Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Golf Escort

Golf Escort?

No, we're not talking about the police that escort professional golfers around a golf course. Read on and you'll find the new definition of a golf escort.

One of the characteristics you need to play the top 100 golf courses in the world is an open mind, a great sense of curiosity and a love of golf, travel and adventure. It is in this spirit that I am always looking for new ways to get onto golf courses I haven't yet played.

Thus, I was intrigued by an item I saw on-line recently. It is one of a new genre of e-books that are only published in electronic format and not through traditional means. Not knowing for sure whether it was a scam or a legitimate deal, I purchased it to find out and see maybe if there wasn't a tip or two in there about how to access golf courses. As an added bonus, the book promised that you can "Get paid for playing golf".

The premise of the book is that business executives will often times hire people to play golf with their clients, although personally I have never met such a business executive. The idea of a "Golf Escort" sounded shadowy enough for me to spend the ten bucks and buy the book, plus how could I resist the line promising "four selling points you can use on private golf clubs when asking permission to entertain clients there". Sounds right up my alley.

And I was enticed by the offer of a list of businesses most likely to pay for your services and how to strum up business for your golf escort business. Sounds intriguing in a seedy sort of way. I have been accused of being a golf-whore before, maybe this is a way to formalize my talents. Although, personally a like the more upscale sounding, "Golf Courtesan".

As I read through the 'book', it explains that business people are getting too busy to fit golf into their schedule. In an example of taking outsourcing to an absurd extreme, the book tells us that busy business people hire golf escorts to play the game for them. Well, we are outsourcing our manufacturing to China, the development of software to India; why not outsource your recreation too? It suggests you can position yourself as a golf escort to be hired by business executives to entertain clients on their behalf.


Isn't the point of playing the game relaxation, bonding, enjoying people's company and experiencing the out of doors? The book is not off to a promising start.

Access to private clubs

The earth-shattering suggestion in the book is to go and talk to the manager of the golf club. Tell the golf club that you were hoping to get permission to entertain influential people at their clubs. It suggests trying to tell them how much their revenues would go up by your bringing wealthy golfers to their club and how it will lead to increased pro shop sales and increased revenues. You should offer to play at "dead hours" of the day like early afternoons. The assumption is that they will be impressed by your pitch and your potential to bring influential executives and money to their course. Strike two.

The golf call girl

How exactly do you 'strum' up business? It is suggested that you put an ad in local area papers given out at hotels. This strategy will help you get in touch with out-of-town executives who are in town and bored, I kid you not. Instead of turning 'tricks' like a traditional call girl, you offer to play golf with their clients. I will forgo further discussion of the scripts to use when prospective clients call in response to your ad. Imagine having a severe case of the piles and riding in a stage-coach and you can skip this "chapter" of the book.

The mystery golfer

You may have heard of the idea of a mystery shopper; someone who goes around buying products and services for companies as a way to either do market-research or test quality control. Well, the idea of a mystery golfer has apparently arrived. The book says your objective is to get onto a courses' mystery golfer list and offers methods to do so. Call me a cynic if you will, but somehow I think it unlikely that Cypress Point and Seminole use mystery golfers to check their quality.

Alas, there is no silver bullet for my quest. I will return to my tried and true methods of getting on to the courses. As for my buying the book, what was it that P.T. Barnum said about suckers?

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