The Second "That's All False! Objection" To Golf Is About Athleticism
Athleticism An Absolute? Any Woman Can Learn The Golf Swing. She Needs To Make Up Her Mind To Learn One
Many women believe they can't play golf because they aren't athletic (or aren't athletic enough) and didn't play sports when they were young. I spoke to two of Golf for Women's top fifty women golf instructors and a popular male teaching professional in the San Francisco Bay area to learn their thoughts on how athletic you need to be to learn the golf swing.
Each instructor emphasized that, rather than athleticism, a woman needs to believe she can learn the golf swing. Pia Nilsson, coach to Annika Sorenstam, today's top LPGA Tour player, suggests if women apply their overall confidence and positive self-esteem when they're learning the golf swing, they'll be able to learn much more quickly.
Another teaching professional agrees. "Any woman can learn the golf swing. She needs to make up her mind to learn one. Even if she was athletic, she needs to train and develop those muscles used for golf," says Winslow "Woody" Woodard of the Alameda, California, Chuck Corica Golf Complex.
The instructors also found most women don't really know if they're athletic. Dede Prongas Braun, Director of Instruction at Crystal Springs Golf Course on the San Francisco peninsula, discovered that many women, especially those over thirty-five, were discouraged from playing sports as a child. She says, "These women really have no idea if they're athletic or not.
They've formed this opinion of themselves because they didn't play any sports. So, they're thrilled when they can pick up a golf club and are able to hit the ball well."
To play golf for business, you need the ability to make consistent contact with the ball and, more important, to know how to be an enjoyable playing partner. Don't compare yourself to others who hit the ball longer or worry if your score is higher than someone else's. Instead, focus on how well you can play within your own game, since that is all you can control. You'll soon find the right golf instructor for you and learn the techniques and strategies to make you a playing partner anyone will want to have in their foursome.
Looking Foolish Is OK, Acting Foolish Is Not
The businesswomen I've met during my presentations are competent and successful in their professional lives. They are competitive in business, and don't want to play golf for business unless they can play well. Again, my response is "That's All False!" Keep in mind that the goal is simply to learn the basic skills so you can hit the ball, enjoy the benefits of playing, and know how to play appropriately in business settings. When you learn proper golf protocol, you won't have the fear of making a golf faux pas prevent you from playing.
Some businesswomen who play golf admitted they used to worry that they weren't good enough players to play for business. They discovered, however, that most men in business golf outings weren't very good players either. Most women can't hit the ball as far as their male counterparts, but they can hit the ball straight and seldom are in any trouble.
I also spoke to businessmen in different industries about their impressions of women playing golf for business. They think positively of women who play golf and wish more women did so. Their advice to women who consider playing is that they learn the etiquette, rather than trying to hit the ball far. They don't care how well a person--man or woman--plays as long as he or she knows how to be an appropriate playing partner. In fact, they prefer to play with a less experienced player if he or she is fun to play with and knows how to play, rather than a better player who is obnoxious and unpleasant.
Remember that you are learning something new and you're bound to make mistakes. You may feel and look strange as you try to swing the club to hit the ball; it's part of the learning process. You weren't born with the ability to walk. You had to take small steps, fall, and regain your balance until you learned to walk without even thinking about it. The same applies to learning the golf swing. It is a new movement for your body and your muscles. With a little effort, you'll learn a golf swing and build muscle memory.
Looking Foolish Can Pay Off
Despite Corene's concerns of looking silly on the golf course, her first round of business golf was very profitable for her. In the mid-1980s, Corene was the youngest national account sales manager for the number one soft drink company in the country. Her client account portfolio was worth $400 million. She was in negotiations with a national discount store chain, a transaction worth $10 million annual revenue.
When negotiations stalled, Corene asked the distributor, whom she knew well and had worked with before, for suggestions on how she could get the deal moving with the head store buyer and the vice president of the store. He said the buyer and vice president were avid golfers, and he suggested that she invite them to play a round. She initially objected because she didn't know how to play. But the distributor assured her that he would tell her what to do and what not to do during the round. Despite her concerns, she had him set a date for a round of golf with the buyer and the vice president.
Corene had two weeks to take golf swing lessons at the local golf course. When the day arrived, she was able to hit the ball, but not very far and not very consistently. Of course, she was nervous and afraid of looking silly out there. But she also wanted her company to be the exclusive soft drink supplier for this store chain. Rather than being uptight about how she played, she realized that if she relaxed, had a good time, and even made fun of herself, then everyone might have a good time.
The glory is not in never failing, but in rising each time you fail.
-- Chinese proverb
Corene still laughs at how poorly she played. She recalls missing the ball many times in her attempts to hit it. On several holes she just picked up her ball after hitting it so many times. But her male playing partners also celebrated with her when she sank her putts. They joined in on the fun and weren't bothered by her poor play.
Corene says, "We just had a great time and laughed during the round. Sure the laughs were somewhat at my expense. But they weren't laughing at me as a business professional, but my inability to play golf. We were all having fun, and even laughed at some of the shots the guys made."
She knows she got the exclusive account because she was willing to look foolish. Corene said, "We didn't seal the deal on the golf course, but our negotiations after the round were more relaxed. Since we had such a good time, we talked about wanting to make the deal happen because we knew we could work well together." She added, "The buyer respected that I went out there even though I was a beginner. They knew if I could play with them, then I could also work with them."