The participants (IAM experts and professionals that share the same hobby) were expected in the afternoon. Once they had partaken of a refreshing beverage and a piece of cake, the teams were announced. The eleven participants had been divided into two teams of four and one team of three.
The format was Texas Scramble with a ¾ handicap allowance. Texas scramble is highly suitable for tournaments that pivot on enjoyment and networking: everyone plays his or her ball. Subsequently the team jointly selects the best drive. The other players move their balls to the spot of the best drive and everyone plays again, etcetera, etcetera. This format ensures that the team members reconvene again and again, which obviously promotes contact.
One team included a player with a 4 handicap, i.e. a very good player. Another team included a player who turned out only ever to have participated in a golf clinic. It goes without saying that this contestant could be expected to play at a somewhat lower level than the single-digit handicapper.
However, these large differences did not spoil the fun. It was a very hot and dry day with a lot of sunshine, which did wonders for everyone’s enjoyment. Once the group photo had been taken, the first team set off, after which the other two teams went in pursuit.
The Bentwoud golf course is quite new, but as early as at hole 1, many players experienced that the course is developing. The rough has become really ‘rough’, so that you need to do some serious searching if your ball ends up there. And sometimes you must lift a duck to find the ball.
At the start of the latter nine holes, it was not evident to everybody that it was to be a tough round. Due to the heat and drought, the ‘back nine’ can become really exerting, especially when water is in short supply – many a player had hoped to find a tap somewhere along the course where they could top up their bottles, but unfortunately Bentwoud lacks this facility. Just like in any real team, the members shared their drinks and food and looked for lost balls together, sometimes in vain.
Tired but satisfied, everyone made it to the 18th hole, after which they all refreshed themselves avidly, drinking beer, soft drinks or wine and indulging in appetizers (‘bitterballs’ and such). Then the tall stories of the day could be heard as well and the participants showed they could laugh hard as well as play hard. Still, the question remained: which team had won? The points had yet to be added up. One team told they had ended 4 below par, on which the other two teams immediately said that counting was unnecessary since they really had not played that well, and thus the team that score 4 below par won.
After a shower or a brisk wash, the group sat down to a lovely dinner. During dinner, they soon stopped talking about golf. The conversations were about frameworks, identity solutions, identity of things, security, and so on. Thus, satisfied, well-fed and new contacts richer, every participant walked back to his or her car to set off through the dark night to a well-deserved weekend. The event has given us a taste of ‘Fore’ !!
We are looking back on a successful day. Nearly all participants gave us feedback, saying they had considered it to be great fun as well as really useful. Everyone is looking forward to next year’s event on Friday 24 June!