Study: The More a CFO Plays Golf, the Worse They Are at Their Job

December 21, 2015

That old adage about golf and business might make more sense than you think.

“The proper score for a businessman golfer is 90. If he is better than that he is neglecting his business. If he’s worse, he’s neglecting his golf,” goes the conventional wisdom.

A study that examined the golf schedules and business prowess of 385 CFOs found that the more a CFO hits the links, the less competent he or she tends to be in the board room. CFOs with busy golfing schedules were more likely to make errors and less likely to present earnings conference calls with high quality information.

The study, completed over four years by a team at the Miami University of Ohio and the University of Alabama, is also interesting for the golfing data it collected about its subjects.

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CFOs played an average of 20 rounds a year, with one standout participant logging 148 rounds in just 12 months. Given the results of the study, it’s impressive that he managed to keep his job after spending the rough equivalent of nearly five months of work on the golf course.