Why Business and Golf Pair Well

Cranwell Resort Spa and Golf ClubWhat do business and golf have in common? Aside from the classic relationship-building activity (Shall we discuss that project over or after a game of golf?)—more than you think.

Inc. magazine reports how intertwined business and golf are and that, “…as financial markets have rebounded, people are again beginning to spend valuable time with customers and colleagues on the golf course. It couldn’t come at a better time with the proliferation of technology as our primary means of communication.”

  1. Golfing and conducting business require finesse to be effective. Strength and might matter less than approach and grip. Effective business practices in many fields often require subtle nuance more than sheer determination and speed.
  2. Golf terminology is essential to smooth game play. Ditto business. Golfing requires a grasp of words (fore!) unique to the sport. Working on the road requires a fluent understanding of your industry and organization’s nomenclature as well as travel smarts for a smooth trip. What are your chances of hitting a hole in one or eagle this year vs. falling into a sand trap or increasing your handicap? (Metaphor and reality for business travelers who golf.) How well can you use assets and resources to boost ROI this year? Answers to both questions depend on your skills.
  3. Golf (business, also) has unique codes of conduct that, if followed, renders you competent on the golf course (even if your par-3-hole drive off the tee falls short of the green far too often, at least you know when to move along so the quad behind yours doesn’t rue the day you picked up a golf club or when to quit talking when your pal tees off). Every business also has unspoken and documented rules—based on the industry, culture and management.
  4. Après-golf time is ripe for talking smack or analyzing game day. Business has happy hour at nearby bars or restaurants where colleagues tease mercilessly (visualize your favorite British or US episode of The Office) or rehash the work day.
  5. Golf must be played on designated areas—courses. Businesses—well, aside from work-remotely-in-your-pajamas-if-you-want workplaces—have specific work sites. Business travel designated areas? Airport lounges, hotel rooms, taxicabs.
  6. Golf is a game. Business can be a game. To win a round of golf, your skill, equipment, experience, luck and unpredictable weather must line up. To win in business (impress your client, land a killer job, win a legal case, bring in a lucrative contract, create more innovative patents than a competitor or drive record profits to earn early retirement) your skill, education, experience, luck—and even the breezy whims of your customer or boss—must align.
  7. Stellar caddies are gems worth rewarding. Glorious business travel companions (from apps that calculate trip expenses to hoteliers who remember your name to colleagues on the road) make life easier and are gems worth loyalty.

Golf is a classic business and leisure activity. According to Inc. magazine, “We live in a hyper-connected society… devoting less time to the in-person interactions we use to actually build relationships. That’s why golf, a four-hour (or more) adventure through greens, fairways, bunkers, and other hazards, remains one of the greatest ways to build and maintain solid business relationships.”

Couldn’t agree more. Find 13 golf courses where business travelers can stay and play. And speaking of loyal travel companions akin to caddies, these 13 golf course resorts are part of Stash Hotel Rewards, with a growing set of boutique, independently owned hotels across the U.S. that reward guests (including road-weary business travelers) with points to apply toward free stays.

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