This is where I tell you to do what I say and not what I do. I am not a good example of what I am about to tell you.
I was raised in a family of golfers. My grandfather was a par golfer plus and designed a few courses. He taught my mom to play golf when she was a teenager — long before there were many women on the links. My mom was a good golfer, better than my dad, if truth be told. She loved the game and played at least three days a week during the summer.
I learned to golf when I was in grade school, and I got pretty good at it during high school. I played a little after I went to college and then less after I got married (to someone who did not appreciate golf) and even less during law school and after I started to practice law. After all, golf takes time.
That was my rationale for belonging to a golf club but never playing the game. Stupid. Even more stupid was not playing in the annual law firm/client golf tournament because my game was a little rusty by then.
So, when I read the article by Vivia Chen in The American Lawyer about why women lawyers should play golf to improve business opportunities, all I could do was sigh. For all the bad golf decisions of my past.
In my defense, however, I do recall having at least one lucid moment on the subject of women and golf. In Best Friends at the Bar: What Women Need To Know about a Career in the Law, I included information about playing golf as a good business development tool in the chapter titled “Find a Comfort Zone for Promoting Work.”
However, I took heat from some of my readers for embracing a “male-oriented” makeover for women that does not capitalize on typical “women’s strengths.” That book was published in 2009, and it is now 2019. What I tolerated as justifiable criticism then, has little relevance now. I think we have moved on from “typical” gender stereotypes in the last decade.
So, consider golf. Or, better yet, take up the game. A lot of business is done on the golf course. And, presumably, you want a piece of that action.
And, according to the article, this is why you should:
- Because so few golfers are women (24%), any woman who plays gets special attention;
- Golfing is a great place to network for business;
- Men don’t worry about how well they play so why should women; and
- It is not about whether you enjoy it. It is all about doing what’s effective to enhance business opportunities.
So, as stated at the end of the article, “Are we dumb?” I was. But you can be smarter.