Does Everyone Still Play Golf?Back to Forum
Anonymous13 Jun 2011
Golf used to be the standard “networking” sport; it still is in many cultures, especially Japan and the USA.
Personally, I am very much of the view that it’s a good walk interrrupted, and although ladies have been known to play it’s not hugely inclusive for those who have never ventured on to a course before.
I was speaking to my relationship manager last week as the bank had offered her a free membership to one of the better Scottish courses for client entertaining, but she really had no use for it and most of her clients would, like me, much rather have dangled something less fuddy-duddy to tempt them to spend an afternoon discussing their finances.
These days it’s all about driving experience courses, Goodyear ballon rides or tickets to something decent during the summer season.
I notice BT has a section on Golf underneath the masthead (can’t say I’ve ever clicked on it). Although I am actually a member of a Golf club I can’t say I’ve ever ventured beyond the 19th hole; it is however quite a reaosnable investment so I think I’ll stick with it.
Do any of those using the forum use Golf as a networking tool, is interest on the up, or is it something restricted to a bygone era?13 Jun 2011
That reminds me my teenage era when my parents were determined that Golf was an interesting “game” and forced me to learn.
It was very boring for me to go every Saturday/Sunday to the Golf course for training. Every friend of mine was going during the weekends for football/basketball or tennis and I had to go for golf.
So, I never learned even the basic rules.13 Jun 2011
During my tenure in the IT Industry in Sweden (ended in 2008) it was very common for us to use golf outings as a common ground for customer events.
I know my ex-Company co-workers in the UK and US did use golf events frequently as well. So yes, I think it is still common.13 Jun 2011
I share the same view as you VK, it spoils a good walk. I am ever grateful that I have never worked in any company or industry where golf is seen as the must play game or your job is on the line.
We do have a few golf clubs around here which lay on some good non-member functions.13 Jun 2011
I believe most decent golf clubs will throw you out if you try and use the membership to “network”.
What Golf offers, besides the competitive spirit, is the opportunity to meet people on equal terms and spend 3 – 5 hours walking around the great outside.
It is inevitable that friendships occur and opportunities happen, both on a personal and a business front.
I have never tried to network on the golf course, but I have over the years met some very interesting people and as a result opportunities have come my way professionally and personally. I have never played a round of golf with the sole intention of “networking” or tried to position a game because I would like to be introduced to someone.
More recently, I have started to caddy for my 14 year son. Now there’s someone who doesn’t yet know the full meaning of “networking” but he has so far managed to position himself for summer jobs, help with work experience days from school and managed to get a date with the club pros daughter.
Golf is also now a recognised subject as part of a GCSE course at school. I do have a bit of an issue when my son has to do 18 holes for homework. However, I would far prefer to caddy for him than watch him machine gun an enemy on Call of Duty (COD – a PS3 game)
Business is obviously discussed on the golf course; where else can someone get peace and quiet with no mobiles and have a decent conversation with a potential or active client. That to me is not networking, its socialising and entertaining. The opoortunities that have occured, came when I least expected them.
Best place for networking are clubs like BNI.14 Jun 2011
Martyn – Don’t knock the advantages of playing video games especially Call of Duty!!!
Computer games teach players problem solving, motivation, and cognitive skills. Most games inspire players to strive and reach more difficult levels presenting challenges at each stage. Induce decision making and tech players to think on their feet, improve hand-eye co-ordination, to enhance creativity and inculcate a taste for graphics, design and technology.
Many games improve language and math skills as players have to move at a great speed along with the heroes of the game. Help gain self confidence and many games are based on history, city building and governance. Now with the use of online gaming, can create teams and communicate by both voice and messenger to people across the world.
Of course all of this has to all be taken in moderation. 😉
Back to Golf –
Unfortunately I haven’t played for some time and most of the people I do know these days don’t play.
