Natalie shares how to network during golf events. This article was originally published on "Experience Beedie" on September 25, 2014.
In early September, I got the chance to attend the 14th annual Camp Goodtimes Charity Golf Classic on behalf of Ryan Beedie and the Beedie Foundation. Camp Goodtimes is a summer camp hosted by the Canadian Cancer Society and is designed for children and teens with cancer and their families. The golf tournament raises money for Camp Goodtimes and was held at the Marine Drive Golf Club in Vancouver. I found it so inspirational to see top executives from all sorts of companies come together for such a worthy cause.
In preparation for the tournament, I knew I had a number of things to do in order to represent the Beedie Foundation well. This was my first full 18-hole golf game, so I took the advice from a number of people to make sure I was ready. Here are my top five tips on how to make the most of your networking golf event:
- Practice before you go – Go to the driving range before the tournament and work on your swing. You do not need to be the best golfer to make a good impression. There is no need to apologize for mistakes, be confident regardless of your skill level just like you would in a business scenario.
- Research golf etiquette – It is important to understand the rules and traditions of the sport. For example, if your group is holding up another group, it is good etiquette to let the faster group go ahead of you.
- Learn the lingo – Like any sport, golf has special jargon specific to the game. Learn some of the key terms and when to use them. It might even be in your best interest to read up on the past week’s highlights to know what is going on in the golf world. You never know when this information could come up in conversation.
- Dress the part – Be sure to know what is appropriate to wear on the course. Just as if you were going to a standard networking event it is important to respect the dress code. This can go beyond the golf course and can give people a positive first impression of you.
- Enjoy yourself – Do not forget to enjoy your day! Golf is supposed to be fun. Think of it as networking with the added bonus of a beautiful course and a fun game to accompany it.
Now that I have experienced my first networking golf game, I feel more confident for future golf tournament events. I learnt a great deal about the game of golf and how it plays a role in the business world. Some people say that the best business relationships are built on the golf course. At the end of the day, being prepared pays off both on and off the fairway.