I'm here to warn you, golf can be one of the most challenging and frustrating games that you will ever play. Unlike other sports, your opponents are not trying to hit, tackle or throw one by you. No, in golf, you're playing against the course and the conditions. Sure, the goal is to get the lowest score. But, how well you do is all about you. Your playing partners can't do anything to defeat you--your winning or losing is determined by how well you play. Like in business, your fate is in your hands.
Indeed, it is the individual nature of the challenge that attracts so many to the game. But, there's more to be had from playing the game for business people. Here are 5 reasons that golfing is good for your business:
1. You'll learn important things about your clients and colleagues: Golf is a game that provides ample opportunities for the player to demonstrate wonderful or dubious behavior. A missed shot or inconvenient bounce or roll provides the occasion for the golfer to act out, sulk and even cheat. Observing someone in the midst of playing can tell you a lot about the person that you're playing with.
Take clients and colleagues out and watch how they behave. If they cheat at golf, they just may cheat in business. If they throw clubs and stomp around after a bad shot, they may be prone to temper tantrums at work, too. But, on the other hand, if they can keep themselves under control and count every stroke, chances are they'll handle adversity in stride and be honest and forthright in the work setting.
2. You'll learn important things about yourself: Same is true of you, too. Observing your own behavior on the course may shed light on your business tendencies, too. If you're the type that never putts out, you may be the type of person that cuts corners at work, too. If you take a lot of risky shots on the course, you may be a risk-taker on the job. Paying attention to how you play the game, can help you to recognize some of your own blind spots.
3. It provides an opportunity to sell: Because a typical round of golf requires 4 to 5 hours to complete, it provides a wonderful opportunity to sell your goods and services to a client--they're a captive audience. If you're able to parlay a round at the club into an opportunity for lunch or a drink at the bar afterward, you just may be able to close a deal in one afternoon.
4. It provides an outlet for your stress: While golf can be the most frustrating thing that you'll ever learn to love, it can become a terrific outlet for you to handle your work-related stress. In order to become proficient requires lots of practice and tremendous focus. You can't be rehashing a sour meeting while you're trying to sink a 10 foot putt. So, playing gets you out of your work mindset and into your golfing frame of mind.
5. It provides a chance to bond: Golf can provide the player with an opportunity to build the friendships that last a lifetime. It's something that people can form a common interest in, while providing a platform to share time and enjoy a common experience--all of which bonds people together.
To be sure, playing the game with clients and colleagues gives you additional insights into their personalities. Similarly, playing the game will give you insights into your psyche, too. To become good at it requires time and patience. Golf can also become that common interest that creates the bonds that last a lifetime. If you haven't already, pick up the sticks. It just may improve your business and your life.