Week 16: A Day on the Green, Golfing with Clients
"No other game combines the wonder of nature with the discipline of sport in such carefully planned ways. A great golf course both frees and challenges the golfer's mind." Tom Watson
What did I do:
Been consulting for three years so decided it was about time to learn how to golf. A few colleagues and I went out to Skylinks Golf Course in Long Beach to play. I grew up an athlete and played several sports (namely basketball, volleyball and badminton). Naturally, I should pick up this game pretty quickly, right?? Not the case. Thankfully, my colleague Ashley is super patient and was willing to teach me the basics. We practiced hitting at the driving range and then intended to play 9 holes. I think we got through 6 before the sun started setting.
Who was with me:
I was with my colleague Ashley and one of our firm partners, Brad. We were also joined by our long standing client Jane. To not slow the entire group down, we split into teams of two. Jane and Brad went ahead of us while Ashley and I took our time through the course, learning the basics along the way.
What did I learn:
I learned how to keep score. The aim of the game is to get your ball in the hole with the fewest number of shots as possible. The person with the lowest number wins the game. Every hole on a golf course has a par value. It refers to the number of shots required for a professional to complete the hole.
- Par: if you take four shots at a Par four hole, you are said to have made par.
- Bogie (+1): One over Par, you took five shots at a Par four.
- Double bogie (+2): Two over Par, you took six shots at a Par four.
- Trip bogie (+3): Three over Par, you took 7 shots at a Par four.
- Birdie (-1): One under Par, you took 3 shots at a Par four.
- Eagle (-2). Two under par, you took 2 shots at a Par four.
- Albatross (-3): Three under par, you took 1 shot at a par four. This is really rare, even among the pros. In fact it’s only happened 18 times in Major Championship history.)
Ashley did a great job of teaching me which type of club to use for each type of hit. Some are pretty easy to remember like the wood (used for driving) and the putter (used for putting). The hybrid, iron, and wedge take a little more time to understand.
I also realized the game requires very high levels of etiquette like 1) being quiet while your fellow golfer takes his/her shot 2) allowing people to pass you if you are moving slowly through the green 3) do not walk through the sand pits and 4) although not used by professionals, offering best ball to player(s) struggling.
Would I do this again:
I would definitely play again. Golf is a sport you can play for life. There is so much to learn and so much to refine. I really enjoy being outdoors, getting fresh air and playing a few rounds. I must say, it can get a bit challenging to have a meaningful conversation with a client while I chasing down bad hits.