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Winning Business Deals on the Golf Course

February 3, 2015

How to Play Successful Business Golf

Few sports are tailor made business (pardon the pun) quite like golf. Whether it’s four uninterrupted hours in a casual round, raising money during a charity tournament or watching the professionals from a corporate hospitality tent at Hazeltine for the Ryder Cup, golf can be an invaluable way to build customer Business Golfrelationships.

The Economist describes several reasons why golf is such a perfect fit for business. People of any age can play it, the handicap system allows people of different abilities to compete against each other, there is plenty of time to talk during a four hour round, and the game is a great test of character. As the great English humorist P.G. Wodehouse wrote, “To find a man’s true character, play golf with him.” But how can you make the most out of your round with a business contact?

Rules of Engagement

Golf Magazine listed 8 Rules of Business Golf, based on the advice of Bill Storer, president of Business Golf Strategies in New Jersey. Many of those tips are common sense in any golf situation:

  • Don’t sandbag.
  • Play ready golf.
  • Focus on results
  • Treat people like they want to be treated.

Perhaps the biggest take-away from this article is to make sure your playing partner has fun. When that happens, deals will naturally flow in due time (on the 19th hole or beyond).

Close The Deal

Forbes Magazine lists 19 tips for closing a deal on the golf course. Business golf offers opportunities to “social network” the old-fashioned way, access many courses you might not otherwise play, and showcase the etiquette and communication skills that are so important to earning future business from your playing partners.

Remember Charity

Charity golf tournaments are another way for businesses and golf to interact. Tournaments like Tapemark Charity Pro-Am, held annually at Southview Country Club in West St. Paul, offer business sponsorships that include golf entries for clients and other guests. These tournaments are a great way to conduct business, have fun, and help various charities all at the same time.

When you head out for a round of business golf, don’t forget about branding. Make sure to have a supply of business cards to exchange as needed. You never know who you might run into during your round. Most Minnesota Section Professionals can also help you order custom logo golf balls that can be presented as small gifts for your playing partners.

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

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