What the Ryder Cup Can Teach Managers About Delegation

One of professional Golfs greatest events is underway in Wales with the Ryder Cup Match, the USA vs. Great Britain.  After the completion of Sunday’s matches, the Europeans just over-whelmed the Americans. The Americans came back on Monday but lost by 14 1/2 to 13 1/2.  The conditions are wet, the rough is long and dense, the Putts are slow and the Americans are having a tough time adjusting.   So what does this have to do with “delegating”?

What just about everyone has realized after several days of competition is just how smart and crafty the European team, headed by the ole’ veteran Collin Montgomery, have been in picking the course and setting it up for this event.  Think of this process like Project Planning, Delegating and Managing”. If we review what has happened at the Ryder Cup so far, we can draw direct comparisons to effective delegation management.

Set Your Delegation up for a Win

First, the Europeans selected a Golf course, in Wales, where their players have significant recent experience.  The Wales Open tournament has been held there for several years and the European players have gained valuable experience on this course.  Next, team Captain Montgomery has sized up the strengths and weaknesses of the American professional golfers in general.  The experts seem to agree with the fact that the Americans hit very long drives but may not be as accurate off the Tee.  The course in Wales is tight with very long rough that penalizes a lack of accuracy off the Tee.  Then to the Putting.  For the most part, the American PGA Tour golf courses have fast to very fast greens.  The American professionals are accustomed to putting on these fast greens in mostly good weather conditions.  The Greens in Wales are very slow and the inclement weather and wet conditions make the greens even slower.  The American team came up short on putt after putt.

The next brilliant move was with the Europeans selection for their team members and how they paired players together very smartly.  for the most part.  The European golfers are straighter off the Tee, more familiar with the course, better putting on the slow greens and their teams seem to combine players with Control and those who can Putt well.  The result of this was most obvious on Saturday’s matches where the Americans lost 5 of 6 matches and could only tie the sixth match.

4 Tips for Effective Delegation of Assignments

Here is how all this relates to effective management by delegation.  The successful manager, planning an important project, would do well to think things through like Collin Montgomery and the European team.

  • First, the manager wants to make sure, to the extent possible, that situation in which the project team will function are as favorable as possible.  Like picking the right golf course.  Are the factors for the project, such as timing, resources, competitive environment, location, set up for the best possible result?.
  • When planning the action steps, are they best suited to the execution needs of the project. Do the planned assignments match the situation in which the team must function.
  • Have you selected the best available team members whose skills and experience match the assignments needed?  Which individuals can best execute the action steps needed?
  • Where more than one person will be assigned to work with others on various assignments, do they match up well?  Can they work together effectively based on experience?  Do they have complimentary skills where one person can cover in areas where another is not as skilled?

All of these factors should be taken into account.  A manager can have his or her own successful “Business Ryder Cup” Project success by taking these lessons together.


Featured Image  /Pixabay / CC BY CCO Public Domain


Michael D. Moore is the publisher of Management By Delegation and is a veteran executive with 40+ years in the Banking and Insurance Industries. A devoted entrepreneur, using his business experience to provide resources for managers and leaders at all levels. For the last 5 years, he has built a growing web presence for helping people with personal and professional development. To learn more about these advanced concepts & join our group Click here 5 Must Have Management Skills

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