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How to Use Golf to Network When You’re a Beginner

A group of business people giving a thumbs up
Want to know a networking secret that can help take your career to the next level? You don’t have to be proficient at golf in order to use the semi-casual setting and location to host memorable meet and greets, take clients to dinner, set up a group lesson, or practice with other professionals. Discover more about how golf is the perfect networking venue for people of all skill levels.

Relaxed Setting for Candid Conversations
Would you like to know how to make a fantastic first impression on your boss or colleagues? Ditch the suit and tie and head over to the golf course or digital gaming community where you can enjoy a more casual setting far away from office politics. This is the perfect environment to get to know your peers or speak with your gurus without feeling nervous or intimidated.

Try organizing a meet and greet event on the golf course or head to the practice range to either trade tips for golf lessons or hire a golf professional to teach the whole group. Talk about your perfect icebreakers! A little golf instruction can go a long way in creating memorable impressions.

Although you might feel a bit of self-doubt as a beginner when tackling a round of nine holes, the practice range and putting green are actually designed for those who are working on honing their golf skills. Therefore, these areas are just as fun and engaging for the novice player as they are for those looking to try a new set of clubs or work on correcting their slice. Of course, you can also consider going to an indoor simulator or a Top Golf, which provides casual golf challenges as well as a food and drink service.

Engaging Activities Take the Pressure Off
Think playing golf as a beginner will be isolating, embarrassing, or boring when teamed up with experienced golfers from work? Why not play a game like who can make the longest putt, get the putt closest to the hole, or get the ball in the hole in the least number of shots? Ask your guest to play a scramble format which is a fun team game with no pressure. You can make teams of two or all four of you can be a team. This is where everyone hits a shot and your team chooses the ball that is in the best position to play from next and everyone brings their ball to this spot. No pressure and all fun! The possibilities are endless and the fun is contagious, no matter the skill level. Then, work in your career questions, company goals, or casual business pitch while everyone is having a great time.

When you are ready to play your own golf ball throughout the round consider this game to level the playing field. Players of all skill levels can enjoy a game of “Bingo, Bango, Bongo”. A Bingo is the first player to reach the green, the player with the closest ball to the pin after everyone reaches the green gets a Bango, and the player who gets their ball in the hole first receives a Bongo. Every Bingo, Bango, or Bongo counts as three points. Who’s ready to play?

Opportunity to Show Willingness to Learn Something New
Another excellent way to impress the boss or your industry gurus is to allow them the opportunity to witness you taking on a new skill. While you may feel like you are a natural at golf, your attitude and tenacity will speak volumes about your professionalism and ability to work until the job is done well. Sometimes, a trip to the golf course is exactly the visual needed to show your employers you have what it takes in terms of personality and drive to be the right candidate for advancement.

Better yet, suggest an affordable and interactive virtual golf mindset class. These classes are fun, engaging, and enable everyone in the group, regardless of skill level, to lower their score and build self-confidence both on and off the golf course. Talk about your perfect ice breaker! As a bonus, these classes will help you easily segway into applying what you have learned to business strategies and building relationships with co-workers.

Food Makes Everyone More Comfortable
Where there is golf, you can bet there will be delicious food. After all, everyone is happier with a full stomach and most golf courses, as well as indoor golf simulator community venues, are known for offering popular cuisine the whole office crowd can appreciate. Plus, your group can split up by skill level to play golf and meet back at the pub, clubhouse, or seating area to catch up on who played their best round yet and who would like a rematch before diving into more business-centered topics and presentations.

How to Plan a Golfing Event for Networking
Your first step is to talk with a person who is experienced in running corporate events. I have run golf outings for many years for amateur groups, fortune 500 corporations, charities, and club members. The day can include a theme, golf clinics with LPGA and PGA Professionals, formats that are individuals or to be played as a team, keynote speakers, gifts, and prizes. Your event can also be hosted at a golf course or indoor space with or without a simulator. I’ve even taught golf lunch and learns.

There is much to consider an experienced event manager will support you in creating an awesome and engaging event for all. If you’re interested in organizing an event contact me via my website or by calling (201) 321-6732.

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