Necessity of Golf Skills Today?

Jr1234567's picture
Rank: Monkey | 40

Just wondering what peoples thoughts were on how important it is to be able to play golf well enough to interact with clients and coworkers. I play tennis and love sporting clays, but I get that golf is the ultimate client game. Is it in my best interest to learn how to play? Additionally, anyone have suggestions in/around the Hamptons other than Shinnecock & Maidstone for a beginner? Thanks

Comments (25)

May 5, 2020

yes I recommend learning. You don't even have to be good though. Just know how to keep pace of play.

Funniest
May 5, 2020

Agree with the poster above. I worked as a caddie for multiple summers back in high school, and many of my loops involved businessmen taking out clients. As long as you don't slow down the pace, and you're able to function off a few beers you should be fine. The social skills are more important at that point.

Edit: also don't be like a client who once told me "Costco will buy Calloway Golf soon". Even though it made no sense, it was crazy enough that I believed him. Held onto those shares for 2 years before eventually dumping...

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May 5, 2020

Being able to keep pace of play is a must, but being really good is a nice plus. I played a bunch of sports in HS and college and only picked up golf about 3 years ago.

If you want to get better, take lessons. Many think they're on the right path, but odds are they aren't actually improving. Misnomers like 'keep your head down' and the like are just bandaids for the weekend hacker.

Online lessons are remarkably helpful, especially during quarantine, obviously. I'd highly recommend Daniel Carraher or Monte Scheinblum for online lessons.

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May 6, 2020
rothbard814:

Being able to keep pace of play is a must, but being really good is a nice plus. I played a bunch of sports in HS and college and only picked up golf about 3 years ago.

Hm. I would argue that being really good is a bit of a negative as well.

If you can keep the pace of play and have a good attitude about being subpar, that's fine. If you're shooting high 80s/low 90s and have a good attitude, also fine. I would think that playing with a par golfer would be frustrating, even subconsciously. I've played with some guys who shoot in the low single digits and I find it frustrating even though they're friends and nice people. It's just defeating that you can string together 3 or 4 great shots and make par, and here they are making birdie.

But in general, being a fun person to play with is the most important thing.

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May 5, 2020

I've never played a round in my life. Granted I'm the technical guy, and it seems more expected in sales, but it's possible to get ahead without it.

May 7, 2020

Are you a quant

May 7, 2020
hedgehog9:

Are you a quant

Sorta....For the better part of the decade my employer has said "We can't really describe what you do, but keep on doing it." Then tried to find a title for me. The title has changed four times, although I'm not sure that my role really has.

As a non-ambidextrous lefty it was impossible to find clubs growing up, and tough to justify the cost of them for a game I wasn't sure I wanted to play. I just stick to talking about mountain biking (I've got the sickest looking bike on the planet even if it isn't anywhere near cutting edge anymore) and talking about how I flipped a sailboat at 16. (Unfortunately the boat is now in pieces under the deck)

EDIT: Oh, also Motorcycles. In certain company I'll talk about when I owned a Ducati 900 SS/CR (Sold for moving reasons) I don't have a bike right now, but it basically one-ups anybody else's motorcycle even when it was slower. The Good Doctor has to be correct in his opinions, right?

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May 5, 2020

Used to work at a semi-private golf club in HS in the pro shop, and I cannot stress above the importance of keeping pace of play. Also, it's something like only 5% of people that play golf shoot under 100 too. Golf is hard lol

  • Analyst 3+ in Consulting
May 5, 2020

I've worked in the biz dev side of PE for 4-5 years and have never been in a situation where I was asked to play golf (or was even clear that it would have helped). Granted I mostly target the tech industry so might be different in verticals with older CEOs.

Feel free to learn if you think you'd like the game, but I think the idea that you'll never make it in business without golf is so 1960s. Friends and peers I know at other firms don't seem to play much either.

May 5, 2020

Go take some lessons and play a few rounds with your friends. If you like it, learn it. If you don't, don't.

