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Fore! Networking On The Golf Course


Chances are pretty good that you are not the next Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus.

Even though the PGA will not be knocking on your door any time soon, being able to play golf is a great skill to have.

Whether you work in an office or run your own business from home, there is a pretty good chance that at some point you will be asked to hit the links for a little fun. You don’t want to look completely clueless out on the golf course with the executives of your company or that big client that you just landed so it helps to have at least played the game before.

Did you know that playing golf could be a great networking opportunity?

Playing the game of golf is a great tool for networking. For the dad working in an office, you will have a chance to spend a few hours with people that you may not interact with on a daily basis, possibly even the upper echelon of executives. For the dad running his own business, you will be presented an opportunity to share time with past, current and/or prospective customers.

When you spend a few hours on the golf course, you will be forming a bond with the other members of your foursome. Before you head out for an afternoon on the golf course, take a few minutes to remember the following tips:

  • Don’t Talk Business. When out on the course, leave the business talk at the first tee. You don’t want to try and close the deal on the course, instead you want to build a strong relationship that may assist you close the deal down the road.
  • Turn Off The Phone. You can make it a few hours without your phone connected to your hip. The people you are with will realize that they have your full attention and you will avoid the embarrassing situation of your phone ringing right as your client is swinging their club.
  • Know The Rules. It is important to at least have a basic understanding of the rules as this will demonstrate that you have a respect for the game. You will project a positive image if you handle yourself properly on the course.
  • Control Your Emotions. When you hit the ball in the “drink” or lose one in the woods, do not lose your temper. If your boss or client sees you lose control on the golf course, what will they think about you when it is crunch time on the big project?

If you haven’t played golf in quite awhile or maybe you have never played before, I highly recommend that you give it a try. Start out by visiting the driving range at a nearby course to hit a few buckets of balls.

You can certainly take lessons if you desire but from a networking perspective, your performance on the course is not nearly as important as the simple act of being out there and sharing the experience.

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Once you’ve visited the driving range a few times, you can stop by the course to play a round of golf. You don’t need an organized golf outing to take advantage of the networking opportunities.

Typically the golf course will try to match you up with a few other people to keep everyone in groups of three or four golfers. This is a great opportunity to meet some new people and possibly open the door to a future business deal.

A few words of warning - the game of golf can become very addicting. Before you know it, you’ll be visiting the pro shops to check out the latest driver or putter to find the one that is just right for you. You’ll be trying different golf balls to see which one works best for your game - who knew that there were so many differences between golf balls?

The important thing is to get out there, have some fun and take advantage of the opportunity to network.

Do you have any stories of success or disaster on the golf course? Please share!

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    On September 28th, 2007 at 9:40 pm, Kelvin Kao said:

    Do you know how much this applies to women?

    On October 1st, 2007 at 8:43 am, Derek Semmler said:

    Kelvin, I cannot say for sure but I believe that the networking opportunities on the golf course would apply equally to women if they get out there and play.

    It might even be possible that women could leverage this more because it is a little less common to see a woman out on the course and would be a nice ice-breaker when meeting new people.

    On October 1st, 2007 at 8:51 am, Elizabeth said:

    I haven’t actually done it, yet, but I have always maintained that all my kids (girl and boys) will learn to play golf and tennis for the business opportunities.

    Time to get on that, I think.

    On October 1st, 2007 at 9:12 am, Derek Semmler said:

    Elizabeth, depending on the age of your kids this can even be an activity that you enjoy together.

    You can take your kids with you to the driving range to practice and share some special time together. As an added bonus, they will see that their mom has to work hard at things to be good and will learn that work ethic as well.

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    1. Dealing With Misperceptions Of Working At Home | Dad Balance on October 2nd, 2007 at 4:09 pm

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