Golf (& Other Sports)

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Jul 20, 2008 11:07 pm

Golf seems like a great business game to play.  It's a great way to spend time and build a relationship with potential and existing clients.  But, I dont' play more than once or twice a year.  For someone like myself, just getting into the business, is golf worth picking up?  It's a game that takes a ton of time and it seems like as a newbie, that time would be better spent prospecting.


So, is golf the best business game and is it worth it?

I love boating.  Would it be equally as good to join a Tennis & Yacht Club?  I enjoy tennis and it seems like the members of these clubs are generally fairly well off. 
 
Any advice on sports and types of clubs or groups to get in with for good fun and prospecting?
Jul 21, 2008 12:29 am

Do what you love... if golf has never called to you, faking it won't make it.  I'm not a golfer and will never be.  Decide who you are and then follow that path.

Jul 21, 2008 1:20 am
Jul 21, 2008 4:04 pm

This is a very good question.  I was wondering the same thing myself.  I am still in the interview process but I want to get the details outlined in my mind prior to jumping in feet first.  I prefer fishing and camping to golf, but I was wondering if it would be beneficial to take golf up.  I will say that a few individuals who I went fishing with from my job introduced me to the position and a means to the position.  I expressed my interest to become a FA and the one called up his broker and got me started on the hiring process.   I agree that you should find something you love and look in that area.  It makes it easier to earn trust and friendship if you share common interests.  I think golf would be an ideal sport for the 3-5 year time frame.  Until then, it appears one should just focus on prospecting as much as possible to get the pipeline full.

Jul 21, 2008 4:51 pm

I live on the water, and boating FAR outweighs golfing in terms of being good for business.  Plenty of people golf, but as someone mentioend earlier, it can be expensive and time-consuming, and not something done "socially" (you spend 4 hours on 18 holes with 1 or maybe 3 other people to talk to).

With boating, they ALL have money, and it is a very casual, social environment.  Most people make some of their best friends at their marinas.  You end up spending a lot of social, relaxing time there, and you don't have to cut your spouse or family out of the action.  However, boating is EXTREMELY expensive, so unless it's a passion, don't bother.
Jul 21, 2008 4:54 pm

One other thing to add...I would not "take up" a new sport or recreation just for prospecting purposes.  If you're bad at it, or don't enjoy it, or are way out of your element, it will show through and you will be uncomfortable.

 
The nice thing about this business, is that it allows you at some point to have more "social" time while opening you to a new world of people (others that have the time and money to "play").  This is one thing I could not do in my previous "corporate" career.
Jul 22, 2008 10:52 am

Don't even consider golf if you are only interested for "business purposes."  It is incredibly costly AND time consuming.  My disclaimer, I golf alot, and love to, but if I were asked the question above, I'd advise passing if not playing because you enjoyed the sport.  If you do not like it, prospecting while playing like an ass can be tough.

Jul 22, 2008 11:56 am

I do enjoy getting out there.  But for every drive I hit in the fairway, I hit 2 or 3 off target.  Really I could just benefit from some lessons and time on the driving range.   So I do enjoy the game, it would just be much more fun if I could at least consistantly hit the ball in the direction I want it to go.  Right now I'd be trying to break 100.  To actually feel comfortable taking clients out I would feel like I should at least be consistantly under about 85. 


Anyway, I think the advice above about golf taking to much time when starting out in this biz is very true.  Maybe I should just go to the driving range once or twice a week and spend more time playing in a few years.
Jul 22, 2008 12:24 pm
IsOldSpiceRightForMe:

I do enjoy getting out there.  But for every drive I hit in the fairway, I hit 2 or 3 off target.  Really I could just benefit from some lessons and time on the driving range.   So I do enjoy the game, it would just be much more fun if I could at least consistantly hit the ball in the direction I want it to go.  Right now I'd be trying to break 100.  To actually feel comfortable taking clients out I would feel like I should at least be consistantly under about 85. 


Anyway, I think the advice above about golf taking to much time when starting out in this biz is very true.  Maybe I should just go to the driving range once or twice a week and spend more time playing in a few years.
 
Why don't you just go play on Saturdays and Sundays on your own time like the other hacks out there?  Then you're not taking time away from the workday.
 
I am a good golfer, I used to be a 2 handicap.  It's easy for me to meet people on the course.  A few weeks ago I played at a local muni course and played with a couple right in my target market.  The husband is an engineer and handles his own finances, but I managed to get invited to his company tournament and out to his weekly golf outings with the fella's when space is available.  He will introduce me and the rest is just about being personable.  I met this guy just playing on a Saturday by the way.
 
I will say one thing though.  It helps to be a good golfer.  Some people are impressed by good players as it looks like you know what you're doing, plus you get invited back or whatever.
 
I don't know too many people that are going to invite a guy out who can't break 100.  They might as well bring the wife.
Jul 22, 2008 1:08 pm

That's very true Snags.  If you don't consistently hit around 85-90 or better, it's best to reserve golfing for the "fundraisers" you get invited to where most of the attendees can't golf either.  Either that or stick to the range. 

 
2 Handicap?  You must of played at least a few days a week to get there.  That's impressive.
Jul 22, 2008 1:10 pm

I am a new FA in training and have asked this question as I enjoy golf and will be playing more here soon.  Right now I am about a 16-20 handicap, which should get better. 

 
My question, is it better to "let" prospects beat you in golf or to be "better" than them and blow them out of the water and shoot in the 70's low 80's if you had the choice?
Jul 22, 2008 1:25 pm
B24:

That's very true Snags.  If you don't consistently hit around 85-90 or better, it's best to reserve golfing for the "fundraisers" you get invited to where most of the attendees can't golf either.  Either that or stick to the range. 

