Imagine you’re in a meeting in front of the prominent people in your field. They are highly respected in your entire community and you’re thrilled to even be in the same room as them. Suddenly, talk of a golf outing comes up. Maybe you’re invited to a 4-person scramble, or just out to join them at their private club. But you don't golf, so you end up having to turn down a big opportunity that may have helped you move forward in your career.
I didn’t think much of my golf future (outside of playing on tour) growing up. I always knew I’d play in college and then likely make it big on the PGA Tour. Although the PGA tour dream hasn’t worked out, (I’m still dreaming though) there have been numerous career benefits of playing golf.
You don’t have to be good at it, but if you know how to play golf it can make a positive impact on your career. It’s a great idea to get a head start and learn the game as early as you can. The business world uses golf as an opportunity to network with clients and colleagues.
Although being able to say I played in college has always been a great conversation starter, just the fact that I play golf has provided me opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise have had. Being in a different environment will introduce you to people in every field. Golf has placed me in situations to meet professional athletes, get to know PGA Tour players, and has even landed me meetings with the most highly respected people in my city.
In any industry, it is typically in your best interest to say “yes” to every opportunity or meeting. Once word gets out that you enjoy golf, more and more invitations are directed your way.
The beauty of golf, in regards to business, is that it only takes a matter of seconds to hit a shot which then leaves ample time for conversation.
Being a good player will certainly gain you instant respect from everyone around (granted you can control your temperament). Everyone wants to talk to the better players. That being said, the most important things to know is golf etiquette/language and to dress well. In the golf industry there is an old saying: “it’s better to look good than play good!”
Don’t stress if you’re not the best player. I would rather play golf with someone I enjoy spending time with than have a close match with a scratch golfer with no personality.
Whether you’re a +4 handicap or a 34, just the fact that you golf will provide you the opportunity to say “yes” when someone brings up a golf outing. Most people with an entrepreneurial mind enjoy the game of golf. The point is to always put yourself in a position to succeed, and the majority of people who succeed always make it a habit to say “yes.”