This post was prompted by a post over at Keith Ferrazzi's blog and is a copy of my comments on golf for business. Also when you get a moment drop on over to the new blog of Tim O'Connor – a former client who does just great PR work specifically for the golf industry.
I love to play golf, but with running my own business and a young family I find it very hard to justify taking the expected 4-6 hours on a weekend to play. So if the occasional business game during the week can fit great, of course here in Canada we only get a 6 month window anyway to play!
For those looking to build relationships with clients who are avid golfers and you do not personally want to get in to the game full on, there are some great alternatives that will make you very memorable to the client.
1. Golf clinic day where you hire a pro for an afternoon at a club and invite some clients along for a golf clinic to tune up their game. Great for the start of the season (especially if you are in climates where golf is a limited sport).
2. Get a former pro (like Merryll-!) and invite clients to play a round with them and pick up tips on your tab. You are there at the end to meet and greet, buy dinner etc. If the budget lets you get a high profile pro then get the pro to play 3 holes with 6 sets of clients and really stretch the investment and impact. Might be expensive but imagine the client who remembers playing 3 holes with Tiger Woods and who got him or her that.
3. Hold your own golf day or tie in with a worthwhile charitable cause and be a major sponsor and satisfy business and philanthropy at the same time.
Always remember to get some professional photos taken so that you can present those at a later date to the client, serves as a reminder and another reason to ping them.
Also as gifts there are a host of golf items that can be equally effective in terms of impact without your having to raise a club.
– tickets to top events
– golf trips
– memorabilia (great to have your gift on the clients desk every day)
– winter golf conditioning program