Pursuit of Happiness

Wholehearted Golfer

For KPCL’s managing director, Chinta Sasidhar, golf is not just a game, it’s a way of life

Soumik Kar

The plush 136-acre golf course, enshrined perfectly amid the magnificent Sahyadri hills in Pune’s Oxford Golf Club is all set to witness the 2nd annual Golden Eagles Golf Tournament organised by the Krishnapatnam Port Company (KPCL). The cool breeze juxtaposed with a light, misty drizzle welcomes the golf enthusiasts, all from varied business backgrounds. But for Chinta Sasidhar, managing director, KPCL, the tournament is more than just a mere competition. For the avid golfer, it is an opportunity to catch up with business associates who share his passion.

Sasidhar recounts his early association with the game through his clients from Singapore. They recounted their passion and love for the game and described to Sasidhar the potential of the game. This, coupled with advise from some senior players, prompted him to explore the game. “I improved with each and every game I played and within eight to ten months, I had an 18 handicap,” he recalls.

And then, there was no looking back. Sasidhar was so fascinated by the intricacies of the game, that he made sure he began his day at the golf course, daily whenever he is in Hyderabad. “I hit the golf course at 5.30 am and play for around three hours. My target each day is 9 holes, which I try and complete. It’s been four and a half years now, but the game’s appeal is endless,” he adds.

Golf also gave him an opening to interact with businessmen and develop the rapport to crack business deals. “If you are looking for a half-an-hour meeting with an executive, it is often a difficult proposition, given the executive’s busy schedule. But on a golf course, you have around four hours to talk about the game, your business plans and a good rapport is developed with your probable business partners. The four hours on the course is leisure time — the mind is free and there is no stress,” he says. Recollecting one such memory on a sunny afternoon, Sasidhar adds, “We didn’t care about the sun, we played an 18 hole game.”

For Sasidhar, golf is not just a game that one plays everyday, it is a practice that imbibes discipline, decision-making skills and helps one effectively manage stress. Ask him what specifically attracts him to the game, he says, “Golf has a positive aura around it. Unlike other team-sports, there is no buck passing. Here, it is just you and the ball — you are either your own winner or loser, there is no in-between.” Moreover, there is a positive side-effect..“You inevitably end up walking almost 6 kms on the fresh, morning grass. It is a healthy practice and an advantage, too,” he says.

From actively playing the game to catching glimpses of golf tournaments amid his busy schedule, golf has given important business lessons to Sasidhar in terms of effective planning and decision-making. “In golf, you can calculate everything — the wind speed, the spin and the force with which you are hitting the ball; it is absolute physics. This calculative demeanour has helped me focus better, concentrate longer and be patient while cracking business deals,” he trails off.