Golf and Business and How It Can Be Helpful in Your Career
Golf is a wonderful way to network and do business outside of the office. According to an article from Forbes Magazine, 90% of Fortune 500 CEO’s play golf. In a survey of business professionals that play golf, 93% say that golfing with a business associate is a good way to establish a closer relationship. 80% agree that playing golf aids in establishing new business contacts.
Building Business Relationships in An Informal Setting
You can find out a lot about someone’s temperament, drive, social awareness, humor, and how they handle themselves on the golf course. It can also provide opportunities to get to know someone outside of the office in a more informal setting.
My Personal Experience of Success with Business Golf
Years ago, while I was in my early 30’s I joined my company’s 9 hole weekly golf league.
I was 1 of only 2 women in the entire league. My boss and most of the high-level executives from my company played in this league and we were paired with different partners and opponents each week.
Imagine that…being paired up with the CEO of your company for a round of golf!
To be honest, this was my first golf league. I was a bit anxious at first since I wasn’t used to playing competitively, but after a few weeks, I soon found myself enjoying the fun banter and competitiveness of the matches.
There was one match though that I will always remember.
I was at a sales conference in Orlando and the night before our departure, upon leaving the restaurant we passed by these fancy wine storage boxes with names on them. I froze because I spotted Tiger Woods’ name on one of them.
I did the craziest thing and I put my hands on the box hoping his amazingness would rub off on me somehow.
The next day, I returned home with my colleagues and rushed from the airport to the golf course for our league match that day. No time to rest, and no excuses or missing our weekly golf league!
I had no idea who I was playing against. But as tired as I was that day, I had the best round of my life.
I ended up winning the match against one of the top players in our league. And I have no idea how it happened. My only guess is luck – from being in the presence of Tiger Woods’s wine box and the fact that I was so tired and not thinking about my shots.
It was my first experience being in what is called the “zone”. This is where everything seems to go your way and your ball magically goes where you want it to go.
An of course for me, this had never happened to me in golf. It was the best feeling in the world.
I was very happy with the way I played, but the surprise came the next day at work. I barely made it past the front door when a colleague came up to me and congratulated me on my win.
All day long it was the same thing, people coming out of nowhere giving me high fives, patting me on the back, giving me a big congratulations. I had no idea it was going to be such a big deal.
It became the company chatter for the next couple of days.
I realized that being in the company golf league gave me something to relate to and talk about with my colleagues and executives besides work. It also provided opportunities that I may not have had.
If you have the time to learn the game of golf, it is extremely valuable for building rapport and relationships with your colleagues and company executives, as well as with clients and business associates.
One of the biggest ways companies entertain clients and business associates outside the office is through golf.
What better way to have someone’s attention for 4 – 5 hours outside the office?
I have been invited to play a round of 18 holes, and to play in fun golf tournaments to benefit a charity. Having the knowledge and ability to talk about golf is important. But I want to stress that being an amazing golfer is not all that important. If you know how to handle yourself, be respectful, and know how to play golf, that is usually all that matters.
My advice is to consider learning the game and try it out. It enables people to build relationships outside of the office in a great setting.
Who knows, maybe you will even learn to love it as I have.
If you are just starting out or need a refresher course on the game of golf, I would recommend starting with lessons or joining a clinic where a small group of you would be learning the basics of the swing.
If you aren’t sure yet and want to know more about how to get started in the game of golf, read this article. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter below for more golf-related information and learn more about this wonderful game.