5 Attorney Golf Rules for the Novice Law Firm Golfer

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on June 26, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

You've been invited by some of the partners at the firm to play golf. Wonderful!

Or maybe not so wonderful. After all, for some of you, when someone says "tee time," you automatically think of Earl Grey, scones and lemon curd. But a lot of attorney events can occur on the golf course - meetings, charity tournaments, etc.

So, what do you do if you're a golf virgin? Is business golfing the same as leisure golfing? Not to fret, here are some quick tips to get you through your round at the club.

Attorney Golf Rule No. 1: Take golf lessons. Golf etiquette is very important, but it starts with a basic understanding of the rules. If you don't know how to play golf and you have some time before the golf outing, take some introductory lessons. Hopefully people might have some sympathy for you, if you admit to your rookie status. But familiarizing yourself with the basic rules will help you avoid some unnecessary faux-pas.

Attorney Golf Rule No. 2: Behave. A key point during a round of golf is to be mindful of your own personal etiquette and manners. People go to the golf course for several reasons and only one of them is leisure. It's likely that your behavior and demeanor will be watched. Are you passive or are you a go-getter? Do you cheat? Do walk on people's putting lines, hit before it's your turn or plop your golf bag on the green? (All bad, by the way.) Remember that your behavior will be indicative of your personality.

Attorney Golf Rule No. 3: Dress appropriately. No jeans! No t-shirts! No gym wear! To be safe, wear a golf shirt with a collar and a pair of khakis (or capris for the ladies). Wear golf shoes, not running shoes or sandals. Also, bring a pair of dress shoes to change into, after.

Attorney Golf Rule No. 4: Don't be too competitive. There's nothing wrong with a little competition but don't cross the line. Placing wagers or bets on the game can place an undue and unwelcome pressure on the game, especially if one party isn't keen on it. Odds are you're not on the course to win but rather, to network - keep that in mind.

Attorney Golf Rule No. 5: Don't do a hard sell. Remember, you're likely on the course for a "get-to-know-you" outing, so don't break into your elevator pitch when you first shake hands. Take some time, get comfortable during the round and listen to others before you start pitching your resume.

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