In case you haven’t heard, golf season is back.
Country club outings with one client, a full 18 with another, even an invitation from your boss. There’s one small problem: you don’t play golf!
Substitute golf for any networking activity that makes you feel inadequate or uncomfortable. These are important opportunities in the professional world, though no one would say golf and business are inextricably linked. Still a lot of connections and deals are made on the golf course.
So what’s a non-golfer to do? Don’t despair, because there are solid options and alternatives for those of us who don’t play golf.
Explore networking activities that don’t involve golf clubs
For those of us who don’t play sports but are simply fans, there are ways to feel connected to the pastime without embarrassing ourselves. I’ve found that baseball games and tennis matches are excellent venues for networking and relationship building. You may even choose to skip the recreational sports theme entirely. Excursions to a museum or botanical garden can offer visual stimulation in addition to quality networking time. Think outside box and you are bound to come up with enjoyable activities to share with other like-minded business contacts.
Skip the outing and attend the dinner
Most golf outings include a dinner component as well. If the game isn’t your thing, stick around for what may be an even better, more intimate networking environment. You can circulate during the cocktail hour to make new contacts and connect with the people at your table even if you didn’t spend the day on the course. You can even cite your overwhelming workload or encroaching deadlines as an excuse for not spending hours away from the office!
Cast your dislike to the side, take lessons, and join the party
If you find that you are missing out on too much business by not being able to swing a golf club, there is always the option to sign up for a few lessons to learn basic skills so you don’t skip the course entirely. Who knows, you might just find that you like it.
We are now in “golf season,” so regardless of what you intend to do it’s time to make your plan. The golfers are scheduling their rounds and outings, and if you don’t want to be forgotten, you have to step up to the plate, err, tee.