Business Golf for Women

By Deb Vangellow –

Here in Houston area, there are a plethora of year-round business golf opportunities.  Every Monday, for example, there are countless charity events at public and private facilities all over town.  Men greatly outnumber women at these events, and it is time for this to change.  Think about entering the wonderful world of golf ladies; you will be glad you did!

Many of us experience fear and intimidation as we begin our journey into the game of golf.  All of us who play have been there and done that as we began to learn all there is to learn about the game and the development of the skills required to play the game.  Isn’t this the same for any new hobby or endeavor we want to tackle?  It’s important to be realistic and patient when learning golf.  Most important?  Let’s rid ourselves of the number of untruths that are out there about playing golf, especially the biggest one of all – that everyone who plays this game does so at a high level.  Not true!  With this being said, there are a few things to evaluate so that there will be a positive level of comfort when playing in business golf environments:

• Can you hit the ball about 100 yards off of the tee?

• Can you hit a shot about 75 yards on the fairway?

• Can you hit out of a bunker?

• Can you strategize to reach a  green when you are within  50 yards of the flagstick?

• Can you three putt most greens?

• Do you have some golf etiquette and golf rules knowledge?

If you answered these questions with positive responses, do think about joining in on all of the fun now.  If you aren’t quite there, allow a Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) trained professional to help you with your skill development and knowledge base about playing.  You will enjoy the experience of learning, and the transition into playing will be easier and more satisfying.

In a world of impersonal business communication filled with text messages, voice mail and e-mail, the development of personal relationships has become more valuable than ever.  Understanding the benefits golf can provide in business can give you a competitive edge, as a round of golf offers an opportunity to build a personal relationship with business clients or colleagues by spending four to five hours in a relaxed setting with people who otherwise can be difficult to reach.

Golf and business have become inseparable for many executives, and many professionals believe playing golf is a good way to make new business contacts.  Many also believe that the way a person plays golf is very similar to how he/she conducts business affairs:

• The practices in golf usually parallel those in business.

• Golf gives you time to get to  know a person’s true character.

• Golf is an ethical game, like business.

• Golf and business demonstrate  the same level of competitiveness.

Golf is a game that combines physical skill with mental stamina.  To succeed in this sport, you will want to develop confidence in your playing ability and your place on the golf course.  Doing this isn’t any different than applying the discipline needed to succeed in business; however, this game is steeped in tradition.  The social skills you exhibit can be just as important as the physical skills you develop.

You do not need to be a “great golfer” to combine business and pleasure on the golf course.  Be a “great person” to golf with, and you, along with your fellow corporate golfers, will enjoy playing this great game we all love so much. And if you need some tips on being a “great person” to golf with, I’ll focus on “Life on the Green” in our next issue.