7 Ways to Make Your Next Group Meeting Better
Mixing business with pleasure is a time-honored recipe for success. Herewith, seven invigorating ways of taking your next business-oriented golf outing to a higher, more productive level:
The Magic Kingdom
There’s nothing goofy or mickey-mouse about Walt Disney World’s 63-hole golf facility in Orlando, Florida. Disney boasts a proven incentive and teambuilding course—Disney’s Approach to Leadership Excellence—that’s ideally matched for golf-styled meetings. The 3-1/2 day program, which showcases successful Disney business management philosophies and strategies that easily adapt to other organizations, is scheduled in the morning or afternoon, leaving ample time to get in a round of golf.
Fans of the game will recall when PGA Tour professional John Daly gave a clinic on how to hit 350-yard-plus drives… and when Daly suddenly did an about-face and launched a golf ball directly over the heads of his shell-shocked gallery. Hiring a living legend like Big John for a golf clinic is one way to position your event, but you might also consider a golf trick shot master like Peter Johncke, who performs at events like the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Next time you’re planning a convention-sized banquet, design it around an indoor miniature golf course at Pebble Beach Resorts in Pebble Beach, Calif. The head-turning feature comes with sod, bunkers, holes, swing stations and a sumptuous backdrop of Pebble’s famous 18th hole. In between bites and libations, guests can be treated to detailed swing instruction from Pebble Beach Golf Academy pros, then at sunset listen to a kilt-adorned bagpiper who signals the end of each day.
Do You Guru?
Teaching clinics are superbly suited for groups, performance awards and teambuilding. Impress your VIPs by including golf swing gurus Mike and Sandy LaBauve (pictured below), whose celebrated learning center is located at the 27-hole Kierland Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. The LaBauve High Performance Golf Series is a one- or two-day corporate event that includes a guest presentation from renowned teacher and innovator Jim Hardy, clinic by PGA touring pro Peter Jacobsen, one-on-one instruction, videotaping and club fitting, all located an easy stroll from the meeting-friendly Westin Kierland Resort & Spa.
Most golfers believe that a better game is one über-club away. That’s why golf courses prominently display name-brand demonstration clubs in pro shops, on driving ranges and at learning centers. Proactive meeting planners can make a splash by contacting a premium club manufacturer like Titleist, PING, TaylorMade or Callaway to request an exclusive on-site demonstration of the company’s newest products. However, it’s best to first clear the event with the host golf course, since there might be established demo contracts already in place.
Spa the Boss.
Now that spa treatments have become en vogue for guys as well as gals, we highly recommend selecting a facility that offers your VIPs a selection of kneadings, facials, wraps, hydrotherapies and mineral treatments. One such place is Jamaica’s Hilton Rose Hall Resort, which delivers deep tissue massage in a private seaside cabana.
Turnkey Your Outing
It’s hard work setting up memorable, all-inclusive golf meetings. With so many loose ends to consider—transportation, accommodations, food and beverage, tee times, entertainment, VIP gifts, etc.—it makes good sense to enlist help from a do-it-all professional. For this we recommend Golfpac Travel, an Orlando-based golf hosting company that has worked with travelers for 35 years. Utterly flexible to meet specific needs, Golfpac builds multi-day, individual or group itineraries at premier resort destinations in warm-weather destinations like Scottsdale, Tucson (Starr Pass Golf Club pictured below), Palm Springs, Las Vegas, San Diego, Texas Hill Country and throughout the South.
Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.