Economics suggests that owners, CEOs and chairmen have different claims in a company’s output, and thus that these groups exert different efforts. However, the effort an agent invests in his/her ﬁrm is difﬁcult to measure. Golf handicaps enable us to look into the relationship between different degrees of ownership and their implications for the effort that agents exert. Handicaps have the advantage that they can be directly observed and can be viewed as a mirror image of a manager’s effort. We expect that times of crisis and changes in management positions inﬂuence golf handicaps, mostly for owners and, to a lesser extent, for CEOs and chairmen. Data of 440 Swiss top managers and their handicaps during eight years, from 2003 to 2010, strongly support this assumption.