Playing The Game – Partnership Of Mind And Body

By Dan Demuth

Last issue we talked about “Brainstorming on the Golf Course.” It’s a powerful strategy that can help you immeasurably in building a great relationship with your client. Today we’re going to spend a bit more time on the “Game Day’ aspect of playing Business Golf and this will round out Part I of Game Day from two issues ago.

So we’re past the point of no return. We’re out there on the golf course now…come what may.

In order to truly maximize the opportunity you’ve been given to spend 4 to 5 hours with your client, I want to give you some ideas on what you should be prepping for out there. Many people I’ve observed doing Business Golf over the years for some reason get lost in the “game’ itself thinking I suppose that playing the game will somehow enable the relationship to follow automatically. Nothing is further from the truth.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The “day’ is ALL about THEM! CAPITAL THEM! Just in case that wasn’t clear! You need to listen, you need to pay attention to details, you need to watch for their emotions or anxiety (especially if they’re new to the game) and you need to look for and find ways to let them know they matter to you. One of the best ways I know to do that is to expect the unexpected.

Here’s what I mean by that…
Real world scenario because this happened to me. My client and I were on the course and around the 11th hole his shoelace broke on his golf shoe. Might seem insignificant but he was basically wearing a slipper for the rest of the round. He was tentative from that point on all his shots because he didn’t have a stable foundation from which to swing freely. Not pleasant for him at all and the round took on a decidedly different feel as he was never comfortable from that point forward and clearly distracted. Joe was a good player and that seemingly minor issue affected our ability to have fun and talk freely about whatever came up. It was then I realized I needed to be far more prepared out there.

Maybe some would say I’m “over prepared’ now but if a rattlesnake bites my client, I’m prepared, if mustard falls out of a hotdog onto his or her shirt…I’m prepared. If there’s a locust plague…well, you get the idea. The point is I’m ready for those little irritating things that can happen out there like blisters, bites, sunburn, headaches, shoelaces, cuts and yes, even emergency TP. That’s a whole other story!

If your client faces any of the issues above or one of many others that can arise and you are prepared to deal with it, you’ve just scored HUGE points in their relationship scoring system. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve been the “hero’ out there and hey, everyone likes to be a hero once in awhile.

The cool part about this strategy is that none of the “hero’s tool kit’ items take up much space. I use a Ziploc plastic bag to store most everything I need and it works great!

There are still a few other things I need to address and we’ll do that in the next issue I’m calling: “The Six Deadly Sins of Business Golf.”

Till next time, hit em’ straight and far…

Allen’s Bio:
Allen spent nearly 20 years in hard-core corporate environments with Fortune 250 companies like Motorola and GE.

One day he discovered the key to create incredible results and exceed all of his sales objectives. The key was Business Golf and through the strategies he learned he was able to build some incredible life-long relationships and Allen attributes more than $35M in business to his use of Business Golf as a tool.

Allen is now President and CEO of Quantum Business Golf International and Back Nine Board of Advisors. Use this link to find out more about what he’s up to:

1 – Playing Your Own Game And Knowing What You Want From The Experience
When I coach golfers, one of the first questions I ask is why they play. Many people are amazed when the question is difficult to answer. Some people have never even thought about it, and yet have belonged to country clubs for the majority of their lives. Why, because it is something that they do, or have done for years.

There are many reasons why we play golf: because we enjoy being outdoors, seek to challenge ourselves, compete with others, develop relationships or spend time with family and friends. I suggest that you come up with something to focus on during the round that allows you to understand the value the game can provide. As I stated in a previous article, if you scored a 90 and it took you 10 seconds to hit each shot, that is only 15 minutes of ball hitting time. An average 18-hole round of golf takes us 4 hours to play. If you’re only hitting the ball for 15 minutes, what are you doing with the other 3 hours and 45 minutes?

The same can be true for many people, how you choose to show up and what it is that you are seeking to get out of the experience is a key component. Sure we all want to play well in golf, score low, and in business make more money, but those are out comes to the overall experience. Defining the clear intent on what it is that you want to do to make a difference for others and yourself.

2 – Strategize Each Hole
Before you play, map out each hole of your round. If it is a course you’ve seen before, go through the scorecard or virtual tour online to see where you could take advantage of the course and achieve your desired outcomes. If there is a hole where you always seem to shot a less than desired score, take a closer look and determine how you could score lower while still playing within your abilities.

If it is a course you haven’t seen before, preview it online and map out how you will play each hole. Develop a realistic idea of what your score could be for the course and set a target. It is also important to realize that you may miss certain shots on the course, but you can still recover from those you did not execute to your liking.

3 – Permission To Score Low
How many times have you been scoring one of your career rounds, only to have a major breakdown on the final few holes? This often happens to golfers of any ability when they are unprepared and haven’t given themselves permission to score low or win a particular game or match.

Take, for example, Tom Watson several years ago. At age 59, was leading the British Open for three consecutive rounds, and played 17 ½ great holes in his final regulation round, only to find himself over the green on his second shot on the par four 18th hole. He simply needed to get up and down in order to win the tournament, but during the next two shots, he looked as though he lost his target and was distracted by the circumstances of his situation. He didn’t get up and down, and lost the next day in a playoff. At his age, winning a major would have been an unprecedented accomplishment, likely putting doubt into his mind as to if it was possible. In order to score low, you must believe you can do so.

4 – Awareness Of Your Thought Process
When teeing off on the first hole, you first need to recognize that you are playing a game. For many people, the first tee can be a frightening experience. It is often the only place on the course where others may be gathered around to watch you tee off. It is critical to be aware of the interference in situations like these (in this case, the people) and redirect your thought process to your intended target.

If you notice yourself losing the target or hitting a number of undesired shots in a row, you first need to ask yourself why. Are you keeping the target through impact? Or are you lining up your shot and then focusing on how to hit the ball? The mind can drift into many different places in a short period of time. Without a conscious thought to hold the target in our minds through impact, the ball can easily go off course. Being aware of your target at all times will limit your distractions and keep you in the zone.

5 – Dealing With Frustration
Frustration is another reason why we lose focus on the target. One of the main causes of our anger is because, when we hit a bad shot or two, we are afraid we will repeat our mistakes. It isn’t so much the disappointment of missing the target in the first place, but the fear of continuing to do it.
If I told you that you would start the round with two double-bogeys but end up with seven birdies and the rest pars to score a 69, I bet you’d be pretty happy. However, after those first two bogeys, there is no way of knowing that you will break through and play great for 16 holes to end the round. Being aware of the possibility of a breakthrough can reduce frustration and bring your mind back to the task at hand.

Our peak performance will happen when we remain 100% clear on our intention and 100% unattached to the outcome. Remaining clear on the possibilities and letting go of what you can’t control.

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