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May 5, 2020

If you're terrible it will look bad, if you're really good, it will look great, anything in between and you'll be fine. I've never really played for work, but you definitely don't want to be the one guy at your buddies wedding party that either doesn't go play golf, or ruins it for everyone else.

I personally shoot like a buck 20-30 which is not great but I can still get out and have fun with people the 1-3 times I play each year.

I recommend getting out on a driving range and getting some good putting in and then going and playing once or twice a year.

May 6, 2020

I'd say it'd be a good idea to learn how to play. 1. Because of the many reasons posted above. 2. More importantly, you might end up liking it as a hobby, and golf is a sport that isn't too taxing on the body and one of the few that can be played well into your senior years.

May 6, 2020

Golf is an important way to network and a lot of industry events will have a golf option, especially in energy. I have played with people that are just terrible, but know how to have a good time, as well as guys that played in college and some of the Q school/undercard tours around the world. Most of the time the only thing that ticks people off is if somebody tries to give them some advice/lesson on the course or if they get pissed off at a bad shot. If you shank one into the water just laugh it off...nobody cares. It is most important to have social skills.

The real flex is when you are a member at a club that clients want to actually come play and will travel just to get on the course.

May 6, 2020

I was a second year consultant and one a client invited 'us' to their corporate golf tournament down in Florida. I just finished a different assignment and was on the bench when this was all going down. My friend was close with the partner who managed the client relationship and insisted I come along since I can swing the sticks. I got a call from this 50 year old partner I never really interacted with and ended up taking a last minute flight down to the tourny to drink beers with the client and play golf in an eight-some. I was in the group with the sr clients and while the partner chatted up the head client guy, I got to shoot the shit with some lower level clients. It was a pretty sweet round. Then, we went back to the clubhouse and had an awesome steak dinner and apres drinks.

After that, I got on a cool M&A project that I otherwise wouldn't have had a shot at. Pretty good 24 hours

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May 6, 2020

Not important in NYC, most of the big shots don't play. Certainly not useless, you'd definitely make some extra connections on the course. But you asked how important.

Bethpage yellow and green are playable for a beginner.

May 6, 2020

The true high rollers do sailing.

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May 7, 2020

As BaconStreet mentioned sailing is a pretty good skill to have, golf I personally can't speak much of.

You should try learn squashing too given your background in tennis, there's a certain type that plays squash in big cities.

May 7, 2020

Just be as good or a little better than the worst person you're playing with and you wont slow down the pace. Golf is fun in my opinion and even though I learned how to play for business purposes, I ended up really liking it. Great way to spend a sunday with some friends. Miss playing a lot due to covid.

May 10, 2020

I have never played golf, but I would like to

Most Helpful
May 10, 2020

An overlooked skillset among those aiming to work in front office finance - particularly if the desired role means interacting with clients - is being a solid all-round sportsman. This doesn't mean knowing the ins-and-outs of every game, or even knowing all the rules intimately: it means having a working understanding of a broad range of games and consistently being a value-add player whenever you play. Sport is the great equaliser, and there will certainly be times in your career when a colleague / superior / client suggests a casual game and it will be of material use to you to be able to play to a reasonable level. I'm not saying this sort of thing is make-or-break, but it will certainly help.

The top sports I'd pick (in no particular order) are: i) Golf; ii) Squash; iii) Tennis; iv) Football (i.e. soccer for my 'cross pond chums reading, however this is probably not applicable outside Europe). Regarding football (read: soccer), I honestly think this cannot be overstated, especially at the junior level - a lot of firms have pre-established leagues / kick-abouts where the young albeit reasonably senior (e.g. VPs) will still partake, and it will be good for your internal profile to show your face and not be a drag on the team. Know how to control the ball, pass purposefully, and hit a shot on target (but not at the keeper) 50-60% of the time. As an aside, I'd also suggest poker: know the hierarchy of hands (e.g. flush > straight), what are good / bad cards to be dealt pre-flop, and basic betting strategy.

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May 17, 2020
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