Golf Course Networking Tips for Beginner Golfers
Golf and networking are a staple of the corporate social calendar every summer in New England. Bosses extend invites to their employees who golf, their best clients and their potential clients, for a day of links. And you may have heard the expression, "More business gets done on the golf course than in a boardroom." While this statement is ultimately debatable, the truth is that golf and networking have an incredible synergy.
So, what makes golf such a powerful networking tool?
Well for one, it brings people together. Anyone and everyone can play golf together and enjoy the benefits of the game. Thus, you have the opportunity to meet just about anyone out on the course.
And if you can believe it, golf for networking is really about experiencing something together; fostering positive friendships by changing up the setting and doing/talking about something other than business.
The #1 Golf Networking Tip
Well the truth is that this tip might surprise you because there is such a synergy between golf and business.
But the number one networking trick I've learned out on the course is: don't talk about work out on the course!
...Unless a client, potential client, or boss, swings the conversation that way.
Because, golf networking is a break from the office. Instead it's about sunshine, laughs, socializing and drinks.
Instead, try to keep the conversation light and get curious about the people you're with. Where do they normally like to play a round of golf? Did they grow up playing? How long have they been with X company? Are they from the area or do they live in the area?
Get to know the people you're with.
Look for opportunities to laugh with others.
How does Golf Business Networking Typically Play Out?
If you've never been to a charity tournament or played with people from work the prospect can be a little unnerving.
But there's good news: this isn’t the Women's PGA Championship and you aren't expected to pit your skills against "the opposition".
...Because, there isn't an "opposition".
The reality is that you only win in golf networking if you get to know the people you're with and exchange information with them at the end of your time together.
Remember, this a chance to get some get-to-you talking time with those client, potential clients, decision-makers or associates who are important to your career.
So, here's what you can expect from golf business networking:
Arrive at the course, get signed up/signed in, grab a cart and/or go back to your car to load up your golf bags and the essential you'll need.
Do a brief round of introductions before getting ready to tee-off. Getting ready to tee off includes: bathroom runs, and grabbing drinks/snacks for guests. (and preparing yourself for your first round of business networking.)
Play a round! Put more emphasis on those around you and less on being declared the next LPGA Superstar/Queen of the Golf. (But don't slouch either! :)
Stay around for the 19th hole. And after, exchange business cards.
The next day or so, send friend requests on LinkedIn (with a note! :)
Then, continue to connect and build those friendships off the course, by following up for coffee, drinks or another round at another course!
If you're completely new to golf, you should access my free golf resource library! It has the checklist + pro-tips you'll need to fit right in with the regulars out on the golf course!
Recap on Golf Course Networking:
Golf brings people together which is why it's such a powerful networking tool.
Golf networking is really about experiencing something together.
Don't talk about work out on the course, unless a client or potential client swings the conversation that way.
Put emphasis on getting to know the people you're with and follow up with them a few days after your round to continue building a relationship.
I hope this helps! But if you're headed out on the course soon and have questions, feel welcome to comment below.
PS. Feel welcome to join the FairwayTee community! A group of fun-loving, positive, female golfers!