Is Golf Good For Your Career?
By mustang6560 on 12/2/11
Is golf good for your career? Some are starting to say no.
But the worst thing about golf is the notion that you can’t be successful in business unless you play it. Rubbish. I think that myth was created by people who like to play golf and would like to keep playing--on company time. I get the premise--meeting a client out of the office provides an opportunity to connect on a personal level, find common ground, be a host, and connect in a more relaxed setting.

But times are changing. Fewer people are playing golf (which means fewer clients are playing golf), and companies are cutting back on club memberships and other golf-related perks. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal reports that “The business of building new courses in North America is almost completely dead.” Don’t confuse your career path for the cart path.
Well, the author of the article is right about one thing, the golf industry in the U.S. is struggling. The number of rounds played in a calendar year is down and the number of golf course closings is up. However, I would dispute his fundamental claim - golf is still a very valuable professional skill set, but it varies from industry to industry.

If you work in an industry in which the "relationship" with your client is numero uno (e.g. banking, insurance, etc), then golf can be a very real skill set. Will golf help you land a job as a statistician? Probably not. Will golf help you land a job as a personal banker? I think so. What it really boils down to is what do you want to do in life. The true movers and shakers of the world will continue to make business deals on the golf course as long as golf courses continue to exist and if you want to be one of the decision makers of world, then you should continue to work at this great game. Otherwise, sure, golf could be considered a waste of time...

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photo by buddawiggi

H/T Press Tent

[ comments ]
Banker85 says:
It has helped my career. Bringing out a potential or current client allows you to be humilated at least once each per 18 holes and gives a sense of what the person is like outside the office. I have never "closed" a deal on the links but I have started some.
GolfSmith7 says:
As a minister I've lead people to Christ on the golf course!
tennesseeboy says:
I think golf can be a big help in almost any career. I'm a software developer geek and you might think it wouldn't help my career but it has. I have played golf with and gotten to know high level executives in at companies I have worked for that probably wouldn't know my name without golf. It never hurts for people to know your name. I am probably better friends with my bosses boss than my boss is because we play golf together. I also play regularly with the VP of a local company that has hired several of my coworkers. I'm not looking to change jobs at the moment, but if I ever loose my job I know who'll be the first person I call.
trikai says:
As a self-employed business development consultant I have the flexibility to play often during "regular" working hours. Surprisingly I meet a lot of people and potential clients on the golf course. I have even started doing some marketing and sales development for some people in the golf industry. So I do think there is still business to be done on the course.

Ironic enough, the sport I came from and most of my background in - Endurance Sports (Triathlon, Cycling and Running) is now the sport where the most C-Level executives are involved in.

What it comes down to is the lifestyle and the social aspect outside the sport. Endurance sports are lifestyle sport and although you could call golf a lifestyle sport - I believe the "country club" feel is starting to hurt.
falcon50driver says:
When I hire a new co pilot, he has to be a golfer, so that we have something in common to do on our layovers.
DougE says:
I own a yachting/marine services/restoration company. I WISH I could do more---or even some---business on the golf course. Unfortunately, most sailboat owners or large powerboat owners are so wrapped up in their boating lifestyle, that they have no time to take golf seriously....or even casually. (But, if there are any out there reading this who do play golf, let's play!)
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