Kellogg World Alumni Magazine Summer 2007Kellogg School of Management
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  Darrin Gee
  Darrin Gee '95  Photo © Toby Hoogs

Alumni Newsmaker: Darrin Gee '95

Gee — a golf whiz and entrepreneur

Golf for Darrin Gee '95 was love at first swing. But for some people, hitting that little white ball into a hole across the fairway can be frustrating. According to the Kellogg graduate, though, golf is the one sport in which everyone has the ability to hit a perfect shot. The secret is all in your head.

"Most players agree that golf is 90 percent mental, yet very few of us ever develop this area of our game," he says, from his Spirit of Golf Academy in Hawaii. Gee noticed this in corporate life too, working as a consultant to some of the world's most successful organizations after earning his Kellogg MBA. "The top performers had focus and understood how to achieve peak performance."

After years of coast-to-coast commuting, Gee says he was falling behind on his game – in golf and life – and he wanted a change. Using his MBA and the psychology degree he earned as an undergraduate at UCLA, Gee founded the Spirit of Golf Academy in 2000.

He wanted to teach golfers of all abilities the mental strategies of top athletes. Before starting the business in Hawaii, he developed a set of guidelines for golf, which is the subject of his new book, The Seven Principles of Golf: Mastering the Mental Game On and Off the Golf Course. Today, Gee has coached more than 6,000 golfers on his principles for success.

"I teach folks that once you decide what you want, you come up with a plan to visualize how you will do it, and you have to commit." He says this is true in golf and in life. In fact, he sees golf as a metaphor for life, with the same ups and downs.

Every once in a while, a golfer will hit that one sweet spot, he says. "Golf's the only sport where you can feel the same thing as Tiger Woods when he hits a perfect shot." Not everyone can slam dunk a basketball like Michael Jordan or throw a football like John Elway, but everyone can hit a perfect golf shot, he says. And that is what's so appealing for Gee.

"You know you're capable of doing it, and it's the anticipation that it's going to happen again that keeps you coming back for more." – AM

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