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Golf as Part of EC Curriculum?

Most of us here on campus want to learn golf while at HBS or want to improve his/her game. I would guess that 90% or more of us have, at one point or another, thought about taking a lesson through Shad or through a sectionmate. Here is my proposal: Why don’t we consider it as an EC course?

First, golf is part of business landscape and is a practical skill set for life.

For example, it can be used to establish networks, negotiate on M&A deals, and others. Regardless how effective business on golf course may be, golf has been a part of the business landscape. You can be sure that it will continue as such. Secondly, with a job lined up and graduation imminent, students will not be tempted to “get sick” for a few classes on a beautiful 2-case day.

Lastly and most important, it is truly a match with HBS latest emphasis on Ethics and Leadership. You are confronted with ethical dilemma on every shot. Should I improve the lie? Should I count a whiff as a stroke?
When should I take a mulligan? Did I shoot an 8 or 9 on this hole (when beer is on the line)? One might make a light of these simple questions. In my opinion, answers to these questions will be the foundation of your true ethical color. These small decisions can lead to behaviors that I rather not bring up. Is there truly a better way to learn about ethics and leadership than 2 hours on a golf course?

April 7, 2003
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