How to network during a Golf Outing
Guest Blogger: Rajesh Mohindra, MSF '13
Hey, I just got an invitation from the alumni association for a golfing event.
Golf! Isn’t that what retired people play? Where you get to hit a ball around unending acres of grass. No way. Not for me. Into the trash this goes.
Maybe not. Think about it. Golf is the most common sport played in the business world. Even if you are totally uninterested in golf you could be missing out on a great networking opportunity. And, let’s face it, networking is one of the most important things you could do to help your career. After all, what matters is not only what you know but also who you know.
So, how do you network during a golfing event? Here are a few suggestions that might be helpful:
1) Remember the Boy Scout motto: ‘Be prepared’. Always good advice. Have your business cards with you. Follow-up, as always, is very important. So make sure to follow up with an email. Or connect on LinkedIn.
2) It is actually a good idea to get into a foursome with people you don’t know. Golfing 18 holes will provide you a great opportunity to get to know them informally. Follow the golden rule of networking: ‘Don’t dive off into business talk straight away.’ Start off with a few innocuous topics. As the game progresses, share information about yourself and your work and invite the others to do the same. Better still, keep your conversation light and try to get to know your partners. Remember, networking is ultimately about cultivating friendships.
3) Here is a secret. The truth is most business golfers are terrible (at golf that is). After all they are business professionals first. So don’t worry about not being a scratch golfer. And really, do you care about your score? The point is to have a carefree networking event in a relaxed setting. But read on (and remember the next point too).
4) Do not get annoyed, break your clubs, and hit your partner on the head (even if you know he deserves it), cheat, or shout. People are still judging you by your behavior. Remember, this is still a professional setting. Show respect for other golfers and the course by repairing divots on the course and ball marks on the greens. Stand away from fellow players and out of their sight lines when they are taking a shot. Respect your partners by playing your shot quickly.
5) Do we really have to say it? Take it easy on the alcohol. Remember, when it is hot and you are drinking, it is surprisingly easy to get drunk fast. Make sure to stay in control.
6) And now the most important rule: HAVE FUN. It’s a beautiful day and you are out on a gorgeous course. What is the worst that could happen? You could fail to break 100. Enjoy.
Join the Walsh College Alumni Association for the WCAA Golf Outing to put these tips a try. Learn more at walshcollge.edu/wcaagolf Share your golfing tips below.