I know. Golf? I, too, was guilty of judging the sport as a slow, boring, old boys' club. But what was once TV programming to induce weekend napping is now one of my favorite sports to play, and not just for the health benefits. In fact, the greatest driving force behind why women play is for business reasons. There are more than six millions female golfers just in the United States, and here are five reasons why I think you should be one more — for the sake of your career.
- Great networking opportunities. Golfers have a median household income of more than $80,000, and 93 percent of them own at least one home. Those statistics coupled with the fact that golf is a luxury sport (it's about $40 on average to play one round) makes its players generally affluent and successful. In the four to five hours to finish a round, you never know when you could befriend someone with the right connections.
- Makes a great impression. In my experience, men are generally impressed with women who play well. While golfers are predominately male, having a fluid swing, competitive attitude, and patience under pressure will impress the boys in the boardroom and on the greens. Plus, you'll never be left out of the loop if there's a last-minute game scheduled.
- Enforces appropriate office demeanor. Golf is a game of etiquette. No matter how competitive you are, how much you dislike the other player, or how foul a situation is, there are rules that dictate "gentlemanly" behavior. You can apply the same rules to your work environment. No matter how frustrated you get, you should work efficiently and skillfully while being able to communicate your issues calmly and with indoor voices. This excludes, of course, friendly trash talk.
- Enhances analytical thinking. As much as golf is a physical sport, it is also a thinking one, too. A player must gauge possible yardage, wind factors, breaks on the greens, etc. Your success is dependent on your ability to observe the details, much like in an office environment.
- Relieves stress. Not only does golf improve your strength, stamina, and flexibility, but it's good for the soul. When I'm stressed out, there's nothing like taking out all that pent-up energy on some balls. Plus, you can burn up to 1,300 calories during a four-hour round — walking and carrying clubs is a must. No wonder celebs like Jane Seymour and Catherine Zeta-Jones love it so much!
Keep reading for four more reasons why you should take up the game.