We have met up with Putting Pirate to discuss his thoughts on doing business on the golf course and here is what we’ve learned:
The game’s roller-coaster is really revealing and I’ve learned more from this game about myself and my emotions—it’s a love/hate relationship!
I joined Knightsbridge Golf School in London in an effort to improve the game and build some relationships with the guys there.
This made it possible for me to get better at playing, but far more pertinently, to actually help me in my business. I did not realise just how many business owners and business people are playing golf. I was also amazed at how much business the golf course was doing.
You really want to ensure you’re not just going to talk about business. You’ll have at least certainly four hours of lunch or dinner together. Focus on and take a sincere interest in your fellow players. The business is coming, don’t worry.
Don’t play slow. Let them know if you’re new to golf and buy some cheap balls. Nothing worse than simply waiting for a bad player looking for a ball or taking 10 warm-up swings. Being a bad golfer is okay; being a slow golfer is not.
On top of not being slow – do not be late. Nothing is worse than waiting to tee off. Get there early and get warmed up before you play. If you’re late it’s a near guarantee you won’t be invited again.
A game of golf is very revealing. You can learn a lot about someone on the course. You’re probably going to cheat in business if you cheat in golf. Ask those around you if you have a rule question. Make sure all your strokes are counted. If you take a drop or a stroke, your playing partner may test you. You can never go wrong playing honestly and being honest. It’s not about your score, it’s about your relationship.
Replace your divots, fix the pitch marks and take care of the course. Do not walk in the line of someones putt, and ASK if you have a question. 99% of players are looking forward to helping new golfers and growing the game. What they don’t like is someone without consideration for others or the game. Some people are taking this very seriously, so take the time to learn and always ask about the etiquette if you’re not sure.
Many people are asking if you should or shouldn’t be gambling. This is your choice, but it’s also a part of golf especially in the US. A friendly Nassau game where you bet money on the front, back and the overall score could be a good game to add to the fun. Even if you’re not a very accomplished golfer, just get some strokes and enjoy it. Remember – handicap is there as an equaliser! You can even win a few quid.
Golf is a wonderful game. Go out, have fun, and when you can, hit them straight. You may find that most people aren’t very good, so don’t be intimidated. Get out there, do your best and always remember if you don’t know anything – ask.