The P&L of golf. Making your golf game make a profit.

The P&L of golf. Making your golf game make a profit.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

The P&L of golf. Making your golf game make a profit.

How much does golf cost?

Most business people/sales people play golf once every week or two to build relationships and drum up or solidify new business. The big question is, how much does it cost you to get this business? The bigger question is, how much profit is left over. The biggest question is, do you have a golf budget and a game plan to make your investment pay.

Golf is so much fun and so addictive, that I hate to rain on your game. What I am about to share with you is a bolt of lightning on an open fairway. In other words, Tiger, your umbrella ain’t gonna work.

First let me start with the costs. Next to each of these items, put in an annual cost figure. Then add the totals. Then say, “Oh my God, I had no idea!”

Look at what the numbers might be. Here are the categories. Assume twenty rounds of golf per year:
1. Entertainment before, during, after event.
2. Airplane tickets to go someplace to play.
3. Invitations & gifts
4. Equipment
5. Lessons
6. Events (an outing that might have several customers or even several salespeople and several customers or maybe even a mini-tournament
6.5 The cost of time spent away from productivity.

That’s a pretty formidable list. I’ll bet you are now a little bit more concerned about your return on golf than you were a minute or two ago. Let me deliver a little bit more pain.

Money example: It can easily cost $1,000 for 4 people to play. If you play 20 times per year, that’s $20,000. This doesn’t include doing an event, plane tickets, or anything frilly. Golf costs money. Big money.

How will you justify this investment?
What is your expected return on this investment?
If you make one sale per round of $10,000 and your profit is 10%, you have not made anything on your golf game. You may have broken par, but you barely broke even on the sale.

Multiply how many times a month/year you expect to play. Add in all these facts and that’s your budget. Your individual situation in cost of golf may vary, but I’m challenging you, you don’t even know what it is.

More pain? How about joining a club? Initiation fee and annual membership in your golf country club could buy a house and make someone’s house payment. Does that entitle you to actually PLAY a round of golf? Heck no — that money is just to walk in the door. Greens fees and a locker are extra.

“Jeffrey, man lighten up.” You whine. “I LOVE golf and I’m not gonna give it up just because it’s not profitable.” Hey, hey, Fuzzy Zoeler breath, you don’t have to give it up, just play a smarter game.

How can you get a better ROG?
Try these 4.5 strokes on a par five….
1. Make sure your partner is qualified to play the game. Is he the real decider? If you are the least bit uncertain, drive a bucket of balls first during lunch, and talk about it.
2. Make sure there’s a reason to play beyond the sale. If you are playing for the SOLE reason to get an order, you probably won’t. Play to build the relationship and MANY sales will follow.
3. Make sure the time is right to “talk shop.” Don’t force the issue too early in the game. In fact, the rule is: Don’t start talking business until they do.
4. Make sure your golf actions don’t preclude the sale. When you are paying for the round, make sure you aren’t paying the ultimate price with too much “you.” Too much drink, smoke, swear, rule bend, and overall manners can cost you the sale and you’ll never know it.
4.5 People buy from people the like and trust. If these two factors are not EVIDENT neither is the sale.

Want an easy way to measure results and return? Replay last year Replay each stroke — no, not the golf strokes, the strokes of the pen. How many orders did you get as a direct result of golf? How many relationships were solidified as a result of a round of golf? How many clients remained loyal as a result of golf?

Sure golf is a fun game. Sure golf is a rewarding game. Sure golf is a challenging game. Your responsibility in business golf, is to make it a profitable game as well.

Free GitBit… The alternative of offering instruction on the golf course and a way to solidity a future appointment. One of the best kept secret of business golf is yours for the asking. Go to (register if you are a first time visitor) and enter the word GOLF in the GitBit box.

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts internet training programs on selling and customer service at He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to