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Golfing for gold

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Many American business colleges offer courses in golf. Although this may seem to some people like a waste of resources, knowing how to play golf is an essential skill for students who aspire to be movers, shakers, and deal makers in the business world.

The average non-golfer’s experience with golf probably goes only as far as following the tremendous achievements of professional golfer Tiger Woods. {{more}}

Woods has single-handedly re-energized the sport of golf and introduced a new generation of diverse players to the game.

But golfing is not just about fun and games. For decades, business people have used the sport to build businesses, broker major deals, and entertain valued clients. Someone with no golf experience may think the game is too slow and long. For those very reasons golf is the ideal backdrop for deal-making.

The length of the game is about four to five hours and the pace of the game allows time for people to really get to know each other. Even the best networking event cannot boast these advantages. At other types of social events people probably have only a few minutes to talk with someone they want to get to know before their attention is drawn elsewhere.

Golf does not require you to be a super athlete. There is no stressful running, jumping, or diving for balls, as is often the case in cricket, basketball, tennis, squash, or volleyball. Golf offers the opportunity to walk at your own pace.

The competition is not between players; each player competes against his own best potential. The object is to improve your technique and your score. The game will also reveal your personality, how you respond under pressure, and what you do in the face of a challenge.

The game highlights your problem-solving ability since you are not able to solicit advice from your partners or anyone else on the course except your caddy. This kind of information about people is a gold mine in business.

Golf etiquette dictates that business should never be discussed during the game. But after the game, players often retreat to the clubhouse; that’s where business deals are made.

Playing golf offers a good opportunity to really get to know a person. People prefer to do business with people they like.

Strong relationships allow you to expand your network, grow your business, and broker profitable deals.

Women should not shy away from the sport; it is no longer a men-only game.

The same advantages male players have enjoyed for decades are now available to women.

Take a few golf lessons, learn the etiquette of the game, invite a few friends or potential clients, and begin to golf for gold.

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