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Golf - should you learn how to play?

Hi Warriors! Just curious as to how many of you all know how to golf and if it is an investment to learn. There is the saying that business is never discussed on the basketball court, but rather on the greenway(?) . I have never really dabbled in the sport but a majority of my colleagues play so I am wondering if it is worth it. Looking at golf lessons and equipment it looks like you are at least putting in a bag to get started.

๐Ÿค Networking
๐Ÿค˜ Personal Growth
24
MMMGood
Celebrated Contributor
+10
Senior Account Executive
I think it's "fairway" or "green" ๐Ÿ˜‹

I'm usually embarrassed to admit that I don't really know how to golf...compounded even more by the fact that my family and the Michelson family are very close friends; my dad and Phil Sr. were best men at each other's weddings.ย 

I've always wanted to get into lessons and invest the time...but summer after summer have struggled to fit it into the schedule. One of these years!
rekled
Opinionated
+2
Strategic Account Executive
what better way to learn golf than from lefty?!?!?ย 
MMMGood
Celebrated Contributor
+10
Senior Account Executive
Man...the stories his dad tells; bringing Phil Jr. as a 6yo kid to a driving range and having people watch this kid, swinging sawed off lefty clubs, driving balls out 100+ yards? Think the scene of Happy Gilmore on the driving range..."50 bucks I can hit it over the highway!"...just drawing a scene. lolย 
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
Oh yes, fairway haha!
butt
Good Citizen
Sr. Director, Business Development
Feels old school to me nowadays. When I got into sales nearly 20 years back, it seemed way more common but in the past 10 years it hasn't come up much with any prospects, clients or partners in my world.
SA
SADNES5
Politicker
+6
Business Development
Fully agree. Some strong Boomer vibes in golf.ย 
Don't get me wrong, it's fun, but not as important.ย 
MMMGood
Celebrated Contributor
+10
Senior Account Executive
This got me thinking:ย  https://bravado.co/war-room/posts/best-alternatives-to-golf-for-customer-engagement

Help a brother (and the rest of the War Room) out with some ideas!ย 

Thank you @marebears007ย for the inspiration!
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
Cool to see this is a topic as well! Looking forward to seeing what others come up with.
Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
Splendid discussion chosen and shared, thanks!
SA
SADNES5
Politicker
+6
Business Development
I didn't start until a few years ago. If you're doing business with boomers. Yes. Learn. If not, millenials prefer skiing/events like hockey games, basketball, baseball games (chairlift chats) and experiences over that.ย 
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
Love the idea of chairlift chats for sure!
SA
SADNES5
Politicker
+6
Business Development
You are easily in my prime target market... 27-49 would enjoy this more than hitting balls into the rough.
Show 1 more replies
Va
VardyParty
Good Citizen
Account Executive
I do both with customers. Sporting events are a lot more attractive of a draw in my experience, no matter the age. We have box seats for every sports team in Chicago. Would you rather go golfing in some random suburb, or go watch the Blackhawks from center ice with catered food & liquor and a free parking pass? How many potential customers can even afford to do that?

They both work like a charm, but Iโ€™m trash at golf and it never made a difference. Golfing is about letting loose on the course and having fun, having a good round is just a plus.ย 
SA
SADNES5
Politicker
+6
Business Development
100% this. Same with Box seats. I like to ask if they want to bring a friend/wife/their kids. Makes for a "bond" experience. I let the booze flow, usually spring for a limo (not a limo, limo, but a step above a cab) home too.ย 
Show 4 more replies
BillyHoyle
Tycoon
+10
Senior Account Executive
9 HDCP here. I've been in situations in my sales career where being decent has certainly helped out. I think it really depends on what space you are selling in/the demographic of your customers.

Your prolly looking at a 2.5-3K barrier to entry to get past the sucking at golf range. Drop like 1K on used clubs (ebay all day for this) and another 1.5 on lessons from a pro. Try to find a pro that can do playing sessions in additional to range sessions.
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
Great to know, also what is 9 HDCP? I googled and could only find things about high bandwith lol
BillyHoyle
Tycoon
+10
Senior Account Executive
HDCP or Handicap is basically a measure of how good somebody is at golf. It means on average I shoot 9 above par. At a 9 I'm good, not great. If you've heard someone say that they play bogey golf that means they are usually somewhere in the 16-20 handicap range. Once you start getting to a 18-20+ handicap, this is sort of the range where it could be embarrassing to golf in a professional setting.
Show 3 more replies
Money
Valued Contributor
+5
Director of Enterprise Sales
My suggestion is that you play golf because you enjoy the sport, not because of how it helps your sales career (rarely does these days).ย 

Some things to know:
- Rounds are typically 4.5-5hrs long
- You are going to be bad for a long time
- You need to spend time practicing to get better - it's going to suckย  ย  ย unless you can appreciate the little wins along the way
- Playing a round is very different than how you hit at the range

I enjoy golf because I'm outdoors, it's challenging, and it's a great hang with my buds. When I get to golf for work, it's icing on the cake.

