Our company was part of a Chamber Golf Tournament this week. We don’t play golf but we had a team made up of our clients. We sponsored a tee box, set up a tent and had a register to win prize for one lucky golfer. It was an awesome opportunity to watch the dynamic of people and the interaction and comradery that this sport brings out.
I looked into the history of golf and found some interesting facts. Scotland gets most of the credit with the start of golf in 1457. However, the concept dates back to the Dutch in 1297. The U.S. traces back to 1650 to what is now present day Albany, New York. Organized Clubs were established in the 1880’s. By 1910, there were 267 Golf Clubs in the United States. The sport continued to grow and by 1932, there were over 1,100 clubs. In 1980, there were over 5,908 registered Clubs in the U.S
The Scots called it GOUF which meant “strike or cuff”. The Dutch called it KOLF. The translation was “bat or club”. Of course, there is the common misconception that G.O.L.F. was the acronym for Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden. However, it has been noted that Mary Queen of Scots played golf just days after her husband died in 1567! The oldest surviving rules for golf were written in 1744 for the Company of Gentlemen Golfers, later renamed The Hounorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.
As the popularity of the sport grew, it became a relaxing way to conduct business and an opportunity for networking. Networking is described as the exchange of information and ideas amongst people with a common profession or special interest, usually in an informal setting. Golf naturally allows for this. As business owners, networking is an important factor in growing your business.
Here are some networking ideas:
- Be excited! Afterall, networking is all about growing your business. And who doesn’t want to do that?
- Don’t always talk “work”. Find out about a person’s interest, hobbies, passions. Make a connection.
- Interesting people make meaningful connections. Make sure you are up to date on current affairs.
- We’ve all heard about the “elevator pitch”. Make networking about connections, not sales.
- At conferences or seminar, skip some of the sessions and stand in the hallway or outside of the room and just talk to people.
- Social media is a great way to network. You can re-post, tag, like other people’s posts, etc. Just be sincere.
Although, we didn’t play that day, it did make for a great afternoon of networking. It gave us an opportunity to get our company name in front of over 100 golfers, enjoy a relaxing day with great weather and scenic views! I highly recommend sponsoring a tee box near a water hazard. We learned all kinds of new words!!!