Texas Scramble at the Mines
By BRIAN MARTIN
TODAY we introduce Power Golf, a monthly column in the TeeUp pages that features Malaysia’s No 1, Danny Chia taking on three CEOs from the corporate sector over 18 holes.
The mechanics for Power Golf is simple – Danny, the host will play from the black tee against three CEOs who will play from the blue tees using the Texas Scramble format.
This is an added advantage to Danny’s opponents because it means they play from the best teeshot, the best second shot, and so on.
Even on the greens, the CEOs will be able to putt from the best spot of their three-ball. One other rule for Power Golf is that it is played in the Skins format at RM1,000 per skin. This means that if a hole is halved, the RM1,000 is carried forward to the next hole, doubling the prize money.
All prize money won during the Power Golf round is sponsored by The Star Foundation. The total winnings will be donated to the winner’s charity of choice.
Our first Power Golf was graciously hosted by The Mines Resort & Golf Club and it’s director of golf and business development Jean Daniels. It’s a course that Danny knows well, as he is based there now with his coach, Steven Giuliano.
Our first three CEOs were Star Publications (M) Bhd executive deputy chairman Datuk Vincent Lee, Guinness Anchor Berhad CEO Charles Ireland and Carlsberg Malaysia CEO Soren Ravn.
The two brewery CEOs, industry rivals outside golf, proved to be a constant source of laughter on the golf course!
Even before the match started, there was banter over lunch as the three corporate boys tried their best to needle Danny.
Undaunted by the challenge of taking on Malaysia’s No 1, the CEOs were quietly confident that they would triumph based on the Texas Scramble format. With varying degrees of handicap – Vincent is an eight handicapper, Charles plays to 14 and Soren is a 24-handicap – the CEOs got off to a storming start going five-up after five holes.
From the off, it was obvious that Soren as a relative beginner, was the weak link in the four-ball. But what he lacked in skill, he more than made up in enthusiasm.
Vincent, comfortably the longest driver of the CEOs, was a picture of consistency over the first nine. Charles, the ‘talker’ of the group, had some great shots, but also played some poor ones.
The banter with the CEOs seemed to be getting to Danny as he made a par, bogey, par, par, par start.
But then his competitive instinct kicked in just before the turn. Making a birdie at the sixth, he went on to win four skins. Then, on the 10th tee, the skies opened up. With the siren halting play, the four-ball retired to the Mines clubhouse for some much needed refreshment.
Over beers, Charles said: “At least I can tell my friends I beat Malaysia’s No 1.”
The rain, which threatened to spoil Power Golf’s first outing lasted an hour-and-a-half.
But just when it seemed that the match would be abandoned, the rain subsided and Vincent made a rallying cry: “Lets go back and finish the job”.
Unfortunately for the CEOs, Danny was a different man after the break. With his pride at stake, he blitzed the course, winning all nine holes!
His opponents tried their best to stem the birdie barrage, but Danny was not to be denied. It ended with Danny hving won 13 skins – RM13,000 and the CEOs with five skins or RM5,000.
Despite the competitive nature of the match, it was played in the good spirits. Danny even took the trouble to make minor corrections to stance, swing and grip for all three of his opponents.
Amid much laughter the match was dissected over another round of drinks at the clubhouse.
Even though they were beaten, the three CEOs thoroughly enjoyed the format of Power Golf and took heart that the money won would be donated to charity.