7 Leadership Lessons a Non-Golfer Learned From Golf

LESSON 1 of 7

I never thought that I would learn lessons for the workplace or leadership from a golf event when I am basically a non-golfer.

That was the case when I volunteered for the USGA U.S. Senior Open held at SentryWorld in Stevens Point WI. I volunteered as a hole captain for four of the days and attended as a spectator for two. That means as a volunteer, I spent my entire time on one of the eighteen holes making sure the golfers, caddies, families, and spectators had the best experience possible. We had golfers and spectators from around the world descend on our community for seven days.

Especially exciting for the tournament was the fact two of the golfers were from Wisconsin. Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly, both in the top ten seniors in the world, have been mixing it up in the senior circuit for a number of years. It was amazing to see them up close and personal.

When you pay attention to the people in the world around you, it is amazing what you learn or what lessons are reinforced. You can’t experience this stuff on ChatGPT or AI or remotely. You had to be “in the room” and part of the event to get the true essence of the lessons. It was an experience more than an event.


I’ve grown up in the world of sports but, ironically, mostly as a non-playing participant. As an example, I’ve been part of national championship teams in basketball even though I stopped playing competitively as a first-year student in high school. And the lessons were just as strong or stronger from my vantage point. Those lessons are for another article.

So here are the leadership lessons a non-golfer learned from golf:

Golf, like the workplace, is a game where integrity and manners are important. You keep your own score. You are responsible for following the rules and checking if you aren’t sure. There is a certain order that you go.

If you lose your ball, others help you find it. Wouldn’t it be amazing if this were the case in your workplace? It can be.

If employees and employers take responsibility and keep themselves and others accountable, we can have a lot of integrity in the workplace. I love one definition of integrity that says it is doing the right thing when nobody is watching. That is true on the golf course and in the workplace. Imagine if other site selectors and economic developers helped you “find your lost ball.” …to be continued…

Published by Todd Kuckkahn

I'm on a mission to revolutionize company culture and leadership.

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