Last July, I played my first 18-hole golf competition at the EY Corporate Golf day at West Hill GC. It was a great experience; I guess I learnt a lot of golf language, mannerism, traditions etc that day. That day was all about participating and enjoying the journey rather than playing golf. I was allowed to play after I promised to finish the game with a score of less than 110. Playing with my old Sports Direct – Dunlop kit, I am not sure what I scored, since I had never played Greensome or Stableford before. I am guessing, the morning 9 hole Greensome was about 11 point and the evening individual Stableford was about 14 points. As I watched the prize giving ceremony in the evening, I was simply awe-struck by the skill and the score posted by the EY crew. One of the prizes given away was the Rob Holman Pot for the ‘most improved golfer’. Rob Holman was a Partner with E&Y, whose life was tragically cut short by cancer. When I heard about the Pot, it sparked my desire to win the Rob Holman Pot in the 2012 edition of the EY Corporate Day.
Since that eventful July day, my golf has all been directed at winning the Rob Holman. I changed my kit, invested in some lessons, conned a few friends to take up golf, and spent a lot of time online and on the course. So as soon as the invites for the 2012 edition came out, I jumped for it. This year the game was held at Ashridge Golf Club on 16th July – almost exactly a year since the 2011 edition (held on 18th July). This time around, I was a bit more aware of golf speak, the dos and donts, what club to use etc. However, that did not mean it was going to be any easier.
The morning 9 hole greensome was a bit of a damp squib. I struggled with my swing and my putting. My partner was a much better golfer and saved me a few blushes. The biggest advantage of the morning session was that I got an opportunity to look at the back 9. This was followed by a heavy lunch and I did really feast on it.
The afternoon individual tournament was a shot gun start. I was playing off 25 (last year I played off 28). My game was swinging around like a mad out of control jackhammer – up and down. However, I was lucky that I had a good run on holes that contributed good points while the ‘easy’ ones just fell apart. I played with John Croxford (HC 24), who did all the counting – as Stableford is not my strongest areas. I ended the day with 37 points and a big grin on my face
As the prizes were announced, as per tradition a golfer gets only one prize. I was surprised and disappointed that I was 3rdin the over-19 HC category!!! The winner shot 38, while the second guy got a 37 – but won on countback. As I went
up to pick my sleeve of balls and shoe bag, I had a sense of loss for missing out on the Rob Holman Pot. So imagine my relief & happiness when the club chairman (Tom Passmore, EY CFO) announced that he will break tradition and award the Rob Holman Pot to me. He described the feat of improving by 20 odd points in a year as ‘extraordinary’. I was asked to make a short speech. I have no idea what I said while I held to probably the most coveted silverware. This was me winning the Open.
The Pot has set the direction and tone for an extra ordinary first year of golf for me. It was the perfect result and hopefully it will be the first of many in the years to come…. Amen