I recently came across an article in the LA Times titled, “Some female executives don’t feel at ease with business golf outings.” It is beautifully written but doesn’t tackle the real issue – why we let antiquated stereotypes get in the way of getting more women on the golf course.
I personally believe us women should kick off our heels and tee it up for more business.
Like starting anything new, it’s difficult to pick up a new sport and walk into a game that you assume is predominantly played by men. Let alone a game as challenging as golf.
Let’s face it, when learning to golf it is totally common to completely miss the ball as you swing, chunk up dirt, or accidentally throw your club out after the ball. Even I am guilty of the latter two, and I have progressed to a 10 handicap!
And it's not like the rules of the actual game care what gender you are. I witnessed one man get so frustrated trying to get out of the sand trap that he threw his ball out with his bare hands and finished from where it settled (which is a perfectly acceptable way to enhance your afternoon golf outing, FYI).
The game is difficult for everyone; what golf reveals about us has value. It's why men have been doing “deals” on the golf course for centuries as they truly get a unique perspective on their playing and business partner.
Everyone is subjected to the beautifully frustrating aspects of golf: man, woman and child.
As with any career guidance, if someone wants to advance in their career then they need to look at what it takes to get to the top of their industry. Do you want to be an accountant? Learn quickbooks and study appropriately. Does your boss enjoy a good bottle of wine? Do your homework with Wine Spectator. And if the CEO plays golf? Then you play golf.
We need to start looking at golf as a mandatory business skill that will increase productivity, profits, promotions and likability!
It is time for women to start leveling the playing field in business and in golf. Not only should we lean into the workplace, but we should also consider how we can tee up more business out on the golf course.
Written by contributing author, Jenn Harris, of High Heel Golfer.