Mastering the Greens: How to Use Golf for Effective Networking

Golf is not just a game, it’s a platform for building relationships and expanding your network. Golf courses provide a unique setting for business meetings, lunches, and dinners, which can lead to new opportunities and partnerships. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, understanding how to use golf for networking can help you make valuable connections and grow your professional network. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of golf networking, share tips for building relationships on the course, and provide practical advice for leveraging golf to advance your career. So, grab your clubs and let’s tee off into the world of golf networking!

Understanding the Benefits of Golf Networking

Building Relationships

Golf is a unique platform for building relationships, as it offers an informal setting for professionals to connect and establish a rapport. In this section, we will delve into the ways in which golf can be leveraged for effective networking.

Golf as a Common Ground

Golf serves as a common ground for professionals from diverse industries, providing an opportunity to engage in conversations and establish connections beyond the confines of a professional setting. The shared interest in golf creates a natural icebreaker, enabling individuals to bond over a common passion.

Shared Experiences

Playing golf together presents an opportunity for individuals to share experiences and learn from one another. Discussions about golf strategies, course designs, and equipment can lead to the exchange of valuable insights and knowledge, fostering a sense of camaraderie and trust among players.

Informal Setting

Unlike formal business meetings, golf offers a more relaxed and informal setting, allowing professionals to engage in casual conversations and develop a personal connection. This relaxed atmosphere can facilitate open and honest communication, enabling individuals to build trust and establish a strong foundation for their professional relationships.

Enhanced Visibility

Participating in golf events provides individuals with increased visibility and exposure, as they have the opportunity to network with a wider audience. This visibility can lead to new business opportunities, collaborations, and partnerships, as well as enhance one’s personal brand and reputation within their industry.

By leveraging the benefits of golf networking, professionals can effectively build relationships, foster connections, and create a strong network of contacts that can prove invaluable in their personal and professional pursuits.

Enhancing Business Opportunities

Golf networking provides an opportunity for business professionals to connect with potential clients, partners, and suppliers. This can lead to increased business opportunities, as well as the development of long-lasting professional relationships. By playing golf with others, individuals can establish trust and credibility, which can be beneficial in future business dealings. Additionally, golf courses often provide a relaxed and informal setting, which can facilitate open and honest conversations, leading to the development of new business prospects. Overall, golf networking can be a valuable tool for professionals looking to expand their business opportunities and build strong professional relationships.

Essential Tips for Networking on the Golf Course

Key takeaway: Golf can be a valuable platform for building relationships and enhancing business opportunities through effective networking. To maximize your golf networking experience, dress appropriately, be punctual, engage in small talk, respect the game, offer assistance, and follow up after the game. By doing so, you can build a strong network of contacts that can help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

Dress Appropriately

Golfing attire plays a significant role in creating a professional and appropriate image on the golf course. Here are some essential guidelines to ensure you dress appropriately for effective networking:

  1. Wear Proper Golf Attire: It is essential to wear proper golf attire, including a collared shirt, slacks, and golf shoes with soft spikes. Avoid wearing denim, shorts, or t-shirts, as they can give off a casual and unprofessional image.
  2. Coordinate Your Outfit: Coordinate your outfit with the golf course’s dress code. Some courses may require a specific color or style of clothing, so it’s important to check the course’s dress code beforehand.
  3. Avoid Distracting Accessories: Avoid wearing accessories that may be distracting or inappropriate on the golf course, such as large watches, bracelets, or hats with bright logos.
  4. Dress for the Weather: Dress appropriately for the weather conditions. If it’s hot, wear lightweight and breathable clothing, and if it’s raining, bring a raincoat or umbrella.
  5. Be Mindful of Personal Hygiene: Ensure that you are clean and well-groomed before heading to the golf course. Brush your teeth, comb your hair, and use deodorant to ensure that you smell fresh and pleasant.

By dressing appropriately, you can make a positive first impression and create a professional image that will help you network effectively on the golf course.

Be Punctual

Golfing etiquette dictates that you arrive on time for your tee time, and this principle extends to networking on the golf course as well. Being punctual shows respect for your fellow golfers and demonstrates that you are reliable and trustworthy.

