Find the advantages of hitting the links

Here's why playing golf will help you make more money

There is no better environment for creating strong business relationships than participating in a four-hour round of golf with colleagues. Take a second and think about the advantages that playing 18 holes presents for a lower-level worker looking to make strides in their career.

For starters, golf allows for long periods of time driving around in a cart with another person. A situation like that provides a truckload of time to make conversation and get to know someone better.

If you are playing with individuals who like to sling around some cash, the game also lends itself to making small (or large) bets that offer the potential for good-natured bonding with teammates (and opponents). And of course, If alcohol should find its way into the hands of golfers during the round, then the atmosphere becomes looser and more open.

There are a broad variety of ways to utilize golf to help further your career, but all of those advantages can become potholes that derail a rising career if not employed correctly. Here are five solid lessons that will have you grabbing your clubs and sharpening your short game to help boost your career.

1) Honesty is the best policy for showing your character

Golf is the sport that people feel most comfortable to cheat at while playing without worrying about being called out for a penalty. But by cheating, amateurs rob themselves of one of the cooler aspects of golf. The sport is the rare game that allows a golfer to compete against themselves while they are battling against someone else.

But when playing with business associates, honesty can be the best policy because it offers bosses insight into your character. As Julian Small, the CEO of the Wentworth Golf Club in London told The Economist, "When you do business with people, you need to know more about them." The only way to know more about a person is to spend time with them where they have a chance to conversate and observe people. Golf offers the perfect venue for that interaction.

Now we all know that little things add up when you are working toward a career goal. Whether it be spending extra time at work or asking for more responsibility, the higher-ups take notice when you commit to your job. So, it may seem like an insignificant thing to cut a stroke here or use your foot wedge to move a ball from behind a tree, but realize that your boss may be sizing you up while you do it.

2) Finding a way to turn the "No" into a "Yes"

Midway through season four of the hit comedy sitcom, The Office, there was an episode titled "Job Fair." In the episode, paper salesman Jim, played by John Krasinski, takes a potential client, Phil, onto the links in the hopes of sealing a new business deal. On top of the hilarious sight gags (at one point Jim's co-worker Andy runs a cart into a sand bunker and is ejected), there is a solid message for all younger associates on their own for the first time.

When Jim attempts to make some headway with the client on switching paper companies, he's turned down quickly. But after watching Phil take six shots to get out of the sand trap, Jim later compliments him on not picking up the ball and quitting. He then tells Phil that just like he didn't quit in the bunker with his wedges, Jim won't stop trying to get his business. And because it is a television show, Jim gets the new contract. But just because the lesson involves some Hollywood magic doesn't mean that using perseverance can't get you what you want.

The great thing about golf is that you don't have to press your point immediately. Throughout the long round, you will have several opportunities to lay the groundwork for a stronger relationship. Perhaps you can't close the deal in one afternoon, but you'll see opportunities, like Jim, to let the client know that you won't stop trying to help them better their business.

3) Everyone wants to talk about themselves

If you are struggling to make a connection with a client or associate, be patient and calm. Nothing strangles conversation more than having someone who is tense or consistently pressing within the group. The golf course provides a haven for informal discussions. No longer are people wearing suits and ties and stuffed into a boardroom. Instead, they are breathing fresh air and wearing clothing that is lightweight and relaxing.

Yashish Dahiya, the CEO of Policybazaar.com, told Entrepreneur India that the golf course was the perfect place for long, casual conversations that were necessary to his business. "The semi-formal set-up of a golf course allows me to interact about several opportunities at length," Dahiya said. "Also, professionals and businessmen alike are more open with the opinions and reviews in this setup in comparison to a boardroom, which can be of great value to any entrepreneurial venture."

Never forget that the majority of people enjoy talking about their life. Maybe they have kids or grandkids or went to a prestigious college. The subjects are limitless for conversation. Yes, it can be hard to crack someone who appears guarded with details of their life, but there is always a conversation to be had that opens the door to broader discussions.

Once you make a connection, then you can find a path to bringing up business. Most people play golf to leave their troubles behind. They want a chunk of time that can relieve stress and bring some joy into their lives. Golf is the outlet that accomplishes those things in most businessmen. If you can learn proper timing, then the club can be a great too for future business.

4) Be open to what a day at the course can bring you

One of the worst mistakes you can make when hitting the links with business on your mind is becoming too narrow with your focus. Perhaps you have the intention of making inroads with a new client, or you are hoping you'll get a chance to talk to your boss about more responsibility, but the day never really works in your favor, and you strike out. Some individuals will look at the day as a bust and simply give up on the numerous opportunities for additional networking. This curveball is why you always have to be open for what a day at the club could bring you.

