This study examined executives' subjective experiences playing golf to identify what they have learned about being leaders from playing the game. Twenty executives were interviewed. Participants reported that golf strongly enhanced their leadership. They reported developing approaches, attitudes, and skills that enhanced their ability to manage themselves, manage others, and react to changing conditions. Participants noted that golf had transformative aspects and that it could be adapted for leader development, team building, and relationship building purposes. Based on these results, it can be concluded that golf is an effective tool for leader development. Leaders are advised to begin playing golf as a means for cultivating their own leadership abilities, and organizations are advised to support their efforts in doing so. Organization development professionals and the golf industry are advised to design innovative offerings using golf as a leader development tool. Additional studies are recommended to confirm these findings.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (MA) -- Organization Development; Golf -- Social aspects; Executives -- Training of; Leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Good, Darren