Anyone reading the mainstream media and their constant efforts to trumpet the demise of golf could be forgiven for thinking that golf as a business tool is passé. Sure, participation is down, but 25 million players in the USA alone is not exactly a small number. Then when you look at the number of top CEOs, sports stars, movie stars and entrepreneurs who are avid golfers, those numbers are actually pretty impressive. An estimated 90% of Fortune 500 CEOs play golf, as have almost all of the US presidents since Ike. And executives who play golf make an average of 17% more than those who don’t.
Business golf is not just surviving; it’s thriving! For the sake of your business or career, here are 10 reasons you’d better get in on the action!
- Face Time. Where else can you spend four quality hours with your company CEO or valued customers? With today’s busy schedules most of us are lucky if we can get five minutes! There is simply no other sport with the amount of quiet time between shots that allows for wide-ranging conversations and mutual interests to be discovered.
- Serene Surroundings. You can plan a client meeting in an office surrounded by water, nature and sand instead of four white walls. This instantly creates a more relaxed and friendly environment in which to do business without the normal distractions.
- Business Intelligence. You can learn more about a person in four hours golfing than in a lifetime of meetings. Not just by what they say but by how they handle themselves on the course. Do they play by the rules and control their emotions? Or do they fudge and blow a fuse?
- Friendships Forged. An interest in golf alone can be enough to move your friendships several notches up the corporate ladder. Best of all, the friendships built around golf tend to last a lifetime so as people move around new opportunities will open up for you.
- Open Doors on the Road. When you travel, golf is a great way to open doors by letting prospects or business contacts know you are in the area and up for a game. I have built many amazing relationships around the world by looking on LinkedIn for someone in the area I am planning to visit and suggesting a game.
- Perfect Gifting. When someone is a golfer it’s easy to give a small gift that makes an impact. A golf book or logoed hat or towel from St Andrews can quickly and inexpensively enhance a relationship.
- Game for Life. It’s a sport that suits all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Thanks to the handicap system, people of widely different abilities can play together and still compete. So the 60-something CEO can still beat his 30-something prospect or employee, while the 30-something executive can look forward to decades of on-course meetings and deals. Try doing that on the squash court!
- Advantage Women. If you are a businesswoman, playing golf is an even greater advantage. Adrienne Wax, co-author of Even Par: How Golf helps Women Gain the Upper Hand In Business, says, “Outside the office, you can communicate differently with your higher-level peers and get to know one another in a way that the office can’t provide. Being able to talk golf in the office gives you a chance to bond with the bigwigs. If you can talk about golf, suddenly you have reasons to talk with the CEO.”
- Networking. One of the great things about golf is you can just show up at a club and get a game. Depending on your business, you could be looking at three prospects each and every time you tee it up! Golf is the ultimate networking environment for all kinds of professionals and services.
- The 19th Hole. After your round, the 19th holes provides the perfect setting to take your newly enhanced relationship to the next level or, indeed, to go ahead and ask for the order!
So don’t wait any longer, get out of the office and head to the course, to boost your business today!
For more information on growing the game read Golf – How to Really Grow the Game.
Andrew Wood is an author and CEO of Legendary Marketing, a Tampa/Orlando-based ad agency. He is the world’s leading expert on golf, resort, destination and real estate marketing although his successes go far beyond these core industries. Author of over 40 books including; Confessions of a Golf Pro, Desperately Seeking Members, The Golf Marketing Bible, The Hotel and Resort Marketing Bible and Legendary Advice. Andrew has spoken to thousands of audiences worldwide and was the top ranked speaker at 97.7% of the events where he spoke on sales, marketing, entrepreneurship or leadership. A pioneer in Internet marketing his creative talent, out of the box ideas and copywriting skills are at the core of his expertise. Regarded as one of the top marketing minds in the world for his ability to craft a winning strategy, generate leads and increase income!