Great Game of Golf is a Great Business Tool; Build Relationships, Advance Deals, Network: LinkedIn on Steroids…

Golf is the Sport of Business: It’s no accident that golf has long been associated with the business world and, indeed, there is compelling evidence that golf can enhance your business and help participates to develop professionally, personally… 

Golf is unique in that it can bring people of all ages and abilities together and provide the elements of fun, as well as, an enabler for business engagements… According to Joseph Palumbo; golf is a social game, it’s about building relationships… it’s a unique opportunity for stakeholders in business, i.e., management, employees, customers, suppliers, partners… to learn about each other in an informal setting…

However, most crucial rule of playing the corporate golf game is don’t try to close the deal (i.e., however you define deal) during the game, but use the opportunity to advance your credibility as reliable and trustworthy person, business…

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Golf is all about– tactics, techniques, focus… hence, it’s great for honing these key mental skills that help you get ahead in business… It can help you learn to stay calm under pressure, think strategically, retain integrity, build up mental stamina and self-reliance… Golf rewards players who remain composed in stressful situations, and who think strategically… these are all the same virtues necessary to be successful in business… According to Jim Rohn writes; a clear and relaxed mind is critical– on the putting green, on the fairway or, in the boardroom… To be successful in business and in golf you must have a short memory and be very resilient…

According to the ‘CIO Magazine Golf Networking Survey’; not everyone is convinced of the relationship-building, networking and career-advancement power of the game of golf. The results from an online survey of 394 business professionals were 48% identified themselves as golfers, 34% as non-golfers, 18% were people considering taking-up golf…

The survey found; overall opinions from the respondents were split on whether playing golf had actually helped them professionally: 55% said that the game of golf had helped their careers; 45% said golf had not helped them… Other respondents said; there are plenty of networking opportunities on Internet social networking sites like; LinkedIn, Facebook…

Hence, you don’t have to leave the office and still accomplish the same objective. In the survey, nearly three-quarters of all respondents thought that their decision to say ‘no thanks’ to a ‘golf outing’ had not hindered them professionally… and, the flip-side of the respondents (26%) said that their decision to not play golf had hurt them professionally…

According to other surveys of executive in top-level global companies found; executives who play golf make 17% more money than those who don’t! Estimated 90% of Fortune 500 CEO’s play golf! 50% of golfers agreed to the statement; the way a person plays golf is very similar to how that person conducts their business affairs! 54% of business professionals see golf as: The Sport of Business (6x more than 2nd choice ‘motor sport’ and only 8% selected football! 20% of FTSE-100 Chairmen belong to same Golf Club! 38% of executives use golf as an ‘international language’ to break language and cultural barriers! 27% of executives see golf as ideal way to get ahead with careers! 41% describe golf as a ‘perfect way’ to get to know associates!

Of 60% of women who said they play golf with business clients, more than a third said that playing golf resulted in additional business for them!

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In the article How To Use Golf To Advance Business Relationships by Mia N. Hall writes: One of the great opportunities that golf outings present is chance to develop relationships with customers, partners, employees… while enjoying a bucolic setting or just a great round of golf on the links. However, while golf has been long established as great venue for building relationships… thoughtlessly talking about business during a round of golf can do as much harm as good to your efforts… According to Ty DeLavallade; business people must remember that the number one priority is to have fun and enjoy the game, and secondarily to use golf to advance business relationships… Some simple tips:

  • Have Fun, Enjoy the Game– Don’t Try to Sell: Golf is a fun game and the main objective of a golf outing should be to enjoy the game… trying to sell someone on anything while playing golf is counter-productive, especially since you are with them for 4 ½ to 5 hours at a time… share your passion about issues, solutions… but, there is a big difference between pitching and sharing…
  • Have Good Golf Demeanor: Do not be an angry golfer, be calm and reserved in the way you play golf… Golfers have been know to get very angry and throw their golf clubs (among other bad behaviors) after hitting a bad shot… clearly this type of behavior will not impress anyone, especially, if you are playing with a person that you are trying to impress…

In the article Why Golfers Get Ahead by R.G. writes: As a form of corporate entertainment, golf’s first virtue is that people of any age can play it… The game’s second strength is that thanks to the handicap system people of widely differing abilities can compete against each other… This makes the game more fun, although some weaselly types abuse the game by deliberately losing to players that they are trying to engage…

Golf’s third asset is that players only spend a small portion of a four-hour game actually hitting the ball, so there is plenty of time to talk shop, which is not true for most other sports… Last and most importantly, golf is a fine test of character and can provide a lens into the type of person(s) that you might be doing business with or even working with… golf rewards players who remain calm under pressure, who have good temperament, who think strategically… which are the same virtues needed in business to be successful…

In the article Business Lessons Learned on Golf Course by Lou DuBois writes: We live in a hyper-connected society and being disconnected for four hours playing golf, when you are in business can be daunting and it may seem like a major loss of time… Although social media, such as; Twitter, Facebook… e-mail, even text messaging have made it easier to communicate with more people in the course of a single day, for some people this means devoting less time interacting on a personal level to actually build relationships.

That’s why golf, a four-hours adventure through– greens, fairways, bunkers, hazards… remains one of the great ways to build and maintain solid business relationships… According to Brad Brewer; golf is a bit of a looking glass into how people think… you observe over a period of time the habits of the individual(s)…

For example; you see their integrity, their mannerisms, how they approach different situations, how they deal with success and failure. But in the end, the beauty of being able to create a relationship with people and bond with them for four or five hours is very valuable– there are not very many venues where this type of personal interaction for this during of time is possible…

Contrary to popular belief, though, deals are rarely closed on the golf course, hence if a person(s) approaches golf with this sole intention, they are likely to be very disappointed and a ruined relationship. Good things can happen for business when using golf as an interaction tool for advancing personal relationships… but all participates must understand the unspoken rules of business golf and the psychology of people while playing the game…

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For many people golf isn’t merely a leisure game; it’s the martini lunch of the modern workforce, the buoyant venue where business gets done… According to David Rynecki; no matter how sophisticated the business world becomes golf is a communication hub… Golf teaches you about a person’s reactions in adversity– how they deal competitively with situations… hence, don’t worry about people’s skills as a player, but rather how they conduct themselves… It really is all about having fun and making sure that everyone you are playing with is having a good time, and set the stage for business later…

According to Arnold Palmer; it’s hard to find a better place than playing golf to– build, deepen, strengthen relationships… Knowing who you are doing business with is critical for business, whether you are– CEO, buying, selling, entry-level professional… How people behave on the golf course is a good indication of how they behave off the course… Getting to know someone on the golf course will give you an opportunity to know them on a deeper level…

A golf outing provides observable knowledge about your golf partners, which is unavailable from most other venues, e.g.; knowledge about areas of common interests… knowledge about integrity, character, behavior… knowledge gained from a bonding experience…