A camera phone or a small digital camera is one of the most effective relationship building tools you can use on the golf course.
Use your camera to take some shots of the beautiful scenery and some flattering and/or tastefully funny shots of your group (tasteful as in don’t shoot anything that will embarrass or anger anyone if the shots wind up on social media). Let your playing partners know you’d like to email them the photos and you’ll be the one person everyone will want to get in touch with after the round is over. It’ll guarantee you some post-round interaction that could be the building blocks to a great relationship. If you’re playing in a celebrity event and you capture some shots of the celebrities, this is a sure-fire way of getting around the managers and agents (human firewalls programmed to keep YOU out) to build a relationship directly with the celebrity. Almost everyone, including celebrities and CEO’s, wants to get their photos sent to them as a keepsake. Do yourself a favor though and don’t abuse the open door by sharing their info with others or barraging them with spam, offers, business deals, etc. Let the relationship grow organically. Be patient and great things can happen from the door that opens because of a good photo.
- Never hold the group up because you’ve stopped to capture that perfect photo – remember, you’re there to golf.
- Don’t forget the rules of etiquette while someone else is swinging. If your digital camera has a whisper mode – use it so the sound of the frame advance is not distracting. This holds true for both digital cameras and camera phones.
- If you’re in a tournament setting, use the camera discreetly. If you spend the entire day just snapping shots and collecting business cards, people might get the impression that you’re there just for the purpose of collecting as many contacts as possible (you might very well be there for that purpose, but they don’t have to know it!). On the flip side of that, if you get some great shots, offer to send them to the tournament organizers – they just might use them on the big screen after the event, and if they thank you from the podium for the shots, you’ve just gotten some free exposure that can lead to business.
- If you’re not using the camera on your phone, get the smallest, lightest camera possible. If it fits in your pocket without you noticing that it’s there while you swing, it’s ideal.
- You’re not paparazzi, so don’t try to catch people in compromising positions or embarrassing situations. That’s one sure-fire way of never being invited to another golf outing. Ask permission before taking shots of other people and let them know you’ll be happy to email it to them.
- If you have a website that you want people to visit, you might want to post the photos you take on that website with a heading similar to this: “I had a great time at the XYZ Charity Golf Event. Check out these pics!” You can send the link to the other golfers and they’ll check out your website while they look at the photos.
A.J. Ali is a writer, producer and TV host who has a passion for wellness and a love of golf. During a 30-year career as an event producer and consultant, he raised more than $25 million for charity, mostly through celebrity-driven golf outings. His books include “The True Champion’s 30-Day Challenge,” “Tee to Green: How to Use Golf to Make More Money,” and “Supercharge Your Golf Event!: 18 Steps to a Successful Golf Fundraiser.” He is also the Co-Founder, with his wife Jane, of a wellness and cancer prevention nonprofit called Marathon of Miracles — and the creator of that nonprofit’s “Golf to End Cancer” program which is the leading cancer-related charity in the golf industry – visit http://www.golftoendcancer.org.