Paul Bester collects his trophy from Golf Digest Middle East publisher David Burke.
By Kent Gray
Paul Bester had to twist George Guisti’s arm to take half a day off work to play the 4th Autism Golf Championship. It’s a fair bet he won’t have any trouble convincing his pal to apply for even more leave for their next big tournament together.
The South African duo have won the golf trip of a lifetime to the Golf Digest C&S Golf Invitational in Prague after shocking themselves by clinching the charity foursomes (alternate shot) event at Arabian Ranches. Bester and Guisti won with 43 stableford points on a countback from Ashok Ahuja and Ashok Galotia. Marla and Subhojit Biswas were third a point further back.
The reward is a five-day, four round experience in the Czech capital that includes five star accommodation, a mayoral reception and a guided tour of the historical European city.
“It was totally unexpected – I couldn’t believe it when they called our names out [as winners],” Bester said. “We didn’t even know about it [the prize], we didn’t go to win. That usually happens to the posh golfers. We just play to relax, support the event and get out of the office.”
Bester and Guisti will have their out of office notifications on again in late July as they play against Golf Digest executives and key clients from around the globe at Prague City Golf in Zbraslav (July 31), Panorama Golf Resort (Aug 1), Ypsilon Golf Resort in Liberec (Aug 2) and Royal Golf Club, Marianske Lazne (Aug 3).
Bester paid tribute to Lifestyle Events for the organisation of the Arabian Ranches qualifier and the decision to play foursomes, a novel format for a corporate-style event.
“I liked the twists within the [format] like having to tee off one hole with an old [persimmon] driver. I cracked a beauty on the third hole – you can actually hit them good,” Bester continued. “The format, I like it. It makes you concentrate on your shot because you don’t want to mess up for your partner.
“We putted like demons, the putting saved our bacon. We blanked one or two holes but otherwise our chips were either close or we holed long putts. The Happy Gilmore drive on the first…we had a stunning birdie there after George hit a ripper there. It was super fun.”