It’s corporate golf season! And for those in office cubicles throughout the land, it elicits two responses.
“Oh, yeah!!!” from those who are golfers.
And, “Oh, $#%*!!” from those who are not.
No matter what industry you call home, whether it’s the conference room within a corporation or a trucking company warehouse, you realize there are those in the office who live for golf outings and tournaments — and the rest of the non-golfing world who wouldn’t know a baby shot from a yearly vaccination for his kid.
So what to do when the company participates in a fundraising tournament or the annual employee outing? There’s a good deal of business made on golf courses and you don’t want to be left out. Here are some tips to get you up to speed:
- If you want to be taken seriously, you need to take some golf lessons. Walking up to the tee box in front of your boss is stressful enough. Don’t compound it by making it the very first drive of your life. Take some lessons from a local pro or at least head to a driving range to practice your swing. There are also plenty of information sites for beginners on the Internet and YouTube videos can help introduce you to the basics, like the one below:
The great thing about golf is that everyone is always trying to improve their game. So don’t feel as though you’re a latecomer to the learning curve.
- Brush up on golf etiquette. This is a key area that beginners often overlook. There’s a reason sports announcers whisper when broadcasting a golf tournament. It’s considered rude to speak loudly when someone is addressing their ball for a tee shot. And put a leash on your tendency to blow your top if things don’t work out the way you’d like. Some golfers have been known to wrap their clubs around a tree or throw them into the pond, but believe me, this would not look good to any employer. Just say to yourself, “There’s always another shot…” Everyone has good days and bad days. The trick is to handle your bad shots with style and grace. That is what usually makes a good impression with your boss. Learn more about etiquette here.
- Dress the part. Even if you duff it from beginning to end, you can at least look like a pro. Call ahead to the golf course you’ll be playing and ask about the dress code. Many courses require a sleeved, collared shirt and no jeans. Proper golf shoes are also often required and metal-spiked shoes are not allowed. Make sure your clothing is pressed and not in shabby condition. You’ll at least look like you’ve been around the links for ages!
- Wait until your boss brings up business. Sometimes it’s tempting to ask about the latest deal your company is working on or a new development with a product; but it’s good to wait for your boss to introduce business talk. Your boss is getting to know you better in another environment, so avoid talk that is too casual but take your cue from the topics he chooses to talk about. If you’re a beginner, you can also let him know that you’re open to golfing tips, if he’s an avid golfer. Those who love the game also love to introduce it to others. So there’s plenty of opportunity to learn both on and off the course.
- Finally, enjoy it! This may seem difficult if you’re not accustomed to the game, but really — golf is popular because it is fun. It’s fun to get outdoors in the sunshine, to view the magnificent scenery, and to challenge oneself to improve upon the last game. It brings out the best in most people and instills discipline and perseverance. All good things to have in an employee!
With a little preparation, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself, learn new things, and connect with your boss on a level that was previously unknown.
So the next time you get an email announcing an employee golf outing, you’ll finally be able to say, “Oh, yeah!!” with the rest of golfers in the office.