Posted by & filed under Miscellaneous.

When you’re negotiating a business deal, it’s often hard to get to know your potential partner’s true character in an office environment. That’s why the golf course is a popular setting for business deals. So, if you’re after tips for sealing a deal on the golf course, you’re in the right place. Here are some tips from us to make sure you make a good impression.

Get there early

This one should go without saying. You run the risk of not getting the deal if you turn up late and leave them waiting to tee off. Get there early, you’ll often find that a chat before you start the round is a great way to build a rapport. That early chat and joke can set a positive tone for the rest of the day.

Don’t talk business straight away – be patient

Make sure the main topics of conversation are not entirely business-related early on. Establish common ground and focus on your fellow players. Taking a genuine interest in them will go a long way. You’re going to have at least four hours with them excluding post-round drinks or dinner, so don’t be overanxious to talk business.

Listen carefully to get a perspective of the problems they face. Think how you could assist. You might have the answer, or know a contact that might. More often than not, people will return the favour and help you out further down the line.

A networking expert George Souri, once told Forbes magazine how important it can be to create strong relationships on the golf course, “Remember that more often than not, people make investments in people. A round of golf is a great time to demonstrate you are a smart, competent and likeable person. If you are a thoughtful golfer who engages in good conversation on the course, you will increase your chances of closing a deal.”

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Understand and follow golf etiquette

Some golfers take golf etiquette very seriously, so i totally familiar with golf etiquette or not, make sure you are before you play. Don’t walk in someone’s line, and make sure you replace your divots, fix the green and bunkers after use and generally take care of the course. Most golfers like to help newer ones, what they don’t like is someone who just does as they wish with no respect to the other golfers.

It’s small details like these that will help you pass a potential test with flying colours. It’s not just demonstrating respect for the club and course you play but also the fellow golfers following behind.

Pace of play

Don’t slow the group down. Taking 10 warm-up swings and lining up every shot like a pro and conferring in your non-existent caddy is not OK. Also, there’s not much worse on the golf course than waiting for a player to find his shiny new ball in the deep rough after yet another shank. It’s OK to be a bad golfer, but come prepared with some spare balls.

Be honest

The ethos of a golfer is one of meticulous honesty and integrity. Once a cheater always a cheater is a common phrase used on the golf course. You never know, your playing partners may well be testing you to see how trustworthy you are. Be honest and play with integrity and you can’t go wrong. Act on the golf course as you would in the boardroom. It’s not about your final score or whether you win, it’s relationship building that is key.

Drink responsibly

It’s almost inevitable that at a business lunch or dinner, alcohol will come up. The key is to remain in control of your actions. Remember to take it easy. Alternate between your alcoholic beverage and water, especially on a hot day when it can be easy to become inebriated rather quickly.

It’s important to be a great host and offer your client a beverage, but if the answer is no then yours should be too. Your policy should be to “follow the leader” where drinking is concerned. If you’ve ever been sober around those drinking, you’ve seen and heard first-hand how drinkers can say or do the wrong thing. Stay in control and enjoy the day.

Play the 19th hole!

As Ben Storer, president of Business Golf Strategies told Golf.com. “Don’t feel that all the I’s need dotting and the T’s crossing before you finish the round. Your main priority should be making sure your playing partners have enjoyed themselves.”

Take them out for lunch or dinner to continue your conversation, as this is where your business relationship can become more formal and discussions commence. Furthermore, a follow-up thank you letter or a souvenir of the day can’t hurt your prospects of securing the deal.

Posted by & filed under Competitions, Golf Equipment, Partners.

We’re offering one member of The Golfers Club the opportunity to win a Mizuno tour cap or visor.

Q: Who is Mizuno’s former World number one English ambassador?

Simply email your answer to competitions@thegolfersclub.co.uk with details of the prize, your name, membership number and contact number. The prize draw will take place on the 1st July 2016.

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Posted by & filed under Majors, Previews.

HC Fownes’ brute of a creation, the Oakmont course, Pennsylvania, is preparing to host its ninth national championship. But what exactly makes this course the sternest of tests for the world’s golfing elite?

Henry Clay Fownes, a Pittsburgh businessman who grew up in England, never intended for Oakmont to be easy. In fact, he built it precisely because the local courses were not sufficiently testing.

