Teeing Off For Business Success

Golf for the Modern Executive

With its ability to bring a diverse crowd together for a few hours of friendly competition, the golf course remains an important venue for business professionals.

Networking in Golf

Golf in the business world is less about ability and more about being on the course where decisions are made.

90% of Fortune 500 CEOs play golf.

4 hours is the average length of time for a round of golf.

CEOs who regularly play golf are paid 17% more on average than those who do not.

In a survey of business professionals who play golf 50% agree that the way a person plays is very similar to how he or she conducts business.

54% see golf as the perfect networking tool.

80% agree that playing golf aids in establishing new business contacts.

93% say playing golf with a business associate is a good way to establish a closer relationship.

Diversity in Golf

The golf community is becoming more inclusive than ever before.

The percentage of minority golf players increased from 13% to 21% from 2009 to 2013.

21% of U.S. golfers are black, Asian, or Hispanic.

22% of U.S. golfers are female.

38% of executives use golf as an “international language” to break language and cultural barriers.

In 1993, women with handicaps under 10 had an average income of US $146,900 compared with $118,400 for men who had the same handicap.

800+ children and young adults living with autism have been introduced to golf through the Els for Autism program.

Women in Golf

Recognizing both the networking and negotiating opportunities presented by golf, more women are teeing off with their business partners.

20% of golfers are women.

The number of junior golfers who are girls has increased from 23% to 25% since 2011.

In a survey of business women who golf: 60% play golf with clients.

50% in executive-level positions agree that being able to talk about golf enables them to be more successful.

52% agree that golf has enhanced their risk-taking abilities.

73% agree that golf has helped them develop relationships and network for business.

Thanks to the USGA Handicap System, golf novices and veterans can play in matched competition. The average Handicap Index for men and women is 14.3 and 26.5 respectively. See how these business executives, politicians, and professional athletes stack up.*

  • Pro Golfer Phil Mickelson: +5.6
  • Tony Romo: +0.3
  • Donald Trump: 3.0
  • Condoleezza Rice: 11.2
  • Men’s Average: 14.3
  • Barack Obama: 17
  • Sandra Day O’Connor: 19.8
  • Warren Buffett: 20.8
  • Jessica Alba: 22
  • Bill Gates: 24.1
  • Women’s Average: 26.5
  • Vera Wang: 28

* Handicaps have been pulled from a variety of years.


Networking Diversity & Women in Golf











Handicap Scale