Here are some reasons why being punctual is important:

  • Respect for others: Golf is a game that requires patience and consideration for others. Being punctual shows that you respect the time of your fellow golfers and are willing to accommodate their schedules.
  • Professionalism: Networking on the golf course is a professional activity, and being punctual is an essential aspect of professionalism. It demonstrates that you take the golf game and the networking opportunity seriously.
  • Building trust: Punctuality is an essential component of trust. When you are punctual, you show that you can be relied upon, and this is especially important when it comes to building business relationships.

To ensure that you are punctual, it is advisable to arrive at the golf course before your tee time to allow for any unexpected delays. You should also factor in time to warm up and prepare for your game.

Additionally, it is essential to communicate with your fellow golfers if you are running late or need to reschedule your tee time. This shows that you are considerate and respectful of their time.

In summary, being punctual is an essential aspect of effective networking on the golf course. It demonstrates respect for others, professionalism, and builds trust. By being punctual, you can ensure that you make the most of your golfing and networking opportunities.

Engage in Small Talk

Small talk is a crucial aspect of networking on the golf course. It helps to break the ice and create a relaxed atmosphere, making it easier to establish connections with other players. Here are some tips for engaging in small talk on the golf course:

  1. Start with a simple greeting: Start the conversation with a simple greeting such as “Hello” or “Good morning.” This will help to set a friendly tone and make the other person feel more comfortable.
  2. Discuss the weather: The weather is a common topic of conversation and can help to break the ice. You can ask about the other person’s experience with the weather on the course or share your own thoughts on the current conditions.
  3. Talk about the course: Golf is the main focus of the game, so it’s important to discuss the course and the challenges it presents. You can ask about the other person’s experience with the course or share your own thoughts on the holes you’ve played.
  4. Share a personal story: Sharing a personal story can help to build a connection with the other person. You can talk about your favorite golf memory or share a funny story that happened on the course.
  5. Ask questions: Asking questions is a great way to engage in small talk and show interest in the other person. You can ask about their golfing background, their experience on the course, or their thoughts on the game.

By engaging in small talk, you can create a more relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere on the golf course, making it easier to establish connections with other players. Remember to be friendly, open, and interested in the other person, and you’ll be well on your way to mastering the greens and building a strong network of golfing contacts.

Respect the Game

Golf is a game of etiquette and respect. It is important to remember that golf courses are not just places to play a game, but also social spaces where business deals are made and relationships are built. As such, it is essential to show respect for the game and its traditions. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

  • Understand the Rules: Before you step onto the golf course, make sure you understand the rules of the game. This includes the basic rules, such as how to tee off, how to play from the fairway, and how to take a penalty stroke. It is also important to know the etiquette rules, such as how to keep pace with the group in front of you and how to mark your ball.
  • Dress Appropriately: Golf is a formal game, and it is important to dress appropriately. This means wearing a collared shirt, slacks or shorts, and golf shoes. Avoid wearing denim, t-shirts, or other casual clothing.
  • Be Punctual: Golf is a time-sensitive game, and it is important to be punctual. Make sure you arrive at the course on time and be ready to play when it is your turn. If you are running late, let the other members of your group know so they can adjust their schedules.
  • Respect Your Fellow Players: Golf is a social game, and it is important to respect your fellow players. This means being courteous and polite, and avoiding distractions such as using your phone or talking loudly. It is also important to show respect for your opponents, even if you are competing against them.
  • Show Gratitude: Golf courses are often privately owned, and it is important to show gratitude for the opportunity to play. This means thanking the course staff for their help, and tipping them if they provide good service. It is also important to show appreciation for your fellow players, and to thank them for the opportunity to play with them.

By following these tips, you can show respect for the game and its traditions, and help to create a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone on the golf course.

Offer Assistance

  • Providing support and help to others on the course can be a great way to establish connections and build relationships.
  • Whether it’s offering to share a golf club, providing advice on the best way to approach a tricky shot, or simply lending a listening ear, small acts of kindness can go a long way in building goodwill and rapport with others.
  • Additionally, offering assistance can also demonstrate your expertise and knowledge of the game, which can help establish your credibility and authority in your field.
  • When offering assistance, it’s important to be genuine and sincere in your offer, and to be respectful of others’ skills and abilities.
  • Avoid being overly pushy or critical, as this can come across as disrespectful and may damage your relationships with others.
  • Overall, offering assistance can be a powerful tool for networking on the golf course, allowing you to build connections and establish yourself as a valuable and respected member of the community.

