First Time on the Green: A Basic Guide

“Golf strong, go long.” Adding golf to your arsenal of networking skills not only strengthens your ability to climb the corporate ladder, but it also opens up a new playing field for prospecting with potential clients. The relaxed environment makes for a perfect space to bond with other people, and get to know their personality and sportsmanship style, making it good competitive fun. According to Forbes, article Golfers Make Better Business Executives, 90% of Fortune 500 Company CEOs play golf, and 80% of all executives say, “Golf has the power to establish new relationships.”

Between the preppy polos, to the lingo, golf is certainly a world of its own, and one that many, especially minorities (myself included), may not be accustomed to. From the moment you step on the manicured course, first impression is key. The first step would be to look into the dress code ahead of time, as many clubs and courses may have rules like collars only enforced. A simple website check should suffice.

Sporty versatility is key, so items with stretch, pockets, and ones that allow your arms to stretch are crucial to the perfect golf fit. Avoiding items like yoga pants, tank tops, denim, and clothing with no pockets or breathability will help go a long way on the course. A classic polo and pleated skirt for ladies or polo with tailored trouser shorts for men are great go-to’s when hitting the green. Check out the below guide, for more golf attire best practices.

Now that you know what to wear, let’s get to the game! It only takes one golf club to get started, which you can affordably and easily find on Amazon or Ebay and add on to the collection as you increase your game. Setting short term, achievable goals and adding to them little by little is a sure way to increase your skill set at a comfortable pace to set you up for success. For example, working on a good grip is an essential start to serve as the base for a good swing. Many experienced golfers don’t know all the rules of the game-so you don’t need to know all of the rules either! Focus on having fun, bonding with the other golfers, and take the sport on with the lighthearted spirit of any good sportsman.

Knowing a little bit about the scoring may also help put you at ease when beginning your foiree into golf. An overall 9 or 18 hole score is the total number of times you hit the ball in a round of golf. Another name for hits is “strokes”. A separate score for each hole is tracked on a scorecard and at the end of the round, it is the aggregate of all these holes that makes up your total or final round score.

On each hole, you can score the following below:

  1. Par: the expected number of strokes that a professional or scratch golfer is expected to shoot.
  2.  Birdie – 1 under par
  3. Eagle – 2 under par
  4.  Albatross – 3 under par
  5. Bogey – 1 over par
  6.  Double Bogey – 2 over par
  7. Triple Bogey – 3 over par
  8. Ace or Hole in One – where it takes 1 shot on the drive to put the ball in the hole

For more on the benefits of golf in the realm of business, check out the below infographic from Syracuse, which details the increasing diversity in golf and its significance. Whether you are a first-time golfer or a pro, getting to the green to maximize networking opportunities is something we all could delve into this season.

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