ACR’s Man Cave: 8 Tips for Better Business Golf

Blokes are capricious creatures. One minute we want to buy a boat and go fishing every weekend, the next weekend we’ve dropped a couple of grand on a light-frame racing bike because we’re going to tackle Le Tour de France. One thing that stays pretty constant amongst our pleasures is a leisurely round of golf.

Not only is golf a good way to spend an afternoon it’s also a great way to do a bit of networking and get some business done. The best thing about golf is that there is plenty of time to chat in between pitching out of the rough and your business ideas may fall on kinder ears if your listener is having a particularly good round.

What you don’t want to do is show up to a round of business golf and reveal yourself to be an absolute spud. Of course, no one expects you to be Greg Norman but it’s no fun to play golf with someone that takes 16 shots on every hole.

So, here are some tips towards enjoying some better business golf.

  1. Don’t Show Up Rusty: If you shank the first shot you can always throw in the old, ‘whoops, I’m a bit rusty’ but you don’t actually want to show up to a round of business golf unless you’ve had a recent swing. If you’ve never played before try and get a one-on-one lesson with your local pro. If it’s been a while try and get a couple of rounds in before the meeting.
  2. Do The Right Practice: Heading down to the driving range and hitting the cover of 200 balls wont help you at the golf course. You need to find your weaknesses and practice ways to eliminate them. Golf is all about rhythm so the best way to get a swing and a put you can rely on is to practice just swinging from waist high to waist high and moving your putter in a straight line. If you have the basics down pat your swing won’t fall apart under pressure. After you’ve mastered the basics you can start practicing those big drives and chip shots.
  3. Know Your Limits: Trying to land the ball next to the tee of the first shot is a great way to add some numbers to your score sheet. Be conservative and play the percentages. It’s better to take two less-risky shots to get on the green than to end up in the trees because you tried too hard. Putting is hard enough, if it takes you 5 shots to get on the green you’re going to be in a lot of trouble.
  4. Learn a Bit of Golf Decorum: Every sport involves a bit of ego but nobody likes playing with someone that hacks at the turf every time they shank a shot. It’s also no fun to play with someone who spends half an hour on one hole because they can’t leave until they’ve putted it in. Business golf is about creating an enjoyable environment, so have a laugh at yourself and don’t be afraid to pick up the ball if you’re taking too long to get it in.
  5. Dress The Part: You don’t have to turn up with checked pants and a bright pink vest but you should at least look like you’ve turned up to play golf. So don’t turn up in your suit and definitely don’t turn up in trackies and thongs. A polo shirt and some slacks is the perfect attire.
  6. Shoes Are Very Important: A good pair of golf shoes will help your game enormously. Just make sure you don’t turn up with a brand new pair of shoes. Golf shoes take some wearing in and you don’t want so spend your round of business golf wincing in pain and dipping your feet in the lakes because you’re covered in blisters.
  7. Bring Enough Balls: There’s nothing worse than playing golf with someone who brings two balls and has to keep going back to the shop to get more. Bring at least a dozen balls, chances are you’ll lose a few and if you’ve got back ups you won’t have to ask your client for one of his.
  8. Don’t Forget Your Mission: Business golf is about playing golf, but it’s really about business. You need to create an environment where the golf comes first and the business talk naturally flows. Don’t bombard your client form the outset but make sure you slide into business talk at few points throughout the day.

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