 
2 Handicap?  You must of played at least a few days a week to get there.  That's impressive.
 
It took about 8 hours of practice every day for a few years.  Back when I wanted to be a pro golfer because being a pro baseball player didn't pan out.  Now I'm stuck doing this :).  If only I could harken back to those days and apply it to prospecting...there's no reason I couldn't have a $100 million book.
 
I do use golf for business sometimes.  I still go out and shoot close to par and have several multi-million dollar business owner friends that I play with at their country club, so it's something to do.
 
I do wish I was more into boating.  One of my biggest clients has a big boat that he has invited me out on, which I will take him up on soon.  But I firmly believe that if you do some sort of activity that other people love, while you're just prospecting, you'll do it half-assed and it will show.
 
I would say though, that everyone should get involved in something they like.  Whether it is joining your local BMW club, being a stamp collector, golf, boating, poker, animals, charity, whatever, at least have something you like to do once or twice a month to get out and meet people.
 
Activity breeds activity.  
Jul 22, 2008 1:37 pm
buildingwealth:

I am a new FA in training and have asked this question as I enjoy golf and will be playing more here soon.  Right now I am about a 16-20 handicap, which should get better. 

 
My question, is it better to "let" prospects beat you in golf or to be "better" than them and blow them out of the water and shoot in the 70's low 80's if you had the choice?
 
Easy question to answer in my opinion.  To let someone win, shows weakness...and nice guys finish last (at pretty much everything).
 
I've said it before, people respect other people that do things well.  I think it piques people's interest when you are better and they start asking questions.  If you can help someone on the golf course or provide advice about their swing, stance, wind, grain on the green, whatever, it allows them to begin to trust you.
 
So I say, show them you are good at what you do.  You have confidence, you handle bad situations well, and you play with character and integrity.  They will feel good about you as a person, and will be open to talk about whatever you want. 
 
I was introduced to big CPA who I think has a lot of oil money.  First time I played with him (and 2 others), we played a .50 cent skins game with a lot of specials...so not big money.   I didn't play well, but I shot a 75 and won $5 from him.  He paid me, pounded a beer in the parking lot and left.  I see him a couple days later at a charity golf tournament I ran and he introduces me to his friends and says "I was telling these guys all about you in the parking lot". 
 
I don't know what they were talking about...either my score or the fact the cart girl gave me her number, but it's good to be known. 
Jul 22, 2008 2:48 pm

16 year old cart girls are illegal in my state....just FYI..before you dial....are you an ex to Christi Brinkley?

Jul 22, 2008 2:53 pm
bspears:

16 year old cart girls are illegal in my state....just FYI..before you dial....are you an ex to Christi Brinkley?

 
She's 22 and in college.  I didn't even call her.
Jul 22, 2008 3:15 pm

Maybe she has an IRA she would like for you to play with. I would call her and see if Thursday at 8pm in your office will work ....I would have some nice cocktails ready to be served.  Low lights with some souja boy playin....But thats just me trying to close every prospect I can...

Jul 22, 2008 5:05 pm
buildingwealth:

I am a new FA in training and have asked this question as I enjoy golf and will be playing more here soon.  Right now I am about a 16-20 handicap, which should get better. 

 
My question, is it better to "let" prospects beat you in golf or to be "better" than them and blow them out of the water and shoot in the 70's low 80's if you had the choice?
 
Just play your game.  Don't be over-the-top trying to win, but just make your shots.  And be a gentleman no matter the outcome. 
Jul 22, 2008 9:18 pm
bspears:

I would have some nice cocktails ready to be served.  Low lights with some souja boy playin....But thats just me trying to close every prospect I can...

 
And don't be playin that souja boy all soft and quiet, you gotta crank dat souja boy.
 
I appologize to you all for knowing that song
Jul 22, 2008 9:49 pm
OldLady:

Do what you love... if golf has never called to you, faking it won't make it.  I'm not a golfer and will never be.  Decide who you are and then follow that path.

 
I agree.  I work with a bunch of guys who are good golfers.  The ones who seem to bring in the most business from the course are those who are the best golfers.  They are not out there actively prospecting.  The people they golf with see how good they are and invite them to play in other outings (like Snaggle mentioned).  They let it happen naturally.
 
Another coworker is a very good golfer, but he is very aggressive in taking prospects golfing.  He is not as successful with his aggressive approach as the guys who are "just having fun."
 
Me, I know I am a lousy golfer and prefer other outdoor sports like fishing and skeet shooting.  I stuck with those avenues to prospect.  I have a few coworkers who make fun of me, but there is more money at my shooting club than most of the local country clubs.
Jul 22, 2008 11:40 pm
bondo:
Me, I know I am a lousy golfer and prefer other outdoor sports like fishing and skeet shooting.  I stuck with those avenues to prospect.  I have a few coworkers who make fun of me, but there is more money at my shooting club than most of the local country clubs.
 
Ahh, skeet shooting.  Another thing I found fun to do.  I actually held a "fun meet 'n shoot" event sponsored by a mutual fund wholesaler at the trap and skeet club.
 
There was a 55+ community in my area and I called up the guy who was in charge of the skeet club and asked if he and his friends in the club would like to go shoot on my dime.  I got 9 guys out there, it was fun.
 
Bondo, you know there is BIG money out there shooting sometimes when you see some of those RV's in the parking lot.  Those guys are insane.