Recently, Toyota sponsored a pan India golf tournament. Assocham, one of the Indian industry bodies also has an annual Japan-India corporate golf competition. Many leading newspapers and business magazines also get involved. Apparently, Golf seems to be the lubricant of international business.

We normally associate Japan with sushi but the uber corporate Japan can be better associated with golf. At least in India, it seems to be the only recreation that most Japanese enjoy.

When I was younger, I never imagined that I would play golf one day. My college’s golf course was used more for late night walks discussing philosophy rather than the actual game. Later, when I joined Toyota, my father-in-law encouraged me to join golf, but it did not seem like an alluring thought back then. I assumed it to be an old man’s sport. However, after some years, my boss in Hitachi managed to convince me that I ought to play the game for business reasons.

Initially, golf turned out to be tougher than I had imagined. Connecting ball to stick is not as easy as when seen on TV. A friend of mine, Pankaj, got me out on the golf course and from then on there was no looking back.

In Delhi’s concrete jungle, the manicured greens at Qutab are a refreshing feast for the eyes. I competing against myself brought out the old sportsman in me, trying to do better than before. A double bogey is good, a bogey is satisfying, a par is something to talk about and with a birdie – the caddies get a treat! Eagles on the course are just as rare as they are in Delhi’s skies.

Going out with customers creates a healthy bonding. Strictly speaking, I haven’t concluded any deals on the course, but spending so much time on the course and thereafter on the 19th hole does enhance friendship.  I do find it more enjoyable working with friends.

In addition to the joy of natural beauty and socializing, I also find the kilometres walked to be a good exercise. Depending on post-golf action the calorie count may eventually be neutralized, but whenever I resist the temptation it does work in my favour.  It reduces my fat, it increases my stamina and it improves my concentration. Though, I have a long way to go in terms of score improvement, I convince myself that with every extra shot I hit I get extra exercise!

I’ll be back on the Golf course from mid-June, I promise.