louisville to experience Paul McCartney live and then while you’re here, you’ll fall in love with our fair city, want to move here permanently, and I’ll help you find the perfect home.

See? With A Little Luck it’ll be a great show for everyone!

Do Louisville Realtor Reviews Tell the Whole Story?

Photo of Woman reviewing Louisville Realtors on her laptop
Reading Louisville Realtor reviews will only tell you part of the story. Be aware of the sleight of hand that websites use to draw you in.

Back in 2010, I wrote, How to Find the Best Realtor® in Louisville, which is another way of asking, “Who’s the right Louisville Realtor for me?”

Like most things, there’s no “correct” answer. It depends.

  • Do you want an agent who’s super-successful and only has a few minutes available for you or a new, hungry agent?
  • Do you like tons of listings or just a select few?
  • Would you prefer an agent who quite friendly and wants to be your BFF or one that’s all business and focuses on getting the job done?

If you haven’t found your Louisville Realtor for life then most real estate clients head to the Internet to find an agent. So, what exactly do they find?

Internet Searching for Realtors Isn’t As Straight-Forward As You Might Think

The answer, as expected, is “it depends.”

What you type into the Internet search engine matters a great deal. As does the recent change Google made that defaults to results weighted by your browsing history.

What does that mean?

It means if you’ve visited a website, let’s say TrePryor.com, a couple of times then when searching for a keyword phrase that occurs on this site, those pages will be moved higher in the results.

Did you know that? Google calls them personalized results.

On Google’s site, click the “Search Tools” button which will reveal some additional choices. See that one labeled “All results”? That’s the new Google algorithm that factors in a boatload of variables.

Screenshot of Google results with All results default setting
If you want a pure Verbatim set of results you now have to choose that under Search Tools » Verbatim, otherwise your own browsing habits influence your findings.

Isn’t that crazy? (Bet you didn’t think you’d be learning SEO today.)

Louisville Realtor Reviews

So back to Realtor searching. If you happen to type, “louisville realtor reviews” in the search engine (and assuming you live closer to Kentucky than you do Louisville, Colorado) then you’ll likely get results from the following major websites.

Zillow and Trulia

Screen shot of Zillow search results for Louisville KY Real Estate Agent Reviews
Like most web companies, Zillow and Trulia take money to place a Louisville Realtor higher in the results. Online reviews are nice but are they legit?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably familiar with Trulia and Zillow, the behemoth web companies that are technology companies. This is important, they are not real estate experts.

Turns out, both of these sites are high on customer appeal and short on accurate information. It’s a shame that so many consumers are being hoodwinked. For more, read ‘Shopping Local’ applies to Louisville real estate websites too.

In our example, Zillow leads the pack with 1,381 results under Louisville KY Real Estate Agent Reviews. That’s a lot to sort through, huh? How do you choose the best Realtor for you?

Most people start at the beginning but notice the “Featured” button next to the top three? Those agents have chosen to pay Zillow money to have their names come first. Are they the best agents? Not necessarily.

Be alert to this because that’s how much of the Internet works. Pay us money and we’ll make you look good—a time-honored tradition.

In addition to the pay-for-placement, Zillow then displays agents based on the number of reviews. Sounds fair. Most sites work like this, to a certain extent.

In order for agents to have a large number of reviews, they must ask their clients to create an account on the website and then provide their ratings/feedback. Not always a fun request but hard-working agents do deserve some praise, right?

Just understand that there are ways to job the system. Results are not verifiable nor guaranteed and can be completely fabricated. But what else can an honest, Internet searcher do?

Angie’s List and Yelp!

Screen shot of Angies List results page for Louisville Realtors
Like most web companies, Zillow and Trulia take money to place a Louisville Realtor higher in the results. Online reviews are nice but are they legit? Search engines also fail to return accurate results.

Sure Angie’s List will be worthwhile in my hunt for the best Louisville Realtor, right?

Well again, there are plot twists. Agents do not have to pay Angie to get listed but this time consumers do! Money makes the world go ’round.

Once listed good luck getting noticed. I set up my account years ago and to this day have never seen my listing there, even if I search for “Tre Pryor”. Ghosts in the machine?

How about Yelp!? You know, the fun site with all the great restaurant reviews. They do Realtors too? Sure do, but… out of the 42 results for “realtor agents,” none have more than one review.

This is because Yelp!, in their attempt to weed out the bogus reviews (see Zillow, Trulia above) have a system in place that only displays reviews based on criteria that they won’t share with the public.

One day a review is up, live to the world, and then next it’s hidden. How useful is that?

Other Websites for Louisville Realtor Reviews

Screen shot of Homethinking results page for Louisville Realtors
You would think a site run by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) would have quality information, and it does, but that doesn’t mean it’s primary purpose is to make money for NAR.

Is there a single useful site on any of the Interwebs that can help a Louisvillian find a great Realtor?

  • Merchant Circle: 4208 results for “real estate agents in Louisville, KY” and not a single review. Sheesh! Half of the results aren’t even agents.
  • Homethinking: Claims “Realtors are ranked by their past sales and customer reviews” and for the most part that’s true. But agents that pay get listed first. Reviews can be submitted by agents so… how reliable is that?
  • Yellowpages and other indexes: Paid search placement and not extremely useful.
  • Top Agent Choice, Top Agents Ranked, et cetera: These sites simply try to get customer information so that they can then turn around and sell these “leads” to active Realtors. Not exactly shady but close.

Recommended Course of Action

So where does this leave us? When looking for Louisville Realtor reviews found online, the results fall into three categories.

  1. Worthwhile Realtor Reviews: These are hard to find but when you do, they provide useful guidance.
  2. Worthless Realtor Reviews: These are everywhere and scale from complete fabrications to misleading fodder.
  3. Scams: It wouldn’t be the Internet if it didn’t allow nameless cyber-charlatans the opportunity to take advantage of consumers.

Truthfully, the best advice is speaking face-to-face with your trusted friends and family about their experience with a Louisville Realtor.

If you’re completely new to an area, conduct a few phone interviews with prospective agents. Get to know them a bit and when the time comes to make a choice, go with your gut.

Who knows, maybe you’ll select an agent you think is worthy of your writing a Louisville Realtor review.