There are many subtle rules about playing with customers. Following are my top 10:
Choose a course based on how much and at what level your clients play — Pick an easy course for a new golfer. If your client is an avid golfer, pick an exclusive public course or a ProAm at a private club.
Remember to carry cash — You will need to tip the staff throughout the day. If you are using a caddie, plan on a $25 tip per bag over the caddie fee.
Take responsibility for showing customers to the locker room, the driving range, and the practice green — Make sure they have tees, balls, and a divot-repair tool. This is a good time to offer a sleeve of balls, with your company logo, as a gift.
Acquaint your guests with the course — Give a brief description of each hole during the round.
Be generous with mulligans — Play your best, but be considerate when others are having an off day.
Wait too long to extend your invitation — Two to three weeks in advance is preferable. Fax the customer directions, the pro shop phone number, and the tee time, along with any special rules. Suggest that you meet in the pro shop 45 minutes before your tee time.
Forget to reconfirm your tee time with the pro shop a day or two before your round — Reconfirm with your guests as well.
Be late! — Present your foursome to the Starter at least 10 minutes before your tee time.
Bring your cell phone on the course — Golfers frown upon the use of cell phones.
Talk business if your client is not in the mood — Let your client set the tone. Your time at the “19th hole” is the perfect place to answer questions or give your pitch — so use it wisely.
Cheryl Leonhardt is an internationally recognized motivationaland the author of Breaking the Grass Ceiling: A Woman's Guide to Golf for Business. Contact her at (978) 443-2883.