Listen Actively

Networking on the golf course requires active listening skills. Golf is a game that is played at a leisurely pace, providing ample opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with potential business partners or clients. Here are some tips to help you become an active listener on the golf course:

  • Pay attention to the speaker: Give the speaker your undivided attention. Avoid distractions such as checking your phone or looking around the course.
  • Ask open-ended questions: Open-ended questions encourage the speaker to elaborate on their thoughts and opinions. This can lead to more meaningful conversations and can help you learn more about the person.
  • Respond appropriately: Respond to what the speaker is saying, but avoid interrupting or dominating the conversation. This shows that you are engaged and interested in what they have to say.
  • Use nonverbal cues: Nonverbal cues such as nodding your head, making eye contact, and using appropriate facial expressions can show that you are actively listening.

By actively listening to your golf partners, you can gain valuable insights into their businesses and build stronger relationships. Active listening is an essential skill for effective networking, and it can help you establish long-lasting business relationships on the golf course.

Exchanging Contact Information

Exchanging contact information is a crucial aspect of networking on the golf course. Here are some tips to make the most of this opportunity:

  1. Bring Business Cards: Make sure you have plenty of business cards with you when you hit the course. This will make it easy to exchange contact information with potential clients or business partners.
  2. Be Prepared: Before you arrive at the course, prepare a brief elevator pitch about your business or career goals. This will help you make a lasting impression and show your professionalism.
  3. Use Social Media: If you’re not comfortable with traditional business cards, consider using social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with your fellow golfers. This can be a great way to stay in touch and build relationships over time.
  4. Be Confident: When exchanging contact information, be confident and assertive. Let the other person know that you’re interested in building a professional relationship and that you would like to stay in touch.
  5. Follow Up: After the round, make sure to follow up with the people you met on the course. Send a personalized message or email to show your appreciation for their time and to continue the conversation.

Following Up After the Game

One of the most crucial aspects of networking on the golf course is following up after the game. Here are some essential tips to ensure that you maintain the connections you make and turn them into valuable business opportunities:

  • Send a Thank-You Note: After playing a round of golf with someone, it’s always a good idea to send a thank-you note or email. This simple gesture shows that you appreciate their time and effort, and it helps to maintain the connection.
  • Connect on LinkedIn: If you enjoyed playing golf with someone and you feel that there may be potential for future business opportunities, it’s a good idea to connect with them on LinkedIn. This will allow you to keep in touch and stay up-to-date on their professional activities.
  • Schedule a Follow-Up Meeting: If you’re interested in pursuing a business opportunity with someone you met on the golf course, it’s important to schedule a follow-up meeting as soon as possible. This will help to keep the momentum going and ensure that you don’t lose touch with the connection.
  • Provide a Recap of the Game: If you played a round of golf with someone and you think it may be helpful to provide a recap of the game, you can send them a brief email summarizing the key points of the game and any business discussions that took place. This will help to reinforce the connection and provide a useful reference for future discussions.

Overall, following up after a game of golf is crucial to maintaining and building professional relationships. By sending a thank-you note, connecting on LinkedIn, scheduling a follow-up meeting, and providing a recap of the game, you can turn a round of golf into a valuable business opportunity.

Maximizing Your Golf Networking Experience

Joining Golf Clubs and Tournaments

  • Introduction

Golf clubs and tournaments offer an excellent opportunity to expand your professional network while enjoying the sport you love. By joining golf clubs and participating in tournaments, you can meet new people, establish connections, and potentially advance your career. In this section, we will discuss the benefits of joining golf clubs and participating in tournaments, and provide tips on how to make the most of these opportunities.

