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Ask the Expert - Use Golf to Enhance Your Business Relationships

By: Ted Miller, HMCC, CHME, CHSP, CGTP, CGMP | Mar 5, 2019

Golf 2019Golf is one of the few sports activities that can be used to enhance a business friendship as it gives you dedicated time with one or more people. Golf is also an activity that allows someone who is not a consistent player to participate with you or a group and be able to contribute to the game.

The date for the MPI-CAC Annual Golf Classic is Monday, May 20, at The Grove Country Club in Long Grove and it is time to invite your preferred partner(s) and prepare for the event. This is not just an opportunity for a supplier to engage with a planner or decision maker, but also for a planner to arrange a group of suppliers to help them create a relationship for a new or upcoming opportunity. The idea of business golf is based on spending from 2-4 hours together in a confined setting. It allows you to get to know someone on a personal level which will help each of you work together toward a common goal.

Business golf can take place at a local course or at a resort as part of a site inspection. If you are going to make it part of a site inspection, it is always best to elevate this experience by adding the course’s professional golfer as part of the group. Any player will tell you that on-course lessons are the best way to improve and better understand the game and how to approach a variety of shot situations.

One thing to understand is that you do not need to be a “scratch” player to invite someone for a round of golf. Also be aware that not everyone wants or has time for 18 holes. You can play either a 9-hole course or an 18-hole course that has offers a 9-hole option. If you give someone the opportunity to hit some balls at the range before you play and do 9 holes you can be finished in just more than 2 hours.

A tip for the avid supplier golfer while you might prefer a very early tee time for your usual game, your guest may not want to play so early. Be prepared to play mid-morning or in the afternoon and choose a course close to the home of the one you invite.

Some people are quite interested in having someone help them with their game while others feel it is more of an insult if you critique their game. Always ask if someone wants help or for you to observe their swing while you play. No matter how badly your partner plays that day never feel you must insert yourself as the teacher. Doing so can ruin a business friendship very quickly.

Finally once you have finished the “19th Hole” (better known as the bar) is always an option, but is not required. My suggestion here is if your partner wants to have a parting beverage be respectful based on what you order. If your partner has an iced tea or a soda that is your cue to do the same.



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