Mutterings of a consultant

March 15, 2008

Corporate golf – a great leveler

Filed under: General rambling — grantfrear @ 1:19 am
Tags: , , ,

It’s that time of year again where I have to dust off the golf clubs and prepare for an afternoon of frustration and moments of pure embarrassment. The corporate golf day is part competition, part networking and part torture. In my case it only comes around twice a year and as long as I keep rotating clients through my teams I have some chance of managing the damage that these days may cause to my reputation.

It is however a great leveler. While money can get you the most advanced technology it does little to make up for a lack of skill and an inability to put together a smooth swing. My take on good golfers is as follows
1. They picked up a golf club young (muscle memory)
2. They play often (practice)

So now back to the corporate golf day. Bring together a group of people who have all achieved in business (by their very nature there is a competitive streak in each player) however as a result of their success they do not have enough time to address point 2 (above), practice (at least in hard working NZ where we work some of the longest hours in the OECD) . Furthermore, since success often comes late in life and in business success and golf are often synonomous then a lot of the players started the game late (see point 1 above). All things considered these days tread a fine line between great networking events and an embarrassing situation for all involved.

Last year for me it was a very frustrating afternoon which resulted in my team being so far from the leaders that we appeared on the second page of the ppt results presentation. I was determined the wooden spoon would go so someone else this year. This clearly meant I needed a strategy. In my case it was to pick clients who enjoyed a good laugh (which is critical if you can’t play golf), hardly ever play (thus providing the team with a healthy handicap) and had nothing to prove (apart from my desire to stay away from last place).

The result. By some miracle we came 6 out of 20 teams. We all played patchy golf however somehow managed to avoid all playing badly on the same hole. While it was an enjoyable afternoon, I will not be hanging up the mountain bike in favor of golf anytime soon.

Have however found this rather funny YouTube clip that blends business, golf and humor for those that are interested

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