Par for the course

Why golf is good business

By Leslie T. Snadowsky

What pro athlete doesn’t want to be a GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)? Former PGA Tour Pro Doug Weaver, 61, and director of instruction at Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, says taking a page out of a business playbook will get you there.

The golf course has been the backdrop for business deals and networking for decades. It’s a good way to get to know your colleagues and meet new business partners.

Love what you do

“If you’re passionate about what you do, you’re going to beat the odds,” Weaver says about competing against the best golf players in the world during the 1989 and 1993 U.S. Opens. “I love golf, I wanted to play in the U.S. Open, the odds were against me and 5,000 people were vying for 60 spots. In business, you have to go for it. If you fail, you try again. I tried five times, and I made it twice. When you make it, it’s incredible.”

Learn from the pros

Weaver, whose motto is “let’s score low together,” said if you want to keep improving your game, swing with the pros.

“You need to be receptive if you want to grow,” says Weaver, reflecting on his 2019 “Player of the Year” designation for the Carolina PGA’s Lowcountry Area. “So I take lessons from other pros and it took my game to the next level. Pros can be competitors, but they love teaching people.”

Stick to the fundamentals

Weaver was inducted into the Lowcountry Golf Hall of Fame in 2017 and chants this fundamental mantra: “Build my game from the hole to the tee and find victory.”

“People want to do the reverse,” says Weaver. “They want to hit their driver and putt later. The best players know to do it the other way. You learn to putt first, chip and pitch and so forth. The best system is to stay in that order and that’s the way you practice every day, too.”

Be a visionary. Keep your eyes on the prize

The five Ps, “prior preparation prevents poor performance,” is another ace approach Weaver banks on.

“You should always prepare for the future,” he says. “You always should be thinking where am I today and where do I want to be tomorrow?”

Weaver’s lessons on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course angle to deliver lower scores, excellent swing habits, proper game management strategies and an understanding of the secrets of the game. 

“When someone comes to me and says I want to play better golf, I give them a vision for how good they can be, and they have to buy into it and follow my process,” he says. “If they do, excellent things happen.” 

Play more golf

Consistently ranked among the Top 10 PGA teachers in South Carolina by Golf Digest magazine (No. 2 in 2015), Weaver says golf, like business, breeds fellowship and opportunities to network. Whether you’re green or a GOAT, he says take clients and business associates to join the club.

“Golf opens doors,” says Weaver, the 2017 Carolina’s PGA Palmer Maples Teacher of the Year. “It’s a fun way to build relationships.”

Hilton Head golf pro Doug Weaver has volunteered with the Boys & Girls Club and the Special Olympics, leading young duffers through the rough to build their skills and confidence. He’s also inspired by golf pro Webb Simpson’s triumph over career handicaps and admires golf legend Jack Nicklaus for being a well-balanced athlete, family man and businessman.


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