Are you disqualifying yourself from building your legacy?
In my own mind, I definitely have. As a first-generation American, I have noticed myself striving to build what many others around me were born into. The social capital of family connections built over generations is incredibly valuable, but it can be difficult to recognize unless it’s something you’ve never had.
In my journey to build my own legacy, I’ve found an even playing field in an unlikely place: the golf course.
Many people associate golf with generational wealth and men. If that’s you, you’re not alone. Even if you’ve never envisioned yourself on the golf course, you may be surprised at the benefits available to women once they step into the game. Unfortunately, many women don’t even consider golf for the gold mine of opportunity that it is. They disqualify themselves.
According to the Harvard Business Review, women typically don’t bother to apply for jobs unless they meet 100% of the desired qualifications, whereas men are more inclined to apply even if they only meet 60% of those same qualifications. As women, we are constantly searching for the ways we might fail and protecting ourselves from those failures. This habit can prevent us from the possibility of success.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that women (especially younger, minority women like myself) are so quick to write themselves off from the golf scene. I want to challenge you on that.
As a passionate female golf enthusiast, I believe it's essential to break the barriers that often keep women from experiencing the joys and benefits of golf. Golf is not just a sport; it's a gateway to personal growth, camaraderie, and even professional success.
Today, golf is more open and accepting toward women than it has ever been. Many women don’t realize that golf is a unique opportunity to forge personal and business connections that they would never make otherwise-- connections that can build anyone’s social capital, whether you were born with a golf club in your hand or you’ve never set foot on a course.
Golf is the ideal space for women in business. Here are some ways to start leveraging this opportunity today:
The golf course is not only a place for leisure; it's also a hub for networking and business opportunities. Many significant deals and partnerships have been forged over a round of golf. By actively participating in the sport, women can expand their professional networks and open doors to career advancements.
However, golf differs from traditional networking events in a few important ways. Consider the investment of time, energy, and attention you might spend on a quick lunch meeting or a cup of coffee. Golf isn’t so touch-and-go; games can last several hours, and the time spent on the course creates space for intentional relationship-building. These connections end up becoming deeper and more meaningful than those established through other types of networking.
Golf provides a unique opportunity to build lasting friendships. There's something magical about bonding with fellow female golfers over a shared passion. The camaraderie that develops on the course extends beyond the fairways, creating a strong support network that uplifts and encourages one another.
Playing golf is empowering for women-- especially women in business. Golf teaches us to believe in ourselves, trust our abilities, and stay focused on our goals. This growing confidence translates into every aspect of our lives, whether it's personal or professional.
Golf, as a traditionally male-dominated space, accomplishes this in a unique way. As women learn to navigate the course, the proper etiquette, and the patience required to play, we become increasingly comfortable with being uncomfortable. This allows us to overcome mental blocks to doing things we may have never done otherwise-- a critical skill in business and in life.
Golf provides a much-needed escape from the stressors of everyday life. The serene greens and fresh air offer a perfect setting for relaxation and stress relief. It's a wonderful way to unwind, declutter the mind, and recharge. Studies have shown that spending time outdoors and engaging in physical activity can significantly improve mental well-being and reduce stress levels.
Even if you didn’t come from generational wealth, in the golf space, you have the opportunity to connect with the same types of people. This levels the playing field and allows you to create that social capital for your children. As they grow up, they will have greater social capital to pass onto children of their own. Even if you don’t have biological children, golf makes a great space for mentorship.
As women, when we embrace golf and become prominent figures in the sport, we pave the way for future generations of female golfers. By breaking down barriers, we inspire young girls to pursue their passions fearlessly and without limitations. We have the opportunity to be role models, showing them that gender should never dictate what they can achieve.
My recent Ladies Executive Golf Society (aka LEGS) event reminded me of the beautiful relationships that golf creates. At this event, there were women aged from their 20s to their 60s in attendance, many that met for the very first time at the event. Playing golf, they got to be vulnerable together, watching each other swing, miss, and high-five each other when they finally hit a good shot. By the end, the ladies were laughing together, exchanging stories, and exchanging contact information.
In many social settings, women tend to hang out within their own age group; however, in golf, the shared interest in the sport truly brings them together. Age doesn't matter-- you're able to see women for who they are and what they have to share with you.
As I drove home that day, I couldn't help but reflect on the incredible experience I had just been a part of. Golf had once again reminded me of its power to bring people together, breaking down barriers and creating beautiful relationships. It doesn’t matter which generation you belong to– golf has the unique ability to unite us all.
I met so many wonderful individuals on the golf course over the years that I would have never met otherwise. Golf has truly helped me build a foundation for my own legacy, create valuable connections, and learn to stop disqualifying myself before ever even trying. Every woman deserves this kind of opportunity and luckily it’s never been easier to get started!
To start taking advantage of the many opportunities in golf, join our next LEGS Event, where even beginners and golfers alike can learn and play alongside each other-- all while having a great time networking and building connections, both on and off the course.