Golf and Business – It’s All in How You Play It!

business-and-golfThe summer has afforded some great opportunities to get out, have fun, meet great people, and network while playing golf. But truth be told, many of us take our golf game pretty seriously—as we do our business. And actually, playing a good round of golf and running a successful business have quite a few similarities.


Planning is critical! You must decide where you want to go, know how to get there, have a timetable, and determine what resources you need to succeed. In golf, this means choosing a course, scheduling a tee time and having your clubs and shoes in the car. In business, it means:
~Where am I going? Articulate your business purpose, vision and mission.
~When will I get there? Develop a comprehensive, strategic plan.
~What do I need? Identify necessary human, financial and physical resources.

Choosing Your Partners

Your chances of winning in golf are optimized when you have the right people playing with you. Your golf foursome is built based on who you enjoy being with—including whether you’d like to include someone new, and bringing together a balance of skills along with shared enthusiasm for the game. In business, you need to make sure you have the right people on the bus. Ask yourself:
~What positions are required? Identify all business roles and objectives.
~What skills and experience are required? Evaluate levels of expertise needed.
~What core values are required? Common values cultivate a cohesive culture.
~Will they fit this team? There’s more to a good team than skill and experience.

Navigating the Course

In both golf and business there will be obstacles and rough spots. Having the know-how to evaluate your position and options, along with the skill to do what it takes, can be the difference in success and failure. Your golf game may present you with situations such as a ball in the trees with a one-foot opening to the fairway ahead or the ball in an eight-foot-tall bunker; you may be faced with difficult decisions – layup or try to carry the hazard. In business, you must:
~Know your company’s capabilities.
~Know your limitations—sometimes a sure thing is better than a gamble.
~Understand that sometimes going backward is the only way forward.
~Know a trusted advisor to go to for objective advice.

Keeping Score

It’s imperative that you’re able to measure your progress. If you’re not where you want to be then find ways to improve and have enough agility built in to implement those changes. To gauge the progress of your golf game you know your number of strokes by hole, your handicap, and you appraise what you might focus on to improve your game—putts per hole, fairways hit, greens hit in regulation, and sand saves. When looking at it from a business perspective:
~Understand that what gets measured gets done.
~Know the best drivers for your business and what motivates you to take action.
~Know both your leading and trailing indicators.

Bad Weather

In every game, and in business, there is the possibility that you’ll encounter circumstances you’d prefer to avoid. When faced with challenges, there are some important basics to evaluate. A golfer always factors in the weather forecast and conditions during the game to determine whether to play, delay or, if there is lighting—get off the course! A business owner should consider:
~Whether you are ahead or behind, based on your strategic plan.
~Your current situation and steps needed to reach your desired situation.
~Whether revisions to projections are warranted.
~Whether you need to change course.

In both business and in golf we strive for excellence and welcome ways to improve. Accurately defining and forecasting the financial component of your business is the foundation for your success. Contact me for a complimentary consultation about your company’s financial health and future.

Written by

Rick Arthur is a CFO whose expertise is built on Financial Intelligence and 35 years in senior financial roles. Coupled with a CEO’s perspective and the experience of building his own $20 million company, he brings a unique depth of insight into business from the top down. Wired to get to know people, Rick works hand-in-hand with business owners of intentional, growth-oriented companies, solidifying relationships as a trusted advisor and confidant to his clients. He leverages his experience to help business owners gain traction and stay laser-focused on the company’s vision, cash flow, and profitability – all while creating big picture solutions for strategic planning, growth and sustainable success.