Dr. Ed Balian knows importance of good mental game


Dr. Ed Balian’s book on the mental side of golf. Photo provided by Dr. Balian.

Dr. Ed Balian's book on the mental side of golf. Photo provided by Dr. Balian.
Dr. Ed Balian’s book on the mental side of golf. Photo provided by Dr. Balian.

By: Justin Donner

Mastering the difficult game of golf can offer a large advantage in the world of business, but becoming aware of the mental side of it can provide an even greater one.

There is arguably no other sport that is more closely related to business than golf.

The relatedness of business to golf spans from companies sponsoring professional tournaments, such as the local Farmers Insurance Open of Torrey Pines, to major business decisions and negotiations being done on the course.

CSUSM’s business professor, Dr. Edward Balian, is a seasoned vet in the world of business and is the author of Buddha Plays 18. His book takes an innovative approach to teaching the overlooked skill of being mentally sound while playing golf.

For business professionals, golf can be a valuable tool. You learn so much about your business partners and clients by playing golf with them. The game reveals values, ethics and reaction to stress. Acts of courtesy are demonstrated by pulling the pin at the hole, shooting in the correct order and a proper attitude while in the lead.

According to Dr. Balian, golf and life intermix in many ways.

“You think your business career is over you’ve hit a terrible shot you’re in the rough. You follow it with you best shot of the day. Under the stress of the challenge your focus went up and you applied your skills diligently,” Dr. Balian said.

How business professionals react to the highs and lows of golf can be synonymous with how they would in life. Staying calm and getting out of a bad shot can show a certain level of tenacity.

Dr. Balian has used golf many of times in his business career, and he feels that not being available to play in certain circumstances has even hurt him at times.

The sport can be important to learn for business, but you have to be careful. Performing terribly can lead others to assume that you are terrible with business as well. Saying that you’re working on your game and that you are not comfortable on a course may be more productive than trying to play. If you do have a bad game, make sure to carry your sense of humor with you.

“Your behavior during the round is going to be remembered a lot longer than your score,” Balian said.

If you are interested in learning the mental side of golf, Balian’s book is available on Amazon or at http://www.buddhaplays18.com/.

The Cougar Chronicle The independent student news site of California