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How to Turn Golf into Business Gold

By Pam Swensen, Business Journals

Business meetings on the golf course might seem like an excuse to work on your short game, but an afternoon on the links can bring “gold” into your life (even if you don’t have a Mickelson-esque swing).

The gold isn’t just monetary: Golf can change the course of your business, broaden your client base, and create relationships you never saw coming. Ultimately, new relationships lead to handshakes and sealed deals.

In a new EWGA Foundation book, “Teeing Up For Success”, contributing author Debbie Waitkus, president and founder of Golf for Cause, reflects on the power of golf in the business world.

Lesson 1: Golf is for everyone
Regardless of age, gender, or skill level, it’s never too late to pick up a club. If your company hosts corporate golf outings, take a few lessons and sign yourself up. These outings offer the opportunity to mingle with your co-workers in a relaxed setting.

Lesson 2: Golf can enhance your work relationships
An afternoon on the course can shape and enhance the camaraderie between co-workers — time spent with colleagues in a non-work environment can help you get to know your co-workers beyond the water-cooler chatter.

Lesson 3: Golf can be your magical connector
Golf opens doors and forwards relationships, particularly for women. A decent swing can be your passport into a male-dominated environment and can connect you to people outside of your regular professional circles.

Lesson 4: Talk the talk
Off the green, golf becomes a conversation starter. Sharing that common interest can help individuals connect on a deeper level, and can lead to exclusive invitations and new relationships.

Lesson 5: Golf provides opportunities to give back
Charity golf events are a great way to build your brand while giving back to the community. Leverage golf to help support charity events financially (or by volunteering) and motivate others to get involved.

Pam Swensen is CEO of the Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA), an international organization with chapters in more than 120 cities throughout the United States, Bermuda, Canada, Italy, and South Africa. The EWGA has connected more than 100,000 professional women who share a passion for cultivating relationships and enjoying the game of golf. For more information, visit www.ewga.com. She is a co-author of the book “Teeing Up for Success: Insights and Inspiration from Extraordinary Women.”

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