This question comes up in the business community more and more..is Golf a serious Sport or just a Game?
However it is not as profound of a contrast as my fellow golf bloggers have compared the two extremes. What the debate comes down to is golf something that is used as entertainment or something that an individual play or use.
As a result many business people default the answer to this question in terms of value to their business. Value in today’s business world is determined in the return of investment of time and funds a company pays for anything and everything they do for business. Unfortunately most business people see Golf as being more of an entertainment value to their efforts to incentive their current business than as a tool for building new business. Misinformed businesses will write golf off as being worthless or use freely the the new description given Golf by the non-golfing world as being..frivolous.
There are certain aspects to both sides of this view point that are correct. However, one side weights heavily to being a strong negative as the other side balances by being a weak positive. In today’s business environment many business owners and executives are seeing golf as only as something they would use for entertainment purposes which deems golf to them as being a strong negative to the companies bottomline. The few, yet growing, business executives who see golf not as not just a game or sport, but as a tool to developing new business, hold up the other side of the debate with understanding the strength golf being in the building of stronger business relationships which lead to long lasting sales. Since a crowds voice is heard loudest this opinion of golf being frivolous sways many uninformed business people to take sides as golf being only something to use for entertainment and nothing else.
Unfortunately, this quick ascertainment of golf’s worthiness in business is not totally accurate. There is no argument that the action of attending a professional golf tour event with customers, employees or vendors would be accurately categorized as being entertainment. The value of that experience could be seen by most , especially non-golfers, as being of little value to the company if evaluated on what was spent to entertain their assets (customers, employees and vendors) verses what was gained in return. This thinking is what pushes the thinking of many that golf is just a Sport.
What is being missed, but has valid results, is that within the same amount of time and money spent to attend a PGA or LPGA golf tournament a round of golf could have been played with these business assets. What would have changed with taking this action would be with the opportunity to focus the time and money to a purpose more inclusive to doing business, introducing thoughts of what business is available and, yes, pitch the business’ product. Playing golf instead of watching golf produces the positive result many businesses sweep away as being frivolous.
When you look at the purpose of business, which generally is defined as making money by selling a product or service to a consumer of that product or service, and then look at the purpose of using golf for business then the purposes of both is more closely met by playing golf than watching golf. Now this is all predicated on if everyone involved plays golf which should be a given since the action of someone who does not play golf in watching golf would be even worth of a waste of time and money validating the frivolousness of that endeavor.
Looking back to the original question of Golf being a Sport or Game, I think it could safely be said that since a game is played to determine a clear winner and loser and a sport is defined as a recreation that in the business world golf benefits business more as a game played than a sport watched.
For me personally and professionally, Golf is both a game and sport. Golf is unique in that it can be combined and shaped into being purely a game or sport or an infinite number of combinations of both. The same goes for business. Business is clearly done to win but also is done for its pleasure. To succeed in business today you have to find the right combination to the game and the sport to make it worth doing…my choice is to play golf and play it with my business assets as frequently as I can so I can stay in the game of business and keep business as a sport.
I hope this makes sense..if not the bottomline is: Stop thinking of golf as a frivolous endeavor for a business to be involved with and learn all of its value before becoming part of the voice of the misguided and misinformed. If golf is to survive golfers, business golfers and professional golfers need to get behind getting the message out on golf’s business values. The value of golf is in playing golf not viewing it as being insignificant to a business’ mission. Broaden your future, your health and business success by learning to play golf..or business golf as I call it.
Let me know how I can help.