3 Important Lessons Golf Taught Me About Marketing
28th June 2016
By: Phyllis Langley
When I graduated from high school in Canada in 2008, I wanted to go to the States to study Digital Media and Communications. But I had one problem, I didn't get into any of the schools that I really wanted to go to. That year, I had started taking lessons and decided to play on the school golf team. Being so fresh to the game, my coach wasn't too concerned about the number that was on my scorecard after a match. One time before teeing off he said to me, "it would be awesome if you could try to break 110 today...". Keep in mind, we had to pick up at double par to keep the pace of play. But I remember coming in, adding up my score and realizing I had shot 109. I felt on top of the world. I had caught the bug, big time. That August, I packed up my clothes and a Taylormade driver I had gotten for my birthday and moved to South Carolina to take a year off to attend a golf academy in hopes of pursuing a golf scholarship.
I ended up receiving a scholarship for the next 4 years to a college in Hilton Head where I studied Communications. I completely immersed myself into the world of golf during that time. I caddied, worked at PGA events and volunteered with local golf programs. As a female, I realized that picking up this game had created valuable opportunities for my career and truly helped me accomplish everything I had set my mind to. I wouldn't be in Baltimore today if I had never picked up a club. And no matter the time or amount of practice that goes by, I will never be reluctant to dust them off. This is what golf taught me about marketing:
1. Welcome adversity. There were days when there was a zero chance of rain in the forecast and then on the back nine...it would start pouring. If you can't adapt to unforeseen changes, surprises and trends you won't last long. You need to mentally prepare yourself to welcome the unexpected.
2. Vision. If you ever watch the pros play on tv, you'll see the broadcast will draw lines to animate the path of the ball in the air or the break of the putt on the green. When I caddied, I started getting really good at reading greens. I would start to see those lines on the green or in the air when I played competitively and thats all I thought about before executing. Always plan and create a vision before starting a project. Whenever I am working on something design oriented, I head to Pinterest for inspiration. Collect the ideas and visualizations that will allow you to create a strategy and then give your vision the mental and emotional concentration it deserves.
3. Focus on what matters. You can't let a banana slice off the tee ruin your round and you can't let that three putt you made on 17 for bogey ruin the last hole. Golf is a game of very high highs and very low lows. As in marketing, you need to be aware of what your competitors are doing but you can't let that ruin the focus of what you are trying to do. The competition in this digital age is stiff but if you are focused on being innovative and creative you will succeed.
Work small, dream big,