I find it interesting, and sometimes disgusting, what you learn about your playing partner’s character when you play as a twosome behind a foursome.
Dealing with Reality
The first thing you will discover about your playing partner when he, or she, finds out their twosome will be playing behind a foursome is how well they are going to act towards the situation. Or, how they act when they are told their twosome will behind a sixsome. (Yes, golf courses are allowing sixsomes play even if they have a full tee-sheet.)
One thing golfers have to learn early on is you have to play golf under the conditions you are dealt.
Granted, many years ago those who first took to the golf course at a private club did not get an opportunity to play under such diverse conditions as their twosome playing behind a foursome.
As little as 15 years ago, private clubs seldom had those problems. The tee times were booked every 15 minutes which gave whoever was teeing off first ample time to get ahead of a twosome.
Pace of Play is Killing Business Golf
Nowadays, the story has changed. Public courses, as well as Private Clubs, are reducing the time between tee times to as little as 5 minutes. The standard time between tee times is around 8 minutes. What made the change?
The failed economy that golf is still dealing with forcing them to have to make drastic changes to the way they managed the golf course. In order to survive Golf Courses, public and private, had to drop their rates on tee times and memberships.
Golf courses were forced into getting as many people on the golf course each day as they possibly could just to break even on expenses. As a result..a twosome, stuck behind a foursome, would have a horrible time.
The Mistakes Made
Generally, when confronted with slow play, golfers, use to having a steady pace, would get frustrated and start doing foolish things, like hitting their golf shot into the area the golfers ahead of them. Or, start shouting at the group in front of them about picking up the pace when they cannot go any faster due to waiting on the group in front of them.
Things could get explosive with bad behavior becoming the norm.
During a round of business golf, the behavior a player demonstrates while dealing with slow play is exactly how they would deal with an unfortunate situation in business. If they behave badly on the golf course they more than likely are going to behave badly in a work environment. Would you want to do business with someone who is a Hot Head? The answer should be, No!
Taking Advantage of Opportunities
Having an ample amount of patience is a virtue in golf and most people need to develop as much patience as they can. Slow play is one of Golf”s top issues driving people away from playing the game. The causes of slow play are many making finding a solution very hard. Putting a twosome behind a larger group of golfers naturally will create a pace of play issue.
Still, slow play is just one of many challenges golf presents. Many golfers have lost sight of the fact that overcoming these challenges is what playing golf is all about. Nonetheless, when golf is used as a business tool, having to stand around and wait on the group ahead to clear out does provide for some awkward moments.
The Business Golf Way
One of the main rules of playing business golf is to not saturate the round of golf with talking business…especially going into a full-out sales pitch. Doing this will make the pace of play the least of the issues you will be dealing with,
Instead, take the opportunity to ask your guest questions relevant to understanding their likes and dislikes…their hobbies…favorite team sports…or even talking about golf equipment or other golf related topics. You will find the time to go by much quicker if the discussion is on something else than the pushing the group ahead to move faster.
Business Golf is more than playing a recreational round of golf. Business Golf has a purpose and an agenda that extends well past the round of golf.
There will be many occasions during a golfer’s life where they will be confronted with playing behind a slower group of golfers. It is best to learn how to deal with this reality instead of fighting it.
Even if you are playing a leisure round of recreational golf, turn the time between shots into a conversation. This practice will hone your skills as a Business Golfer.
Yes, placing a twosome behind a fivesome is not normal practice and it should be brought up to the golf course’s management team on how unfortunate it was you had to experience the slow play. Most golf courses will accommodate you for your discomfort. If not, then maybe spending your business development budget on another golf facility is in order.
Let me know how I can help.