  • Benefits of Joining Golf Clubs

  • Access to courses and facilities

  • Opportunities to play with other golf enthusiasts
  • Golf lessons and coaching
  • Networking events and activities
  • Tournaments and competitions

  • Benefits of Participating in Tournaments

  • Opportunities to showcase your skills

  • Meeting new people and making connections
  • Networking with potential clients or employers
  • Building your reputation and credibility
  • Learning from other golfers and improving your game

  • Tips for Making the Most of Golf Clubs and Tournaments

  • Introduce yourself to other members and players

  • Be open to playing with different people
  • Attend networking events and social gatherings
  • Volunteer to help with tournament organization
  • Follow up with new contacts after the event

By taking advantage of the opportunities provided by golf clubs and tournaments, you can build a strong professional network and improve your golf skills at the same time. Remember to be proactive, engage with others, and make the most of every opportunity to maximize your golf networking experience.

Attending Networking Events

Golf courses offer an excellent platform for building relationships and expanding your professional network. One of the most effective ways to do this is by attending networking events that take place on the golf course. These events are specifically designed to facilitate interaction and networking among participants, making them an ideal opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals.

When attending golf networking events, it’s essential to be prepared and make the most of the opportunity. Here are some tips to help you make a lasting impression and build valuable connections:

  1. Research the Event: Before attending a golf networking event, take some time to research the event and its attendees. This will help you understand the event’s purpose, who will be there, and what you can expect. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the golf course and its layout, so you can navigate the course with ease and confidence.
  2. Dress Appropriately: Golf attire is usually required at networking events, so make sure you dress appropriately. A collared shirt, slacks, and golf shoes are standard attire for men, while women can opt for a golf skirt, slacks, or shorts paired with a collared shirt. It’s important to dress professionally and comfortably, as this will help you feel confident and at ease throughout the event.
  3. Bring Business Cards: Business cards are an essential part of networking, so make sure you bring plenty of them. These cards should include your name, title, company, email address, and phone number. Having a well-designed card can help you stand out and make a lasting impression.
  4. Be Prepared to Engage: Networking events are all about engaging with other professionals, so be prepared to strike up conversations and engage in meaningful discussions. Come up with some icebreakers beforehand to help you get started, and be sure to listen actively to the other person’s responses.
  5. Follow Up: After the event, be sure to follow up with the people you met. Send them a brief email or LinkedIn message thanking them for their time and expressing your interest in staying in touch. This will help you build a lasting relationship and maintain your network over time.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your golf networking experience and build valuable connections that can help advance your career.

Utilizing Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms have become a valuable tool for golf enthusiasts to connect and engage with others who share their passion for the sport. By leveraging these platforms, you can expand your network, establish your credibility, and showcase your expertise in the golf industry. Here are some tips on how to utilize social media platforms for effective golf networking:

  1. Identify the Right Platforms: There are numerous social media platforms available, and it’s essential to choose the ones that align with your goals and target audience. LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are popular platforms for golf networking. Each platform has its unique features and audience, so it’s crucial to understand the nuances of each one.
  2. Optimize Your Profile: Your social media profile is your online presence, and it’s essential to ensure that it represents you professionally. Use a clear, high-quality profile picture, write a compelling bio that highlights your expertise and interests in golf, and include a link to your website or portfolio. This will help you establish credibility and build trust with your network.
  3. Share Valuable Content: Share relevant and engaging content that adds value to your network. This can include articles, blog posts, videos, or infographics related to golf. By sharing valuable content, you can position yourself as an expert in the industry and establish yourself as a thought leader.
  4. Engage with Your Followers: Social media is a two-way conversation, and it’s essential to engage with your followers. Respond to comments, ask questions, and start conversations. This will help you build relationships and establish a strong network.
  5. Participate in Groups: Social media groups are a great way to connect with like-minded individuals who share your interests in golf. Participate in relevant groups, share your insights, and engage with other members. This will help you expand your network and establish yourself as a credible source in the industry.

By utilizing social media platforms effectively, you can maximize your golf networking experience and build a strong network of connections that can help you achieve your goals in the industry.

Overcoming Challenges in Golf Networking

Dealing with Nervousness

Golfing is an excellent opportunity to establish new connections and expand your professional network. However, the thought of playing golf for the first time or approaching new people on the course can be daunting. Many people feel nervous when they’re trying to make new connections on the golf course. If you’re one of them, here are some tips to help you overcome your nervousness and make the most of your golfing experience.

