Corporate Golf Spotlight: Elisabeth Rau

Corporate Golf Spotlight: Elisabeth Rau

In this week's Bridging the Gap, Tiffany Roth catches up with her childhood friend Elisabeth Rau, who played collegiate golf at Colorado State University. Now holding a PhD in Geology, Elisabeth works for Matador Resources, highlighting her journey from the golf course to a successful career in the corporate world.
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I'm thrilled to introduce the latest installment of Bridging the Gap. This week, I'm launching a special sub-series titled "Corporate Golf Spotlight" featuring Q&A-style interviews with inspiring women in the corporate world who are not only excelling in their careers but also actively playing golf. These women are helping to bridge the gap in leadership and redefine what it means to "play like a girl."

To kick off this sub-series, I am eager to welcome Elisabeth Rau. With a PhD in Geology, Elisabeth currently works for Matador Resources. Our friendship dates back to kindergarten, where we became each other’s “first friends” as we like to say. Over the years, we have witnessed each other's growth and achievements, both personally and professionally.

Elisabeth played golf at Colorado State University, and we've reconnected through our shared love of the game, often catching up on friends, work, and life over a round of golf. Our time on the course is marked by a friendly, yet (still) fierce, competition that has pushed us both to improve.

Through the Corporate Golf Spotlight, I aim to highlight women who are also pioneering the effort to bridge the gap in leadership, work, and the world of golf. These interviews will shed light on their journeys, challenges, and triumphs, celebrating their contributions to the corporate and golfing communities.

[Continue reading below for the full Q&A with Elisabeth Rau]


Tiffany Roth

Connect on LinkedIn to learn more about navigating golf in the corporate world.


Q&A with Elisabeth Rau

  1. Let's begin with your background. Please give a brief intro about yourself. (How were you introduced to the game, where did you play collegiate golf, what did you study, and what is your current role?)

My name is Elisabeth and I began playing golf at the age of 8, encouraged by my dad who recognized its benefits in the corporate world for my siblings and me. Tiffany, my sister and I played competitive golf together through high school. I went on to play Division One golf at Colorado State University where I got a degree in Geology. After graduating and hanging up my competitive golf hat, I continued my studies at Baylor University, where I obtained a PhD in Geology with a focus on machine learning in the energy industry. Today, I work as a Geologist at Matador Resources in Dallas, TX.  

  1. Which skills or mindsets from your golfing career do you find most valuable now as a corporate professional?

In transitioning from competitive golf to a corporate professional, three skills and mindset have proven invaluable:

 (1) Performing under pressure: In golf there are high-stress situations where you have to perform whether it be sinking a 5-footer on the last hole or hitting the fairway on a tough tee shot. These experiences have prepared me to handle tight deadlines and decisions when we are actively drilling wells with composure and focus. 

(2) Ability to control emotions: I can vividly recall standing on the first tee with butterflies in my stomach and situations on the course when I hit a bad shot. In each of those circumstances I had a mental routine I went through to get back to a level head. I use those same mental routines today in the corporate world to regain composure and focus on the task at hand. 

(3) Integrity: Golf is one of the few sports which has a strong emphasis on honesty and self-regulation (there are no officials watching each shot). This has instilled in me a strong commitment to ethical conduct, fostering trust and respect in professional relationships. 

  1. How did your experience as a collegiate golfer (or competitive sports background) shape your approach to challenges and opportunities in your professional career?

In golf, many factors are beyond your control such as weather conditions, course layout, and your competitors. Success hinges on maintaining a positive attitude and concentrating on controllable elements. This mindset has shaped how I approach challenges and opportunities in my professional life, prioritizing what I can control. It enables me to tackle challenges and seize opportunities with confidence, knowing I've done everything within my power to succeed.

  1. How has your golfing background influenced your leadership style particularly as a woman in the professional world?

In team golf, success is heavily dependent on each player's performance, emphasizing the significance of individual contributions. With this, each of my teammates had a slightly different approach to finding success during their rounds. Inspired by my college coach, I believe it's important for a leader to recognize each team member's strength and acknowledge the varied approaches to success. In my view, as women, I believe we inherently possess the ability to empathize and understand others, and it's a skill we should capitalize on. In my professional life, I strive to support each team member's individual strengths, understand different approaches, and leverage these diverse methods for team success.

  1. How do you stay connected to the sport of golf now, and does it play a role in your professional networking or leisure activities?

While I am much more of a casual player now, my past golf experience has opened up opportunities to build relationships within my company and industry. For example, I was asked to play in a scramble with other people from my company. The person I ended up riding in a cart with was one of our executives who I really have no reason to interact with in the office. Golf has provided opportunities such as these to get out of the corporate setting and cultivate relationships with not only individuals across different departments at my own company but also with people at other companies we work with.


Connect with Elisabeth Rau on LinkedIn.