If you are a keen golfer, then you probably have two very distinct groups of people you play with - your close friends, and business associates.
When you play with friends, you can probably get away with a few less than polite activities on the course, but when you play with business associates, they are not only watching you play, but watching you in general.
There are a few must learn business golf etiquette rules that you should never break, and in this article, we list them.
Patience Is a Virtue
Be patient. Patience is most certainly a virtue, and when you are on the golf course, being patient is not only polite, but a good idea when you are playing with business associates. Wait your turn, do not try to rush other groups, and do not show your impatience. Trying to rush the game, or trying to rush others, will not reflect well on you!
If you are pressed for time, you probably should not be playing business golf anyway, so only play when you can do so at your leisure.
Don't Distract Fellow Players
It goes without saying that when you are playing business golf, you should make every effort not to distract your fellow players. It may be funny when you do it with your friends, but it is only likely to irritate other opponents, and that is no way to win favour!
Be quiet, stay out of the way and you will not irritate or anger your fellow business golfers.
Clean Up After Yourself
It goes without saying on most courses, but it is especially important, when you are playing business golf, to make sure you clean up after yourself. Replace divots, do not ever litter, and leave the course as you found it.
Remember, if you are sloppy on the course, potential business associates will assume that you are sloppy in life, and in business, and that can undo any good work you have done!
Be A Good Loser, and a Gracious Winner
You might not realise it, if you are new to business golf, but your behaviour on the course is far more influential to your opponents than your game is.
That is why it is so important, when you are playing against business associates, to make sure that you are both a good loser, and a gracious winner, as is appropriate to the situation. Leaping into the air, rubbing your victories in your opponent's face, or otherwise being slightly obnoxious will not make you any friends, and that can hurt your business prospects. Likewise, looking for excuses, getting angry or not congratulating your opponents when they win will only discourage them from dealing with you off the course.
Etiquette, and handling yourself with dignity, ethics and in a sportsmanlike manner is more important than ever when you are playing business golf, so if you don't already know the rules of the course, learn them before you venture out for a game with people you do business with, or would like to.