‘I Love The Natural Camaraderie That Binds Golfers…’
In a career that has spanned more than two decades, Prateek Pant brings with him a wealth of experience in Banking and Financial Services in India and the Middle East.
An alumnus of Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, he is one of the Co-Founders of Sanctum Wealth Management and also doubles up as Head of Product and Solutions. Pant enjoys his weekend hikes around Mumbai and has regularly participated in half-marathons for the last 8 years. He is keen about sports — especially ones that do not have a wide following here in India such as golf and sailing. Interestingly, some (if not most!) of his golfing exploits have happened whilst following his daughter Sanchita – a national-level sailor – in her expeditions. Here he is, in conversation with Karthik Swaminathan.
GDI: What is your home club?
Prateek: Bombay Presidency Golf Club (BPGC).
GDI: When did you start
Prateek: I picked up the game about 15 years ago at Karnataka Golf Association (KGA), Bengaluru, but there have been significant breaks since as work took me to different cities.
GDI: What do you love about
Prateek: There are many aspects that got me hooked. When I travel for leisure or work, I always take time for a round of golf and this helped me discover unique architectures and intricate courses crafted by world-renowned designers. I have interacted with great people and I love the natural camaraderie that binds golfers. Another thing I like about golf is the fact that you are competing with only yourself and are constantly trying to improve.
One disappointing game spurs me to do better the next time around!
GDI: Who have you played golf with the most?
Prateek: I have golfer buddies and groups I can join across cities – in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Singapore.
GDI: How about your dream fourball?
Prateek: My dream fourball would be to get Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Ernie Els in the same pairing.
GDI: Favourite golf course, both in India and abroad. There are a few favourites – KGA & Golfshire (Bangalore), Ooty & Kodai (Tamil Nadu), Oxford (Pune), Kalhaar & Kensville (Ahmedabad). Abroad, I enjoyed playing at Thai Country Club and Laem Chabang (Thailand).
GDI: Your thoughts on doing business on the golf course…
Prateek: I have experienced goodwill and lasting friendship on the golf course. Due to the trust, or even mistrust (laughs), some of them have transcended into great business relationships off the course. But it is always in that order and not the other way around!
GDI: How often do you get to play?
Prateek: 2-3 times a month – a lot lesser than what I would like!
GDI: Favourite male and female golfers
Prateek: Jordan Spieth and Aditi Ashok
GDI: Please describe your most memorable golfing experience
Prateek: Representing corporate India at the 2016 World Amateur Golf Championship in Durban was a significant high point in my golfing journey. On a different note, there are 16 of us — close friends — who travel from different parts of the world to meet at one of the top golfing destinations for 3 rounds of golf. We have been at it for the last 9 years and look forward to those 4 days every year!
GDI: Do you use any golf apps on your phone?
Prateek: The Grint (to track handicap)
GDI: Your current handicap
Prateek: 18 (but my friends don’t buy it!)
GDI: Your lowest handicap
GDI: On an average, how long do you drive the ball?
Prateek: 230-240 yards
GDI: Your favourite holiday destination.
Prateek: Scotland (perfect mix of golf, single malt and scenic drives)
GDI: Favourite dish on course
Prateek: Akuri with melba toast, at The Willingdon Sports Club
GDI: Mid-round power snack
Prateek: Nature Valley protein bars
GDI: Favourite 19th hole drink
Prateek: Tap beer
(Read more in the June issue of Golf Digest India. Download here.)