Mark Twain famously called the sport a good walk spoiled, but why do golf courses remain top corporate events and hospitality venues throughout the world?
Think of a casual business meeting or a corporate get-together, and a business deal over the freeway usually comes to mind. While more energic activities like Land Rover driving or clay pigeon shooting are muscling in on golf’s popularity, the stroll around the clubhouse and a few rounds of corporate golfing remains a classic alternative to the imposing boardroom or meeting space setting.
It’s well known a corporate golfing day can make a real difference to a client relationship. Moving away from the impersonal sales calls or emails, for those that need to nurture a connection with a potential business partner or thank a longstanding colleague for their valuable contribution, a turn on the green is a world away from the daily office grind. Whittlebury Park, which has recently announced that it will be investing £1 million in upgrading its spaces for its conference and events guests, offers first-class golf facilities include a 36-hole Championship course, a driving range, simulators, PGA professional coaches and an award-winning clubhouse within its grounds – indicating how venues understand the importance of a comprehensive corporate offering.
The @SiemensMobility uk procurement team is having a great team building morning with @zingevents ! We’re putting a “Hole in Hunger” by building a crazy golf course using food that will later go to @TrussellTrust @thejoeypage pic.twitter.com/LahD9M26Mg
— Jo Hensher (@JoHensher) December 5, 2019
On the team building side of things, there are plenty of ways you can utilise the sport of golf to encourage some workplace bonding, reward personal targets or offer incentives. From taking turns on the driving ranges, investing in coaching and even capitalising on the crazy golf trend, event planners and organisers can tick plenty of boxes by choosing a golf course as their next adventure. The joy of golf is that whether you can easily sink an eagle or struggle to even tee off, everyone in your group can have a go, safe in the knowledge that they are covered by a professional setting and helped along by plenty of on-hand experts.
The UK has a wealth of golf courses to choose from, from St Andrews or Carnoustie in Scotland to the North West of England with the likes of Royal Birkdale on Merseyside. Championship and player-approved courses are geared up for experienced putters as well as those more used to a spot of crazy golf near the Blackpool pier. Major tournaments like the 149th Open, due to take place in July this year at Royal St. George’s in Kent, provides an unmissable opportunity to lavish your team or your clients with a sumptuous hospitality package. As the worlds best players battle it out, differing tiers of experiences from the ‘Champions’ package which offers unrivalled access for golf fans and premium dining and drinks throughout the day, right through to the popular Links Club, which guarantees a reserved seat in the 18th green grandstand, as well as access to The Links Pavilion.
It’s not unusual to see businesses combine their charitable activities to play a few rounds for a good cause too. For the last 20 years, Iceland Foods, one of Britain’s fastest growing retailers, has chosen the north’s Carden Park Hotel as its hospitality partner for its biggest fundraiser – a charity golf day and gala dinner. Carden Park, home to two Championship golf courses and recent winner of England’s Best Golf Hotel at the World Golf Awards, offers a variety of packages to help event organisers at favourable rates for those that want to give a little back. Doing all of the organising and management in-house, Carden Park can make an event that will be remembered by guests, orchestrating charity auctions, serving three-course dinners, offering accommodation and further facilities away from the course.
Though golf sometimes has a reputation of being an exclusive playground of the super-rich and work-shy US presidents, it seems many major companies are choosing the sport to dabble in corporate social responsibility.
Did you know?
45% of clients are more likely to give you their business if you golf together. pic.twitter.com/EZbReeuHb0
— Golf Pays! (@JacksonDusenbe2) December 2, 2019
Outside companies can also take the time and effort needed to create golfing experiences off your hands, so you can just focus on getting your swing right before that big meeting or that competitive game. Staben, for example, hosts a series of sport-based small to large scale personal and corporate events throughout the year, designing bespoke events with a personal touch. Events such as the prestigious Rose & Thistle Trophy (Scotland v England Legends of Sport Golf Event) takes place annually at Trump Turnberry, and sees a select number of guests play alongside sporting legends on Turnberry’s iconic golf fairways overlooking the Ayrshire coastline. The event in spring 2019 saw high profile guests take part, including Harry Redknapp, Steve Davis and Shaun Murphy.
World class golfing competitions have always been a part of the UK’s sporting calendar, meaning that expertly ran, high-end facilities are scattered across the country, ready to be used by those looking for an impressive venue and grounds that will wow clients and revitalise colleagues.