I’m going to get straight to the point with this one.
When it comes to your career, this is probably the single biggest opportunity for a relationship land grab when it comes to golf. Here’s what I mean.
Baby Boomers are Teeing It
So right now, there are 22 million golfers in the country give or take. Roughly 60% of those are baby boomers. These are people who are aging out of their current careers. They’re in senior executive positions, and they’ve been pretty successful.
They’re finding themselves with more time, they’re getting out onto the golf course more, and they’re playing a lot more golf. These guys are playing in company scrambles and charity events.
As a gen-xer or a millennial, you’ve got a great opportunity to get to know these guys out on a golf course. I’m not saying that this is the only way to get to know influential people, but over the next 10 or 15 years before these people start aging out of golf, we’ve got a great opportunity to get to a reasonable proficiency level in golf.
I’m talking about learning to play just enough so that you can get invited to the company scrambles and the corporate events, rather than being overlooked and having other people get invited.
So when you’re out on a golf course, you’ve basically got the group that you’re with as a captive audience for 5 hours, plus drinks and food afterwards. So, golf is a killer way of getting in the room with people that you may not otherwise ever have a chance to meet.
Real Estate Deal on the Golf Course
I can speak to this first-hand back when I was doing a little bit of real estate out in Phoenix. I met a doctor that handed me a real estate deal with a $100,000 commission basically just because I was playing golf with him a couple times a month.
He knew I was a decent guy, and his surgery center had at least that needed renewing, and our company got in the room with them and we won the business. It was a $100,000 fee that I would have never otherwise come across.
So, if we’re going to take this in a selfish direction, do this for your career. Just figure out how to dedicate an hour a week to learn a little bit of golf to get to a basic level of understanding. You just need to be able to blend in. You don’t have to be the hero, but you do need to get invited. If you can get invited to the game, then you’re in the room with people that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to meet.
Golf is Changing for the Better
So, the other reason to pick up the game of golf is that things are changing in the sport because of this shift in demographics. We’ve got the Baby Boomers that are playing the most golf out of everyone. They’re keeping the industry afloat.
I also run a golf management company called KPI Golf Management. In researching what happens after this 10 or 15-year window that we have right now, and these baby boomers phase out of golf, we’ve got to replace them with younger folks – gen xers and millennials.
So, we’ve got to appeal to the younger demographics or die. The industry is slowly moving in this direction, but I feel like they need to be moving quicker.
Golf courses are doing much better at allowing people to come out in shorter time windows, rather than just a 5-hour 18-hole round of golf. They’re allowing groups to come out for 3, 6, or 9-hole rounds, driving range stuff, and other fun activities.
Companies like Topgolf are winning right now because they’re gamifying golf using technology and making it fun for the younger crowds. This trend is going to continue.
Driving ranges at actual golf facilities are deploying this kind of technology and shot tracking systems like Topgolf has at their facilities.
So, playing golf on the course is no longer a stuffy, dress code, etiquette riddled experience that it used to be. Today, it’s more about getting out there in a golf cart, bringing a cooler of beer, and playing music as you go. You’re having fun with your buddies and playing more relaxed rules without all the snobbery.
So, if you’re thinking about golf or if you haven’t been playing in awhile, I can tell you it’s not the old stuffy game that your grandfather used to play. It’s becoming much cooler and it’s going to continue to move in that direction as public and semi-private facilities are moving in a direction to be more inclusive and more fun to the younger crowds.
Start playing golf either for the selfish career reasons, or just because it’s going to be a lot more fun than it ever used to be. Once you learn the basics, golf is an incredible tool to help you advance your career and build some amazing relationships that you could never otherwise tap into.