As golf season kicks off with the US Masters tournament this Thursday, April 5, you may want to think about dusting off your clubs. In just about any industry where interpersonal connections matter, golf is the great equalizer when it comes to networking. Here are a few fun facts:
54% of business professionals see golf as the perfect networking tool
An estimated 90% of Fortune 500 CEO’s play golf
Executives who play golf earn 17% more than those who don’t
If you play a full round or even just nine holes, you are guaranteed at least a couple of hours with those playing. Don’t immediately dive into discussing business matters though, because you don’t want to make your colleague feel like they are trapped. The idea behind a round of golf is to get out of the office, and get to know the person you’re interested in doing business with on a personal level. Let the conversation flow naturally, and take advantage of the great opportunity to establish commonalities and trust in a more serene setting.
If you aren’t a great golfer, no worries. The golf course is an extension of any business setting in the sense that how you carry yourself is most important. If you are an amazing golfer, don’t brag or make it known that you’re aware of it. If you’re a terrible golfer, that’s okay too, but don’t feel the need to apologize or be embarrassed. The qualities that people value in a business setting also apply to the golf course: confidence, composure, self-assuredness, etc., regardless of your scorecard tally. Head to the course and start boosting your business network! What’s your go-to spot in the Pittsburgh area? Leave a comment below!