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How to Play Golf and Make Money

"Try these great golfing tips your next time out."

Although most of us don't get the chance to win a million dollars by playing in the final group on Sunday, we can still play golf and make lots of money. Unlike most other sports, golf is the game of business. Men and women across the globe, play the game as both recreation, and as a way of doing business. From pro tours to recreational golfers worldwide, golf is truly an international sport. As a business golf speaker, consultant, and author, I teach business professionals how they can utilize golf to strengthen their business relationships and increase sales.

I discovered the power of business golf while I was a practicing attorney in San Francisco specializing in commercial real estate transactions. Whether talking with clients, or at a networking event, I always felt the rapport level deepened when the conversation turned to golf. Golfers always seem to enjoy talking about the game, whether it's their own, or the great shot they saw on television by a tour pro. Here are six tips on how you can play golf and make money. For those of you who play already, choose one or two and make them a part of your business golf game.

If you don't play yet, I hope they'll inspire you to take up the game. Golf & Money-Making Tip #1: Schedule Your Golf! If you don't play golf often, or don't know how to play at all, you're less likely to obtain the benefits of playing business golf. It's like the lottery. If you don't buy a ticket, you'll never win the jackpot! One obstacle for many people is that they believe they don't have time to play. If time is an issue for you, then make it a goal, schedule time in your organizer or PDA for a reasonable number of rounds of golf or practice sessions you want to have per month.

Perhaps you want to play a business golf round once a month (when weather permits) and spend 30-45 minutes per week at a driving range. If you fine-tune your swing during the winter, you'll be ready for golf in the spring. One way to fit golf into your schedule: put a few irons, your 3-wood, and putter in the trunk of your car. The next time you're stuck in traffic or have time in between appointments, stop at a local golf course or driving range, and have a practice session. It beats sitting in traffic and getting road rage.

If you don't play golf yet, winter is the best time to learn how to play. Why? Golf professionals at your local golf course usually have more time for you. During the peak summer days, the professional is in high demand, with lessons scheduled back-to-back, and will be less inclined or unable to spend extra time with you. Ask some golfing friends for referrals to a local golf professional at a covered or indoor driving range. If you take lessons now, you'll be ready to hit the course when everyone else is ready to play.

It's also a good time to read about golf, so you can become familiar with the language, etiquette, and rules of the game. For an easy-to-read primer on the game, check out my book, On Course for Business (Wiley). Whether you're a beginner or an experienced golfer, you'll find a nugget or two of information that will help you make your business golf rounds more profitable. Golf and Money-Making Tip #2: Maximize Your Links on the Links The beauty of a golf round with clients and prospects is it's five hours of soft selling who you are, your company, and what you know. Each golfer spends only a total of a few minutes actually hitting the ball.

The rest of the time is spent talking and getting to know one another's background, personality, and character in a relaxed atmosphere. Unlike tennis where you're across the net from one another, golf allows you to be with your playing partners. Golf also provides better relationship-building opportunities because you're not hitting a shot for your playing partner to miss. If you're playing business golf properly, you should be thrilled when your client hits a good shot and plays well. Play more golf with clients, prospects, and referral sources to build and deepen your business relationships.

Golf & Money-Making Tip #3: Golf Never Lies When talking to sales teams about playing business golf, I emphasize the importance of playing with proper etiquette and adherence to the rules of golf. As noted in Tip #2, you're with your client and prospect for about five hours. During that time you and your playing partners have a chance to watch each other in action. They might notice whether you step on a player's putting line, talk while someone is hitting, or inadvertently cheat in some way. Playing a round of golf should solidify your business relationships.

When speaking to groups, I ask participants how they feel when they play with someone who plays with poor etiquette or cheats during a round of golf. Most of them agree that it's a turn-off to have to play under those circumstances, and they do so only to maintain the business. Other business golfers, such as financial consultants, who are concerned with a client's integrity and reasonableness of expectations, have said they won't do business with that person if they don't enjoy their round of golf. And, if they cheat, they'll find another client that they can trust. To make a positive impression about who you are and the company you work for, play your business golf rounds with proper etiquette and know the basic rules of golf.

