Familiarity breeds comfort. You play the same fourball every week—you know what to expect. A few tops, some duffs, and an occasional straight ball. It’s not like Mr Fancy Pants, who you love to bury in the bunker, would have transformed his game from last week.
The chances of him turning from a chronic slicer to one who hits everything down the middle and drops 20-footers regularly, are fairly remote. In golf, there are no shortcuts. Burning the midnight oil means that if you have an oil sheikh as a buddy and he is of a generous disposition, the man will come in very handy. Basically, there are no overnight surprises. You win some, lose some, have a few drinks and go home happy.
Now, occasionally, you get the chance to play at a corporate event. Here, the organiser/sponsor looks to bring together a group of golfers for various reasons, ranging from networking and business development to publicity. This is a much sought-after format in our country and a lot of it has to do with the presents the golfers come away with. It’s like Christmas through the year. You get to the golf course in the morning and are immediately led to the fattening up section. Between mouthfuls of eggs and sausages, a pretty young girl will thrust a bagful of T-shirts and golf accessories at you. It happens to be your day and on the designated hole, you manage to hit one really close to the flag. Your reward: some more freebies. More of the same if you hit one long and it stays on the fairway.
After the round, the bar is thrown open and you are once again fed, this time by the poolside. Then comes the eagerly awaited prize giving. Tickets to exotic and faraway places, and stays in five-star luxury, are given away these days. Club golfers now actually have an incentive. Visit the practice range frequently enough and you could be winging your way to a new destination for golf. Some of the prizes come in pairs, like tickets for two. Your wife can tag along, though I’m not too sure if that’s a good idea.
In fact, we now have a new breed of golfers called the “career corporate golfers”. These guys stay on the lookout for tournaments and they don’t have to look too hard judging by the growing popularity of such events. Some try to take their fourballs with them. Nothing like being in your comfort zone when fighting for a first-class ticket to London and back.TIP I TRIED:
Here’s a scene: You’re on the par-five 18th at the DLF Golf & Country Club during one of these corporate dos and if you muscle it past everybody else, a box of Pro Vs is your reward. The temptation forces you to swing hard and fast and instead of the golf ball going anywhere, you almost knock yourself over. This is where Fred Couples comes in. At age 48, he averages 300 yards off the tee and he does that by swinging loose and picking up speed at the right time, which is when he makes contact with the golf ball. The takeaway and the transition at the top of the swing are smooth and slow. His coach Butch Harmon calls this “effortless power”.Prabhdev Singh is Editor, Golf Digest India