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Business and Golf: Why Are They a Good Match?

by Felix Omondi


For decades, there has been a connection between golf and business. Many people imagine professionals wooing clients on the course, or business leaders getting deals done down the fairway. Is there a good match between business and golf? It turns out there really is.

Play This Game When You Want to Advance Professionally

Whether you try to pull off performance golf so you can win or you just hit the links for corporate connections, it is absolutely true that business and golf can be a great match. Consider the following statistics, courtesy of the PGA.

  • Company executives that play golf earn 17% more money than peers who stay off the fairway.
  • Among Fortune 500 CEOs, an estimated 90% of them or more play the sport of golf.
  • It’s not just a thing for men. Current or former avid golfers include Condoleezza Rice, Celine Dion, Vera Wang, Cameron Diaz, and Sandra Day O’Connor.

How Golf Can Help You With Business

The world of business can be very frustrating and challenging. So can the sport of golf. In this game, you’re not dealing with opponents directly as you do in contact sports. You’re not even exchanging something physical like you might do in tennis or badminton. Golf has many lessons that you can apply to business, as outlined by Inc.

  1. Enjoy the Stress Outlet: Dealing with business matters all the time can ratchet up your stress levels, but golf is a chance to lower the temperature. You’re outside, getting exercise, and maybe having fun (that’s never a given in golf).
  2. Form Relationships: Golfers who love the game find one another and form friendships. Common interests are always a bedrock for relationships, be they social or professional. In a digital age where automation and technology handle so many business matters, forming personal relationships has actually gotten more important than less.
  3. Seize the Opportunity to Sell Yourself: A full round of golf usually takes several hours to finish. At some point in all the conversation, you’ll have a chance to sell something to those you’re golfing with. Know when to make your pitch, and see if you can close the deal the same day with lunch or drinks after.
  4. You’ll Learn a Lot About Those Around You: In golf, you spend part of the time playing and more time watching others play. Observe them carefully, and see how they handle themselves. If they cheat in golf, they probably cheat in business, too.
  5. You’ll Learn Quite a Bit About Yourself: If you’re not sure about your own business tendencies, then you might discover them at the tee, on the fairway, or on the green. Do you find yourself taking risky shots while golfing? You might be someone who enjoys taking risks in your career, too.

Golf Lessons That Apply to Business

Forbes points out that there are many lessons from golf that can also be applied to the world of business. For starters, you need to know the course. That means you also need to know the market, niche, sector, or industry you are in professionally.

In both sports and commerce, you need a strategy. It should take you somewhere better than where you currently are, but it also needs to be realistic in aim, scope, and available resources.

Keep the long-term horizon in mind. When you tee off, you want a good shot, but remember that you’re aiming for the flag and hole. In business, a bad quarter might happen, but that doesn’t mean the whole year will stink.

The Killer Stroke

Golf and business both require many different tools and techniques, but there’s one that will always serve you well. That’s remembering what you get out of anything is what you put into it in the first place.

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