Meeting Tee-to-Green

by Jason Wilson

When I first started playing golf, I never thought about the effect the game could have on my life, both personally and professionally.  As it turns out, these two aspects are intertwined and connected –

I love golf.  I’ve been accused of playing too much golf (if that’s even possible!) – If you are reading this and know me well, you know exactly how much I love the game.  I suppose when I answer the phone, and the first thing many people ask is, “Are you working or playing golf today?” – I guess there’s no hiding it.  The truth is, once it grabs ahold of you, you’re hooked.

From a personal perspective, I believe golf to be the ultimate test of humility, patience, perseverance, integrity and sportsmanship.  It’s primarily an individual sport and requires a great deal of introspection to perform to the best of your abilities.  It’s a game that reveals a person’s character and how they handle seasons of success and periods of adversity.  I’ve been fortunate to have competed in many amateur tournaments on a local, regional and national scale.  The peaks and valleys of tournament golf definitely test your physical, mental and emotional limits…and that can only help you in your professional career as well.

Since starting my first advertising job in 1996, golf has always been a part of my work experience.  It didn’t take long for word to get out that I played the game somewhat seriously.  I quickly discovered that people also enjoy playing with good players – it challenges them to focus and play their best.  Charity outings, sponsorship tournaments, and customer recreation are fun and always play a large part in the relationship building, as it should for any company.   It’s the great game of business—bringing players of all skill levels together for some friendly competition and a break from the office (often in support of a great cause as well). Thanks to my healthy obsession, I’ve also been able to help many of my customers improve their game, something I always enjoy doing.

The interesting thing about golf is everyone is trying to get to the next level – hitting it longer, chipping it closer and lowering their scores.  We love to talk about our heroic shots and utter disasters.  We’re all rooting for each other while celebrating and commiserating over the greatest game to ever be played.  Two complete strangers can always talk golf with ease.  The number of people I’ve met and come in contact with through playing the game has been a tremendous resource for me professionally, while also developing some great friendships.

I’ve always believed that no one really buys your products; sure, that’s the output, and you have to deliver something of value, but in truth, they are buying You. They are buying who you are, what you stand for and how you represent yourself.  Golf has a way of revealing some of those traits outside of a traditional office setting or a sales call, plus the golf course can be one of the most serene and peaceful places you can find.  Everyone feels better on the links, don’t they?  So enjoy the outdoors, forget the sales pitch (for now) and be real.  People are looking for authenticity, particularly in their business relationships.
I really enjoy helping others, and love that I can do that through business and golf.  If you don’t play, I’d suggest giving it try.  You might be surprised at what you discover about yourself.

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