3 Lessons From the Golf Course

Much can be learned on the greens on a foul-weather day.


My golf buddy and I play a weekly nine holes. This week the weather was irritable to say the least. The parking lot was cold, the first fairway warm, the fourth tee rainy, and at the fifth tee it hailed.

Needless to say, I played one of my worst rounds in a long time. But, it got me to thinking about the business lessons that can be learned on the golf course.

Conditions change, and there is nothing you can do about it: Just like weather changes on the golf course, the environment in which we conduct our business changes. These things happen—you can't just quit because it's raining (or hailing). My only par yesterday was after the rain passed. If I had given up, that would never have happened.

When everything goes wrong, play it safe: Sometimes you slice a shot into the woods, and you are left with an option. Hit the ball through woods, maybe get on the green or knock it back into the fairway for a sure shot toward the green in two. Or, hitting through the woods, you just end up hitting more trees, not the green. In business, it's important to recognize you screwed up, and then maybe damage control—not a miracle, back-from-the-dead shot—is more important.

Don't be vocal about your errors: About midround, my golf buddy says to me: "I often do as poorly as you on a hole, I'm just not as loud about it." He has a point. In most cases, my play isn't much worse than other people's. I learned that when errors start piling up, there is no need to announce it; people can see already. Just deal, regroup, and keep moving forward.

Brandon Alsup graduated from Marquette University with a degree in accounting. He is working for a Big 4 accounting firm in Milwaukee while seeking a master's degree in taxation at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Brandon blogs his ideas and experiences on Newly Corporate. He hopes to help other generation Y's navigate the working world and avoid the mistakes he's made!

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