By Dinte
May 14, 2013

Arguably the most famous and entertaining hole in all of golf, the 130-yard 17th at TPC Sawgrass is just a pitch shot across the water but one of the most challenging shots a golfer will ever hit.  Manage to hit a great shot here on Sunday afternoon and a tour player’s life can change forever. Hit a bad shot, and the scars can last a lifetime. It’s the site where dreams come true and nightmares begin.  

Yet again, the 17th at Sawgrass lived up to its reputation.  Spanish tour player Sergio Garcia approached the 17th tee box on Sunday afternoon tied for the lead with Tiger Woods.  However, he hit two balls into the water and took a 7 on the hole, ultimately drowning his chances of capturing the trophy.   

But a lot can be learned from this entertaining hole.  Many who have played it will never forget the experience, whether good or bad outcome.  There are countless leadership lessons to be learned from such an outstanding golf hole.  Dinte Executive Search has come up with a few leadership lessons we think are important.

  1. Stay calm. When players stand on the 17th tee box and look at the green surrounded by water, it’s hard for them to remain calm.  Their hands get sweaty and their knees begin to shake.  However, those who have the most success on this hole are the ones able to stay calm.  In business, leaders can get caught up in the stressful environment surrounding them.  It’s important to find ways to stay calm in order to perform your best.
  2. Envision success and don’t overthink. Countless players have crossed paths with the 17th at Sawgrass, and many of them have hit balls into the water. As a golfer stands on the tee box waiting to tee off, the mind becomes filled with negative thoughts.  They focus on all of the areas they don’t want to hit the ball.  They begin to think about the terrible shots they hit in the past and wonder if they chose the right club to clear the water. However, great golfers are those who can clear their minds of all past failures and envision a successful shot. The same goes for leaders in business. It is important to envision success and rid your mind of past mistakes.
  3. Learn from your mistakes. Great leaders are able to turn past mistakes into opportunities for learning.  They are able to reflect on those instances and figure out ways to prevent the same outcome from happening again. Often times, leaders learn more from their mistakes than they do from their successes. The most successful tour players do the same thing. They take advantage of their poor shots by learning from them.   

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