May 22, 2017

Golf green


Did you see Russell Henley’s slam-dunk eagle on No. 5 at The Masters this year? He broke the rim (of the hole)! Well, if you didn’t see it live, take a peek at this replay. OK, agreed, it wasn’t exactly Shaquille O’Neal breaking a backboard but fascinating live television nonetheless.

What was interesting to me wasn’t that Henley skied one in & broke the cup – Happens more often than you’d think. What was intriguing to me was what happened immediately following – Actually happened before Henley even made it to Magnolia’s green to pluck out his Pro V1x.

The Augusta National greens crew were on the scene immediately inspecting the damaged cup. What unfolded? Assessment. Tools. Triage. Review. Adjust. They flocked to the scene & got to work. Didn’t act immediately but got to work.

If you listen close to the full replay, you’ll notice Jim Nantz marveling at Augusta National green crew’s process and their attention to detail. No one on the green cared that the whole thing was on live television. In fact, to an outsider, it was likely a bit confusing or may have seemed to be pro-longed.

Quite the opposite. There was no rush. Why? This was a matter of standards. Just pros dialed in on their craft.  And, not just any professional – A very specific caliber and backed by a nearly unlimited budget to execute to these standards.

These greens crew professionals hold the most prestigious jobs in their industry. They’re truly in a different league. True niche players. Few like them.

The thing is the art of cutting a hole isn’t particularly difficult but what makes Augusta National special is their standard.  The attention to detail. Everyone I know who has been to Augusta National tells me nearly the same story, “it’s as if every blade of grass was cut with a pair of scissors”.

Believe me, I get it. It’s Augusta National and It’s another slam dunk story but do you know of a profession where details aren’t important?

Coach John Wooden once shared:

“When you see a successful individual, a champion, a ‘winner’, you can be very sure that you are looking at an individual who pays great attention to the perfection of minor details.”

I like that. Even more specific. Not just details. But minor details.

In my business, the needs of an employer in 2017 don’t just call for attention to details but attention to and fine-tuning all the many minor details.

Like what?

-Are K-1 earnings offset within our LTD contract (if disabled)?

-Do I have “straddle” issues within our Group Life rates?

-What performance guarantees do I have built into our PBM contract?

On an on.

There are layers of complexity everywhere you look while providing employee benefits, attention to these minor details have never been more important and, unlike Augusta National, here in the real world, employer budgets aren’t unlimited.

Scott Long

Authored By

Scott Long, CPBS, CHVP

Executive Advisor


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