By Julius E. Rhodes, SPHR – Contributor Golf Business / MPR group
It was a pleasure to attend my first NGCOA Golf Business Conference recently and it got me to think about the issue of momentum and how important it is in the game of golf, running a business, and life.
From what I remember of my high school physics class, momentum is equal to mass times velocity. Momentum can be and is a compelling force that can push us to unexpected heights, if we are moving in a positive direction. Conversely it can lead to devastating lows if we lose our ability to capture its essential elements. But in all cases the ability to understand the forces at play when we are thinking about how we acquire the momentum we need is critical to our short and long-term success.
In the history of the Masters Tournament on the PGA Tour which began in 1934, there have only been 5 wire-to-wire champions. And if you look the nine men’s and women’s major championships on the PGA and LPGA tours, a player has only won wire-to-wire on 72 occasions, with 42 of those achieved with no ties. What this says to me is that those players in the field that were trailing after the first or even the third round had to identify something within themselves that allowed for them to overcome their deficits to achieve the victory they desired. I will never forget watching the unprecedented and horrific collapse of Jean Van de Velde at the 1999 British Open where he was leading by 10 strokes on the final round only to lose to Paul Lawrie.
So, if momentum is so important, how do you acquire it so you can capitalize on its benefits in golf, business and life? I am glad you asked, and this is how I will begin to answer that question. For truly great athletes in any sport they will always tell you that when they are doing their best they are able to slow down and clearly visualize what is immediately present before them. In essence they are able to look at the process they are using and reduce it to its simplest elements. Process is everything and if things are not working well for you in a particular area, examine your process.
Next, as they identify process improvements they are also able to narrow their field of vision so that are only concerned with what they are doing at that moment. We have a lot of distractions in our world but the ability to achieve laser focus and stay connected to the now is imperative for our ultimate success. Hand in hand with this narrowed focus is the requirement to prioritize the essential from the non-essential and execute our process strategy.
I would imagine that those individuals who were not leading after the first, second or even the third round of an event had to understand what they could control and what they could not. They certainly could not control how others were playing, the competitive environment, the elements or other such factors. As a business owner you cannot control what others do, but you can do that for yourself and the keys are: understand your process, narrow your focus and prioritize.
The final thing that I will offer is this. When things get difficult and they most assuredly will, we all need to understand we have control over how we respond to situations and how we do says a great deal about our character and our ability to achieve the objectives we set for ourselves, others and our businesses. “Let’s Go MO!”