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Golf Lessons That You Can Use in Running a Business

— March 24, 2022

You can talk the talk and walk the walk upfront, but in the end, it’s your closing game that really matters. 

Running a business can be a tough gig. When you’re the boss, everything is up to you – important decisions, taking action, and taking responsibility for any mistakes that may happen. 

It sounds nothing like a leisurely morning on the golf course! But the good news is, taking a couple of hours off and playing a round can actually help you cultivate a great business mindset. 

Here are 7 important golf lessons that you can use in running a business successfully. These are essential things to keep in mind on the course, but they’re completely transferable to the business world. 

Keep them in mind and you may find that business becomes easier and success increases! 

Always Play Fair 

There’s no long-term benefit to cheating. Whether it’s fudging the scorecard or dropping a new ball in a more favorable position, small cheats may help in the moment, but there’s never a positive outcome in the long run. 

The same goes with business. It can be tempting to cook the books or go under the table on a deal. But while you may get away with it in the beginning, eventually small dishonesties catch up with you. 

You also don’t want to become known as the golfer who cheats, or others won’t want to play a round with you. Even worse is becoming known as a dishonest business person, which will not only scare away good clients, but can also leave you open to being cheated yourself if you’re doing business with the same kind of people. 

Do Your Research 

Playing a golf course for the first time is far easier if you have an idea of what to expect on every hole. The information is freely available, so you’d be smart to have a quick look over the course before you arrive for your round. 

Similarly, having a great idea of the playing grounds before you get into business or make a business deal is essential. Going into something without knowing what you’re getting into can lead to significant problems down the line. 

Whether you’re playing a new golf course or meeting a new client, do your research beforehand. It could be the thing that gives you a leg up over the competition or helps you avoid that pitfall because you prepared for it in advance. 

Choose the Right Tools 

No golfer, new or experienced, is going to pull out their putter to drive the ball off the tee. Even if it was a legitimate experiment, a putter is not designed in the same way a driver is, or for the same purpose. 

Choosing the right tool for the job is imperative. This is true for both golf and business. For example, you can keep track of your finances in an Excel spreadsheet. Or you can use Quickbooks or something similar, which is designed and has features specifically for that purpose. 

Choosing the right tools not only keeps things running smoothly and promotes forward growth, but it frees up your time to dedicate to other things. 

Take It Shot By Shot 

As much as you need to strategize and have a plan for each hole, ultimately you need to take it shot by shot. 

Once you’ve hit your drive off the tee, you can’t truly plan your next shot until you’ve made your way to where your ball lies. From there, you can see what obstacles lie between you and the green, and plan your next shot. 

The same goes in business. While it’s an excellent idea to have a plan, you do need to stop and take stock every so often and play the ball as it lies. 

Be Adaptable 

This goes hand-in-hand with the point above. Having a plan is always an excellent idea, but if you aren’t adaptable, you’re going to come up short. 

Adaptability is crucial, in golf and in business. If you’re halfway through a round and you realize that your game plan isn’t working, you need to be adaptable enough to change things up as you’re going. 

In business, you have to be just as adaptable. When deals, plans, and outcomes are not going your way, you need to be able to let go of your original plan and change things up until you find success. 

Your Endgame is Key 

As they say in golf… Drive for show, putt for dough. Your drive is your big shot, the one that’s going to take you more than halfway to the green. It’s about power, about effort, and about show.

Golf course with pond, yellow flag marking hole; image by Edewaa Foster, via
Golf course with pond, yellow flag marking hole; image by Edewaa Foster, via

But once you get close to the green, power doesn’t win. Then, it’s all about nuance, strategy, touch, and subtlety. You can’t putt with power. You putt with precision, and this is where many a golf game is lost. Fine-tune your putting, and you’ll have a winning game. 

Similarly, you can talk the talk and walk the walk upfront, but in the end, it’s your closing game that really matters. 

Enjoy the View But Keep Focused 

Let’s be honest – many golf courses have spectacular views. In fact, part of the game is being outdoors, breathing fresh air, surrounded by beautiful nature. 

But don’t let it distract you from the task at hand. If you’re too busy marveling at the view, it can become easy to lose focus and waste shots. 

In business, distractions can be lethal. While there’s nothing wrong with spending a few moments daydreaming about the future, surfing social media, or otherwise “wasting time”, if you let it take up too much of your time, it’s a sure way to ruin a productive day. 


Understanding important golf lessons that you can use in running a business gives you an advantage both on the course and in the office! 

Keeping these things in mind and implementing them into your golf game will help you improve as a player. But applying them to business decisions and situations will do the same for your business. 

It’s the perfect excuse to get out of the office and spend a few hours on the course more often! Be mindful when you’re playing and you’ll soon cultivate a much stronger business mindset that serves you well. 

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