Leadership Lessons from the Game of Golf

Leadership Lessons from the Game of Golf

I grew up with a father and a brother who were both avid golfers.  My father attempted to teach me the game as well.  I caught on but not to the extent that my brother did.  I played more for fun than for competition. Now that I am much older, I decided that golf would be a good hobby since my children are grown and I needed something to do with all that time that was spent raising children!  My husband and I play about once a week, weather permitting.  As I have watched and played golf over the years, I’ve seen several leadership lessons that can be learned from the game of golf.

Setting Priorities – As with most hobbies, we must remember, it’s a hobby – something we do in our spare time.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve heard my mom tell stories of when my dad wanted to spend a little more time on the course than she thought he should.  I’m guessing there was a discussion on setting priorities along with that.  It is great to have a hobby.  Just make sure you prioritize it appropriately.

“For where your treasure is, there will you heart be also” (Luke 12:34).

Patience – Golf requires a great deal of patience.  You must wait on people to play in front of you.  You must wait on people playing with you. You must wait on people to find their balls that missed the fairway.  But remember, there are times when other people are waiting on you!  “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love" (Ephesians 4:2).

Self-Control – If you have ever watched any golf on television, you’ve seen players get aggravated when they make a bad shot.  You may have even seen them stomp on the ground, slam their club on the ground, or even throw a club.  Although you may want to do these things, you must maintain self-control. You need to accept the fact that you will make bad shots and when you do, just recover from it as best you can and move on to the next shot!  “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

Decision Making Skills – Golf is a game of strategy. You need to know how far you can hit with each club so you can make the right decision of which club to use when trying to get that ball on the green.  You also must consider other factors such as wind, elevation, and the type of terrain you are hitting from (fairway, tall grass, sand, etc.).  If you choose the wrong club, you’ll need to exhibit some of that self-control we talked about earlier. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Having Fun – Finally, hobbies should be fun. Golf is fun!  You are outdoors enjoying the views of nature and breathing fresh air. You are spending time with family and friends. You are celebrating the good shots and laughing through the bad ones! “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22)

What leadership lessons have you learned from golf or any other hobby you may have?

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Kim Rider

Kim is the Director of Operations at Lead Like Jesus. She comes to the Lead Like Jesus team with nearly two decades of management and IT experience, including network support, project management, and department director roles. She also enjoys communications, and writes as a hobby.  She received her dual Bachelor’s of Arts degrees in Computer Information Systems and Business Administration from Piedmont College in Demorest, GA.

Kim and her husband live in Northeast Georgia with their two children and grandson.  She enjoys playing golf, running, and hiking in the North Georgia mountains.

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