Asking a prospect to golf requires a long time commitment and, depending on their temperament and skill level, can be a really good time or a really bad time for them. If a prospect doesn't feel confident in their play or doesn't want to spend that much time with you, they'll likely pass.
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
Wow, yeah it is for sure a time commitment. I will also have to keep in mind sucking at the beginning, always frustrating but I guess that is part of the game.
Money
Valued Contributor
+5
Director of Enterprise Sales
I'll say this, the first time you stripe a ball up the middle and exactly how you wanted to hit it, that's when the itch for the game starts to set in.
rekled
Opinionated
+2
Strategic Account Executive
this advise is straight up Money!ย 
Lambda
Politicker
+6
Sales Consultant
100% agree, such a time sink too
BigMeech
WR Officer
+11
Coors Light Advocate
I would say it never hurts, I have seen more and more meetings / events done on the course. Don't have to be a pro, if you can make it a full 18 without losing a ball you are already better than most.ย 
Lambda
Politicker
+6
Sales Consultant
yea i mean at the end of the day its a skill, do it if you like to i'd say not because you think your clients will
SammySandbags
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
Its the business mans game. Deals get made on the course. Drive for show, putt for dough
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
lol love the saying!
Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
Depends if you enjoy Golf. Way to expensive to invest in if you don't enjoy the game
TheRealPezDog
Notable Contributor
+8
Account Manager
18 HDCP here:ย  Absolutely you should play golf, it is the best sport on the planet.ย  Like sales it requires patience, discipline, and consistent execution of fundamentals.ย  I say Go for it!ย 
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
Thinking of checking out a golf shop this weekend!
saygrace
Valued Contributor
+5
Sales Executive
Overrated. Pick up cycling instead.
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
cycling is the new golf
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
Interesting, you cycle with people? How do you have a conversation?
I_Sell_To_Play_Golf
Contributor
+4
Field Account Executive
It can't hurt to at least be able to hit the ball. A lot of associations and companies still do golf tournaments and (as I posted earlier) I did find business on the golf course once
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
I was also thinking it could be a good networking skill, like you said lots of golf tournaments
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
Golf is fun but I'm not interested in learning it right now. It takes a lot of time and I only enjoy doing it with friends. It's not something I enjoy on my own.ย 
southernfriedsales
Opinionated
+8
Senior AE & Business Owner
Itโ€™s good to read and see that this has mostly moved on as a thing.ย 

Mainly because I too suck ass at golf.ย 
makeithappencaptain
Catalyst
+1
Sales and Sales Dev Manager
In my experience I've never done business on the golf course and I don't feel like I've missed out on any biz opps just because I don't play (well) but I think it's still good for networking. Especially for more senior DMs or DMs at old school companies. It also says I'm good enough at my job to afford the leisure time and money that goes into this dang hobby
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
Yeah, I was thinking it could be a great networking opportunity. Also, who doesn't like to flex the fact they are good at their jobs!
Ri
Richio
VP employee Benefits
Best sport to network and develop relationships. Can play into your 50s, 60s and beyond. Donโ€™t see many 60 year olds playing hoops.ย 
YOTPO
Fire Starter
+1
Account Executive
Golf is an incredible sport that can be addicting. I'd give it a try a couple of times and see if it's something you could see yourself enjoying before you make any large investments in lessons or clubs.ย 

If you have a driving range nearby, go hit a bucket of balls with someone who can give you some pointers!ย 

Personally, I love the sport and find it very useful in both my business and social life.ย  It's one of the few things in life that you can go play and do TERRIBLE and still enjoy yourself. Besides, at the very least, you get to drink a few beers and drive around in a cart!ย 
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
I recently found out you can drink while playing and that was very intriguing. Looking to hit up the driving range this weekend. :D
YOTPO
Fire Starter
+1
Account Executive
Heading to the course this afternoon! Cheers. Hope you enjoy it!
MidWestAE
Good Citizen
Enterprise Account Executive
Golf has become a personal hobby, that sometimes bleeds into a SaaS sales strategy. In our space, you're more likely to take a referral partner to the green to try to get them to kick you business as opposed to an actual prospect. Similarly, many partner networks host golf events or outings and those usually pull great crowds. You don't have to be great, cause well is anyone really? But I try to be good enough to not embarrass myself.ย 
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
Yes, I am hearing that it could be a great place to network, and love the idea of being able to play in tournaments. Will have to practice a whole bunch tho so I don't embarrass myself as well. :)
Kiona
Opinionated
+2
Head of Business Development
I dont golf - When asked if I golf, I say I have a really good short game, and most people understand that means I'm out.ย 

