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Connecting on the Golf Coursephoto

Let me start by saying, I am not a golfer.  I mean it! I am a horrible golfer with very little skill.  However, with that being said,  I love to spend an afternoon on the Skamania Lodge Golf Course or really any afternoon on any golf course is better than a typical afternoon at my desk.  Wouldn’t you agree? 

No?  I hear “No” from some of my friends, colleagues and meeting planners that don’t regularly golf or perhaps have never golfed.  Maybe they are too competitive and don’t think they will enjoy doing something they may not be “good” at.  I am never worried about being the best golfer in my group.  That is not what it is about for me.  I typically only golf a couple times a year and it has always been for something related with my work.  It has been either to play in a tournament with potential customers, industry colleagues or teambuilding events with my fellow associates.  There is not another activity that I get the same benefits as I do out of spending 4-5 hours with these 1-3 other people than I do when we golf together.  When we golf together (especially in a “best ball scramble” style game) we always end up with better relationships and connections than we had when we started. Having lunch with a potential customer is nice, but it is what, 2 hours at the most and your mouth is full much of the time.  In golf you get to be with these important people the whole time…. 4 hours minimum for an 18-hole course…. laughing, cursing, praying, telling stories, learning about each other’s families, talking about past vacations, having a beer and getting some fresh air like I did last week when golfing with a colleague from sister property Sunriver Resort and two meeting planners.

Playing games with customers, business partners and team members offers some additional insight.  I get to see how people react when they are competing.  I witness how they act when they are learning a new skill and when they have successes and perhaps failures. Having this information and knowledge of each other when we are working on projects together, forming a team or negotiating a contract, is very helpful.

Many groups that come to Skamania Lodge plan to include golf teambuilding into their agendas. I believe the reason why this is so popular, besides the fact that our course is stunningly beautiful with many views of the Columbia River Gorge and the Cascade Mountains, is that corporate leaders realize when their teams or attendee’s spend this time together, bonding and socializing, it creates lasting connections that certainly will carry over to their business.  I would argue that the 4-5 hours on the course gets far more bang for the money and time investment than any other part of the typical meeting agenda.

I found this great article about the benefits of golfing for business. http://www.bettergolfarticles.com/Article/Is-Golf-and-Corporate-America-A-Match-Made-in-Heaven-/978

When looking to put some golf into your world don’t always think of the standard 18-holes of traditional play.  The golf pro at Skamania Lodge, Mr. Guy Puddefoot, reminds me that 9-holes can have the same benefits or even a 3-hole adventure at the end of the day will bring people together in this unique special environment.

Since I only play a few times a year I have found getting to know the golf terminology to be helpful.  Here is a link with lots of great help. http://tipsforbeginnergolfers.com/golf-terminology/.

I hope to see you on the course!

Tammy Oxentenko
National Sales Manager
Skamania Lodge

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