Ask any businessperson and they will undoubtedly have a favourite place in which to conduct their business, somewhere they feel most comfortable and confident they can get the deal over the line. Meeting rooms and conferences are certainly favourites for CEOs and high-flying salespeople, but there is one place that sticks out above the rest.
The golf course. It is here that some of the most fruitful partnerships are forged and prevalent deals are brokered. Don’t believe us? Some of the world’s supreme businessmen swear by it:
“You can learn a lot about a person from playing a round of golf.” – Spencer Askew
“Golf shows you that there is no perfect strategy, and all you can do is giving it your best shot. Then, you assess the result, figure out what you need to do to improve the execution and then take another shot at greater success.” – Saurabh Saklani
“My teeing time helps me unite my senses, accumulate my strength and strategise while keeping my eyes on the hole.” – Jatin Ahuja
So, what is it that makes golf the sport of business?
There is a reason why businesspeople opt for a round of golf over a sparring session in the gym. Other than not being able to get a word in edgeways as you throw haymakers and uppercuts aplenty, it makes for a volatile atmosphere which simply isn’t beneficial for business. You want your prospective business partner calm and relaxed.
Golf gets you outside, away from the confines of brick walls, and ensures that you are able to appreciate some of the finer things in life. Whereas many sports are played at what feels like a million miles an hour, golf allows for its players to take their time and discuss other matters amongst their group. How’s the family? How have things been? How’s business going? So, what did you think of my proposal?
The conversation can soon turn to business between strokes, allowing for respite during potentially difficult conversations. Could you imagine being afforded moments in the meeting room where you can gather your thoughts and reassess your position without an awkward, potentially deal-breaking silence?
As Spencer Askew, CEO of Teknowlogi, points out, you can, in fact, learn a lot about someone from playing a round of golf with them – but how? On paper, golf is a very simple game where you hit a ball around a course in as few shots as possible.
Of course, the reality of the game is that it is much more difficult than that. There is plenty of strategy involved and, much like any other situation, the person who is more familiar with the surroundings is likely to come out on top. On any course, including our very own golf course in Glasgow, there are areas that you want to be where you can gain ground on your opponents, as well as areas that you want to keep away from where you may find yourself at a disadvantage.
How a person manoeuvres their way around the course is often translated into the business. If they remain calm and focused having hit a good shot on the fairway, they are likely to be well adept at taking the lead on negotiations. However, many will admit to golf being one of the most frustrating games that can seriously test your patience and any sign of frustration is the first sign of weakness.
As well as you feeling out your prospect, they, too, will be feeling you out. If you familiarise yourself with the course and all of its unique features, you can project both you and your game in the best light possible. Just the same as any business meeting, showcasing yourself as being in control of your surroundings is exactly what you should be aiming for.
Striking the deal of the century isn’t the only thing that keeps business flowing. In order to meet the demand that those deals bring, you need a well-oiled machine backing you up ready and waiting to deliver on your promises. You might be able to talk the talk, but if your team can’t walk the walk, it will be a short-lived partnership that your competitors will be more than happy to swoop in on.
For many of the reasons stated above, golf also makes for a fantastic team building activity for managers looking for new and innovative methods of bringing the best out of their team. As a relaxed game, colleagues can share a laugh and a joke with each other around the course, even if the game of golf isn’t necessarily their thing.
Whether you choose to play singles or doubles, or even hold your own Ryder Cup-esque tournament, is completely up to you. We find that encouraging players to work as teams makes for a fantastic atmosphere whether they consider themselves to be keen golfers or complete novices. After all, everyone is welcome back to The Nineteenth clubhouse for a drink or two where they can share anecdotes of the day!
Our course has recently seen substantial investment, meaning that your team can benefit from high-quality facilities as part of our redevelopment. Some features included as part of our Glasgow golf offering are:
For the better part of a century, golf has been utilised as a means of conducting business and, chances are, it will be for many more years to come. Here at Gleddoch, we have hosted numerous formal and informal business meetings both inside the hotel and out on the golf course.
To make the most of our stunning state-of-the-art golf course at our luxury Glasgow hotel, get in contact with a member of our team today. We look forward to welcoming you and your associates to Gleddoch.