Golf – it’s a sport we’ve all tried a time or two, but very few of us know the rules beyond yelling “fore” and the amount of confidence that can come from a golf cart beer. While it seems like a low key sport, golf offers high rewards like the opportunities to network, connect and laugh off a bad putt. Since golf is slow paced, you really get the time to know your crew and establish a conversation beyond the weather and the number of birdies and bogies. Golf offers serious benefits, and if you play the game right, your hole in one will be the rewards your career reaps.
Here are five ways golf can help drive your career:
Nothing feels worse than when your colleague gets the invite to join your boss for 18 holes with a key client – especially if your colleague’s role isn’t client facing at all (and yours is). What have they got that you don’t? They know how to golf, and they’re pretty good at it too. The reality? Experienced golfers aren’t super jazzed about spending four hours with someone who is just hoping like hell to connect with the ball. So, bringing you instead of your skilled colleague, isn’t exactly a “treat” for the client. Should you be annoyed that you got snubbed? Yes. But if you’re still stewing in your office chair instead of coming up with a plan for how you’re going to learn the game, you’re missing the point. While you don’t need to be a pro to get the nod to join, it is on you to bring your golf skills and knowledge to a level that makes the round enjoyable for everyone.
2. Mingle with senior management.
Many companies plan summer golf tournaments to host key clients and increase collisionable-hours between employees from various departments and levels of seniority. As internal networking is a huge part of climbing the corporate ladder, golf is a common way you can get significant face time with the leader overseeing a project you want to be on, or the even just building rapport with your boss. Tip: next time you’re asked “Are you a good golfer?” Reply with “better than the average girl” and watch what happens. You’ll be surprised, with a little confidence, you might just find yourself golfing with the CEO.
3. Land your next deal.
Chances are you don’t have many friends that are golf pros, but don’t be fooled. With the warm sun, cold beer and the chance to spend an afternoon away from the office, golf will quickly become your favourite summer hideaway. So, when an invite to a corporate golf tournament comes you better say yes quicker than Ariana Grande did to Pete Davidson. Just like internal networking, golf gives you the chance to do a little external networking as well. Whether you get paired up or meet at the post-round reception, you never know who you might meet and what kind of deal you can land.
4. Show ‘em what you’re made of.
Golf is very challenging activity and one that takes great patience – like waiting for Bey and Jay’s new album kind of patience. Anyone that has taken time to learn the sport will attest that you have good rounds and bad rounds and sometimes a mix of emotions all within one. There are bogies and birdies, rain and sun, but amidst your frustration, you have an opportunity to demonstrate poise and tact – both strong leadership qualities that are kept in mind come bonus season or review time.
5. Stand out.
A perk of being a professional working female in a male-dominated activity is that you stand out! This is the perfect opportunity to show off your great personality, quick wit, and sharp tact. It’s these qualities that demonstrate how you can handle stress and keep calm, amidst a storm of challenges – sand and trees included. If you can go out on the course and do one final thing, keep your cool. Highlighting these attributes could be just what you need to prove you’ve got the intangible skills that it takes to not only climb the ladder but the lead the path.
So, next time the word golf hits your inbox, instead of shrinking with fear or intimidation view it as an opportunity to flex your career muscles and prove you got what it takes to carve the path to the c-suite.
This article was brought to you by Golf and Tacos, a community bringing together women that want to learn or improve their golf game in an environment that compares to "drunk girls in the bathroom" levels of friendliness.
Learn more about what Golf and Tacos are up to and how to up your golfing game this summer in Calgary here.