5 Reasons Why Golf Is Great for Business

Businessmen handshaking with golf course in the background
It no secret that the golf course is a popular place for business deals; according to Forbes, 90% of Fortune 500 CEOs play golf, and 80% of executives say playing golf allows them to establish new business relationships.
In fact, a whopping 43% of business executives say some of their most important deals have actually been done on the golf course.
So why do so many people conduct their business on the golf course? Here are 5 reasons why golf is great for business:

The Opportunity for Conversations Is Endless

Two men chatting on golf course
Ever heard of golf being described as a six-hour sales meeting? Even though the game might not last 6 hours, when you factor in the time spent on the course through greens, fairways and (hopefully not too many) bunkers, followed by a drink afterwards, the opportunity for conversations is endless.
Combine that with a group of business owners, executives, and other like-minded professionals, and you can begin to understand why golf is an amazing opportunity to make new connections.
“Golf provides a unique opportunity to bond with individuals for a significant amount of time. If you have lunch with someone, that might be for an hour or so. In golf, you get to know the person much better since you’re battling the course together. In an age of teleconferencing, golf may be one of the last venues where you can maintain that personal contact.”
— Bill Walsh, Professor at Syracuse

You Can Learn Important Things About Your Clients and Colleagues

Golf Cheater blowing ball into hole
Golf has the ability to show your opponent’s true colours, providing an abundance of opportunities for your opponent to demonstrate either wonderful or dubious behaviour. A missed shot or an unfavourable bounce or roll can give golfers the temptation to sulk, act out, or even cheat.
Although a round of golf won’t always directly transfer into business behaviours, observing someone play a round of golf can reveal a lot about the person that you’re playing with.
Take clients and associates out and observe their behaviour. If they cheat at golf, then there’s always that chance that they might cheat in business. If you notice them lobbing their clubs and stomping around after a bad shot on the golf course, then they may be prone to outbursts in a corporate environment too.
On the other hand, if they can keep their emotions in check and count every stroke, they’ll likely be able to deal with adverse situations and be honest and upfront at work.

Informal Environment for Meeting Clients/Potential Clients

Two men talking on a golf course
When you’re meeting with a prospective client, a company executive, or an employee, golf is a great way to get rid of those nervous jitters (that you may experience in an office or boardroom). It puts you in a relaxing environment and helps minimise any anxiety you may be experiencing.
The natural beauty of a golf course generates a relaxing and pleasant atmosphere. It’s just you, your golf group, and the great outdoors, so you can focus on your game and forming great relationships without being distracted. Successful business relationships flourish in an environment where individuals feel at ease.

It Helps You to De-stress

Woman meditating on the golf course
Life can be stressful. Business can be especially stressful at times.
There are various methods to relieve stress; one of the most effective is to play golf as it can be a great tool to help you leave your worries and problems back at the office.
Strolling around a golf course, at one with nature, with plenty of fresh air is a calming experience to say the least – it will help you to de-stress, unwind, and lower your blood pressure too.
Trying to do business in a stuffy office where you can hear the phone ringing and know your next appointment is waiting in the corridor is much more stressful than enjoying a round of golf with your potential client. Due to the informal nature of golf, you will be able to retain a clear head, helping you build your relationship with the client while also improving your game!

Physical Activity

Two men walking across golf course next to sand bunkers holding their clubs
Everyone in business is hesitant to accept that they live a sedentary lifestyle. Working eight hours a day, plus overtime, and still wanting to remain physically active is difficult.
The office is a fast-paced environment that drains individuals mentally and physically. Therefore, it’s quite understandable if someone wants to sit, eat, or sleep once they finally get home. Golf can help you change that without it feeling like yet another job on your to-do list.
A typical golf course might require you to walk between five and seven kilometres each round. If you walk 18 holes three to five times a week, you’ll get an excellent amount of endurance training for your heart. If you pull or carry your clubs, you’ll burn even more calories and help build your endurance even more.

But is walking enough for your heath? According to the Walking Heart Foundation, ‘walking for an average of 30 minutes or more a day can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke by 35% percent and Type 2 diabetes by 40%’.

Although golf doesn’t include intense physical activity or continuous bursts of speed, swinging a golf club activates numerous muscles in your body.
This can help you strengthen your muscles while burning additional calories; physical activity of any kind can also benefit your mental health and can help you perform better at work.

How can I get involved?

Four GBT Event Golfers Standing for a picture
If you’re struggling to get started in the world of golf for business, maybe think about joining a golfing league that’s specifically aimed at business owners and like-minded individuals, like GBT Events. Our 2022 tour is just getting started, so now is a great time to join!
Once we realised the potential that a game of golf could bring to your business connections, creating the ability to establish strong relationships outside the confines of the office and in a more social atmosphere, we had to create GBT Events.
GBT Events is more than just a simple golf tour; it’s also a networking group for business owners and professionals. You get to participate in a sport you love while also meeting like-minded business professionals.
Check out this year’s tour calendar, or take a look at our 2022 tour announcement for an introduction to our events.