Monday, August 13, 2007

Golf and Business - A Successful Relationship : The PGA Disqualification of Sergio Garcia and the Win by Tiger Woods

We ran across the Business Golf Blog in researching Sergio Garcia's disqualification at the 2007 PGA Championship just held at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma and won by Tiger Woods. The Business Golf Blog is written by attorney Suzanne Woo of Berkeley, California, who describes her blawg site as follows:

"I'm an attorney who turned her passion for golf into her profession. In 1996, I founded BizGolf Dynamics, a company dedicated to teaching business people how they can use the game of golf to enhance their business relationships and increase sales. I am a professional speaker, author of On Course for Business and 72 Secrets for Successful Business Golf. I also publish BizGolf E-Tips, which are sent bi-weekly. You can subscribe at www.bizgolfetips.com."

We play in the German golf league regularly and it is standard procedure after every round for each player to compare his own hole-by-hole unofficially marked score with the hole-by-hole results marked down by his official marker, who is always one of the competing players in the respective player group. This score comparison is essential, because it is always possible, and occasionally occurs, that the official marker absent-mindedly, generally while preoccupied with his own game, marks down a wrong score.

Accordingly, in a clear boo to Sergio, we have little sympathy for a professional golfer like Garcia to have signed a wrong scorecoard without having checked it before leaving the scoring tent, as his marker Boo Weekley had inadvertently put down a 4 for a hole on which Sergio had scored a 5. Nor can the fault for Garcia's "BOOt" from the tournament be ascribed to Boo's boo-boo since it is the PLAYER'S own responsibility to make sure that the score he signs is correct. It is much like contract-signing in law - KNOW what you are signing.

Garcia's diqualification also points to one significant difference between the successes of Tiger Woods and the travails of Sergio. Sergio is at his best perhaps an equally gifted golfer as Tiger, but Tiger seems to have a certain equanimity, a command of his self, which in Sergio appears to be lacking some of the time, as one can read in Golf Digest.

At the level of the weekend golfer, golf is a game played primarily for the enjoyment of the golf players themselves. At the level of professional golf, golf is a game played for the enjoyment and appreciation of the spectators, both on the course and through the media. It is a handsomely paid sport at the top level and a wonderful way to make a living, if you are good enough to do it.

When Sergio understands that it is a PRIVILEGE to be out there competing for big money at the top level of pro golf and that he is an integral part of a much bigger show than he is himself, win or lose, then more wins might come his way. The breaks, good and bad, even out in the long run, and in the end, the best player with the best command of himself and of his golf game wins. And not even Tiger has reached perfection yet. Otherwise he would have to retire. But there is still room for improvement, even for Tiger, and that in part must be what keeps him going.

A top player is potentially good enough to birdie every hole, but no one ever does, or has yet. And who is at fault for that. Only each player for himself.

The tragedy of Sergio's wrong scorecard is a good lesson for every golfer. Each player is responsible for his own game and for the correctness of his own scorecard. YOU - not the ball, not the golf clubs, not the course, or anyone else - ARE RESPONSIBLE. The drive that you just put out of bounds by an "unlucky" half a foot, could also have been driven in the middle of the fairway. The putt that just "unluckily" lipped out of the hole, could have been stroked into the middle of the cup. The approach shot that by "some quirk of fate" just caught the edge of the sand trap rather than bounce directly toward the hole could have been hit dead to the flag.

A 90 could have been an 85. An 80 could have been a 75. A 75 could have been a 70. A 70 could have been a 65. A 65 could have been a 60.

A 60 could have been a 55 - but no one has ever had that much "luck" yet. Objectively seen, a player who would hit every drive long into the middle of the fairway, whose approach shots would all stop dead at the flag, and who just had easy short putts to make for birdies, might be "lucky enough" to birdie all 18 holes, but luck would really have nothing to do with it.

Sergio is quoted as follows
:

""You know what's the saddest thing about it?" Garcia said. "It's not the first time. It's not the first time, unfortunately. So, I don't know, I'm playing against a lot of guys out there, more than the field.""

That of course is the wrong attitude. Sergio is playing only against an enemy of ONE - the self. When that is mastered, everyone will know it and see it and the wins will start to increase. As long as one thinks the "other guys" are at fault, failure is guaranteed.

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