Match play: Beating one competitor at a time

Beating one competitor at a time

Strategies for Match Play

two-golfersMost golf tournaments are stroke play, which means each golfer is trying to win with the lowest number of strokes over four rounds of 18 holes. In match play, each golfer it’s trying to win one hole at a time against one competitor at a time. You still have to play well, but the strategy is very different.

In stroke play, every stroke counts against the total over four days. You are effectively competing against the whole field of golfers over four days. In match play, you win or lose one hole at a time, so a bad hole and those extra strokes only count once. If your competitor is even worse on that hole, you can still win it. At the end of the day, the winner is the golfer who wins the most holes against his opponent on the round. Deciding on the cautious or low risk shot versus the aggressive or challenging shot, depends on how your opponent is doing on that hole and on the round against you. It’s a one-on-one competition, not the usual game of every golfer against the golf course.

Lessons for entrepreneurs:

In business, you also have to play your best game every day to win against the market. But sometimes, it’s you against one competitor in particular to win one specific customer. Adapt your strategy and game accordingly.

Play your strength against the competitor’s weakness. Focus on the customer’s currently perceived deficiencies in product performance, price or service. Provide a clear response to those deficiencies with your solutions that will fit the specific customer’s needs.

You may not win every round. But you can win; one competitor at a time, one customer at a time.

And you will continue to get better at the game,

Your Uncle Ralph, Del Chatterson

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