‘An unexpected. scary hazard guarded the green during a round…!’
“Intense“ is how Murali Natrajan-Managing Director & CEO, DCB Bank Ltd.-would describe himself on the fairways. The finance veteran cherishes the lessons he learned from Sir Nick Faldo’s book ‘A Swing for Life‘ and fondly recalls meeting the great man a few years ago. The self-taught acrylic painter-with a penchant for painting abstracts, landscapes and flowers- thoroughly enjoys travelling. Natrajan has set foot on more than 30 countries and prefers the serenity of the mountains to the sun and sand. Here he is in conversation with Karthrik Swaminathan.
GDI: What Is your home club?
Murali: Willingdon Sports Club
GDI: When did you start playing golf?
Murali: 1998, when I was living in Chennai. I have been a regular since 2002.
GDI: What do you love about the game?
Murali: I love sports (cricket, table tennis, badminton etc). Golf helps me relax and takes away some of the day-to- day stress.
GDI: Who haveyou played golf with the most?’
Murali: In Mumbai, we have a group of 20-odd golfers called ” Fairway Friends“ and we have been playing together for over a decade.
GDI: How about your dream four ball?
Murali: I think playing with top golfers may be stressful! However, I’d certainly like to play with any combination of Tiger Woods, Rory Mcllroy, SSP Chawrasia and Anirban Lahiri.
GDI: Favouite golf couse, both in hdia and abroad.
Murali: Karnataka Golf Association (KGA), Bengaluru. It has a beautiful club house and practice facilities are very useful. Abroad… I played in Scotland once I have looked forward to going back someday for my next round ever since!
GDI: How often doyou get to play?
Murali: I play almost every Sunday morning. In summers, it is too hot to play; I take a break from golf and focus on other hobbies.
GDI: Your thoughts on doing business on the golf course… I don’t actively look to do business while golfing. However, golf has helped me make many friends and associations. Some of the relationships formed during golf have helped me in business as well.
GDI: Favouite male and female golfers.
Murali: Tiger Woods & Annika Sorenstam
GDI: Please describeyour most memorable golfing experience.
Murali: I was playing with friends at Black Bear Golf Club, New Jersey and we had been warned about bears. Near the green on a par-4, I saw a big, dark brown creature coming down fast and I soon found myself close to a big bear and her two cubs. It was an “unexpected hazard guarding the green”. And scary! Needless to say, we escaped in our respective carts.
GDI: Do you use any golf apps on your phone?
Murali: I use a Garmin watch. It is very good and has helped my game.
GDI: Your current handicap.
Murali: Usually, I play between 18 and 20 over.
GDI: Your lowest handicap.
Murali: In Willingdon a fewyears ago, I played to 9-over. I have laminated and preserved the scorecard.
GDI: On an average, how long do you chive the ball?
Murali: I use my driver very rarely, but when I do I can hit up to 220 yards. My favourite club for teeing off is 3-wood; I can hit anywhere from 180 to 200 yards.
GDI: Your favourite holiday destination.
Murali: For golf, my preferred destination is always Thailand. It has so many good courses. I love the Thai cuisine as well.
GDI:Favourite dish on your home course.
GDI: Mid-round power snack.
Murali: I generally eat two slices of brown bread at the half-way hut. Of course, I cannot do without sugar less, strong cold coffee. It seems to help my game!
GDI: Favourite 19th hole drink.
Murali: Once I finish, I usually rush home to catch up with family. I can drink hot or cold coffee any time!
(Read more in the July issue of Golf Digest India. Download here.)