Golf is a time consuming game, which means you should put some careful thought into selecting your playing companions. Spending four-plus hours on the golf course with someone who’s boring, irritating or rude is obviously a big waste—unless that person can be of help to you business wise.
As a young professional, I made the early mistake of accepting golf invitations from almost everyone. To help you determine if the people you’re planning to play with are worth your time, first ask yourself what you’re hoping get out of the round.
1. If you’re just looking to have fun, pick a playing companion with whom you’re used to spending at least four hours at a time—or a new friend with the potential to become a good golf buddy. Also, realize that a full round of golf can bring out the best and worst in a person, so remember to be patient and have fun even if your friend is having a rough day on the course.
2. If you’re signed up for a round of business golf in the hopes of building a better relationship or closing a deal, make sure the person you’re playing with is either a decision maker or someone who could help improve your life in the office.
Unless your playing companions fit one or both of the above examples, you may want to reconsider playing with them. Four hours is a long time, and spending it with people you don’t particularly like won’t only ruin your mood but most likely your golf game.
Jenn Harris, the founder of High Heel Golfer, is on a mission to get more female executives to win respect, rewards, and sales through the game of golf. In addition to being an in-demand keynote speaker on business golf, Jenn shares how to make “more green on the greens” through her blog, bimonthly contributions to PGA.com, webinars, seminars, and private corporate training.