Friday, April 4, 2008

Golf & Planning

I read an article in Retail Construction Magazine that I thought was interesting this morning. It’s called “Strategies on the Golf Course Similar to Construction Planning” by David Corson, in the Jan / Feb 2008 issue. The basic premise is that even when we approach things for fun, we plan,
visualize, overcome obstacles, and achieve. In a sense, a game of golf is a project with a concrete beginning and end, and milestones along the way. The author breaks this down even further.

Pre-game you warm up, think about what’s ahead of you, spot potential problems on the course, check to make sure you have what you need and so forth. As you get to your first shot, decisions need to be made regarding which club to use, how to approach the shot afterwards – and set it up, and then visualizing how the shot will occur. Then, when the ball isn’t perfectly shot, you work to adapt and overcome the obstacle. Then you make the last putt, complete the hole, the first milestone, and repeat for the all of the remaining milestones (granted not all projects are as linear).

I think that this is an interesting point of view. While I don’t golf, and probably wouldn’t approach golf quite this analytically, there are other activities that I do enjoy, that are approached in a similar manner. It doesn’t always seem so – but I think it’s because when we enjoy the activity, we don’t think of the planning as work – indeed, it is part of the fun and the overall experience. The second takeaway I have from this article is that since we develop strategies for planning for personal recreation successfully, with reflection we should be able to translate the positive actions of that process to other situations.

I should admit though, that on the first glance of the article I thought that I would never think that far through a round of golf – or even putt putt, which is about the closest I come to golf. It wasn’t until I thought about it and realized that I do go through these actions, with the hobbies I enjoy – like traveling.

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