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How to Play Business Golf

Some people cringe at the thought of playing in a corporate golf outing. They worry that they will embarrass themselves on the course, either by playing poorly or by simply not knowing what to wear, how to act, or even what to say during the round. Believe me--I have been to dozens of corporate outings and seen many top executives literally quaking in their golf shoes at the thought of teeing it up in front of their peers. Instead of fearing that a business round will be the low point of your career, why not take advantage of the situation?

The corporate golf event should be viewed as an opportunity. Golf brings out your real character: It tests your fortitude, your confidence, and your humility. Your boss or client may not be impressed with your golf swing, but they will be observing your appearance and behavior. It's in this character-analysis game--not the one with the clubs and balls--where birdies and bogeys are really made.

The golf outing is actually a microcosm of the business world. It's no different from a job interview or a sales conference. Be prepared. Know how to dress, whom to tip, and what to say. Know the rules of the game and, equally important, the etiquette. Be professional, but have fun.

Again, your actions on the golf course are being monitored by your peers, your customers, and your bosses. You may not be able to break 100, but you don't have to be Tiger Woods to dress and act like a professional. In the accompanying graphics, I'll give you some simple tips so that you not only survive your next corporate outing but also leave an impression that will further your career. A survival guide by Golf Digest teaching professional Rick Smith

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