Build your business from the golf course

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Build your business from the golf course

Sport is widely hailed as something that can bring people of all demographics together. From an early age, kids are encouraged to engage in sport, as it helps them develop their communication skills, learn to work with others and forge strong relationships.

These attributes are vitally important in later life, and maybe that's why many company leaders see sport as a great way to boost their business and build their professional networks. 

Of course, not all sports are suitable for this purpose. After all, there's little meaningful interaction to be had if you're boxing, swimming or running a marathon. By contrast, we're all familiar with the stereotypical image of businesspeople doing deals on the golf course.

So why exactly is this the perfect activity for company bosses that want to move their business forward?

You don't have to be an expert

Golf is unique in that it has a handicap system, which enables people of different ability levels to compete against each other. That's a fantastic leveller if you're out with experienced golfers and you're new to the game.

Whereas there is no hiding place if you are up against an experienced tennis player or a talented footballer, golf is one of the few sports that allows people of all ages, fitness levels and abilities to play together. 

Lots of time to talk

Sports like rugby and football are pretty full-on from the first moment and there's no time to stop and have a nice chat. But in golf, only a small portion of the game actually involves taking a shot. 

You've therefore got lots of time to chat with your fellow competitors and learn about what makes them tick. Those conversations between each hole on the course could be very enlightening and throw up a number of potential business opportunities for you.

The fact you're chatting while engaging in an activity means there's never a risk of the conversation drying up, and you've always got a conversation starter if you see them away from the golf course.

Prove your character

Golf offers countless opportunities to demonstrate personality traits that might impress colleagues, customers and clients. For instance, it's often a test of nerve and you will do better if you are able to stay calm under pressure and not get rattled when the heat is on.

Golfers must also be able to demonstrate strategic thinking - again something that can be an asset in the business environment.

Finally, golf is a fascinating sport as it throws up lots of opportunities to cheat in order to get ahead. But if you're doing that with people you work with or want to work with, cheating can backfire spectacularly. 

After all, if you are rumbled, that's what people will remember about you and they won't back away from letting others know that you aren't to be trusted.

Impeccable honesty, however, yields its own rewards, not necessarily in your golf score, but certainly away from the course when you are dealing with business stakeholders.

It's good for you

Many workers are almost chained to their desks day after day and therefore live very sedentary lifestyles. But sitting for too long has been associated with lots of health conditions, from cancer and diabetes to high blood pressure and obesity.

That means there's definitely a strong argument for getting out of the office environment and doing some outdoor exercise. The extended time you spend walking in the fresh air can work wonders for not only your body, but also your mind.

Indeed, a bit of outdoor exercise has been proven to reduce depression, stress and anxiety, as it triggers the release of endorphins that help you lift your mood. 

Taking to the golf course also gives you an opportunity to take time out of your daily routine and either switch off from pressing concerns or think about them in a different light.

The physical benefits that come with outdoor exercise could also lead to an improvement in your self-esteem and confidence, as you'll be fitter and be enjoying the rewards that come with a new and satisfying pastime.

Get away from technology

While technology has undoubtedly transformed business for the better, there's an argument to say that it can also contribute to a more impersonal working environment. 

Indeed, people are often much quicker to communicate via email, Google Hangouts or Slack than physically talk to each other, even when they're sat in the same room.

Heading out to the golf course gives everyone an opportunity to switch off their phones and leave their gadgets behind, so they can actually communicate with each other in person and look in the whites of each other's eyes.

That in turn forges much stronger connections that could make future interactions in the workplace much more courteous and cordial, as others will be more inclined to remember that you're an actual human being, not just a name on a screen.


Golf gives you a chance to show your best side in a way that's not often possible in the office, at an industry conference or at a networking event.

You can display your focus, tenacity, discipline and strategic thinking all in a completely non-threatening environment, where it's up to you how competitive you want to be.

Through this, you can build some genuinely meaningful personal and professional connections, as well as improve your physical and mental stamina, so you're ready and able to put 100 per cent into your business.