Corporate Golf Etiquette for Business Travellers


Even in the middle of arid Dubai there is no shortage of lush, manicured golfing greens. Business travel and golf are perfect partners all across the world, from tropical islands to desert sands.  

We’ve all heard that more deals are struck on the fairway than in the boardroom. It just might be true; the golf course provides the ideal place for mixing business and pleasure, getting things done without the constraints of a fully professional environment.

With a lot potentially at stake, it’s important that you know how to walk the line between golf buddies and business partners. Here are seven rules to follow when conducting business on the golf course.

  1. Polish your game

You’re not expected to be Tiger Woods – buts you are expected to know your woods from your irons! If you are likely to be invited to play a round or two you should take a couple of lessons beforehand to ensure you can play competently. It may not be the most democratic of systems, but the better the player you are, the more to your advantage corporate golf will be.

  1. Play by the rules

Understanding the rules helps avoid embarrassment on your part and on the part of those you are playing with. There’s nothing more awkward then someone having to point out you’ve infringed on the rules. It just creates awkward situations for all – not good for business!

  1. Dress the part

Make sure you find out the regulations concerning dress before you pull up in your casual wear. It our experience, however, if you’re with clients, it’s always best to look as smart as possible, golf or no golf!

  1. Take the rough smoothly

Play fair or you risk putting your commercial integrity into question too. After all, what would you think of a potential business partner if you saw them being lax with the rules? It’s only a game – what matters is the business, not the scorecard.

  1. Err on the side of caution

The ins and outs of golf etiquette may run to a couple of volumes and they will vary from location to location. In essence, though, you can condense corporate golf etiquette down to this simple commandment: be polite. If you are not sure what to do then give way on the fairway’s driving order, concede a putt and always accept your own failures with good humour and grace.

  1. Button it

This is an important one! Unless you are explicitly asked for it you should never offer advice on someone else’s game. It’s at best presumptuous and at worst it’s insulting.

  1. Don’t bet on it

Try to keep things amicable and not too competitive. Boasts and bets just make the beautiful game turn ugly. Betting on your rounds really is among the worst things you can do.

  1. Strike only when the iron is hot

They say you should never talk business the first time you play with a new colleague or client. It’s not a hard and fast rule but there is something rather unseemly about pushing your business agenda when you’re supposed to be getting to know each other.

There are certain times when business should never be discussed. Make sure not to raise the finer points of a deal whilst your golfing partner is on the green or teeing up a shot. Save talking shop for the stroll between the holes.


At Simplexity we may not be able to help you when you are on the green but we are experts in booking corporate golf retreats for your team or your clients. See how we can help you get in the swing of corporate golf travel today.

Speak to us today on 0203 535 9290, or email us at

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