The Most Important Lesson I Learned In Golf School

Some years ago I attended a week-long golf school. In Florida. In July.

 It was total immersion in golf.  

Beginning early each morning until lunch, we would hit bucket, after bucket, of balls on the range.

Then, after a short lunch we would then get personalized lessons while playing 9 holes of golf with the coaching pro. 

Since I like to play golf, not practice golf, I particularly loved the afternoon sessions.


The most important “lesson learned” occurred on the first afternoon.

It was especially important and has stuck with me, after all these years.

My coaching pro, whom I’ll refer to as Mr. Ralph, had me hit 20 balls from the tee box. 

Then we walked out to the fairway to see where I had hit them.  

It was like looking at a scatter diagram.  I’m an engineer. I love scatter diagrams.

A few of my shots had missed the fairway. The ones that landed in the fairway, weren’t in the same spot, but they were groups closely together.

On that first afternoon, it was as hot as blazes.  Did I mention that it was July. In Florida?

Mr. Ralph and I stood in the fairway looking at where I had hit my tee shots.

I lamented that I had not driven the golf balls far enough. Surely he heard that a lot. 

After all, I wasn’t the first golf student who had visions of hitting drives of epic proportions.

Mr. Ralph patiently listened.

Then, being the gentlemanly golf pro he was, Mr. Ralph said:

“Sally you need to change your perspective. Turn around and look back at the tee box.” 

Turn around and look at the tee box? Is that what he said?

Yes, that’s what he said. So I did. 

And he asked me what I saw.

And you know what?

The really interesting thing was, that when I stood in the fairway and looked back…

...the tee box from 180 yards away looked a really long way back there! 

And in that instant, with Mr. Ralph’s guidance,

I learned the importance of taking time to change your perspective… reflect on the progress you’ve already made.


It’s been over 20 years ago since that hot July day in the scorching Florida sun.

I’ve coached countless leaders and project managers on applying this lesson.

Now it’s your turn.

Here’s what I want you to do right now.

Take 3 minutes and “look back at the tee box.”

  • What have you led your team to accomplish already?
  • What milestones has your team achieved that they can be proud of?
  • Have you celebrated those milestones?

Yes? Then GREAT!

No? Then do it this week. Even better, do it today!

For leaders like you, executing long duration projects

you can’t just simply keep plowing forward.

“Looking back at the tee box” is essential.


Because that perspective is what will energize your team.

It will recharge their confidence.

It will recalibrate their minds.


It will refuel their commitment for the challenges ahead.

That’s it for today.

Be bold and make EXTRAORDINARY things happen. Today.

See you soon.