Can Golf Appeal to the Next Generation?
Let’s just get it out of the way; golf is an elitist’s sport. Typically only high-powered executives, well to do business owners and old money family members are found at the country club. Country club memberships are expensive and sometimes exclusive.
The next generation of entrepreneurs, business owners and executives have advantages (or disadvantages depending on your thoughts) because of the technology available today. It’s far easier to meet people today than in generations past. Meetings, conversations and networking can happen instantly thanks to smartphones, computers and high-speed internet. So why would the next generation of entrepreneurs, business owners and executives ever consider golf?
Technology is great, and we’re all using it but have you ever participated in a meeting with someone who was constantly distracted by said technology, or disconnected because they’re answering email and text? Can you shake a hand over the internet (not yet)? Is body language obvious on a skype call or video conference call? Probably not..
In our previous blog post we discussed 10 Important Golf Etiquette tips. Among the tips included things such as not talking when another player is taking their swing, ensuring you play your ball where it lies, and not crossing in front of another player’s path to the hole on the green. The reason for these tips is really just common courtesy. If someone chooses to ignore these rules on the golf course is this someone you really want to do business with? That was the overall theme of the previous blog post.
Well you can’t establish a person’s personality over the internet as well as you can on a golf course for 4 hours. Golf will show you how someone responds during times of stress, challenge, embarrassment, not being the best, and temptation to lie or cheat. Spend 4 or 5 hours with someone on the golf course and you will know whether or not you want to do business with them.
You cannot learn that much about a person over a conference call, email or skype. You can’t even learn that much about a person during a 1 ½ hour face to face network meeting. The fastest way to learn about how a person reacts to different situations is on a golf course.
How Does Golf Appeal to the Next Generation?
Society is at a cross roads when it comes to being social. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram allow us to communicate instantly and frequently without ever actually talking over the phone or in person. Text messages mean we never have to pick up the phone to talk. Dating sites allow us to find a mate without fear of rejection or social interaction. Our society has adopted these things as the norm. There are even apps that match golfers up with other golfers in the area..what a great convenience.
I just said it..that’s how we appeal to the next generation. We need Golf apps & networking opportunities and appealing to the business savvy entrepreneurs and executives who are looking to get ahead. Country clubs have to adopt social media as part of their marketing campaign.
And an organization that brings people together for the purpose of networking and golf while utilizing a bit of the old school method of past generations (and current), and the new school approach of the next (and current) generation of using technology to communicate with their peers would catapult future generations to the golf courses and country clubs. And Jordan Spieth will also help grow another generation of golfers!
The Back-9 Boardroom is such an organization. Our intent is to grow networking groups of business owners and executives who want to meet other business owners and executives to learn more about them, on the golf course. It’s almost a guarantee that after 18 rounds you will know whether or not you want to conduct business with another person.
It’s promising that whenever I visit a golf course I often witness a group of kids learning to play the game of golf. It’s also promising that there are groups out there whose purpose is to get more children involved in the sport of golf. My own son has expressed an interest in golf without ever having played.
The 18th Hole!
Golf can, and already is appealing to the next generation. In fact I see different generations golfing together all the time, sometimes 3 different generations in the same foursome. The future is bright so long as everyone adopts the changes in society and incorporates them into the golf universe. Remember this truth that still holds today, the biggest deals are closed on the golf course. Are you missing out?
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