Is Golf Beneficial for Business?
There are a couple of different ways to use golf for business purposes. Some companies will host an annual golf day and invite clients to make up 4-balls, each being hosted by a member of staff. To do so, the company will book out the golf course for the entire day. Throughout the day, at different holes, there are prizes to be won and fun forfeits to be paid. The golf is followed by a dinner or snacks and a prize-giving. It is also an opportunity for senior managers to publically thank all their loyal customers for their business. Non-golfing ladies can treat clients to spa therapies and then join in for dinner.
Is Golf Beneficial for Business?
A corporate golf outing with clients is a great way to thank multiple customers in one go, on one day, and save money. The annual golf day is also an opportunity to invite prospective clients to mingle with existing satisfied customers. Furthermore, a client golf day offers an opportunity for team members to meet clients face to face and form better relationships. Apart from entertaining clients en masse to thank them for the business, there continues to be a school of thought that golf is beneficial for business in other ways.
Combining Business with Golf
The stigma attached to doing business on the golf course is that it’s the old boys club. Happily, that has changed somewhat. Golf has the ability to bring business professionals with different interests and backgrounds together. Along with the rise of women in the business world the women’s golf scene has seen a growth in popularity as well – take a look at ESPN. The golf course and clubhouse are cordial, yet friendly places to rub shoulders. The golf course is also a great place to invite a prospective customer for business-to-business (B2B) deal-making after the initial overtures have been made in the boardroom.
The goal of going golfing with current or prospective clients is to gently and smoothly develop a bond over a period of hours. Bonding with clients helps to build trust. A mutually trusting relationship is essential for business success and will allow your business to thrive.
There is a school of thought that suggests that a round of golf brings out personalities and reveals both the mentality and integrity of a person. Golf allows for the casual observation of how people behave when they think that no one is watching. For example, in golf, we have to play the ball from where it has landed, regardless of how thick the rough grass is off the fairway. There is a temptation to move the ball when no one is looking. People with integrity won’t move the ball, even when alone in the rough.
An 18-hole round of golf will take around four hours, give or take a stop at the halfway house, before starting the next nine holes. Then there is usually time at the 19th hole for liquid refreshments, or showering before going to the bar. This is ample time to get to know a potential client or business partner.
Business golfers responded to a survey conducted by the American Professional Golfers Association (PGA). The results could of course be thought of as being skewed in favor of golf, as golfers have a vested interest in continuing the notion that golf is good for business. Skepticism aside, the results are quite interesting. 50 percent of golfers were in agreement with the idea that you can tell a lot about how a way someone will be in business by the way they play golf.
They explained how they arrived at this conclusion and stated that a lot can be learned about a person from the following:
- How the person addresses the ball
- What they do just before hitting the ball
- Their playing technique
- How they cope after hitting a bad shot – Seeing this can give some insight into how they set about achieving their goals, and how they present themselves when facing challenges.
Underpinning these observations is the suggestion that people who don’t know how to have fun on the golf course have a mentality that you may not want to invite into your business.
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