Everyone thinks that they are so connected to everyone else, but is that really the case? We bounce from Facebook posts to Instagram pictures to Twitter feeds all day long, but is this really building lifelong friendships? I personally struggle with this because I love talking to our members one-on-one in person and on the phone everyday. It is those conversations were the rapport is created, trust is built, and where knowledge is passed back and forth, yet I find myself spending too much time following the random posts that clog my inbox each day.
At Chequamegon Bay Golf Club, we strive to provide our members and guests a great EXPERIENCE, and I take that very seriously. I have always envisioned a membership at any golf club as a sharing network were dedicated and passionate people from all different industries and walks of life can come to enjoy playing the game of golf. Sharing stories add as much if not more to the experience as shooting your best round does.
Robert Louis Stevenson may have said it best: “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” When it comes to networking, you can plant a lot of seeds on the golf course. Whether you are a scratch golfer or a total beginner, you can learn a lot and meet some great people through leagues, tournaments, or just joining up with a group of strangers on a busy weekend. Sure, the golf itself is valuable, but for many golfers it is the contacts and conversations that leave a lasting impression on their lives.
On the golf course I have had or witnessed lifelong friendships formed, new jobs found, careers shift for the better, moods swing from sad to happy just from enjoying a little sunshine, and that is just through one round.
Even if you are unable to join a league or play in a tournament, try playing with someone who you normally wouldn’t play golf with on a Saturday. Hey, you already have a passion for golf in common. If you are new to the game and thinking about trying golf, and how to improve, join a workshop or group clinic. It will help to both grow your knowledge and grow your personal network. YouTube videos and Facebook posts will provide information, but it will always take a village of connections to make great strides.
A relationship moves to a completely different level when you spend time face to face. A hundred text messages are not as meaningful as playing golf with someone.
This reminds me of a story from when I was in college. A professor asked us to take a blank sheet of paper and write down our overall net worth. Answers included bank account balances, stocks and bonds, real estate, and other possessions. He then told us to toss out that paper and write down our overall net worth beyond possessions. He drew a lot of blank stares.
Our professor then asked us to consider the value of our personal networks – our friends, connections, colleagues, classmates, family, neighbors, and members from any associations we were in at the time. He then said to assign $100 to each acquaintance, $1,000 to classmates and association members, $10,000 to co-workers and neighbors, and $100,000 to family members. Our calculations all rose north of 1 million dollars. While only an academic exercise, it does remind us that we undervalue the relationships in our lives. Cultivating more and deeper relationships can have a huge affect on the harvest you reap in your life. Never stop building your personal network, and we’ll do our best to help grow it each day on the golf course.