Seeing Green on the Green


Happy New Year, I hope you were all able to kick your feet up and enjoy some time with family and friends over the holidays. Maybe a hot take, but I think NYE is an overrated holiday. All of that planning and anticipation for something equivalent to a normal night out with friends?

Anyways, we’re back! And we’ll be in the inbox every Tuesday and Friday for the rest of the year. Not even my 4-year-old fish dying can stop that.

RIP Dewey, you’re the new mascot for this whole thing.

CEOs love golf

One of my gifts for Christmas this year was a new set of golf clubs. When someone questioned the reason I asked for them I jokingly responded, “I’m going to close so many deals this year.”

Yep, out with the “I’d use an 8 iron here”, and in with the “I’d recommend running your company this way.”

But then I started thinking, how many deals are actually done on the golf course?

Turns out, a lot.

Now, most of the deals that are done on a golf course aren’t earth shattering. They are primarily agreements between small, local businesses given that the courses themselves are regional. Think landscaping companies, self-storage facilities, real estate deals, etc.

But there is some interesting data on Fortune 500 CEOs.

90% of Fortune 500 CEOs golf, and 80% of them say that this hobby enables them to establish new business relationships. And they’re not lying, country club memberships remain a mainstay perk/benefit for these executives.

For example, Boyd Gaming (huge casino holder) pays over $7,400 in club fees for their current CEO. Pacific Mercantile Bancorp paid over $125,000 in club memberships for their CEO for “business development purposes and business entertainment”

But I don’t think once you become a CEO, you suddenly take up golf because you have to. I think it works the other way around. If deals are truly done on the course, then my guess is that CEOs have leveraged golf from an early stage to become a better candidate for the position.

In other words, if CEOs are good salespeople and deal makers and sales and deals occur frequently on the golf course, then odds are that CEOs are golfers.

Have bad allergies? Gonna be tough becoming an executive.

Still not convinced? Here’s some more data.

Golf sucks. Why golf?

Trust me, I get it, golf sucks. Why did it have to be golf? Why not pickleball?

Well unfortunately (or fortunately depending on who you ask), golf is the perfect game for business:

  • Golf takes a while. A round of golf can take up to 4 hours, which means you have 4, uninterrupted hours with your potential client.I mean, where else can you get that kind of devoted time? Not in a meeting.
  • Golf is casual. The sport is lax enough that it allows for easy conversation. It allows people to let their guard down, but still think clearly. Something you wouldn’t be able to do with basketball or running for example.
  • Golf is revealing. People claim that golf reveals someone’s true personality. When they hit a bad shot, do they get mad and yell or do they have a better attitude? When they hit a good shot, are they cocky? Golf can give you a better gauge of who you’re working with.

Ok, but prove it

While there are many examples, rumor has it that one of the biggest deals in US history was closed on a golf course.

Story goes that Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan scheduled a round of golf at Carnegie’s local club to discuss the sale of Carnegie Steel Company to J.P. Morgan’s US Steel Company.

At the time Carnegie was not interested in selling, but J.P. Morgan wanted to buy him out so that he could monopolize the steel industry. After 18 holes and intentionally (or unintentionally depending on who you ask) losing, J.P. Morgan was able to convince Carnegie to sell his company for $480 million (worth roughly $13 billion in today’s dollars) making him one of the richest people in the world.

Charles Schwab, who was also ~coincidentally~ on the course with them that day, was named president of the company after the merger.

Fast forward 121 122 years and they all have banks named after them.

Off the Bench

Alright, let’s be honest, I’m sure a lot of you made a new year’s resolution around the idea of getting fit. Overcome the anxiety of going to the gym again with Odell. Whether it’s burning fat, putting on muscle, or regaining confidence, get off the bench! Let’s face it, the gyms are going to be packed and you want to make sure you do it right the first time, so check it out! Given how popular this resolution is, spots are filling up so get signed up soon. #ad

Closing remarks

I’m sure out of all the deals that are made, only a very very small percent of them are actually done on the golf course. But nonetheless it is interesting to see the correlation between some of this data.

I think the reasons for why golf was chosen over other forms of physical activity definitely ring true. I mean in the days of remote work and online meetings, the idea of golf sounds refreshing.

Now I just need to move somewhere warm enough to play it.

‘Til Friday.

from, matt

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