Golf- The Sport of Business
Golf is deceptively simple, but endlessly complicated- Arnold Palmer
A few years back a trusted business development friend who shall remain nameless, (or named Tracey) suggested that I take up golf for business development purposes. I fought her on this, my reasoning for not wanting to learn was that I was already engaged in a number of other Business Development activities, enough to keep me busy and connected. With all my coffees, lunches, dinners, events, conferences, etc. did I really need to add golf to the mix?
Her answer quite simply was yes; and with that she signed me up for a co-ed industry league she played in every Wednesday night.
Let me jut tell you; I was not good.
I was downright terrible. I swung, I missed, I created divots so deep it looked like I was digging to China, I was confused at which irons to use, I would stop counting strokes when I doubled the par. On the first day I actually thought you could tee up your ball on the fairway.
I wish that was a joke.
I was not good, but I kept going back. Each week I got a little better and had more fun. And now I willfully join golf leagues and sign up for tournaments because I enjoy golf and have fun with it.
So how important is golf for business? VERY IMPORTANT.
Playing a round of golf can take up to to four hours. This is uninterrupted time that you get to spend with potential clients and colleagues in a relaxed and beautiful environment. Having those hours together gives you a real opportunity to get to know them on a more personal level, and I’ll take that over a meeting in a conference room any day.
Want me to back that up?
According to the PGA, 54% of businesses see golf as the perfect networking tool (8% picked football). Golf is a game that involves a lot of downtime so it affords plenty of opportunity for quality conversation.
Golf is an important tool for business, but it is even more important for women in the business world. Today women still only represent 20% of the US golfing population. It is critical for women to get out on the course to be a part of the conversation, and the deals that arise from this type of networking.
Stop being intimidated by golf, get out there, start playing, have fun and make those connections.