The late great Charles Dickens probably wasn’t referring to corporate golf outings when he said, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” However, the sentiment holds for hitting the links with the Big Boss.
On the one hand, your heart soars with elation, knowing that you made it to the fabled insider’s club. On the other hand, you don’t want to blow this valuable chance to advance your career. Here are five tips for that golf outing with your boss to make the most of the opportunity for fun and rubbing networking elbows.
1. Admit Your Limits
Before you hit the links with the boss, ensure you understand golf etiquette basics, particularly if you haven’t played much. One vital tip is to maintain the pace of play. Ideally, your foursome should take no more than 15 minutes per hole to allow other teams to complete their matches before sunset. You might have to pick up your ball — it’s far less rude than searching the weeds while other frustrated participants wait.
You should also be upfront about any injuries you have, and consider how your body feels the day you go. If your job requires you to use handheld tools like screwdrivers or hammers, you could have developed golf or tennis elbow over time without ever stepping foot on a green! Even using a computer without appropriate support can cause repetitive strain injuries — let your teammates know before you tee off to monitor your handicap.
2. Take Some Lessons
If your boss lives for the links, but you have never played before, please consider investing in a few lessons before your outing. It’s frustrating for more experienced players to wait for newbies, even if they are too polite to show it. Doing so reaffirms your commitment to going above and beyond toward advancing your organizational goals — which implicitly includes making your supervisor’s life more pleasant.
You don’t necessarily need to look to the pro shop at your boss’ favorite course to find instructors. Contact a local golf academy — they may offer one-on-one training with students for a discounted fee.
3. Learn the Lingo
If you don’t know the difference between a bunker and the rough, it’s time to invest in a golfer’s dictionary to learn the lingo. Otherwise, your golf outing with the boss may feel as frustrating as calling tech support when you don’t know the difference between a router and a modem.
Take time to learn scoring rules, too — not that anyone at your workplace would cheat you. You’ll have way more fun celebrating a “birdie” when you understand the significance of your accomplishment.
Likewise, it helps to learn the names of various clubs. While your boss will understand if they ask you to bring them their sand wedge and you hand them a ham on rye, you can expect to hear a few snickers when you return to the office.
4. Dress the Part
Here’s the fun part — watch any professional golf tournament, and you’ll see the most fabulous clothes. Hopefully, you can afford a little retail therapy if your boss invites you to hit the links. Why not “dress for the role you want” by stunning them with a hip getup that would look at home at the Masters?
Please note that golf has rules when it comes to attire. You should wear a collared shirt — no T-shirts with or without catchy sayings. You can get creative with your socks, although they should match your overall outfit — if Elmo is your lucky charm, go with an equally orange top. The right hat tops off your look while keeping the sun out of your eyes and protecting you from UV rays.
5. Stay Cool Under Pressure
Perhaps the number one tip for surviving that golf outing with the boss is to leave your temper at home. Even Tiger Woods occasionally slices one into the rough — but you probably don’t have his earning capacity to replace your income if your supervisor objects to your profanity-laced temper tantrum on the course.
Plus, emotional intelligence is one of the most coveted soft skills among employers. While your boss may or may not have invited you to evaluate your temperament for an upcoming opening — and promotion opportunity — they are still observing how you behave. If they can’t trust you to handle a double bogie, how might you react to an irate client?
Likewise, go light on the beer cart orders. While your boss may tip one back and invite you to do the same, it is always poor etiquette to get tipsy on company time. If you must indulge, stick to one — or opt for water.
Remember to relax and have fun. Use self-deprecating humor if you make a bad shot, but smile, shake it off and keep going. That’s the winning attitude that will advance your career.
Survive Your Golf Outing With Your Boss
A golf outing with your boss can seem like a dream come true — or your worst nightmare. Survive and thrive during your excursion with a few simple tips!