  • Take Deep Breaths

Taking deep breaths is a great way to calm your nerves. It can help you to slow down your heart rate and relax your muscles. Before approaching someone on the golf course, take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that it’s okay to feel nervous. Remember that everyone feels nervous at some point, and it’s a natural feeling.

  • Practice Your Elevator Pitch

Your elevator pitch is a brief, concise summary of who you are and what you do. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to someone new and help them understand what you can offer. Practice your elevator pitch before you hit the golf course. You can even practice it in front of a mirror or with a friend.

  • Start Small

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of approaching new people on the golf course, start small. Begin by striking up a conversation with someone you know well, like a fellow member of your company’s golf team. Once you feel more comfortable, you can gradually work your way up to approaching people you don’t know as well.

  • Remember to Smile

Smiling is a great way to put people at ease and make them feel more comfortable. When you approach someone on the golf course, give them a friendly smile and introduce yourself. A smile can go a long way in helping you to make a positive first impression.

  • Be Yourself

Finally, remember to be yourself. It’s essential to be genuine and authentic when you’re networking on the golf course. Don’t try to be someone you’re not, as this can come across as insincere. Instead, be yourself, and let your natural charm and charisma shine through.

By following these tips, you can overcome your nervousness and make the most of your golfing experience. Golfing is a great way to build new connections and expand your professional network, so don’t let your nerves hold you back. With a little bit of practice and confidence, you’ll be networking like a pro in no time.

Managing Distractions

In the fast-paced world of golf networking, it can be easy to get distracted by the many stimuli around you. From the chatter of your playing partners to the beautiful scenery of the course, managing distractions is crucial to making the most of your time on the green. Here are some tips to help you stay focused and make meaningful connections on the golf course:

  • Set clear goals: Before you step onto the course, take a moment to clarify your objectives for the round. Are you looking to forge new business relationships, strengthen existing connections, or simply enjoy a fun day out with friends? Having a clear goal in mind will help you stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked by irrelevant conversations or activities.
  • Stay present: Golf is a game that demands your full attention, both physically and mentally. To make the most of your time on the course, it’s important to stay present in the moment and avoid getting caught up in thoughts about work or other obligations. Practice mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing or visualization, to help you stay focused on the task at hand.
  • Limit distractions: While it’s important to be sociable and engage with your playing partners, it’s also important to set boundaries and limit distractions. If you find yourself getting sidetracked by a lengthy conversation or a game of chance on the course, politely excuse yourself and return to the topic at hand. Remember, your ultimate goal is to make meaningful connections and further your business objectives.
  • Be an active listener: In any networking situation, it’s important to be an active listener and show genuine interest in the other person’s thoughts and ideas. On the golf course, this means paying attention to your playing partners’ stories, opinions, and insights, and using these conversations as an opportunity to build rapport and trust. By actively listening to others, you’ll create a more engaging and productive networking experience for everyone involved.

Balancing Work and Play

When it comes to using golf as a tool for effective networking, one of the biggest challenges that professionals face is finding a way to balance work and play. It can be difficult to strike the right balance between being focused on your work goals and enjoying the game of golf, but it is crucial to achieving success on the course and in your career.

Here are some tips for balancing work and play while golfing for networking:

  1. Set clear goals: Before you head out onto the course, set clear goals for what you want to achieve through your networking efforts. Whether it’s making new connections, strengthening existing relationships, or closing a deal, having a clear plan of action will help you stay focused and avoid getting too caught up in the game.
  2. Be present: While it’s important to have a plan, it’s also important to be present in the moment and enjoy the experience of playing golf. Don’t let your mind wander too much to your work goals, but also don’t completely lose sight of them. Find a balance that works for you and allows you to make the most of your time on the course.
  3. Be social: Golf is a social game, and one of the best ways to network is to strike up conversations with your fellow players. Whether it’s during a casual round with friends or a more formal tournament, make an effort to engage with others and build relationships.
  4. Take breaks: If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to perform both on and off the course, take a break. Step away from the game for a few minutes to recharge and refocus your attention on your networking goals.

By following these tips, you can successfully balance work and play while golfing for networking, ensuring that you make the most of your time on the course and achieve your professional goals.