You don't want to sabotage your business relationships when you're trying to solidify them. Golf & Money-Making Tip #4: Don't Bet with Your Playing Partners I played a round of golf with three business associates/friends where a small bet for a round of drinks on the back nine turned ugly. One player's fierce competitiveness came out and you could feel the tension on every tee and green. It was a shock to my friend and me as we felt the change in personality over a simple bet for drinks. If you're playing golf for business with clients or prospects, don't suggest a bet.

It creates a win-lose feeling, which isn't what you want during a business golf round. If your playing partner suggests a wager, and you can't get out of making one, then make it a small wager like drinks or lunch, rather than hard cash. Regardless of the wager, make sure you're comfortable losing, and assume you've lost the bet. That way your competitiveness won't come out during the round and sabotage your relationship-building goal of the round. Remember your business golf rounds are a time to deepen your relationships—it's not a time to try to play your best round of golf to beat your playing partners.

Golf & Money-Making Tip #5: Play Golf as a Single A client told me that she started to sign up for golf tournaments as a single. She was excited because her technique worked—she got a new client worth about $1 million dollars! As a single player, she entered a golf tournament, which was sponsored by her trade association in the credit card industry. She was teamed with three others, and fortuitously shared a cart with a business owner. While playing together, she learned about his business and his business needs. As the tournament activities were winding down, she mentioned that she thought her company had some solutions for him and asked if she could call to talk about it.

After a couple of meetings, she sold him on her services and her company, and they had a deal—all thanks to a round of golf. Keep in your golf bag a business card holder with a few crisp cards. You never know whom you might meet on the golf course. Golf & Money-Making Tip #6: Become a Golf Mentor If you're an experienced golfer, you might remember when you first started to learn the game. Did you feel intimidated by it all—the language, the etiquette, the customs, and the like? I can recall my feelings of uncertainty when I first played on a golf course.

I didn't know what the different colored tees meant and which set I was supposed to hit from? How far could I hit the ball? What did all of the numbers on the scorecard mean? Fortunately, I had some friends who helped me along the way. They made my first round of golf an enjoyable learning experience and told me not to worry about my score. If you have a colleague, a client, a referral source, or someone you think could benefit from learning how to play golf, volunteer to be his or her golf mentor. You can start with the basics such as helping him find a golf instructor for swing lessons. You can offer her some tips on the language, the rules of the game, and how to play with proper etiquette.

You might also want to have a practice session at a driving range, so both of you can work on your swings and putting game. You'll solidify your working relationship, and likely learn something new about the game. And, to thank you for your time and energy, the person you've helped play this great game will likely thank you with more referrals or business. See You at the First Tee I hope you've enjoyed these tips on how you can play golf and make lots of money. Golf truly provides a unique opportunity to build your business while you get some fresh air and exercise.

I hope to see you at the first tee, or at least to keep in touch with BizGolf E-Tips, my bi-weekly business golf tips. If you have any thoughts about these tips (hate 'em, love 'em or have a tip to share), please send me an email at I welcome any opportunity to chat about golf and business! Or, to learn more about the business golf services that I provide, visit


Related Pages

Perfect Posture - Understand how your posture affects your swing mechanics - Quick tips for improving your swing by improving your posture - Focus on knees, back, and shoulders.

Perfect Posture Part 2 - The correct posture for holding a golf club - The quick posture setup to use during your round - How to adjust your posture for different clubs.

One Piece Takeaway - The one piece takeaway movement - How to do your backswing in one continuous motion for peak impact force - Concept of retaining natural movement in your golf swing.

One Piece Takeaway Part 2 - The one-piece takeaway movement - Improve your posture and improve your swing - Practice exercises for developing the right golf swing posture.

Alignment Tips - The Most Important Lesson in Golf - How to properly square up before you address the ball - Tips on proper alignment of your swing.

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