Golf courses provide the modern gentleman with endless opportunities for networking, deal-making, and relationship-building. However, proper golf course etiquette must be followed to ensure an enjoyable and productive round for all. In this guide, we’ll explore how today’s gentleman can leverage golf for business while maintaining decorum and respect for the game.
Arrive at the course on time and ready to play. Nothing sours a promising business relationship faster than keeping your playing partners waiting at the first tee. Have your clubs cleaned, your attire neatly pressed, and all necessities for the round packed.
Don’t assume your playing partners know each other. Take a moment before teeing off for introductions all around. Include all players in conversation throughout the round, not just those personalities you seek to court. The caddies, cart attendants and other staff are also important acquaintances to make.
Today’s gentleman dresses the part when golfing. A polo or button-down shirt paired with golf shorts or pants in breathable technical fabric is suitable for most courses. Notes of style like a matching belt and golf cap polish the look. Shoes should have soft spikes for traction without damaging greens. Dress pants or shorts are acceptable at some exclusive clubs if paired with proper golf shirts and footwear. Avoid jeans, gym clothes and anything disheveled or worn.
Most courses allow golf carts, though cart availability and policies can vary. Graciously accept whatever mode of transport the club mandates for your round. Carts should never enter greens, tee boxes or hazards. Keep your cart on paths as much as possible, avoiding wet areas that can get damaged. Scuffing or denting the course’s cart fleet will ensure you don’t get invited back!
Different size wheel and tire combos on golf carts can impact steering and handling. Test yours out carefully before darting off at top speed!
A good guest never slows down the game or complains about the course conditions. Keep up with the group ahead and be ready to hit when it’s your turn. Limit practice swings and pre-shot routines that hold up play. Remain upbeat and avoid emotional outbursts, win or lose. Compliment your playing partners’ good shots and don’t harp on your own bad ones. Making excuses or blaming external factors reflects poorly on you.
Ideally, substantive business conversations wait until the back nine or the 19th hole. Use the front nine for light banter to get acquainted. By the back nine, relationships are more relaxed and fluid deal-making can occur. Of course, let your playing partners guide the agenda based on their preferences and comfort level.
Above all, make your guests feel important and cared for. Golf courses are your turf – take pride in delivering an exceptional experience. Follow up within a day or two, continuing conversations and expressing your hope to see them again soon. With the right hospitality, golfing newlyweds today plant seeds yielding lucrative business partnerships for years to come.
Many deals are sealed at the “19th hole” after rounds conclude. Join your group for post-round cocktails or a meal if invited. Be gracious, pick up the tab for guests when appropriate, continue conversations and make plans to meet again. Send thank you notes restating your enjoyment of the round and hopes to do more business in the future.
Cultivating authentic relationships through golf is still pivotal for today’s gentlemen. With respect, patience and class, golf courses become venues to form lucrative bonds that span booming careers. We must represent the modern gentleman well through etiquette, decorum and camaraderie – the timeless codes of a gentleman still ring true today.