Recap of Key Points

  1. Building Confidence: One of the most significant challenges in golf networking is building confidence. Golf is a sport that requires precision and skill, and it can be intimidating to approach someone on the course with the intention of networking. However, it’s essential to remember that golf is also a social activity, and most players are more than happy to engage in conversation and make new connections.
  2. Establishing Common Ground: Another challenge in golf networking is establishing common ground. While golf is a universal language, not everyone on the course will share the same interests or goals. To overcome this challenge, it’s essential to have a genuine interest in getting to know your fellow players and to approach each interaction with an open mind.
  3. Overcoming Language Barriers: Golf is a global sport, and it’s not uncommon to encounter players from different countries or cultures. While language barriers can be a challenge, they can also be an opportunity to learn about different perspectives and build international connections.
  4. Maintaining Etiquette: Golf is a sport with a strict set of rules and etiquette, and it’s important to respect these traditions when networking on the course. This includes things like waiting your turn to hit, repairing divots, and avoiding distractions while someone is taking a shot.
  5. Balancing Work and Play: Finally, it’s important to remember that golf is a sport, and it’s essential to balance work and play. While networking on the course can be an excellent opportunity to build connections and advance your career, it’s also important to enjoy the game and have fun.

Embracing Golf Networking as a Valuable Tool

One of the primary challenges in golf networking is the misconception that it is merely a leisure activity, lacking in substance and relevance to professional success. To overcome this hurdle, it is crucial to reframe golf networking as a valuable tool for building relationships and expanding business opportunities. Here’s how:

  1. Recognize the Potential of Golf Networking
    • Understand that golf courses provide a unique environment for meaningful conversations and connections, fostering trust and rapport among players.
    • Acknowledge the numerous success stories of professionals who have leveraged golf networking to establish partnerships, secure contracts, and advance their careers.
  2. Prepare for Conversations
    • Research common interests and topics related to your industry, allowing you to engage in informed discussions with potential contacts.
    • Develop a compelling “elevator pitch” that concisely communicates your professional goals and expertise, enabling you to make a lasting impression.
  3. Demonstrate Enthusiasm and Passion
    • Express genuine interest in the game of golf and its intricacies, demonstrating your passion for the sport.
    • Share stories of your own golf experiences, showcasing your ability to navigate challenges and setbacks both on and off the course.
  4. Be a Proactive Networker
    • Actively seek out opportunities to meet new people, whether through club events, tournaments, or even casual rounds with fellow players.
    • Follow up with new contacts promptly, expressing gratitude for their time and offering your assistance in their professional endeavors.
  5. Leverage Your Connections
    • Maintain strong relationships with your golf network, keeping them informed about your professional progress and accomplishments.
    • Offer your assistance and expertise to those in your network, demonstrating your commitment to reciprocity and fostering long-lasting partnerships.

By embracing golf networking as a valuable tool, you can effectively navigate the challenges associated with this unique environment and position yourself for success in both your personal and professional life.


1. What is golf networking?

Golf networking is the use of golf as a platform for building and maintaining professional relationships. It involves playing golf with potential clients, business partners, or other professionals to establish connections and foster mutual trust.

2. Why is golf a good way to network?

Golf is a great way to network because it provides a relaxed and informal setting where professionals can get to know each other better, build trust, and establish relationships. Additionally, golf is a sport that is played at a leisurely pace, which allows for ample time to engage in conversation and build connections.

3. How can I make the most of golf networking?

To make the most of golf networking, it’s important to be prepared and have a plan. Research the other players in advance, so you know who you’ll be playing with and can find common ground to discuss. Also, practice your swing and golf etiquette beforehand so you can focus on building relationships during the game.

4. What are some tips for effective golf networking?

Some tips for effective golf networking include: being punctual, dressing appropriately, paying attention to your golf etiquette, and actively engaging in conversation with your fellow players. It’s also important to listen carefully to others and show genuine interest in their lives and businesses.

5. How can I follow up after a golf networking event?

After a golf networking event, it’s important to follow up with the people you met. Send a thank-you email or note, and if you made a connection with someone you’d like to stay in touch with, suggest a follow-up meeting or call. This will help solidify the relationship and show that you’re interested in continuing the conversation.

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