Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Tip #1: On the course, keep business talk to a minimum. The main focus of business golf is to get to know people better, build relationships. It’s not really to do business on the golf course. The best time to do business is after the round, in the bar. Go get a few drinks, light snacks, and you can talk business there.When you do discuss business on the course, don’t do it on the first hole. And once you start talking shop, keep the business conversation to short little snippets because you don’t want to delay the game. Make small points and continue conversation at the next tee or on the green. This technique gives people a chance to think about what you’ve said.Tip #2: Keep up the pace. Nobody likes a slow player, so keep your pre-shot routine between 15 and 25 seconds and try to take only one practice swing per shot. If your ball goes in the bushes, don’t take the whole five minutes allowed to search for it. Just throw one out and keep playing. If it’s the client’s ball, go ahead and look for it longer.Tip #3: Don’t get angry. People are going to miss shots; it's how you handle the misses that matters. It will reflect poorly on you if you’re getting angry or screaming profanities.Tip #4: Don’t cheat. If you cheat on the course, you probably cheat in business.Tip #5: Putt for dough. Finally, if you’re playing in a scramble tournament and you’re not a very good golfer, you can still contribute to the team’s success by making a few clutch putts. So practice your putting before the tournament begins and maybe you'll make a few when it counts. You may also want to take a lesson before a business outing, and at least make sure you know the basic rules and etiquette so you don’t accidentally offend anyone. If you can get the ball down the fairway and keep up with the people you’re playing with, you are going to be more confident and successful.Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Keith Lyford is director of
instruction at the Golf Academy at Old Greenwood in Truckee, Calif. You
can read more about Keith at

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