Etiquette Corner: It’s time to hit the links!

Well, it’s that time of year when the sun is shining and the golf clubs are swinging. If you get the opportunity to play in a company outing or a charity event, the way you conduct yourself on the golf course might determine if someone will do…or continue to do…business with you.

With the help of Peter Post (great grandson of the legendary Emily Post) and his book called The Unwritten Rules of Golf, here are a couple of tips to help you make a good impression, no matter what your final score.

1. Don’t be guilty of slowing down play for everyone. 
Slow play is arguably the biggest frustration in golf. Make sure you’re conscious of the pace of the groups in front of you and behind you. The average hole should take twelve minutes to play. If you are slowing your group down, tweak what you are doing. Play ready golf. Limit yourself to two practice swings. You’re probably not a pro, so taking five or six practice swings is unnecessary. If you’re really struggling on a hole, after a certain point pick up your ball and start fresh on the next one. Your fellow golfers will appreciate it.

2. FORE!!! Control your reaction if a stray ball almost beans you in the head.
If someone from the group behind you hits into your group, do NOT hit the ball back at them in anger or pocket the ball to prove a point. Two wrongs don’t make a right! In most cases the guilty party didn’t think they had that kind of strength or simply miscalculated. It’s okay to take a minute before going to the next hole and calmly let them know about your displeasure. More times than not they will apologize and be more careful in the future. If you’re the perpetrator in this situation, sincerely apologize to the people you endangered.

3. Be aware of the appropriate time to talk business.
So when should you talk business if this is a business outing? The best time to talk business is not at the golf course at all, unless your customer or potential customer brings it up. Once the game is over, and you have made it to the 19th hole, this is the time to set an appointment to discuss business at a later date. Remember, part of sales is building strong relationships. This is your chance to get your prospect or customer out of the office to relax and have some fun. Keep it light and enjoy!

Remember, on the golf course and on the job, manners do matter. Good luck with your game!