The Five DON’Ts for Networking On the Golf Course

If you’re like me, you probably have a “love/hate” relationship with the game of golf.  There are some days  that you play incredible.  You almost think to yourself, hmmm, maybe I should go pro.  And then, there are other days where you play so bad that you just want to take each club out and break them one by one.

In addition to loving the game, I got into golf for the networking benefits.  Where else can you get on the course for four to six hours and be with three other people in a relaxed (sometimes) environment?

Playing golf is a great way to build relationships and strengthen connections.  But, since you are with people for so many hours, it can also work against you.  Here are my suggestions on building relationships and potential business on the course:

1) Don’t get frustrated – If you make a bad shot, let it go. Having a tantrum on every bad shot shows your foursome that you have very little patience.  When people are doing business with others, they need to be patient and understanding.

2) Don’t brag – If you had a great shot, just smile and tell yourself that was a good shot.  Don’t brag to everyone in the foursome and say, “Hey did you see that? Wasn’t that amazing?”  Everyone is watching their own game.  If someone compliments you, graciously accept.  On the flip side, it’s always nice to compliment your golf mates.

3) Don’t talk about yourself – Listen to your golf partners.  If you are all about yourself, how are you going to work with others?

4) Don’t cheat – Sometimes we miss a stroke and forget to include, but try to count your strokes and be true to yourself and your golf partners.  (I once golfed with a banker who kept cheating.  Do you really think I would use his services in the future?)

5) Don’t joke around – Some joking and laughing is great on the golf course, but try to take the game seriously.  It will show your golf mates that you are a serious businessperson.

Even though golf is just a game, people take it very seriously and they judge your behavior on how you act on the course.  Remember, try to relax but don’t let your guard down!