Friday, January 18, 2013

Office on the Green - Why Businessmen Love Golf

Guest golf blogger Colin Knight is an avid golfer and traveller.  Having played all over the world, he now enjoys a quieter life working with Belmont Lodge in Herefordshire, England. 

Here is Colin's take on why businessmen love golf and unwritten rules which can broker business deals.


Golf has a strange audience compared with other sports like cricket, for example. Unless you're an avid golfer, then you would likely find it hard to understand what the attraction is and why so many business deals are signed and sealed on the golf course. 

Two businessmen playing racket-sports, knocking a tennis ball back and forth to each other, may seal a deal afterwards but, with golf, deals are completed and finalized during the game.

A round of golf can take approximately four hours, which we all know is much longer than would be normal if there weren’t other goings on.  The majority of a golf game is walking, planning and yes, talking. Golfers like to show their prowess on the course and for some reason, it can broker business deals.

It is almost an unwritten rule, that a good player (with a solid golf swing) will have an astute and charismatic business mind. Perhaps the rules of golf, which are so law-abiding and strict, has something to do with this idea. Golf is a game of precision and integrity. It has finesse and flair from the clothing to the game itself, and it also has an element of mutual honesty: being a great golf opponent means having to trust and be honest with your most bitter of rivals. 

The golf "fraternity" appear on many boards of global corporations. Golf requires a certain coolness and stridency under extreme pressure. To an unskilled eye, golf looks terribly boring. Hitting a ball, walking to it, hitting it again and then more walking, it must, let's face it, look a bit daft and a waste of time. 

However, to the golfer and their colleagues, it is a huge affair with many Friday afternoons spent finalizing the week on a course. Some companies offer golf membership as part of a remuneration package and it’s almost compulsory to play the game at higher levels. Interviews have been completed on golf courses, although beating the CEO of a company you are trying to impress may not be one of your finest moments. That said, you would be admired. 

Perspective clients are tempted out onto the golf course to put together a plan of action. Sales and marketing managers, who have to be connected to the world in their fast-paced jobs, may balk at the idea of being disconnected from the world for hours, but a game of golf and the bonding that seems to follow is surely a more direct way of interaction than an impersonal tweet or email.

While a group of builders may not understand golfers completing deals on the course and make fun of 'girly golfers in colored trousers’ and ‘pen-pushers should get a real job' they will never have what two opponents and friends in business have on a golf course. It truly is all hearts and flowers bonding and there are few finer ways of securing a deal than on a golf course.

Thanks again to Colin Knight from Belmont Lodge in Herefordshire, England! Learn more about Belmont Lodge on Twitter and Facebook.

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Drew Slinger said...

I've been wanting to find some great golf websites. I haven't been golfing in a long time. What would you suggest?

skycaddie golf gps said...

Golf is an incredibly popular sport enjoyed by people all over the world.

Cameron said...

I agree. The other major aspect that "biz golf" seems to do is make the person "real". When you're sitting in a conference room, face to face, there is a sense that it is a forced environment. When you're out on the golf course, you can talk freely without being confined within the business realm. People like to do business with people who are real, honest and good natured. Golf is the perfect test to discover all those attributes.

Stacy Solomon said...

I agree with you Cameron. Business does not necessarily have to be conducted in the usual fashion to be effective.

Meeting on the golf course doesn't allow for discussing spread sheets...instead it offers a look into the 'soul' of the person that you will be doing business with...and feeling comfortable with your choice.

Thirteenth Beach Golf Course said...

I totally agree with you Stacy! There's some strange intellectual connection that comes into being between golfers, and their business deals. Although I have not been an avid player, I could surely feel it at some of the greatest golf courses that I've visited. One of my favorites would be the famous Thirteenth Beach golf courses. It truly has an amazing milieu for golf lovers.

Sofia Karg said...

Actually, not all businessmen love to play golf, although the majority may do. What attracts most businessmen is the nature sport – the mental and physical game. Plus, this is the perfect place where they sometimes conduct their business.

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