Are you hesitant to sign up for your first business-related golf outing? Or, have you ever declined an invitation to an outing in the past because you didn’t think you were ‘good’ enough to play in a formal setting? If this describes how you have felt, you may be surprised when you arrive at your first outing. Most likely, your skill level will be more than adequate, with some players swinging and completely missing the ball, or showing up to play in tennis shoes.
Of course, not all outings will be this casual or elementary. If you are questioning if you are ready, it is best to start with a scramble. In a scramble, all golfers tee off on each hole and as a group they decide which tee shot to use moving forward. The other three golfers pick up their balls and proceed to the chosen ball where the process starts all over. This allows golfers of all different abilities to play together without slowing down the play.
Whether you end up participating in a scramble or another type of outing, keep these four tips in mind when hitting the green and golfing with business associates:
1. We have already established that you do not need to rival Tiger Woods. However, be sure that you do have appropriate gear and apparel and follow basic golf etiquette at all times. Pick a course or an outing that is appropriate for your skill level.
2. If you are the host, focus on creating a great experience for not only your guest but all those around you. Be friendly, respectful and tip well. Be mindful of your guest’s preferences. Moderate alcohol is often acceptable on the golf course but a host should not drink at all if the guest is not drinking. Avoid showing frustration over missed shots or poor service. Stay positive at all times.
3. Sharing this social activity is a great way to establish a relationship with the other participants. This is the time to get your guest to know, like and trust you versus hard sells. Avoid or limit business conversations during the first few holes. Many decisions are made based on emotion. Bringing up a huge business proposition may not be a good idea if your guest is having a terrible day on the course.
4. When you invite a business associate to play golf, it is reasonable to discuss business. However, business documents, PowerPoint presentations or other handouts should be left for another meeting, off the course. Business cards are an exception. It is appropriate to share your card with guests.
It is always a plus when what you do for a living is in line with what you choose to do while living. Following these tips will allow you to mix business and pleasure, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a hobby while also building your prospect or client relationships. Here’s to wishing you a perfect shot on the green and business connections that add the best kind of green to your wallet.