For the non-golfers out there, “ham-and-egging” is a term used to describe when golf players complement each other well. As in, “That Cher and Sonny – they really ham-and-egg”, or “Brian and Luis, they so ham-and-egged that they took all of Julian’s and Kevin’s money this weekend.” You get my drift. This is my story about how well golf and business ham-and-egg.
The question is not whether golf will help you in your career or not. The real question is just how early it will. Initially, you might have thought that it would help you out five to ten years from now, right? Wrong. Golf could have helped your career out BIG TIME already. First and only necessary piece of evidence: me.
I’ve been playing golf (better known as “G” in golf circles) since I was eight. Back in college, I played for Harvard. The Harvard name, I must say, did wonders (Those were the days. If only it worked half as well for my current summer job search!). During my sophomore year at school, our Spring Break involved a weeklong trip to Northern California. In the span of a week, we played Cypress Point, Pebble Beach, San Francisco Golf Club, Olympic Club, Spyglass Hill and Pasatiempo Club. Let’s just say it does not happen very often that you get to play at six of the best 100 courses in the country in a week. Pure heaven, I say.
My first post-college job was working at JP Morgan in New York. Investment banking equals bad news for your golf game. It was by far the saddest period of my golfing life: I played twice in two years. Even at JP Morgan, though, playing golf worked wonders. A Managing Director heard about my skills and had me crush some overconfident bankers at a corporate outing at Baltusrol’s Lower Course-the 22nd best course in the United States according to Golf Magazine, and home to the 1993 US Open. Not too shabby for my first outing in a year.
Then came working at Chipshot.com, an online golf company in Silicon Valley. (Yeah, tell me about it, Section D has had loads of fun with my “chip shots” in class.) Wondering how I got the job? Some of my best friends from the Harvard golf team founded the company. How sweet is that? Was this heaven on Earth-I dare say YES! The perks? How about walking side-by-side with Nick Price at Pebble Beach the day before the 2000 US Open started? Enough said.
It’s impossible to count just how many times I’ve said the word “golf” in interviews. Yeah, I know, it’s only a sport. But when you meet a golf nut, this four-letter word can make the difference between a ding and an offer. Takeaway: get your butt out there and start practicing that golf game. It will pay off.