Guest post by Kalliope Barlis
Author of Play Golf Better Faster: The Classic Guide to Optimizing Your Performance and Building Your Best Fast
There are several reasons golf is the most often played sport by 90 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs. The following benefits associated with the game are the most valuable to people in busi-ness:
The Golf Course as a Meeting Room
Many executives wisely leave the office to discuss important business deals and choose the golf course as their meeting ground. During a round of golf, all players are enjoying themselves. When someone is looking to buy a product, he or she has plenty of places and people to buy it from. So who will make the sale? The underlying truth behind all sales is feelings—specifically, good feelings. When someone feels good around you, that person is more likely to buy what you are offering. During a round of golf, you have plenty of time between shots to build rapport and create a lasting connection for future business deals while you close the deal on the course.
Golf Reveals the Content of a Person’s Character
A golf player reveals much about his or her character while playing the game. Golf is the most challenging game because it starts from a moment of stillness that triggers into a sophisticated movement. It causes people to behave in ways that tells us much about how they respond to the world around them. A golfer who remains steady through good shots and bad shots often indicates how he or she behaves in business. Successful golfers play methodically and with precision, showing that they are able to deal with anything that comes their way.
Utilize Strategy and Plan for the Future
Golf requires strategy. When a golfer views an aerial perspective of a hole—from tee to green (on the GPS system or yardage book)—it is easier to plan a strategy for where to land the ball to have an easier shot to the hole. Although this does necessitate motor skills, it is the creativity of someone’s mind that enables them to avoid hazards and land the ball in the target. This requires future planning, which when applied to business, illustrates the ability to avoid hazards and do what’s best for a business to achieve their target goals.
Golfers Reveal Their Honesty
Greg Norman removed himself from a tournament because he had two different brands of golf balls in his bag. No one may have ever noticed. But he did. Subsequently, he self-imposed his own disqualification. He played by the rules when no one was looking. A golfer reveals much about his honesty while scoring and playing, which mirrors his or her honesty in a work envi-ronment. Often, golfers are more trusted in business because the game requires honesty.
Golfers Are Equal to Each Other
Golf allows people with different skill levels to play together on an equitable level as a result of the USGA handicapping system. This means that a CEO with a high handicap can play with a business affiliate with a low handicap. Some players with a low handicap may throw off their game and allow a person they are playing with to win just to seal a deal. This will likely backfire, as their dishonesty (see above) will surely be obvious. The handicapping systems was created so that all levels of golfers may enjoy fair competition and win fairly. Fair competition regardless of who wins the game is paramount in business.
Golf Is Happiness
Moe Norman—the most consistent ball striker of all time—said, “Golf is happiness.” And indeed it is! When you play golf with ease and with the goal of playing your best game, the level of en-joyment is increased for all the players. When people are happy, they make good business de-cisions. Play your best and become a catalyst for those decisions.
You have the opportunity to reveal who you are in business while playing golf by: 1) Treating your client as your equal, 2) Approaching life with integrity and honesty, 3) Having a strategy that makes the most of your present moments to optimize your future, 4) Dealing with challeng-es, strategically and avoiding hazards to progress and achieve your goals. In this way, you cre-ate a foundation for long-lasting business alliances with golf as the link that connects you to your next finished deal.