I’m playing a round of golf today in a small tournament with co-workers. This ought to be interesting because I have never played real hardcore golf before; I am more of a mini golf fan. However, the sport of golf is an integral part of business these days, so I figured it was about time that I step up and get to it.
I think it is interesting how closely golf in the workplace can be compared to drinking and partying in college. Being on the golf course with clients, potential clients, or co-workers allows for a great networking opportunity that you probably can not get anywhere else. The 3-4 solid hours that you are with someone will allow for all kinds of discussions beyond anything you would get in the workplace, over the phone, or via email. The social interaction that comes from golfing with co-workers, people you spend most of your day with, allows for you to make better connections with them as well as build great friendships.
On top of networking, it is a time to cut loose and have some fun out of the office. Golf can be a relaxing activity for some or it can be just as bad as working. It depends on how competitive you are and who you are playing with. I’m playing with a couple co-workers as well as my managers boss (in otherwords, my top boss). They are all experienced golfers, enjoy it, and like to win. I like to win but I have no experience, this will lead to a good time I hope.
All of the advantages that come with playing golf (mainly networking, social activities, and a release from the office) can be directly compared to that of drinking and partying at college. Students make some of their best friends at college parties. In classes, you may work with people in a group, but never hang out with them until you all of the sudden see them doing a keg stand in the closet at an apartment. Your network can increase exponentially at a single party and keep multiplying throughout the full school year. I even liked to talk business at parties. It is great because people are more loose due to the alcohol and willing to open up more – it really allows for more interaction and real conversation. On top of that, partying is a way to release the stress of classes, projects, and tests just like golf is a way to get away from work for a couple hours.
The difference between the two? Your head will probably hurt a little more the day after partying then after playing golf.
Hopefully I’ll be able to find out the difference between a 9 iron and a wedge before hitting the course. I guess I don’t have enough time to read a Golf for Dummies book, do I? Google can only help me for a few minutes this time. Thank god we are playing best ball, so it does not really matter how far or where I hit mine.
Here goes nothing – time to hit the range…FOUR!