There’s a little trick when it comes to the game of golf: the way you carry yourself on the green far outweighs how you play the game. Golf swagger, if you will. Don’t get me wrong, its authentic skills that will get you the W, but working towards that inevitably takes time and right now all you have is your reputation (possibly even a job offer) on the line. Don’t fret, BlackEnterprise.com caught up with Rodney Green, director of golf at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, who briefed us on the dos and don’ts of golfing—whether you’re a beginner or a well-seasoned golfer.
Don’t let your first encounter playing a round of golf with peers also be your first time on the green. Opt to play at an off-peak time for practice or even take a few lessons. A golf lesson can range from $45 to $100 per lesson. Green believes lessons are worth the investment. “If you get some basic fundamentals, it helps you so much further down the road because you know you’ve got good basics.”
Not knowing how to sell your company will hinder your progress, especially at an event where you will be interacting with clients or potential customers hours at a time.
Don’t: Play from a tee outside of your skill set
Who wouldn’t want to look like a pro on the course? But your attempts to do so might hold up the game. Be honest with yourself; if you’re credentials don’t match up, go to a tee that’s more your speed.
Do: Play ready golf
This is an important one, says Green. Players not keeping an eye out for their ball typically aren’t paying attention to the game at hand. You’ll want to be alert and know when it’s your turn, too. It’ll have potential business partners thinking you’re a longtime player and colleagues simply impressed with your knowledge of the game (or so they think).
Do: Abide by the dress code
There’s a universal dress code for golf, but most golf courses have established dress codes so, to be on the safe side, call the golf course beforehand to ensure you’ll look the part come game time. Usually khaki pants or reasonably lengthed shorts and a collard golf shirt will work. Females, we love heels, but just say “no” this day. When in doubt, just buy your apparel from a golf store.
Don’t: Crowd anyone’s space
Supervision is not essential in this sport, so refrain from acting like an umpire or referee when someone moves to putt their ball. “If I were hitting a shot, you don’t have to be standing right on me to see it. You can be over by your ball getting ready [for your shot],” says Green, the first African-American director of golf at Innisbrook. The game will move a lot smoother that way.
Do: Move on to the next tee (and then write your scores down)
Stopping to write down your score (before moving on) not only wastes time but places you at risk of being hit by an oncoming shot from players behind you.
Do: Invest in a midrange set of clubs
If you begin with a partial set, you’ll inevitably have to upgrade your clubs in a few years. This can be very pricey, but you can reduce the price tag if you begin with an intermediate set that consists of a variety of clubs (a bevy of irons, wedges and putters) and saving yourself a few hundred dollars.