The Business Golf Invitation



Spoken or written, formal or informal unless you are planning a match with family or friends there is a lot more to the golfing invitation then "Hey, you want slap it around next Saturday ?" or my favorite "Balls in the Air at 7 you in ?"

The first and often forgotten thing to know about your prospective golfing guest is what type of golfer is he or she ? A serious 18 handicap ? A devil may care "15" who has not lost a ball in ten years ?  A five outings per year golfer that has never broken 100 ?  A scratch player that competes at a very high level ? There is nothing wrong with asking "What's you handicap ?" The "the fact that I can only play on days that end in y" is just a revealing as the "I don't have a formal handicap but I would guess around 20".

Think about it, do you really want to invite the scratch player when you know you'll be playing from the "executive tees" ? Or worse yet do you want your five outings per year prospect trying to reach the fairway from the championship tees ? This step may not seem important, but be assured it is.

So once you've determined the type of golfer and it's time to extend the invitation; Be specific with day, time and place and type of event. By the type of event is it a tournament of some kind, or a friendly foursome. 

If a tournament, what kind and is anything expected of your guest. I was once invited to play in "trade association tournament". Well in truth it was a charity tournament, sponsored by a trade association and I was asked to cough up $500 at the gate. 

Now granted it "wasn't required" but a quick scan of the registration sheet let me know it was expected. Don't get me wrong charity tournaments are great, I have played in plenty, but I had always known up front so this was quite a "surprise".

If a friendly foursome, who will the others be ?  Think about it. 

Once the invitation is accepted it is time to let your guest know the rest of the details. 

  • A good place to start is to offer directions, if they are "not needed" it does no harm to mention that your guest should use the "Maple Ave entrance". He or she may know where your club is having driven by the green keepers entrance on North St a hundred times and have no idea that the "members entrance" is around the corner. (Myself I have "accidentally" used the green keepers entrance more than once, I just love to see "back room" operations. How they are equipped and maintained tells a lot more about the membership then most will ever admit.)

  • Let your guest know of your club's dress code, and make it clear. You don't want to be scurrying down to the pro shop to buy your guest a collared shirt or a pair of slacks that don't fit because you forgot to mention no jeans. 

  • Will a locker be available or should your guest be come dressed to play ?

  • Do you have a practice range ? Will your guest want to warm up before playing ?

  • How about the putting green ?


Next you want to let your guest know what to expect when they arrive at your club.

  • Where is the bag drop located, if you know the attendants names pass those along. 

  • After leaving the clubs let them know where to park, even if it is obvious. A simple "you'll see the parking area straight ahead" will do.. 

  • And last but not least where will you meet  ? The putting green ?The grill room ? The practice range ? Where ever it is let your guest know. Even the Most seasoned business golfer will appreciate this.

Now a few things you can do that can put your guests arrival experience over the top.

  • Let the bag drop attendant know you have a guest coming, give the attendant his or her name and any details you can like car type and color, or brief description so your guest will be recognized upon arrival. Leave a little "pre-tip".  Even or should I say especially in a tournament, setting your guest up to be greeted by name will go a long way. If you feel it's appropriate have the bag drop attendant set your guest up with a sleeve of Titlists. There really is nothing like opening a new sleeve on the first tee.

  • Now go to the grill room and do the same thing with the steward or bartender or whomever else your guest may encounter along the way. 

  • Don't be the second to arrive ! Be there to greet your guest, no ifs ands or buts.

These may seem like trivial little details but be assured if you take the time to do them by the time Mr. or Ms. Guest meet you they will very pleased with the way they have been treated and much more relaxed.

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