BY SPECIAL GUEST CAROL PICCARO, PRESIDENT AND CEO, U.S. CHEMICALSGolf is one of the perks of my business, and I feel grateful for the opportunity to entertain and be entertained on the "almighty" course. While I've learned much about the game and the people I have played with over the last 20 years, this particular day it was a "golf first."
But going back, I still remember the day a very patient supplier offered to teach me the sport. I felt like I was just admitted to "the club." And I was hooked. I wanted to have all future meetings outside, without desks or tables, phones or Blackberries - just walking down the course, sharing stories.What luck to be out of the office, enjoying some of the most wonderful settings in the country - and all this for "work!"
Being in the chemical distribution industry, most of my golf rounds are with men. Therefore, I have a wonderful advantage at golf outings, especially when the longest drive competition is not gender-segregated.In many cases, the women's tee box is a generous 150 yards in front of the men's. You connect, and you may very well be the recipient of a dozen golf balls and winner of the coveted "longest drive" competition. But then at the 19th hole, all the participants hoot and holler that a woman won the honor, which makes for a long walk to receive the prize.
I felt compelled to write this after traveling to Ohio to play golf with a vendor. Once again, I was the sole female golfer. I accepted the invite and agreed that caddies would be a treat.I appreciate caddies and enjoy their company, as they move the game along, save time ball searching, and help with reading putts, yardage, and providing advice when choosing a golf club. Playing golf is similar to running a company - you need the assistance of a great caddie to shoulder the load.
As we walked up to our first tee, I was blown away to find four young, attractive women as our caddies. Each girl was more pleasant than the next, with a smile from ear to ear. They gladly embraced the work on a hot afternoon.And for once, I was not in the minority - I had peers, women, and numbers in my favor! The teasing I received for forward tee boxes or a good drive was now met with five sets of eyes staring down the persecutor. It was a wonderful day, and truly the highlight of this noteworthy golf experience.
Photo credits: U.S. Chemicals, Carol Piccaro