Golf And Business: How The Two Go Together

men golfing
Golf and business tips

Golf And Business

{tocify} $title={Table of Contents}

Since the dawn of time—or at least the dawn of the sport—golf has been closely linked to the business. It was always seen as the game of the wealthy man or the businessman… And while the game has become more accessible to everyone, the golf-business link has stuck.

If you’re a business person, learning to play golf is a valuable skill that can actually help accelerate your career. Here’s why every business person should play golf… And how to do business successfully on the golf course.

The Benefits of Golf for Business Professionals

It might sound too good to be true that playing a round of golf with a colleague, your boss, or a prospect can be good for you and for your career. But it’s true—and here’s why.

Carves Out Time From Busy Schedules

There’s no way someone can leave a round of golf early. When you’re on the course, you’re committed! Unlike being in the boardroom, where pressing matters can cut meetings short and leave you frustrated.

A round of golf can take anywhere from 2 hours to 5 hours, depending on how many holes you’re playing and your pace of play. That’s at least a few hours of uninterrupted time with the person you want an audience with—plenty of time for casual conversation between holes.

No Need for Sales Tactics

In the conference room, it’s highly likely that your inner salesperson will come out! But on the golf course, there’s no need for aggressive selling—rather, it’s the perfect way to subtly chat with your client or prospect in a no-pressure setting.

To be clear, this doesn’t always mean you’re going to close the deal on the golf course. But it could potentially be an opportunity to understand your client—and their needs, worries, or objections—in a more real-life setting, where they can be themselves.

Get to know people by making business connections

Get To Know Them Better

Spending time with a potential client or even your boss outside of the office environment can open you up to a whole new person! First of all, you get a good idea of how they respond to high-pressure situations—think of that risk/reward shot that could make or break their round.

Secondly, you’ll be able to see how they react when things don’t go their way, like when a sand trap catches its ball for the third time in a row. How do they handle their emotions? Can they compose themselves in tough situations?

Building a Network of Contacts

Playing golf with someone can lead to excellent networking opportunities. A good round can lead to more opportunities for play—perhaps with other business contacts that your client or prospect knows.

Helps You Establish a Reputation

This goes two ways. One, if you start doing better business, your reputation in the company or even in the industry will get a boost, leading to more opportunities.

Two, if you start to get a reputation of being a gentleman or woman on the course—or a challenging but fair opponent—you may open yourself up to more chances to play with other contacts.

Identify New Opportunities

Interacting with clients and prospects this way can also lead to other opportunities that you may not get elsewhere. For example, during casual conversation, your golf partner may mention that their friend is starting a new business… Which gives you an in into offering services or products.

Alternatively, you may be able to recommend other professionals to help solve problems, or—this may seem counterintuitive, but it works—offer a favor if the opportunity arises.

Tips on How to Do Business on the Golf Course

Ready to start using the golf course to do better business? Here are our top tips to do it right and be successful.

Understand the Rules and Etiquette

Nothing ruins a potential business deal like disrespecting the game! Whether you’re new to golf or you’re an experienced player, understand the rules and etiquette of the game, and stick to it.

Being a gentleman or woman on the course implies that you do business with the same kind of ethical code. On the other hand, disrespecting the rules and ethics of the game gives an indication that you have no respect for authority—a bad place to be with a potential client or even a colleague.

Know the Time and Place to Talk about Business

You’ll be out there together for hours, so you have plenty of time to talk. Don’t bombard them with questions or chat details every time they finish a swing—be a little more subtle, or you’ll start coming across as being pushy.

The golden rule: don’t talk during someone else’s swing. It might sound logical, but you’d be surprised at how often it happens without even realizing it. Stick to “golf cart conversations”, which will give you a nice balance of time in between shots to enjoy the golf and time spent talking shop.

Remember What Your End Goal Is

On the other hand, golf is fun and strategic, and it’s easy to get caught up in the sport and forget that you have another goal in mind as well. Don’t get so wrapped up in your game that you forget to do some subtle business talk!

It’s a good idea to set a goal for the day—what’s the outcome you hope to achieve? Is it making a sale? Is it getting them to agree to a demo? Keep it in mind throughout the day, and continue to take steps to get closer to it.

Pay For Their Round and Lunch

Pay for your golf partner’s round and take them to lunch afterward. It’s a generous gesture that shows that you value them, their business, and their partnership. Some golf clubs offer Corporate Packages for this kind of thing, so look into that if you’re planning on doing this often.

Create a Reason to See Them Again

You don’t need to seal the deal on the course. But if you feel that the round went well and that you’re building great rapport, it’s worth planning to see them again so you can continue building this business relationship.

If the golf went particularly well, you might want to plan for another round sometime soon. If the club has two courses or does something unique like night golf, that’s an easy in.

On the other hand, if you take note of something specific during the conversation, you can create a new meeting out of that. For example, let’s assume the client mentions that they love a certain author, and you happen to have a first-edition book lying around. Invite them to pop past the office and fetch it from you.

That’s just one example—as you move through your round, you can find multiple opportunities to see the client again, which reinforces the relationship and takes you closer and closer to getting the business/promotion/sale you want.

Author: Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer and businessman. When he’s not on the course working on his own game or mentoring young golfers, he writes in-depth articles for his website, Golf Influence.

Inveigle Magazine

Inveigle Magazine is a lifestyle, fashion, and beauty magazine. We love sharing informative articles with our readers. Follow us and stay up to date with the latest articles. facebook twitter pinterest

Previous Post Next Post