Let’s go straight to the heart of golf. What is its purpose? Is it to return impressive scores and win trophies, or rather can one’s years of golf be assessed by the friends one makes through respecting the rules and etiquette, by competing with honour in events of all nature?
In my life on the links I have enjoyed over one thousand courses worldwide. But what remains as the main joy are not the silver trophies on the mantelpiece but the friends I have made from Australia to California, from Finland to South Africa, from Shanghai to Brazil.
Here is an example which dates back to the late 1970’s. My college chum from London University is property expert, Clive Llewellyn. Both of us were working in real estate in Paris. He came up with a superb way by which we could meet fellow property persons in France and not only generate business connections but enjoy the game of golf together. Alain Sarfatti also in real estate became a member of the board specializing in the Club events.
Thus was created the Association de Golf pour la Profession Immobilière (AGPI) which celebrated its fortieth anniversary with a visit to Shanghai.
Alain used this great opportunity to officially launch the Real Estate International Golf Society ( R E I G S ) in China, in the footsteps and pure traditions of AGPI. A team of 14 Chinese property professionals who share our passion for golf greeted the delegation and three rounds were played on fine courses in the Shanghai area.
A Ryder Cup format event was organised over the last two days with the home team coming out on top. A return event will be hosted in France in 2015.The bonding of players who sometimes could not converse in a common language was extraordinary. The high fives which were exchanged to celebrate good shots did not need to be translated!
Alain Sarfatti, Chairman and Founder of the Legacy Club STA which is based in Shanghai was the host of the visit of the French Real Estate Golf delegation. After twenty five years in Los Angeles, he has been resident in Shanghai for the past five years. He and his wife Martine have been welcomed into the highest levels of golf and business circles in this extraordinarily dynamic megapolis.
Alain and Martine host get together evenings at the Yacht Club overlooking the spectacular views of the HuangPu River and the constantly changing skyline of downtown Shanghai.
Golf transcends the frontiers separating countries and its future depends more on encouraging friendships than enlarging the size of the hole as was proposed recently by none other than Jack Nicklaus.
Let us seek inspiration in the above example of global networking through golf. The bottom line is that the emphasis should be the generation of fun which will create both business opportunities and lasting friendships.
Richard Wax can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org