The ‘sport’ of golf has never been my strong suit. I don’t like watching it and I don’t have enough patience to hack out the full 18 holes. I never thought my distaste for this game would affect my professional life. Unfortunately, I recently discovered that golf is more than a cultural pastime. It is also a corporate “get out of the office free” card.
Golf has dissolved into business culture like sugar into coffee; it adds a sweet touch to take the bitter edge off the corporate world. To this end, employees are not only allowed but encouraged to frolic across rolling greens on company time. In theory, the sport allows for networking and bonding with clients as a means of shrewd business. Regardless of the effectiveness of the practice, the result is an entire afternoon free from the cubicle.
Due to this ongoing love affair between business and golf, the company I work for holds an annual golf tournament for its clients and employees. I was instructed to help hand out snacks on one of the holes. Though the task was not particularly glamorous, I eagerly anticipated the day of the tournament. Not only was it a change of pace but also a welcome shift in work environment.
It took me a while to stop giggling when golfers came to my station to ask if I had extra balls. Once I was able to repress my adolescent humour, I began to see why the golf-business duo is rarely a coed venture. Above all, golf is a sport, and like most sports, this one is usually played with members of your own gender.
For women, golf is a chance to girl talk and have fun. For men, the game is a chance to drink beer and to compare who has the longest drive. With the relationship between golf and business continuing to be hot and heavy, it looks like I’ll have to start learning how to swing a club if I ever want to be a Tiger in the corporate world.