Ask any corporate big wig, and he’ll tell you that most of those mergers were sealed in a game of golf. Ask any sales-based hotshot and he’ll tell you those he struck most of those deals in the golf course. Ask any movie producer and he’ll tell you that the winning treatment was offered while he was choosing an iron.
Golf has transcended the parameters of a mere sport. Today, it has become a social and a cultural phenomenon that allows people to get together in the spirit of fun and healthy competition. Under such an atmosphere, these people develop bonds that pave the way for the biggest deals that shape the commercial world.
But what is it, exactly, about the sport of golf that makes it an extension of the boardroom most of the time? How come the golf course became a venue where business and leisure do meet? And why do golfers feel that they belong to this brotherhood which they must uphold?
Hopefully, the five reasons we will discuss below would enlighten us on these questions.
1. No other sport can foster the development of relationships as much as when people take up golf. Whether for business ties or personal friendships, the long time spent together on the golf course allows you to get to know each other better and bond like the oldest of friends. You both go at your own pace, enjoying the scenery, managing your game, rejoicing over triumphs or trying over and over again to get that hole in one.
2. Golf allows you to see a different side of the person, other than the one you see in the boardroom. In this relaxed and leisurely setting, you can observe and discover the person’s prominent qualities which may convince you to either agree or disagree to a proposed business deal. Golf has been said to be a test of character. If you find out that he cheated on the score card, would you still take the risk of getting into business with him?
3. Golf does not need a lot of brawn unlike other sports. However, it requires a great deal of patience, intelligence, focus, creativity and control. Throughout the game, you will be able to recognize how this player is able to call his shots, control his pace, survey and analyze the golf course and strategize how to turn things to his advantage. If his game is good, one deduces business is good in his hands too.
4. Golf lets you expand your business circle. It’s a gold mine of business contacts, as almost all the executives play a round of golf every once in a while. Unlike in the usual business gatherings where conversation can be shallow and time is very limited, golf brings you much closer to another person than just being a mere acquaintance or “someone you know from the business”. Not only can you win business connections, a personal friendship with them is not that unlikely. Even if the whole point of golf playing is to discuss some things about business, it is inevitable for you to talk openly about other matters, like family, personal goals or your various interests. With the relationship taken a step further, the deal can materialize with more probability.
5. A round of golf gives you ample time to lobby a business or arrange a deal without the additional tension or stress. You can manage to give some key details and you are able to fully explain these. No more fancy presentations or hard core negotiating, just a pleasant talk during a game of golf. Such a relaxed pace and a breathtaking environment certainly makes for a far more agreeable mood.