Proficiency on the golf links is a short route to the top of the business world. Philip Cheung / The National
Proficiency on the golf links is a short route to the top of the business world. Philip Cheung / The National

Journey to top cuts through golf course

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


Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)


Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5


July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Cry Macho

Director: Clint Eastwood

Stars: Clint Eastwood, Dwight Yoakam



Juventus 2 (Bonucci 36, Ronaldo 90+6)

Genoa 1 (Kouame 40)


Company name: Clinicy
Started: 2017
Founders: Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman, Abdullah bin Sulaiman Alobaid and Saud bin Sulaiman Alobaid
Based: Riyadh
Number of staff: 25
Sector: HealthTech
Total funding raised: More than $10 million
Investors: Middle East Venture Partners, Gate Capital, Kafou Group and Fadeed Investment

Wenger's Arsenal reign in numbers

1,228 - games at the helm, ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture against West Ham United.
704 - wins to date as Arsenal manager.
3 - Premier League title wins, the last during an unbeaten Invincibles campaign of 2003/04.
1,549 - goals scored in Premier League matches by Wenger's teams.
10 - major trophies won.
473 - Premier League victories.
7 - FA Cup triumphs, with three of those having come the last four seasons.
151 - Premier League losses.
21 - full seasons in charge.
49 - games unbeaten in the Premier League from May 2003 to October 2004.

Company profile

Name: Yodawy
Based: Egypt
Founders: Karim Khashaba, Sherief El-Feky and Yasser AbdelGawad
Total funding: $24.5 million
Investors: Algebra Ventures, Global Ventures, MEVP and Delivery Hero Ventures, among others
Number of employees:


Author: Abdullah Khan
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Pages: 304
Available: Now