The Bangolfers Invitational Tournament was not your usual golf tournament, where serious golfers try to outscore each other by scoring birdies, eagles, albatrosses and the like. It was a tournament which was played to raise funds for people who make the sport happen — the caddies and the maintenance staff.To put it in the words of Saravanan Neel, one of the founding members: “It is towards the upliftment of our own environment, these people make it happen. It is our duty to ensure that we do something for them.”
The founders are six successful professionals and passionate golfers – Saravanan Neel, Rajiv Unnikrishnan, Jibin John, Agastya Jayanti, Veeran Illavarasan and N.R.K. Raman, a.k.a ‘The Bangolfers’.“The idea was put into practice in 2012, when like-minded golfers wanted to do something for the caddies.” quips Rajiv.
They created a not-for-profit organisation; Bangalore Golfers Trust and held the first invitational golf tournament in September last year at the Champions Reef Golf Course in Kolar.The money raised is being used to fund the education of Tinkishree, a sixth standard student in the William Richard School, and Amulya, presently in fourth standard of KG International School. Tinkishree is the daughter of Ramesh, an electrician, and Amulya the daughter of Chowdappa, a caddie. The students were selected on the basis of merit and are under the ambit of the trust for the next five years of their schooling.
Having tasted success, these philanthropic golfers took it to another level by getting in a houseful attendance of 86 entries in this year’s event at the Bangalore Golf Club. “The idea is to combine fun and charity into one event. It was conducted with just word-of-mouth publicity, which makes it even more special,” said Rajiv.
“There is nothing more gratifying than playing for those people with whom we rub shoulders with everyday,” says Ravi Nagaraja, one of the participants. “We do not want to stop at this; we want to do more than this. We have a few more ideas in the pipeline,” says Saravnan.