Team building: Rewards of a company golf retreat |

Team building: Rewards of a company golf retreat

Eight benefits of having your company retreat at a golf resort, and what the game of golf can teach your team:

1. Nearly everyone can play golf, and the amount of fun a person has does not have much to do with how well they play. This is not the case with nearly all other sports. Even beginner golfers after a short while lose their anxieties about the game and realize that it is difficult yet rewarding for all levels of players. This opens all players to the valuable lessons that golf can provide. “Go play golf. Go to the golf course. Hit the ball. Find the ball. Repeat until the ball is in the hole. Repeat this 18 times. Have fun. The end.” – Chuck Hogan, Golf Teacher and Writer

2. Golf builds the ability to recover from adversity. “The most important shot in golf is the next one.” – Ben Hogan

3. Golf reveals the character and personality of the people you play with quickly. “18 holes of golf will teach you more about your foe than 18 years of dealing with him across a desk.” – Grantland Rice

4. Golf builds a strong work ethic. “No matter how great your natural talent, there is only one way to obtain and sustain it: work.” – Jack Nicklaus

5. Golf teaches you to be humble. “Golf is the hardest game in the world. There is no way you can ever get it. Just when you think you do, the game jumps up and puts you in your place.” – Ben Crenshaw

6. Golf teaches manners, sportsmanship, etiquette, and common courtesy. “Be brave if you lose and meek if you win.” – Harvey Penick, Golf teacher and writer

7. Golf builds determination and perseverance. “Golf is about how well you accept, respond to and score with your misses much more so than it is a game of your perfect shots.” – Dr. Bob Rotella

8. Golf teaches you to keep a sense of humor and perspective. “Why am I using a new putter? Because the last one didn’t float too well.” – Craig Stadler

No matter what industry, no matter what business, today’s owners, chief executives, general managers and all business leaders are driven to continuously answer one question: “How do I lead this business to become more efficient, productive and profitable?” For some the answer is complicated and others not so, but eventually most see the obvious translation of this basic question: “How do I get the individuals who work for this company to become more efficient, productive and profitable?” There are obvious and often immediate benefits for a business that develops these individuals into a group, and then into a team. With the right amount of attention to the team concept a skillful leader can help develop chemistry within the team. The most successful businesses take the team chemistry one step farther and the result is a synergistic unit where ultimately the team and the business becomes more efficient, more productive, and more profitable. Synergy within the group provides an environment where the working team as a whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

There are many ways a leader can inject a team concept into a group of individuals. There are subtle and not so subtle methods to develop chemistry within the team in the quest for the group to develop some form of work environment synergy ultimately leading to a more profitable business and along the way providing a more enjoyable and satisfying work environment for the team members. One popular and arguably very effective method to build team chemistry is the company retreat. Having the team spend time together away from the typical work environment with a relatively busy (but not necessarily work related) itinerary can produce major positive results in team building over a relatively short time period. The next challenge is getting the team as individuals excited about spending time together away from the work place. It might help to pick a destination and a theme that many people would be excited about on their own.

A golf resort can provide the facilities and amenities necessary for a productive team building retreat. Meeting rooms, professional expertise, rental equipment, and dining choices are standard at all golf resorts. Most have exercise and lodging options. Of course, the golf course(s) and golf practice areas provide great learning forums as well. But the “keynote speaker” of any golf retreat will be the game itself. There are endless contests and play formats that can be used to put your team in the position to learn the benefits that playing the game has to offer. The next time you are planning a company retreat, consider enlisting the game of golf to teach your team many valuable qualities.

Ken Kaifas, a 16-year PGA member, is event and member sales manager for Red Hawk Golf and Resort in Sparks. Contact him at 775-321-5977 or