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Aug 25, 2008

Coimbatore Golf Special

Getting up at 4.30 am and making the half hour drive to Chettipalayam is a routine that Omkar Sankar, director of property developer Sankar Foundation, follows every Sunday. Omkar follows this schedule to catch up with the 18 holes at the Coimbatore Golf Club, situated 16 kms away from the city. For him and many others in the city, golf is just the sport to indulge in after a hectic six days at work. “Golf is no different from business. In fact, we learn a lot from playing golf and attempt to incorporate it in our business,”says ex-chairman of CII, Jayakumar Ramdass. “In golf, you have the ball, the target is in sight and you make your swing to sink it.In business too, a single minded focus is necessary to reach the target,” says Mr Ramdass.

He adds that when there are three players at it, each one keeps a mark on the ball as and when they make their shots. “Normally the mark is kept behind the ball and that shows the high level of integrity and honesty of the player and those two qualities are definitely needed to succeed in any business,” he remarks. The game also cultivates the habit of perseverance and instills a mature and calm mind. “Unlike in other games, a golfer after achieving success cannot jump on the greens. They can only take off their cap to show their happiness.


This talks a lot about their discipline,” says Mr Ramdass. More important is the parallel one finds in the ups and downs of the game and those that are faced in business. “Even Tiger Woods is not spared — he also at times hits the ball into the bunkers. It is very difficult to get the ball out of the sand, but then that reflects the obstacles that we face in business and how we get out of the tough situation.”


“Walking along the fairway, one can socialise and make lot of friends,” adds Shiva Tex Yarn’s MD Senthil Aarumugam. A second generation businessman, Shiva finds golf an excellent game to recharge the batteries on. “I tend to appreciate fresh air, greenery and that feeling of success in the greens after the ball reaches the hole is an added motivation to work hard in our business,” he enthuses. The game is also a stress-reliever for many as Srivari Constructions owner Madhan notes. “It is good to spend lot of time in the natural environment and play a sport where you compete against yourself,” he says. “It is the place where we fight against our averages and it is like setting benchmarks for yourself and your company,” adds Omkar.


Mr Madhan visits the golf course three times a week and, apart from everything else, finds it an excellent place to talk business. “Unlike other sports, where we stand opposite each other, in a golf course, we walk along and it is the time we discuss business and share our experiences,” he explains. “If my business grows along with my game, why not?” states Omkar, adding that he manages a lot of networking while on the golf course. According to Madhan, the Coimbatore golf course is one of the best he has played in in south India.


“I have played the game in various courses and this one is really tough and long,” says Madhan, adding that a clubhouse will soon be in place at the golf course. At present, the 6973 yard par 72, 18 holes championship course has a club equipped with a bar and restaurant, besides a pro shop. The new clubhouse will have extra lockers, restrooms and few guest rooms, apart from a full-fledged bar and restaurant.

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