Ask the Top 100: Help! I have a tee time with a client and I can’t play golf

June 10, 2009

Dear Top 100 Teacher,I have been invited to play in a foursome with a client of mine who is a great golfer (and one of my biggest accounts!) I am not a golfer — a fact that I disclosed — but my presence has been requested anyway. How can I prepare for this outing in two weeks?Jim T., via emailDear Jim,Golf is a unique sport in that players of varying skills can play the same course while enjoying each other's company. So you should embrace this as an opportunity to spend a few hours with one of your best clients in a casual setting. He or she invited you, so feel good about your relationship with your client — and don’t sweat your mis-hits. All great players have played with beginners before, so it’s unlikely that you can do anything on the course that your client hasn't seen before. If you’re looking for a quick fix, find an experienced teacher in your area who can provide a couple of hours of instruction. Explain to the instructor that you just need a few basic concepts that you can remember on the day — and that you’re not trying to learn the game in two weeks! If you have time, invest in a playing lesson. This will help you to understand basic etiquette, where to stand, order of play, etc. Most players really don't care if your technique is rough around the edges as long as you don't walk on their putting lines, stand in their sight lines on the tee or talk during their swings. Also, be sure to keep up with the pace of play. "Miss it quick" is what you will hear from many good players, meaning don't over analyze your shot. And when you’re really struggling, cut your losses and pick up. You are going to hit bad shots, it's the nature of the game.  Have fun, enjoy the good shots you hit during the round and forget the bad ones!Good luck,JonTop 100 Teacher Jon Tattersall teaches at Golf Performance Partners in Atlanta, Ga.