Journey to top cuts through golf course

The Life: It is well known that there is one activity absolutely essential to  a high-flying career in business - golf.

Proficiency on the golf links is a short route to the top of the business world. Philip Cheung / The National
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Q&A: Keys to a better game

What makes a good golf pro? A good golf professional is someone that the student feels comfortable with. They should also be knowledgeable and continue to learn.

What is the most important thing to remember in golf? The fundamentals. Spend time working on grip, posture and set-up. If these are poor, then it is very hard to make good golf swings consistently.

How do I sign up? Yas Links will host an academy open day on [October 14] between 3 and 8pm. There will be some lesson offers and the day will give the opportunity to meet the professionals and have a free taster lesson. If you cannot make the open day or wish to get started sooner, either call 02 810 7777 or email

It is well known that there is one activity absolutely essential to a high-flying career in business. No, it's not an MBA from Harvard or contacts with the Russian mafia, although obviously both of those would come in handy on occasion.

Even more useful is the ability to hit a small white ball into an only slightly larger hole. In short, proficiency on the golf links is a short route to the top of the business world.

But how do you make sure that you don't accept an invitation from the titans of banking only to foozle on the first tee? The answer lies in a visit to one of those remarkable people called golf professionals.

In the early days of the sport, they were all Scottish, and what they might have lacked in chirpiness was made up for with technical proficiency. But things have changed. The gutta-percha ball has been abandoned, and so has the hickory shaft. We now have balls you cannot cut, clubs made of carbon fibre, and golf pros that reveal teeth when they smile. They are also disarmingly young. Craeg Deery, 25, a professional at Yas Links, is one of the new breed. He has a degree in golf management studies and experience teaching at Queenwood Golf Club in Surrey and at Safaa Golf Club in Saudi Arabia.

He will look at your swing and run it through the video machine. There you will see a hunchback hacking at a ball. This turns out to be you. Less disheartened than you are, he will then suggest a number of adjustments and walk with you around the par 3, nine-hole course.

Which perhaps explains the attraction that the golf course has for so many captains of industry: after watching a small ball go in various unintended directions, it must be a relief to get back behind their large wooden desks and boss people about in the knowledge that their instructions will be followed to a T.

Top 5: Fundamentals of golf

1 Grip

2 Stance

3 Set-up

4 Backswing

5 Downswing

Source: Ben Hogan

The Quote: Keep close count of your nickels and dimes, stay away from whiskey, and never concede a putt. - Sam Snead, winner of 82 US PGA Tour events