My father does play but only when he gets invited out on corporate invites from other companies. He can get invited anywhere across the UK Ireland, Portugal and Spain. All of which paid for including transport. However over the last four years this has fallen quite considerably and replaced by corporate entertaining to both Rugby or Football games and city style lunches/dinners.
Perhaps BT or the forum posters can organise a golf day for those of use that do/use to play? I for one would certainly be up for it.14 Jun 2011
robsmith100 – agree with you on the benefits of video games, especially your last comment “in moderation”.
Not sure if you have seen how Call of Duty can effect the younger generation, especially after prolonged gaming. Shooting, stabbing killing, choosing which gun to fire, appalling language and depraved graphics, suitable for any 18+ movie, may in your world
“teach players problem solving, motivation, and cognitive skills”
….but not in my world.
The game of golf provides a more rounded and suitable learning curve, espcially in terms of manners, temperament and politeness.
Society wonders where the violent influences are created. I was appalled at the depraved nature of COD and there are far worse games out there.
I also agree with your suggestion about an annual BT golf competition.14 Jun 2011
VK, maybe you should give it a try. I was in the same camp as you (and P Sepsas – my parents foisted golf lessons on me as teenager and I hated it, and gave up as soon as the lessons were used up) until my wife took it up earlier this year. Now I am hooked…
Now I just have to hope my golfing friends forget all the times I quoted (or, more accurately, misquoted) Churchill (“Golf is an ineffectual attempt to direct an uncontrollable sphere into an inaccessible hole with instruments ill-adapted to the purpose”) and others. For more entertaining quotations – http://www.sports-quotes.com/golf/playing_golf.html15 Jun 2011
Nice topic VK , As far as corporate golf goes, although I travel in excess of 120 business flights per year I recently joined De Vere as a corporate member, (I also have membership of a local club) taking four of their £295 packages, for any golfers out there this is a really great deal and gives you access to any De Vere course within the UK, this includes The Carrick on Loch Lomond, Slaley Hall in Northumberland and Carden Park to name three fantastic courses within their UK network
Only last Friday afternoon I enjoyed a fantastic round together with our UK Sales Director and two major customers from a National Retailer, Golf in the corporate world is very much still alive, I usually get invited to about two/three events per month during the summer season, turning most down due to my travel.
As far as the networking goes, you try calling any major chairman or senior director for a six hour business meeting, apart from thinking you have gone insane you know what the answer would be, then try inviting them out to Wentworth or the likes for a days golf, you would be surprised how quickly time is all of a sudden free again to enjoy the fresh air of the corporate golf world.
PS. Mark Twain stated that Golf is a good walk spoilt!16 Jun 2011
I suppose it very much depends on the business type and geography. Although UK based I am yet to play golf in Europe with a client, there seems to be huge reluctance to leave the office for any significant period of time. The attitude towards business golf in the US is entirely different, I can call clients in their office in the morning and be playing golf that afternoon. 5 hours with a client or potential client is priceless and I see golf As a significant marketing tool. In addition, many of our clients run charity golf outings to which we are invited. These events have resulted in significant networking opportunities.16 Jun 2011
my 14 year old spent the summer honing his golf skills being coached at the Orange County course by a wonderful PGA player originally from Southend. Given the choice of all the attractions of Disney, he played a minimum of 2 rounds of golf every day bar the 5 in NY.
He is hoping to go to golf school in the US after A levels and ultimately shoot the dream of the European / or US curcuit. Compeition is horrendous, but as a parent I will support his ambition 100% as long as he has a second choice, as a back up.
He has met some wonderful people on the courses he plays and has has had own business cards printed which gives his name, my cell phone and job title as Aiming for an Open + 1 Green jacket by 25.17 Sep 2011
I’ve done a bit of corporate gold over the years (playing off 11)
However, i notice that there is a recent phenonmon of CYCLING becoming the new ‘Golf’.
In the last 2 years, I’ve been on 2 serious cycling corporate entertainment events. Usually involves a few days in the French Apls with support vehicles and hotels/food/beverage.
Rgds P4 Nov 2012