An accomplished amateur in his own right, Fownes’ design brief was to replicate the kind of windswept, bleak landscape of a links course back home. And in the absence of reliably unpleasant weather to make the course more difficult, he cut the fairways so narrow that at one US Open, so legend has it, the USGA had to ask the club to widen them.

Because of the clay subsoil, he couldn’t make the bunkers as deep as they were back home.

The dastardly Fownes’ solution was to create a rake that left golf-ball-wide ridges in the sand perpendicular to the line of play. (When Ben Hogan was asked how he planned to counter these hazards, he replied, true to form: “I don’t plan to be in them.”)

The enormous greens were heavy-rollered into submission, creating firm and fast surfaces.

In short, Oakmont was brutal from the beginning.

As time went on, Henry’s son, William Clark, took over. His philosophy on course design left little doubt that he was a chip off the old block: “A poorly played shot should result in a shot irrevocably lost,” he said. “Keep it rugged, baffling, hard to conquer, otherwise we should tire of the game. Let the clumsy, the spineless and the alibi artist stand aside.”

Oakmont was laid out in 1903. By the 90s it had changed almost beyond recognition. For a start, the Pennsylvania Turnpike highway was built alongside the course, parallel to the railway. And over time, thousands of trees grew on the property.

Oakmont had been in danger of becoming mistaken for a generic country club at one time. With no new tees or bunkers, Oakmont will again measure 7,230 yards against the regulation US Open par of 70. So far, identikit.

But dig a little deeper and you will find an unusual configuration. Five of the par 4s are under 400 yards, with the same number longer than 475 yards. In other words, it is one extreme or the other.

Both the par 5s measure over 600 yards, which makes them lay-up holes until Mike Davis, the USGA’s executive director and CEO, performs his customary sleight of hand with the tees.

Finally, two of the par 3s stretch to over 230 yards, with the 8th measuring 288 yards off the plates. The joke goes it is the only hole in America where you can run nearest the pin and longest drive competitions simultaneously.

“The US Open is played on the country’s grandest golf courses,” says Davis. “The US Open is an examination of shot making, strategy, course management and nerves. Oakmont more than meets all that criteria. It meets the gold standard of a rigorous championship test,” he added.

 

The defending champion, Jordan Spieth, has already made a reconnaissance visit to Oakmont and he left in no doubt as to the scale of the challenge. “The bunkers here may as well be bunkers in the UK,” said Spieth. “You just have to hit sideways out of them.”

He also learned this is not a course where you automatically reach for the driver.

“A lot of holes, you can hit 4-iron off the tee and then hit 8-iron into the green, and chances are you’re in the fairway. But you always can look ahead and see that 15- to 20-yard area that you can fit a 3-wood or driver into and hit a wedge.

“If you are hitting your long irons well off the tee, you’re going to have a good six to eight birdie opportunities, and if you can do that in a US Open, you’re at an advantage to the field.”

Spieth, who finished the week at -5 at Chambers Bay last June, has no doubt that the winner will be deserving.

“The best player will come out on top this week,” he said. “You will have no crazy circumstance or bounces. You have to golf your ball around this place, and the person who is in full control of their entire game will win. I know that if you win a US Open at Oakmont, you can go ahead and say that you’ve conquered the hardest test in all of golf, because this is arguably the hardest course in America day-to-day.

“Any time you win the US Open, you’ve won the hardest test that year, but this is potentially the hardest test in golf. Par is going to be a fantastic score. I’d sign for even par right now,” he said.

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Posted by & filed under Competitions, Golf Equipment, Partners.

We’re offering ten The Golfers Club members the opportunity to win a John Letters TP-S series wedge.

Q: How many free rounds of golf vouchers are given to all policy holders in the Fairway Member’s Golf Pack? 

Simply email your answer to competitions@thegolfersclub.co.uk with details of the prize, your name, membership number and contact number. The prize draw will take place on the 2nd June 2016.

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Posted by & filed under Blog, Videos.

Scott Cranfield, the PGA Golf Professional, has provided a simple video to show you how to avoid the shot that all golfers fear, the dreaded shank. The one thing that golfers don’t even like to hear the word mentioned, just the thought of it can make many people tense up. And when it actually happens to you, it can ruin your confidence for the rest of that round, and sometimes even longer.

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