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7 Reasons Why Golf is the Ultimate Business Tool

by Louise W. Rice
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We see it in movies and TV shows, and we know it’s true in real life, too: people do great business while playing golf. The golf course is where eager professionals close deals, build partnerships, and strengthen their teams.

But why is this game such a good backdrop for business arrangements? What makes it better than, let’s say, tennis or cricket?

We’re here to discuss why golf is indeed such a fantastic tool for doing business and finding success professionally.

It’s Where the Big Players Are

Ian Read has been mentioned a lot lately because his company produced one of the most effective covid vaccines, but did you know that the CEO of Pfizer also likes to play golf? He’s not the only one. Lloyd Blankfein from Goldman Sachs is also a golf aficionado. And Virginia Rometty (IBM), John T. Chambers (Cisco), and John Watson (Chevron) are among the many successful business people who are passionate about the sport. In fact, approximately 90% of 500 CEOs are golf players.

Some of that success might rub off on you if you spend time on the golf course with the big players. Executives who play golf earn an average of 17% more than those who are not golfers. We’ll further elaborate on how this is possible, but this is good information to have if you need some financial encouragement to get into golf.

It is a sport for everyone

Anyone can play golf. Unlike many other sports, it doesn’t require a lot of physical strength. If you’re playing it casually, you can master the rules and get decently good at it very quickly.

While it’s true that men are predominant in this sport when it comes to numbers, the situation is slowly changing. Currently, only 20% of golfers are women, but business-wise, half of the female executives who play golf say that this sport enables them to be more successful.

Also, thanks to the handicap system, the golf court is open to people of different abilities. They can all play together and compete against each other with equal chances.

To get started, you will need a good teacher and some equipment. Soon enough, you’ll get to know all the tricks of the trade and probably get into golf equipment. You’ll certainly enjoy maintaining your golf cart and learning about all the different clubs and when to use them.

Huge Networking Potential

A whopping 80% of CEOs playing golf said that this activity enables them to establish new business contacts and relationships. And this is not the case just for the executives. This sport allows you to spend a significant amount of time with individuals who might be good for your business. To compare this with a business lunch – unlike spending one hour with someone at the lunch table, an average round of golf can last for about four hours, which gives you plenty of bonding opportunities.

Golf Gives You Important Insights

One of the upsides of playing golf and spending multiple hours on the green is that it allows you to get to know people. You’ll get to see how they react in stressful situations, how they manage their emotions, how they follow the rules, and how they handle themselves. Based on this, you can see how someone might act in business. If they are dishonest on the golf course, it’s highly likely they will have no problem lying in the office. If they lose their temper quickly, it’s safe to say that they won’t be able to remain calm and assertive in business meetings.

You Can Get to Know Yourself, Too

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can be useful for doing business. It can help you make progress in your career and be more confident. Playing golf can help you reveal sides of yourself you never knew existed.

For example, you might learn that you are much more competitive than you thought or that you have a shorter temper than you imagined. Seeing yourself in different situations and getting out of your comfort zone will help you learn what you want to improve about yourself.

It Builds Mental Strength

There has been a lot of talk about golf and mental strength, and for good reasons too. Being able to focus, stay calm, and be determined is definitely something that can help you in your business endeavors. Here are some ways golf can be good for your mind and, consequently, for your business skills:

  • Focus plays a big role in golf, and if you want to be good at the sport, you need to work on your concentration. The open environment in which golf is played, a lot of evaluative observers, and the precision required to play are all challenging for a player’s focus. To be able to shut down all the noise and concentrate on the task at hand is something that can prove to be very useful in your career later.
  • Golf also demands that you think ahead and build strategies.
  • The greenery, the wide open space, physical activity, and spending time with people you appreciate encourage your brain to release endorphins. All of that can help you cope with complex emotions and experiences, such as stress and anxiety.

The Benefits Do Not End with the Game

It’s important to remember that the perks of being a golfer go way beyond the court. Golf clubs have cafes and restaurants where you can have drinks or lunch and take your connections to the next level.

Final Word

As you see, golf is much more than just a sport. And it’s much more than an activity for business meetings, too. If you play your cards (or clubs) right, it can become the staircase that will help you climb your way up the career ladder. Hopefully, these seven reasons why golf is the ultimate business tool were convincing enough for you to start thinking about trying it out. Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never really given it a try before – immerse yourself in the new experience, enjoy the greenery, and you’ll get the hang of it quickly.

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