I don’t need to recount the countless studies that remind us how real the glass ceiling is.
The truth is, there are important conversations happening out on the golf course, and if you’re not extended an invitation to play (or are turn the invitation down to avoid embarrassment), you’re missing out on an opportunity that could pay off for you, and your career, in the long run.
Golf certainly isn’t a silver bullet, but it sure can help build rapport with your colleagues.
Here are seven ways to build your confidence, and subtly let the golfers at work know that you too, are into golf.
1.) Tune-in to the Golf Channel and keep up with the highlights and top golfers
For some, golf is difficult to watch, especially if you don’t play. Watching the pros while they’re at work can help you at work too. Being able to discuss the highlights of the latest tournament, or at least talk about the winners, will earn you some brownie points with your golfing colleagues.
To get you started, here’s a helpful guide to help you “talk-the-talk”, by watching golf on TV.
2.) Build your confidence by taking a golf class
This goes without saying. With all the golf talk you’ll be doing in the office, someone is going to ask you to play. Contrary to what you probably believe, you don’t need to be hitting the ball 250 yards off the tee to play. Ninety percent of recreational golfers don’t break a score of 100 for 18 holes. Most of the men you work with are in this group. Take a class to learn the basics, then practice.
Click here to find a golf class or reputable golf instructor in your area to help you get started.
3.) Know the basic rules and etiquette
When you’re playing golf for business you will be expected to know the rules and etiquette. The most common mistakes that beginners make on the golf course have nothing to do with their skills, they’re most likely simple blunders that are a result of not knowing the rules and/or etiquette.
4.) Display golf memorabilia in your office, and pay attention the golf memorabilia in your boss’s office
Any golfer who has made a hole-in-one likely has that lucky golf ball displayed in their office for the world to see. They could have the score card where they recorded their lowest round on a shelf, or a souvenir from their favorite golf course on display.
If you notice golf memorabilia in your boss’s office, ask a question about it. They’ll be impressed you noticed. They’ll be even more impressed if you have your own.
5.) Stop volunteering at the company golf outing
Have you ever noticed that all the women who are too afraid to get out on the course end up being the workhorses at the golf tournament? Checking people in, handing out the lunches, selling the raffle tickets, and cleaning up after everyone else had all the fun. Stop doing that. Get in the game.
Playing is so much more fun and you may get paired with a senior level executive; I’ve seen it happen. And don’t let nerves about how you perform keep you from accepting the invite to play – most corporate golf outings are team competitions, so you’ll have opportunities to shine without having to rely on keeping an individual score. Focus your efforts on staying positive, and most of all having fun.
6.) Subscribe to a national golf newsletter
Golf newsletters usually have tips and information that help you understand the game and its unique lingo. Between the LPGA, PGA, USGA, and Black Girls Golf of course :), there are tons of great resources out there to keep you engaged and up-to-date on the latest golf news and tips.
7.) Have at least one complete golf outfit
Of all the sports, golf has the cutest clothes. You should always have at least one golf outfit in your wardrobe if the boss asks you to play. Some good golf staples are: Bermuda shorts, golf pants (not regular khakis), collared polo, golf shoes, visor, and a glove. After all, shouldn’t you at least look the part? Check out Budgetgolf.com for really amazing deals on golf apparel.