Losing Money on a Golf Course is No Different Than in Sales

Pro golfer Jason Dufner’s putting down the stretch at the 2018 Player’s Championship had many golf fans across the country cringing.

You see, the five-time PGA Tour winner had a chance to win an extra $700,000 if he made a 17-foot putt. But not only did he miss it, he missed a five-foot putt on the next hole, too. That cost him an additional $308,000 (dropping him on the leaderboard from being tied for second place to being tied for fifth).

But before you feel too bad for Dufner, know that he made $418,000 at the tournament. Not too shabby.

However, he did blow an opportunity to make more than a million dollars.


Jason Dufner finished fifth at the 2018 Players Championship. (courtesy photo).

To put it in perspective, the winner, Raleigh-based Webb Simpson, had a score of 270 after four rounds. Dufner’s total was 275, meaning he was 98.18 percent as good as Simpson (who took home 21 percent more — $1.98 million).

Often times in sales, we see the same thing happen, don’t we?

You do almost as good as your competitor. Maybe even 98 percent as good. However, if your competitors are 2 percent better and win the business, you earn zero in sales commissions.

Sharpening the Saw

First, it’s important as a sales professional to think about your performance around “margins” and where you need to sharpen your skills to be a more OUTSTANDING version of yourself. Remember, practice makes perfect.

Second, if you do golf, don’t feel too bad the next time you miss a putt against your golf buddies for a $2 Nassau — where money is wagered on the best match play score after the first nine holes, the back nine and the total of 18 holes.

It could be a lot worse. Just look at Dufner.