The ‘Business’ of Golf By Mike Gaul Ron Deiter Golf Quote of the Day “Golf and sex are the only 2 things you can enjoy without being good at them.” - Jimmy DeMaret Golf Quote of the Day Golf tips are like aspirin. One may do you good, But if you swallow the whole bottle, You will be lucky to survive. - Harvey Penick Golf Trivia Questions • Based on a recent survey of business leaders: Q#1. For each dollar they spend on ‘business’ golf, what is their estimate of the ‘revenue’ return? Q#2. There is only one place to conduct business outside of the office that is more effective than a golf course. Where is that? Introduction Business leaders use golf as an important tool in doing business and say that it is extremely remunerative; for each dollar they spend on golf they earn over $1500 in business revenue as a result. Further, only restaurants surpass the golf course as an effective place to conduct business outside of the office, with hockey games, squash courts, tennis, and night clubs placing distant third, fourth, fifth, and sixth place respectively. Not only is golf an important part of some business cultures, but business leaders say that it has set the stage of business transactions. (National Post/COMPAS survey sponsored by BDO Dunwoody and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, 2004) Linking Up “Companies spend billions of dollars on sales training that helps people sell across the desk, but almost none is spent training people on how to build relationships and sell in informal client situations, such as during a round of golf. It’s as if employees are expected to simply know the right approach.” “Too many people view a golf outing as a day off rather than a day on. You have to view it as a sales call that takes place over a few hours in a nice environment.” - Bill Storer, a former AT&T and Lucent Technologies sales manager Golf Quote of the Day “If you break 100, watch your golf. If you break 80, watch your business.” - Joey Adams How to Play Business Golf Some people cringe at the thought of playing in a corporate golf outing. They worry that they will embarrass themselves on the course, either by playing poorly or by simply not knowing what to wear, how to act, or even what to say during the round. The corporate golf event should be viewed as an opportunity. Golf brings out your real character: It tests your fortitude, your confidence, and your humility. Your boss or client may not be impressed with your golf swing, but they will be observing your appearance and behavior. It’s in this character-analysis game – not the one with the clubs and balls – where birdies and bogeys are really made. A golf outing is actually a microcosm of the business world. It’s no different from a job interview or a sales conference. Be prepared. Know how to dress, whom to tip, and what to say. Know the rules of the game and, equally important, the etiquette. Be professional, but have fun. (Business Week, 6/24/02) Golf ‘101 Topics • Clubs – Woods (2-4/set) – Irons & wedges (9-11/set) – Putter (1/set) What do numbers on clubs refer to? • Scoring Par, Birdie, Eagle, Bogey, Double Bogey, Handicaps • Dress Proper Attire Shoes • Course Terminology Tees, Rough, Fairway, Bunkers, Greens • Golf Formats & Gambling Scrambles/Best Shots Medal play versus Match play Common Games – “Skins”, “Nassau”, “Low Ball/Low Total” Terms – “Press”, “Carryover” • Rules Out of Bounds (OB) Water Hazards Lost Ball Unplayable Lie Golf Course Do’s • Do know the basic rules of golf. • Do know the basics of golf etiquette. • Do know basic golf terminology. • Do get personal info on your customer 1st. • Do get info on your customer’s business. • Do share ideas on how you can help them. • Do listen more than you talk. Golf Course Don’ts Don’t rush into ‘business’ (1st 6 holes?). Don’t try to close any deals on the course. Don’t initiate wagering. Don’t bet more than you have with you. Don’t ‘let’ customer win. Don’t let your poor play slow down play. Don’t tell off-color jokes. Don’t offer golf advice unless asked. Don’t take mobile phone to the course. Golf etiquette (10 examples) 1. Don’t talk when another person is getting ready to hit. 2. On the green, don’t walk or step on a line between the hole and another player’s ball. 3. Repair your divots in the fairway and on the green; also use rake to smooth out ball marks, divots, footprints, etc. you make in sand traps. 4. Do not drive cart too close to tee boxes, greens, sand traps. 5. Yell ‘fore’ if it looks like your ball, after hitting it, could come close to other players on the course. Golf etiquette (10 examples) Adhere to ‘honors’ => do not tee off out of turn (low score previous hole tees off first). 7. Ask golfers behind you, who appear to be playing faster than you, if they would like to ‘play through’; if yes, get out of the way. Do not spend more than 5 minutes looking for a ‘lost’ ball. 8. When another person is about to hit, do NOT stand where it could be distracting to the other person (e.g. your shadow is in the way, you are too close, you are on a line between the player’s ball and its’ intended target, either in front of or behind. 9. Do not pick up and take another ball unless you are absolutely sure it has been abandoned by another player. 10. Do not consume alcoholic beverages while playing OR consume in extreme moderation. 6. Golf Quote “A bad day of golf beats a good day of work any time.” (Anon) Golf Quote of the Day “The game of golf is to be played, not won.” - In The Legend of Bagger Vance Life is Like a Round of Golf Life is like a round of golf With many a turn and twist. But the game is much too sweet and short To curse the shots you’ve missed. Sometimes you’ll hit it straight and far, Sometimes the putts roll true. But each round has its errant shots And troubles to play through. So always swing with courage No matter what the lie. And never let the hazards Destroy the joy inside. And keep a song within your heart. Give thanks that you can play. For the round is much too short and sweet To let it slip away. By Criswell Freeman Business & Golf History (1923) Lessons Q. Identify the following people from 1923 and what happened to them: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. President of the largest steel company President of the largest gas company President of the NYSE Recognized as great wheat speculator Recognized as great ‘bear’ of Wall St. Won the U.S. Open & PGA golf tourneys Answers: 1. Charles Schwab, died broke 2. Edward Hopson, went insane 3. Richard Whitney, imprisoned 4. Arthur Cooger, died broke 5. Cosabee Livemore, suicide 6. Gene Sarazan, played golf to age of 92, died financially secure at age of 95 Conclusion: Stop taking business and life too seriously and start playing more golf!!