Nepali Times Asian Paints
Tee Break
Golfing dreams


I used to envy those who lived in rich countries because over there, sports flourished with the heavy support of the community, the government and big businesses. I have always dreamt of having the sport I love, which I'm fortunate enough to also have as my profession, develop in my country. I wanted to see our sportsmen participating in international events and finding success. Now I know it won't be long.

None of us can expect success overnight. A multitude of slow and steady developments are what lead to reaching one goal after another. So what is happening in our golf world to inspire such optimism.

Has it been a year since I wrote about a new golf tournament which seemed to indicate a greater understanding of how large corporations can use sports to promote their business while developing sporting skills in the country? Looks like it has!

This week we will witness what was a one-day golfing event last year expand into a full five-day extravaganza, providing casual golfers not just the opportunity to test themselves but more importantly, to serious sportsmen as well. It is such an encouraging sign to see the event expand so quickly. The tournament sponsors, the Himalayan Bank Ltd have given golfers exactly what they need. The first four days are for professionals and top amateurs. The final fifth day, which is Saturday, 26 February, is for golf lovers and important corporate clients from across the country.

"The bank has committed to support and sponsor the talented amongst the best of our professional and amateurs of this game through the golf development fund," said Ashoke SJB Rana, senior general manager of the bank, at a press conference organised to present the tournament.

You may recall that along with last year's tournament, Himalayan Bank created a golf development fund, the first of its kind in Nepal. They have recently used it to support our new and upcoming amateur golfer Shiba Ram Shrestha for his training in India.

One gets to understand how important golf is in the corporate world when we look at the board of the sponsoring bank, which includes avid golfers such as Ashoke Rana, Prachanda B Shrestha, and Bijay B Shrestha. Together with other board members, they have realised the need to support excellence in a sport and have taken the initiative to combine sensible corporate strategy with doing something extra for the country. This addition of an extra four-day tournament for top amateurs and professionals goes a long way towards creating sustainable development of golf in Nepal.

Fellow Nepali professional golfers and I competed for a total purse of Rs 150,000. The winner bagged Rs 55,000 and the prize money was earned for all except the last two places. I won the game with a score of 287 (one under par), Ramesh Nagarkoti and Deepak Thapa Magar were runners-up respectively. On Saturday, the amateurs will once again compete for the coveted Himalayan Bank Cup in this Open Golf Championship. We look forward to other corporations joining the bandwagon for sports other than golf also. Now, if you'll excuse me, I don't want to miss my tee time.

Deepak Acharya is a golf instructor and Golf Director at Gokarna Forest Golf Resort & Spa, Kathmandu. [email protected]

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)