Corporate Events: Golf Meetings with a Twist

In the business world, there is a heavy emphasis on golf meetings and corporate events. In fact, in some corporate cultures, there is a rumor you'll never make it to the executive suite if you don't play golf. Golf isn't team building but it can enhance team bonding and lay a foundation for improved communication and interaction.

It isn't easy to fit golf into incentive travel or an executive retreat. Even with an early shotgun start, by the time everyone showers and has a snack, it will be 3:30 or 4:00 before you can move on to other agenda items. To include golf without putting pressure on the rest of your agenda:

  1. Stay near where you intend to play.

    Select a resort near a golf course or with on-site golf.
  2. Extend your stay.

    I strongly recommend that you add 1 or 2 nights. With 2 nights, you can schedule:

    • a reception and golf-related activities for the whole team the day before
    • an early shotgun start
    • afternoon tea around 3:45 PM when golf is finished
    • a short executive briefing and free time before dinner
    • an early morning start with breakfast in the same meeting rooms that you'll be using for business meetings or team building exercises

      If you can only add 1 night, schedule golf for your last day and arrange a late departure.
    • Offer a menu of team events as alternatives for the non-golfers.
      That is why it's so important to always work with corporate event planning specialists who are experts in your selected destination. They will be in the best position to advise you about hotels and resorts near your preferred team events and propose alternatives such as cooking team building, city tours, safaris, polo clinics, horse riding, or hot air ballooning.

Here are some golf-related activities that my team building and event planning firm has used with great success with golfers and non-golfers:

  • Golf cart relay
  • Golf cart obstacle course
  • Scavenger hunt on the golf course
  • Night golf challenges using florescent golf balls
  • Longest drive or closest to the pin challenge at driving range
  • Urban safari or Amazing Race event that includes a mini-golf challenge

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