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Don’t look back, you’re not going that way

By |  December 16, 2014 0 Comments

What’s more important? Looking ahead or looking back? ¶ I’d argue that in the golf business there is value in both but I’m choosing to focus on the future of our industry and not get too hung up on what’s happened in the past.

I hear all too often, “This is how we’ve always done it.” I’ve proven time and time again that this type of thinking doesn’t always work and it could be the kiss of death if we don’t change. Or things like, “Back in the good ol’ days…” Our industry has changed so much in the past several years that in some cases it’s impossible to compare what happened five to 10 years ago to what’s happening in today’s golf business.

We obviously need to take a glance at the past to see what’s brought us to the current situation we’re in, be it good or bad. This applies not only to our professional life in the golf industry but also our personal lives. Some things we’ve done in the past have proven not to be the best for where we are currently and it is important that we learn from bad decisions that were made or things that may have been out of our control so we don’t repeat them.

The one and only time I watched Dr. Phil, he was talking to a person who had made a bunch of bad decisions in her life and she couldn’t understand why she was in the position she was in. I remember Dr. Phil asking her, “How’s that working for you?” He even went on to describe the definition of insanity and described it as, “continuing to do the same things you’ve always done and expecting different results.”

As we all know with our constantly changing industry, this type of thinking is a path to nowhere.

However, many things we’ve done in the past have helped us lay the groundwork for where we’re headed in the future, personally and professionally. These positive foundations can be used to help propel us forward with an open mind, which could be critical to our success.

The one thing I do know is that our industry will continue to change and if we don’t adapt we will be left behind or out of business. So many of us who have been making a living in the golf industry for a number of years tend to get stuck in a rut and fail to be open to new ways of thinking. Instead we need to realize that golf is not the same as it was when we first started in the business.

I’m one who believes that 2015 will be a good year for the game of golf and for our industry as a whole. There have been a lot of player development initiatives put into place over the past few years and I’m hopeful that we will start seeing some benefits to these programs in terms of more people coming into or staying in the game. The HackGolf initiative, the Top Golf concept, larger cups, Play Golf America and Get Golf Ready are all programs implemented to make golf fun and attract a different group of people to the game.

It will be critical that we continue to look at things differently to keep our industry strong for future generations.

Now that I think it through, maybe we should focus on the here and now. I heard something the other day that I liked, and it’s a perfect final thought for this column: “The past is gone; the future has yet to come, so maybe we need to focus on today, which is a gift. …That is why they call it the present.”

This article is tagged with and posted in Columns

About the Author: Mark Woodward

Mark Woodward is president of Mark Woodward and Associates, principal of DaMarCo Golf, CEO of MasterStep Golf Group and a contributing editor for Golfdom.

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