The new business has respected BBC sports news presenter Bonnet on board as a director and former European Tour Order of Merit winner Rafferty providing post-golf entertainment in the form of a Q&A session chaired by Rob.
The innovation of Glasgow businessman and former professional footballer David Rae, Networkingolf’s inaugural season begins this June from when groups of 24 SME business owners and directors will meet and play three of the courses twice within a six-date calendar.
To maximise networking and new business opportunities, each member plays in a different fourball each time and no member will have a ‘competitor’ (someone whose firm operates in the same sector) in his or her group of 24.
Membership in both Scotland and England includes post-golf entertainment at two of the six events, one of which is a Q&A session with Rob and a professional – with former Ryder Cup star Rafferty lined up to participate this year.
Explaining the concept, Rae said: “Networking is a vital element of any organisation’s business development strategy, particularly for SMEs. Traditional marketing methods no longer guarantee an adequate return on investment while the growth of social media has also changed the landscape.
“As a primary new business channel for your company, networking regularly and effectively with the same group can help to create an invaluable network of ambassadors for your company – but only if you have selected the optimum networking environment for your business”.
“As a business owner myself I know of the need to focus on a networking strategy which facilitates meeting other business owners regularly in a quality environment – as opposed to a ‘free for all’ alternative. This approach substantially increases the likelihood of a positive outcome.
“Networkingolf has been set up to provide that very platform and in a cost-effective way. We are combining the best elements of traditional networking with a new corporate golf multi-day model not limited to a one-off event, which is usually insufficient to build the necessary rapport to cement a relationship.
The Networkingolf format is four-ball stableford and each meeting has a competitive element as well as networking opportunities before and after play.
In Scotland the membership fee is £1,850 plus vat per annum and in England £2,980 plus vat per annum – both well below the standard rates for a similar format of play at these venues.