When its been important to a prospect or partner outing, I send the best golfer on our team in my place with very important guidelines on what we want to accomplish while we are out there.ย 

For team events at work, I blend drinks in the golf cart then hit balls into the unknown.ย 
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
I like the "short game" approach to opt-out, also love the sound of golf carts and drinks
AutoSmiler
Arsonist
+7
SDR
If you want to spend every weekend addicted to the game then yes. At least when you first start out, the game can get very addicting. Always a good skill to have, especially when working in this space.ย 
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
I have been itching for a new hobby, guess just gotta make the jump and invest a bit. :)
AutoSmiler
Arsonist
+7
SDR
Yeah, that's another thing, it is a bit of an investment at first, but if you spend some money on good clubs, they can last you forever. I wish you luck in your endeavor!ย 
Lambda
Politicker
+6
Sales Consultant
Personally to slow a game for me no chance in heck i reccomend it
bpark
Regional Brand Manager
I have client companies who host charity golf events. Does anyone have any experience with these, and how participation has effected your business with them? If you have attended, how important were your golf skills?
SomeSalesDude
Good Citizen
+1
Sales Engineering Manager
When I hear golf I get cringy feelings - maybe because of an obnoxious client we have that makes the whole sport "bad" for me...ย 
Devil
Partner
I went into lessons 3 summers ago. First drive, and my back was out of play for 3 weeks. I've had pre-existing lower back pain for years so I guess golf is never gonna happen for me?
WolfOfTechSales
Catalyst
+4
Manager, Sales Development
Very relevant question that I've been thinking about myself. Only been to the driving range a handful of times but def think its worth getting some serious time invested.ย ย 
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
Yeah, I am in the same boat. Think it is time to pull the trigger!ย 
dcarb
Account Manager
I've been on lots of golf outings with customers.ย  It's a great opportunity to get them out of the office for several hours and gives you lots of 1 on 1 time with them.ย  I usually learn A LOT about them.
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
Love it! I am thinking it is also a great way to network as well
countingmyinterest
Politicker
+2
Account Executive
I absolutely love to golf - definitely recommend.ย 

I've never once discussed business on the course.ย 

I'm terrible (shoot 100-110's) but the highlight is shooting a nice shot and riding that euphoria until the next round.ย 

Highly recommend learning
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
Glad to hear you love it! Yeah, I am thinking I will need to invest in some type of lessons so I can hit that nice shot
Adslanger1
Opinionated
+3
Senior Account Executive
Ever since I picked up a club I canโ€™t put it down. Started off with second hand gear and worked my way up as my love for the game grew.
Still havenโ€™t invested in lessons but thatโ€™s only because I play with buddies that are experienced and pick up tips from them but I will always recommend 18 holes and whackin balls any day.

marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
That is great to hear you enjoy it! I just bought some clubs yesterday so I am ready to start practicing. I have beginner lessons booked, was pretty cheap so hopefully, they are a good starting place. :)
Austin
Celebrated Contributor
+6
Founder - ** ***
Iโ€™m not a good golfer by any means. But, I do think it is a valuable skill to develop in sales - as, especially in this Covid-altered world we all live in, the golf course is one of the best places to get a prospect / customer to meet you.ย 

Though I wish I were a better golfer, the clay course is equally as effective in business and a lot more fun, in my opinion.ย 

A lot of people find golf frustrating when they donโ€™t practice regularly - whereas, with sporting clays, no matter how bad you do... shooting a shotgun 100x in an afternoon is about as much fun as one can have with their clothes on.ย 
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
I tried shooting a shotgun to hit those clay targets and was so bad at it. I think that is what you mean by clay courses, haha.

I am hoping with some lessons I will be able to get some skill so I can not be horrible at golf. :)
DadFather
Politicker
+5
Enterprise Account Executive
I golf with a lot of non work friends so playing with customers is just a bonus.ย 

as you said, not everyone golfs. You gotta pick and choose what works for you and your clients.ย 

But, I feel like golf is a โ€˜standardโ€™ for sales people because you automatically have 4+ hours with a prospect to build the relationship where as most other events/activities are an hour or two max.ย 
marebears007
Catalyst
+3
Sr. Account Executive
I am hoping to find some friends to play with too, it looks like a great group activity! Also, 4+ hours with a prospect, maybe some drinks could equal great success for building relationships I would think.
DadFather
Politicker
+5
Enterprise Account Executive
Yes, definitely! Good banter with friends.ย 

Easy way to get to know people/prospects especially with drinks flowing.ย 
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