Kirby: Golf, productivity aren’t always a good match

Golf is a game in which you yell ‘fore,’ shoot six, and write down five.


— Paul Harvey

We’re a golf town and like to sing the praises of this challenging sport. Most of the people I know play on the weekends or perhaps on vacation.

But there are others, well-paid and open to less restrictive daily schedules, who tout golf as a business necessity.

The thinking goes … you need to take business associates, customers or competitors out for a couple of rounds at a good club (the more exclusive, the better) to see how they handle pressure, first-grade math and 19th Hole camaraderie.

All such skills, they say, can be applied to the business world.

Perhaps not.

The Wall Street Journal reported research done for Management Science, which involved analysis of 300 CEOs from S&P firms between 2008 and 2012 and found … the more a CEO played golf, the more that firm’s value and performance dropped.

If the CEO played at least 22 rounds a year, the mean return on assets was more than 100 basis points lower than for firms whose CEOs played golf less frequently.

YOUR MAIL: Eleanor Hampton, of Harlem, sent a postcard and delightful note from her recent trip to New York City, which featured a stop in Washington, D.C.

“I hadn’t been to DC in many years,” she wrote, “so it was really nice when the Greyhound bus had a lay-over.”

“It was so wonderful to do my annual walk of eight blocks in New York City. The very large Macy’s store is so fascinating … as ever. God blessed me as I did not know I’d be able to do my annual walk-the-eight-blocks from 42nd Street to 34th Street because I now walk with a cane most of the time.”

STORMY WEATHER: Is this is an exceptional year for hurricanes? Yes, according to expert Dr. Phil Klotzbach at Colorado State University (a good place to avoid hurricanes, I might add). He says 2017 is up there in most active Atlantic Basin Hurricane seasons with 205. But it still easily trails 1933, 2005, 1893, 1926, 2004, 1995 and 1950.

He also points out that such activity appears in cycles and a calmer storm cycle is coming up.

Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicates the years between 1931 and 1935 were among the most deadly in U.S. history.

YOUR LUCKY DAY: It’s Friday the 13th, a day we consider unlucky. There are three of them in 2017 – the most a year can have.

Every year has to have at least one Friday the 13th. The last time we only got one was 2014. The next? 2021.

TODAY’S JOKE: A newly married woman asked her husband, “I just wonder sometimes … would you have married me if my father hadn’t left me a fortune?”

“Sweetheart,” he answered firmly, “I’d have married you no matter who left you a fortune.”

Reach Bill Kirby at



Sat, 02/17/2018 - 22:45

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