As traditional as Grandma and Apple pie, the practice of businessmen and women playing golf together has been part of the American landscape for decades.
It is almost a given that if you are in certain professional fields, or are at mid-management or higher up the corporate chain, that playing golf is a part of your life.
One could argue that it is part and partial to being part of the “good old boys (or girls) club”.
So you might as well get used to it. It is the business meeting without the walls scenario. It is a practice where one can remove themselves from the hectic pace of the office.
The cubical or the constant flying and hotel rooms, to a place of enjoyment and camaraderie.
It is the place to enjoy nature and still have a business mindset.
The question remains how does all the expense and time involved actually build the business relationships and consequently increase the bottom line mutually for all parties involved?
This is a tough question to answer, as it is not a Key Performance Indicator. How does one actually measure the results of a game of golf unless a new contract was signed? It is difficult to quantify.
The answer to that question may be as unique as the people involved in the practice. In some ways, it is like a house. No one comments much about your clean house, only your dirty one.
If you find yourself in certain professions, not playing golf is like not keeping a clean house. People may not want to visit you.
When this author was in financial services, he had noticed that one of the most successful advisors in the firm lived on the east coast and the majority of his clients lived on the West Coast.
Granted, he started out living on the West coast many years earlier to start his career. However, he built up his business by playing golf.
What he did was once a year, he would rent out an entire golf course on the West Coast for one weekend a year. It would include evening festivities, prizes and so forth. It was a regular tournament.
He would invite all of his best clients and spouses and their ticket to admission was to simply bring at least one golf playing friend or family member to be involved. Could even be a couple.
From this one event, the advisor was there also playing golf, solidifying current client relationships and building new relationships. Each attendee agreed to further communication, newsletters, and emails of vital interest relative to financial and retirement planning.
The advisor would then spend the rest of the year in communication with all attendees, and acquiring new clients and relationships.
The end result was an increasing multi-million-dollar annual revenue business.
This was golfing for a purpose.
So what is your angle in playing golf for business? Is it an excuse to simply get out of the office while not actually building your business relationships?
Conversely, do you play golf because it is required in your career, but not something you enjoy? Maybe you can do both as the advisor in this story did.
The lesson to be learned here is that if you are golfing to make a quick sale, it will not be good for business.
If you use it to build long-term business and acquaintance relationships, it will build both for many years to come.