Most professionals encourage entrepreneurs to relax on the golf course and not push business. Instead, focus on developing the relationships of the people around you. No one can ever claim that their time at the course has been a wasteful use of resources because we can't say definitively that the people we meet won't be close friends or future business partners.

By pressing your associates or potential clients into business talk, you run the risk of alienating them quickly. So instead of shooting for the quick sale, play the long game when you find yourself in a group on the golf course. Build relationships and seek mentors that can help guide your career. By doing this, you assure that the business will one day take care of itself.

5) Know what you are doing on the course

It may seem like an obvious thing, but all of the business acumen and training in the world won't help you if you are a moron on the golf course. Remember, other golfers will always excuse a man that plays golf poorly, but they won't tolerate a player who doesn't know what the hell they are doing on the links.

Obvious things to avoid include being loud, drinking too much, and dressing inappropriately. But you also need to make sure that you know the unwritten rules of the game of golf. You can really ruin a day at the course by hitting out of turn, standing on someone's putting line or making noise while someone is trying to hit the golf ball. Always be ready to hit your shot and if you lose a golf ball, don't spend twenty minutes looking for it.

If you decide to play for money and you are fortunate to win, don't celebrate or boast about your winnings, especially if you took money from your boss or a client. Instead, take that money and buy drinks for the group, or if the haul is big enough, kick in for dinner. Believe me, the money will come back to you ten-fold if you can close a sale later on with the client.

Conclusion

The golf course can be a great place to further your career and deepen relationships that could lead to promotions and new experiences. These benefits only happen if you use your time at the golf course wisely. Relax and enjoy the day, while always keeping your eye on the prize that awaits you if you handle your business the right way.


Discover These Pet-friendly Courses And Tips To Keep The Fun While You And Your Dog Are On The Course

Walk and have a tee time with your dog in these pet-friendly golf courses

Photo by Matthias Zomer from Pexels

There aren't many things in life that beat a cool crisp fall or winter round when the grass is freshly cut and the course is ready to play. The only thing that can make it better is walking or playing a round with your dog beside you. These dog-friendly courses bring the best of golf and the company of your dog to a round on the links.

Belgrade Lakes Golf Course - Belgrade Lakes, ME

Located in the wooded areas of central Maine, this course dog-friendly was born out of necessity for golfers. Many of the rentals don't allow unattended dogs on the property.

Well behaved dogs can even stay off-leash! The only time they will need to stay by the cart is when putting, some dogs have been known to dig. Enjoy the lush wooded areas with a scenic round of golf and a long walk with your dog.

The Goodwood Estate - Chichester, United Kingdom

Part of the allure of The Goodwood Estate is the tradition of dogs on golf courses. Since 1697, dogs have been allowed to walk the course with their owners. The two championships eighteen-hole golf courses provide golfers a unique experience.

An emphasis at the golf club makes sure each dog is comfortable. Many of the holes have water and food bowls tended by the club members. After finishing your round on one of the pristine courses, treat your best friend to the clubs restaurant where you both can enjoy a meal simultaneously.

True Blue Golf Club - Pawleys Island, SC

Only a short distance from Myrtle Beach South Carolina lies the 19th century True Blue Golf Course. Located near the beach in the low country of the southeast, this dog-friendly course welcomes golfers to iconic scenery and a one of a kind clubhouse.

Make sure to book your tee time outside of peak season because this area is packed during summer months and your dog won't be able to join you!

Agate Beach Golf Course - Newport, OR

A nine-hole course located near the beach of Newport Oregon, this course challenges golfers and welcomes dogs. Once you and Fido have finished your round, treat yourselves to Agate Beach Golf Course Cafe where you both can enjoy a meal.

After finishing a round and a good meal, enjoy the natural ocean scenery at the nearby Agate Beach State Recreation Site.

Fun Golf Games for Your Dogs

While on the course your dog will likely want to run and play. Here are a few tips to keep them occupied and happy on the course.

Chip and Treat

This is fun to do with any type of hard treat that won't break on impact. Simply have your dog sit away from your swing and take a high lofted club and hit treats up in the air for them to catch.

Long Ball Chase

Using a racquet or tennis ball, have your dog sit near you and hit the ball with middle to long iron and have them chase it downrange.

These golf courses understand the importance of dogs in the lives of their owners. A round of golf is only more enjoyable when you have your best friend following you by your side. The unconditional affection that comes from a dog will make any tee shot or errant shot more enjoyable. To make sure both of you enjoy the tee time, give your dog a nice meal before you both go to the course and hit the ball. You can also find some dog-friendly patios in Houston that you and your dog might enjoy when you visit the city.

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