Life Lessons Learned @ The Open


The weather can change in a heartbeat.

I had tickets to the playoff with Rocco Mediate and Tiger Woods the day after Father’s Day 2008.  It was a Sunday night as I went to sleep thinking about what a great experience this would be.  Instead, I received a phone call that morning that my dad had a massive stroke.  Same with a year ago…. as my neighbor yelled over and realized that Charlie had broken his arm in their yard… weather can change in a heartbeat.  We have to adjust.

There are many reactions we want to have – but, all we can do is to face it.  What do golfers do to prepare?  They carry with them all types of supplies to be ready for any weather change.  Umbrellas, rain gear, waterproof gloves, sunscreen, and extra clothing to be layered.

The life lesson is simple.  The weather WILL change.  We just have to do our best to prepare for those moments for when they come.

Backwards can be forward.

If you lived in my family you would know I hate to go backwards.  You have left for a trip and you are one mile from your house and you realize you forgot something.  This is backwards.  At the Open there are many times that players are in the sand traps and the best way to move forward is to go backward.  (Take your medicine.)

The life lesson here is pretty straight forward.  What would be the smartest decision to make?  Sometimes I get tabbed with, “Ready, Fire, Aim.”  It is the aiming that can be so good, and yet, sometimes it feels like you are “chipping out” sideways.  But the good that comes from aiming for the team, for the process, for the communication – can be forward progress.

Factor in the winds.

I read an article the other day that most people who purchase a house don’t factor in all the extra costs that no one talks about – the cost of moving, the cost of the appraisal, the cost of the inspection, and the cost of the paperwork in closing a deal.  The article simply said that people don’t factor in these costs, and they are significant.

Today, golfers are having to hit completely offline to get the ball to end up being online.  The ones that factor in the winds find a steady ship.  Leaders factor in the winds.

Consider the winds being all the details that surround your decisions and or your goals.  It could be financial, it could be relational, it could be a communication strategy.  What are all the ramifications?  Who all are impacted by this decision?

Ignoring Little pot bunkers can be treacherous.

Don’t be deceived by little – it can cost you.  Think of the little things that could cost you.  Driving after a glass of wine?  Missing a deadline by a day?  Forgetting to acknowledge or say thank you?  Leadership is made up of accomplishing the little things.  Ignoring the little things can be treacherous.  One golfer at the open said, “I just do my best to avoid the pot bunkers – steer clear.”

One of the life lessons I have learned from some of the great leaders I have had the chance to work with is they avoid little bunkers –  here are a few observations:

  • A couple of them always keep 3 by 5 cards so they can make notes so they don’t forget what they want to do.
  • They send a thank you – even to a thank you I wrote them. A thank you to the thank you.
  • Keep boundaries up regarding calendar and family.
  • Readers – they consistently comment on what they are reading.
  • Quiet Time/Reflection Time – typically in the morning.
  • They follow through on their word.
  • They are accessible. If I reach out, I hear back.
  • Consistently clear on what they THINK.

I am missing a few for sure.  But, these are a few that came to my mind today.  Hope you have a great Friday!  Enjoy watching The Open this weekend!



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