June 12, 2013
Are You On Par? Fortune 500 CEOs Who Golf

With the U.S. Open upon us, many are talking about who they think will win the coveted major, reliving the most dramatic moments in U.S. Open history, while some are just out playing the game.

We want to join the conversation by providing you with a list of CEOs who have been known to swing a club, as well as their USGA handicaps (a numerical measure of a golfer’s playing ability).  Judging by their handicaps, most of these CEOs have spent a lot more time in the office than on the golf course.


John Watson

Company: Chevron

Handicap: 1.4


David Novak

Company: Yum! Brands

Handicap: 5


Steve Bennett

Company: Symantec

Handicap: 5.3


Brian Roberts

Company: Comcast

Handicap: 5.8


Ian Read

Company: Pfizer

Handicap: 8.2


Edward Stack

Company: Dick’s Sporting Goods

Handicap: 8.5


William Dillard II

Company: Dillard’s

Handicap: 8.7


Jay Fishman

Company: Travelers Companies

Handicap: 9.4


Jeffrey Immelt

Company: GE

Handicap: 9.7


Steven Burd

Company: Safeway

Handicap: 10


Greg Henslee

Company: O’Reilly Auto Parts

Handicap: 10.1


Steve Ballmer

Company: Microsoft

Handicap: 11


Randall Stephenson

Company: AT&T

Handicap: 12


Michael Jackson

Company: AutoNation

Handicap: 12.4


Michael Duke

Company: Walmart

Handicap: 12.5


Kenneth Chenault

Company: American Express

Handicap: 13.5


John Chambers

Company: Cisco

Handicap: 13.6


Christopher Connor

Company: Sherwin-Williams

Handicap: 13.8


Walter Bettinger

Company: Charles Schwab

Handicap: 14.8


Patricia Woertz

Company: Archer Daniels Midland

Handicap: 15


Kenneth Frazier

Company: Merck

Handicap: 18


Virginia Rometty

Company: IBM

Handicap: 36.3


Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, has one of the better handicaps among his CEO peers with an index of 11. Although he loves golfing, he loves his job more. In an interview with the Seattle Times, Ballmer said, “I don’t think I could live a life where all I was doing was tuning my golf game. I don’t like myself well enough. I play mostly by myself.” He went on to say that he wouldn’t make the positive impact on the world he wants to if all he did was play golf.

There are few people, and even fewer CEOs, who can say they’ve hit the links with Tiger Woods. Yum! Brands CEO, David Novak, is one of those lucky few who got to play nine holes with Woods in the winning foursome of the pro-am round of the Skins Game in 2003. Of the experience Novak says, “Playing with him is like playing with a rock star.”

Even though she wasn’t invited to join Augusta National as a member, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty still enjoys golfing frequently. Referring to her handicap of 36.3 in a recent speech, she joked, “I don’t know that it’s allowed to go higher.”

Other Fortune 500 women CEO golfers include Patricia Woertz of Archer Daniels Midland, who plays with a 15 handicap and doesn’t like to play from the women’s tees. She prefers to tee off with the men.

Edward Stack, CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods is known to enjoy time on the golf course with a handicap of 8.5, and was influential in the Dick’s acquisition of Golf Galaxy in 2006.

Finally, as much as some will say a great golf game will help you get ahead in your career; Charles Schwab must have seen something else in his predecessor, current CEO, Walter Bettinger.  Bettinger’s handicap is 14.8 while Chuck sits at 7.9.

What’s your handicap?