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Golf ... Business Tool or Boondoggle?

OK ... I will start by stating my position. I do not golf and have no desire to play the game. I am continually asked to reevaluate this position and always come to the same conclusion ... it takes way too much time, and I don't have any to spare! However ... I do fully understand why people love the game and certainly don't begrudge them their passion. I just think it is a personal choice and should remain a personal pastime.

Now to my beef ... golf takes a lot of time, so how did it ever become a business tool? It's the people who can afford golf, the most highly paid employees that choose to use it as a business tool. Companies pay these people a lot of money to do their jobs ... what is the ROI on a day at the course?

How much does it really cost a company when their executive golf? Could the discussions not be achieved over coffee, lunch, dinner or drinks after work? A game of golf takes a minimum 4 hours (maybe 6 hours in a tournament) once you are there, plus travel time, plus post golf socializing etc.

What if the union shop stewards made the case that they would need to go golfing ... to build deeper relationships? Maybe the apprentices could all go ... its tough to beat 4 quality hours of undivided attention to really build a relationship! Perhaps all of the company staff could go to play in the charity golf tournament, it is such a great way to support charities (or so say golfers)!

Speaking of charity golf tournaments ...just how much goes to the charities? The golf course does very well, the individuals get a vacation day, the charity gets something, but probably not as much as if the company just donated directly to the charity.

Maybe this is heresy to some ... but I think the ROI on golf is very suspect!