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World-Class Exec, World-Class Golfer

Posted November. 21, 2006 06:36,   


Yun Jong-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, is considered one of the most successful CEOs. He has dedicated himself to making Samsung Electronics into a global leader since he became CEO in 1996. He has world class managerial capability.

Yun’s ability to play golf is comparable to his managerial competency. He plays golf very well with a handicap of 12, which is good for a “Sunday golfer.”

Best score: 76 pars and two hole-in-ones-

Yun’s hole-in-one became famous among business circles in November, 2001. Yun played golf with the current president of Konkuk Univ. Hospital Choi Kyoo-wan and then president of Samsung Medical Center at 17th hole, 140 yards long, at the AnYang Benest Golf Club. His tee shot with an 8-iron found the hole.

What is interesting is that Choi had seen a dragon in his dream last night. The dragon bit the tee-shot ball and disappeared. Choi praised Yun by saying that, “Maybe Yun’s name, which means dragon in Korean, matches well with his dream. Yun completed his play with the help of another person’s dream, which is befitting to a world class CEO.

Yun also recorded a hole-in-one on the 3rd hole at the Gangnam 300 Country Club in July 2002. His best score was 76 (4over par). He played 76 for the first time 7 years ago at the Glen Oaks Country Club near Narita Airport in Japan. Last year he had the same score at Nambu Country Club.

A pleasant round of golf is the best-

His friends say that playing golf with Yun is always happy and pleasant. He himself simply answers, ‘Let’s enjoy golfing,’ when asked, “What do you think about golf?”

He enjoys golfing with acquaintances in business and political circles, and professors. When he plays at the Anyang Benest Golf Club, run Samsung, he explains holes and makes people laugh with golf jokes.

But he is finicky about golfers with poor etiquette and manners.

He emphasizes that “If a player does not make sand even after hitting bunker shots and makes noise during games, it will disturb other players. We should avoid poor etiquette.”

Chairman of GS Caltex Heo Dong-soo says, “Yun has always been enthusiastic about golf and makes others feel comfortable. His golf style is similar to his management style, which values principles while promoting innovation and creativity.”

Golf and management go hand-in-hand-

He played golf with Sun Microsoft CEO Scott McNealy in October after finishing a meeting with the company. McNealy, who has the professional-level ability with a handicap of 3, recorded two OBs-outs of bounds- at tee-off shots in the first hole.

But he played in a steady manner and finished the game with 76 even after the double bogey in the first hole. At that time, Yun said, “I was impressed with the CEO’s managerial ability during a crisis on the course. The ability to control a crisis is an important factor in business management as well. As Jack Nicklaus once said, “To win a game, you need to think about hole strategy first,” a strategy for the course is the most important in golf. A strategy is also the most significant factor in business to get a leg up on global competition.”