By: Todd Keirstead
If you are looking to justify why you play this game of golf to your significant other, your friends or your boss, you really need to read this month’s editorial.
Over the last year my role in the golf industry has branched into the corporate boardroom. As companies are taking a closer look at how to develop future growth, managing expenses more closely and trying to get a greater return on their investment, I have seen an important trend to defend time spent on the golf course. I have performed training seminars to executives on how to conduct business on the golf course and how to build new clients and deepen the bonds with existing clientèle. Here are some of the key points that you can take away from these sessions to use as ammunition regarding your everyday round when this question comes up.
Now Boss, the game of golf is synonymous with “big business,” and is one of the most effective tools for the networking and deal making in the modern business world. An estimated 90% of Fortune 500 CEO’s play golf, one quarter of the 25 million golfers are top management executives and a full 80% of that number agreed that the game of golf is an important business development tool.
But Honey, the golf course is the second most popular business meeting place outside of the office with a restaurant being number one. But unfortunately it can be difficult to get in depth about topics over lunch as you are interrupted by the wait staff or the restaurant is too noisy. But by sharing such information while on the golf course, you’re building a rapport and creating long-term, win-win relationships, business and social.
Ok guys…I know you don’t understand the game of golf but, one of golf’s greatest benefits is how it helps you relate and connect to other people. Golf affords a uniquely valuable opportunity to spend four hours of uninterrupted time with someone. It enables you to really get to know your playing partners. A round of golf lasts four hours; you talk about each others’ families, about work, about attitudes towards business and life.
Do you get where I am going with this?
Furthermore, here’s why playing golf is such an effective rapport and relationship builder. The golf swing takes on average about 1.4 seconds. If your score is 100, you’ve swung the club for 140 seconds, or slightly more than 2 minutes. If you are playing with three others, then only about 10 minutes are spent actually hitting the ball, making a golf shot. What are you doing the rest of the 4-hour round?
One thing for certain is that golf allows you to build personal relationships with the boss, potential clients, suppliers, and others. Influential or important people who are usually rushed or difficult to talk to during the day can be easily won over during a simple round of golf.
The strategies used in golf apply to individual business performance and success. What better reason to play golf? Aside from what the game of golf can teach you that you can put into practice in your career.
- Face sudden changing conditions that require quick decisions
- Process large amounts of information to make a decision
- Require practice and preparation for a good performance
- Perform under pressure
- Rely on a positive attitude
The game also gives you insight into the other person’s inner self. Watching how people conduct themselves while playing golf, which is above all a game of honor, will give you valuable insight into a person’s decision-making abilities, integrity, temperament, and sense of humour. A good sense of humour can mean the difference between a positive experience on the course, or a miserable one. A new contract or a lost one.
Use your time on the golf course to observe your partners and get to know them in a different light. Someone you meet on the first tee may end up being the business contact you have been waiting for and didn’t expect. Exchange cards at the end of the round and follow up while the golfing experience is still fresh in their minds.
So, in today’s fast paced world, golf as a business tool is often overlooked or considered a sport for an older generation. Yet smart business men and women, who want to get ahead, should add golf to their career skill repertoire. Just like building your company’s social media strategy, business golf requires planning and focus.
This should provide you greater insight to the benefits of the game of golf and how you can utilize this to your advantage when you are legitimately playing business golf or looking to make your five hours of drinking, laughing and hanging out with your buddies on the course justified.
Todd Keirstead utilizes the game of golf for all your corporate needs including entertainment, team building, seminars and tradeshows.
To book Todd at your next event, contact.
Golf Entertainer/Motivational Speaker
To experience Golf With Attitude in action watch