You may have heard the popular notion about how more business gets done on the golf course than in the boardroom. Whether or not that’s true is a matter of debate, but what is undeniable however is the long-standing synergy that exists between business and golf.
Corporate golf days have been a staple of the social calendar for many a business over the years; sending invites to clients and potential clients for a day of links and drinks.
Quite simply; it’s all about the networking.
In the modern business environment networking serves a crucial function in the promotion and growth of your company. A chance to speak with customers, colleagues and partners within your own community, away from the confines of the office and in a more social atmosphere. Networking meetings exist in most major towns, cities and conurbations exactly for this reason; providing opportunities to share stories, swap ideas and to keep your profile high and your finger squarely on the pulse of what’s going in your industry and locality.
Most importantly of all, networking is vital in building, fostering and maintaining strong relationships. And the golf course can be a great environment to allow this to happen.
Inviting a client or partner for a game of golf presents you with an ideal chance to get to spend some quality time, away from the office, devoid of shirt and tie and allowing the focus to be on the game at hand as much as any ulterior business motive. It’s a way of forging strong relationships based upon more than just work; but upon a shared sense of camaraderie and fun. After all, what better way to spend a working afternoon than out in the fresh air, striding along the fairways and test yourself on the greens in the company of like-minded individuals?
Golf for business has, in the past, been described as a six-hour sales meeting. That’s not to say a round of golf should take you six hours to complete of course. But, take into account the time spent together on the course along with the inevitable opportunity to keep the conversations going over drinks back in the bar afterwards and one can perhaps see where the sentiment comes from.
The reality is that a round of golf does take time; even before you consider the time spent in the apres-golf environment, you are going to be with on the course for at least a few hours. And in that time you’re going to be spending a lot of it walking along fairways, waiting at tees and such like. Which gives you plenty of time to talk; more perhaps than in other formal networking sessions that can often descend into a form of corporate speed dating session.
Golf networking isn’t about the quality of your golf; it’s not an exclusive domain for the low handicapper.
Far from it, in fact.
Whilst, inevitably, there’llbe a degree of competitive spirit at play during a round, your abilities as a golfer are not really the reason you’re here, are they? This isn’t the Ryder Cup with you pitting your skills against the opposition, it’s a chance to get some time talking with those potential clients, decision-makers or associates important to your business.
That’s not to say, however, that you should be rolling over and letting everyone win. Golf works as a positive way of networking because it’s founded upon a sense of etiquette and fair play. Play to the best of your abilities, play fairly and follow this etiquette and you’re putting your relationship on a sound footing of trust and equality.
It’s all very well having corporate golf days or arranging ad hoc rounds here and there; they certainly have their merits. But there’s always the danger that the moment is soon gone and all the positive noises that came from the day are forgotten as you head back to the routine.
But what if your golf was a consistent part of your networking schedule offering you a chance to liaise with and get to know others from the local business community on a regular basis?
That’s exactly what “FORE” business can offer. A chance to sign up to become a member of a regular golf network event local to you. Within your membership you’d get to play a monthly fourball at some of the best golf courses in your area at specifically held events structured around business networking. That means that you’ll not only be getting the chance to enjoy the golf but also opportunities to enhance you profile through some additional business benefits such as: