Golf is good for business

We all play golf for different reasons.

Some like the challenges this great game provides, both mental and physical. Others appreciate the health benefits and the opportunity to spend time in the great outdoors in good company.

The feel of a well struck drive. The sound of a sweetly struck iron shot. The sense of relief when successfully pitching over a bunker from a tight lie and the satisfaction of creating a putt that disappears into the hole for a welcome birdie. All valid reasons for putting your clubs in the boot of the car and heading for the course.

Golf can be a great escape from the daily grind of home and work life and the responsibilities that come with them. There are a multitude of reasons why we should get off our backsides and head to the golf course.

Apart from the simple pleasures and occasional frustrations that we are sure to encounter along the way, GOLF IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS.
You only need to look at your TV screens Thursday to Sunday to see professional golf tournaments around the world being sponsored by internationally recognised companies. Why? Quite simply because it works. It is worth their while.

As an ambassador for Aberdeen Standard Investments, I have seen how much time, effort and money these guys have put into golf at all levels over the years. Without them, there may well not have been a Scottish Open on the European Tour or a Scottish Ladies Open which is now a co-sanctioned LET / LPGA Tour event. So as golf fans, we should all be enormously grateful for their incredible input.

Why do they invest so heavily in golf? Again because it works.

In years gone by, big brands and multi-nationals were well known for their lavish, no expense spared golf days with 100 invitees. The problem with that was, inevitably the hosts rarely had the opportunity to spend any time with more than a handful of their guests.

While these big events may be a thing of the past, smaller more bespoke, intimate and more personal events are very much in evidence in today’s business world.

Since setting up with my business partner, former Ryder Cup player and highly respected SKY golf analyst Andrew Coltart, we have hosted an ever increasing number of golf events for a wide variety of businesses with great success.

While our clients range from relatively small local businesses to international conglomerates, they all have similar goals and intentions. They all understand the value of looking after clients, both existing and potential, in a professional  but relaxed environment. Where else do you have the opportunity to spend a few hours with your most valued clients to discuss and hopefully secure that life changing deal?

Only last week, we hosted an event at Archerfield Links for a long term client who have worked closely with in the past. Our client has recently moved from one company to spearhead the wealth management business of AAB – Anderson, Anderson & Brown, a fast growing accountancy firm based in Aberdeen. Why did they want to do this? Because it works. It is good for business.

This event was very special for a number of reasons. Firstly, we were at Archerfield, where the golf courses, accommodation, practice facilities and welcome are truly world class. Secondly, the sun shone for two days, so smiles and sunscreen were very much in evidence. Last but not least, we had sixteen great people to spend some quality time with.

After drinks on the terrace and a lovely lunch in the clubhouse, we hosted a short game and putting clinic in the afternoon, where we introduced our guests to some simple and effective concepts about how to get up and down more frequently. Armed with a copy of “The Lost Art Of Putting”, newly acquired short game skills and lots of positivity, our guests checked into the magnificent Archerfield House.

Drinks on the lawn, no jacket required but sunglasses essential, preceded a wonderful dinner and chat about golf, business and life in general around the table. A few ‘Tales from the Tour’ kept our guests entertained throughout.

The obligatory putting games in the drawing room followed. Evidently these are significantly easier after a few glasses of very nice Malbec as they kept everyone in exceptionally good humour. Snooker challenges and a couple of small wagers followed before our guests headed off to their rooms. After all, they were playing golf in the morning.

After a hearty and healthy breakfast, it was off to the range to warm up before  playing the picturesque Fidra Links, which incidentally is fantastic condition.

In addition to a team Stableford competition, Andrew and I provided both a TrackMan long drive comp and ‘Beat the Pro’ challenge on a couple of the par 3s. This of course was all enhanced by calm conditions and more sunshine and smiles.

To conclude proceedings, we gathered in the clubhouse for a light lunch and prize-giving before we all headed our separate ways with promises to keep in touch and continue discussions from the previous 24 hours.

Judging by the feedback we have since received, we hope to develop long lasting friendships in the coming weeks, months and years.

The icing on the cake for us was when we received a message to say “Thank you for hosting our golf event at Archerfield, which as always, exceeded our expectations. The whole experience was first class. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the two days and it provided us with an excellent opportunity to spend some much valued quality time with our guests.” Fraser Porter, CEO, AAB Wealth.

Whatever your existing reasons for playing golf, whether they be escapism, health benefits or the pure and simple pleasure of playing the game for it’s own sake, you can now add the fact that golf is good for business.