Does Skill Matter ?

by Dave Bisbee on April 6, 2011

GolfTourn1One of the questions/concerns I hear from people when it comes to playing business golf is “does skill matter?” And usually what I give them is my political answer… yes and no. When talking about skill most people are asking do I need to play well or be proficient at the game to play business golf and my answer to that is no.

You don’t have to be a low handicap golfer to be effective. Sure some level of skill is desirable… there seems to be a perception that a level of mastery at one thing somehow translates to other things you do… so working on your game can’t hurt however as I said you don’t have to be a good golfer to play good business golf.

That being said I have played in my share of Pro-Am events and corporate outing scrambles and have witnessed some very embarrassing moments, too many to count, that could have been avoided or at least minimized with a little practice or a lesson.

Social Skills Are Your Most Important Golf Skill

I know a lot of very successful execs that aren’t very skilled when it comes to physically playing the game, yet are quite adept at using the game to further their business interests. They are masters of the “Game within the Game”… know their limitations… know and understand who they are playing with… and know how to manage the day on the course. Like I said you don’t have to play well you just have to manage well.

Know the essentials of golf etiquette ( the USGA is a good resource). Suspend your ego. You don’t have to finish every hole… no one wants to watch you struggle to extricate your ball from a bunker while groups stack up behind you. Keep the game moving and focus on your guests. At the end of the day they won’t remember what your score was.

Get Some Coaching

If you are serious about playing business golf I would encourage you to find a coach. Do a little research in your local area. Interview a few teaching professionals and find someone who can help you develop the basic skills you need to play, and understands that you intend to use the game for business not just recreation. Your coach should be willing to take you out on the course to show you some of the social etiquette involved like where to stand, when to play, how to fix a ball mark, rake a bunker, etc. They should also be honest with you about when you are ready to be a fully functional business golfer.

So don’t let the fact that you don’t play much, or well stop you. Get out there and tee it up!  

Dave Bisbee

Dave Bisbee has been around the golf business for 30 years and brings to Biz Golf Guru his experience as both a business owner and golf professional. Dave will serve as the anchor for the Biz Golf Guru team of contributors by offering his unique insights of business golf as seen through the eyes of someone who has managed golf courses, golf companies and as a golf teaching professional.

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