We highly recommend playing more golf as a great business tool. Here’s why we think it’s such a good way to boost your business skills!
Looking for a way to get out of the office and spend more time swinging your clubs on the golf course? Stop racking your brains to find a great excuse, because there’s abundant evidence that golf is an excellent business tool.
The key to gaining business insight on the golf course is to play mindfully. Putting thought into each shot and carefully considering which club to use at which time is the first step towards starting to use your golfing experience to bolster your business brain.
Here are a few of the reasons we highly recommend getting out on the golf course on a regular basis… For your physical, mental, and business health!
Deals Are Made On the Golf Course
Everyone knows this! Not every business person wants to sit in a boardroom or office to discuss deals. And you shouldn’t want to either! Would you rather be stuck in a seat, wearing a suit and tie, surrounded by others who are equally as bored as you… Or walking around a beautiful golf course, enjoying your day, and casually discussing business?
The golf course is neutral ground. Nobody has to meet the other in unfamiliar territory, and nobody feels overly empowered because they’re on their own business turf. When you’re playing a round, it’s just two people against the golf course, which makes it the ideal spot for talking about business in a light, casual way.
The key is to go hard on the golf and light on the business. Play to the best of your ability (but remember to stay ethical and honest!), and sprinkle business lightly throughout the game. Better yet, wait for the client to bring up the deal before getting into a discussion.
It Encourages Strategic Thinking
To be a good golfer, you need to employ strategic thinking throughout your round. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with just playing a mindless hit-and-slap round every now and then, but if you want to improve your game, strategic thinking is key.
Thinking strategically is key to doing effective business. And like muscles, strategic thinking needs to be trained, cultivated and worked on often in order to improve. You can bolster your critical thinking skills by reading, doing courses, getting a mentor, and so on.
But golf is an enjoyable way to boost your strategic thinking skills while having some fun and getting your fill of the outdoors at the same time. And if you’re not actively closing deals with prospects on the golf course, it could still be an excellent place to spend time with a mentor as well.
Golf Teaches You to Be Adaptable
You can go into every round of golf with the same strategy, but if you want to play a great round every time, you can’t play every round the same way. Adaptability is crucial if you want to get better at golf, and the same is true for business.
Every round of golf is different. Even if you play on the same golf course every time, the weather, the time of day, and the changing golf course conditions make every round different.
In the same way, no business deal is the same. You can be dealing with the same person, the same product, or the same structure deal… You can go into every deal or meeting with the same idea… But if you can’t adapt to changing environments, you’ll come up short.
It Gets You Away From The Screen/Office
Being stuck in a stuffy office with your face turned towards a screen all day can be exhausting, both mentally and physically. Getting out on the golf course is healthy in so many ways and allows you to rejuvenate and gather yourself together again so you’re fresh for the next time you get into the office.
There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that spending time in nature is beneficial, both physically and mentally. Sunlight and fresh air are also excellent for the immune system. When you’re physically healthy and strong, you’re sharper mentally, which means you’re already at a business advantage.
Golf Encourages Smart Risk-Taking
Just about every golf course has at least one or two risk/reward holes. These holes offer up two choices for you to play—one, the “easier route”, which will cost you 2 or 3 shots but has less chance of losing your ball; and two, the “risky route”, which could save you a shot if you get it right… But it is just difficult enough for there to be a higher chance of losing your ball and dropping a shot.
Good golfers play it safe. But great golfers take the risk… In a calculated manner. There are lots of strategies involved in risk/reward shots. Deciding what club to use, how to play against the wind, and other similar factors require careful thought… But also quick thought.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to take every risk shot. You need to assess the weather, the course conditions, and your game at the time, and put it all together into the action that seems most logical at the time.
It’s easy to see how this extends to business too. The risk/reward is often present in business situations. Cultivating that smart, quick-thinking skill and being able to execute those actions on the go is essential both on the golf course and in the office or boardroom.
The evidence is clear! Using golf as a great business tool is an enjoyable and educational way of boosting your professional mindset and changing the way you think about business.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that you need to be thinking business every time you’re on the golf course. Despite the business lessons you can learn from the sport, it’s also just an amazing way of getting out of the house, being surrounded by nature, getting some low-impact exercise, and having fun.
And if you don’t already play golf, now might be the time to start learning! The beauty is that these business lessons can be relevant for golfers and business people of all levels, so it’s never a bad sport to learn (for both business and enjoyable purposes).