There’s a lot of talk that the golf course is a great place for striking business opportunities. Chantelle Usmar, chief financial officer at the Bombela Concession Company, agrees with this one hundred per cent. She says a lot of business that she has done with others was ignited by a friendly conversation on the golf course.
W hile still at school, Chantelle Usmar used to caddie on weekends for her dad who was a keen golfer. Her caddie fee was R10, and it was a great opportunity to spend some time with her dad. Although she never really played, she found the sport intriguing and hoped she would be able to play one day.
So, when she discovered that Anthony Usmar (now her husband) was an avid golfer too, she jumped at the opportunity and started golfing with him. She humorously admits that although she still aspires to hit the ball with as much grace as he does, it has been love ever since.
‘I enjoy the outdoors thoroughly, and this way, I get so spend many hours outside. Also, that little ball can really test your patience, but somehow that one good shot always brings you back. It’s also a great relationship-building activity and I have been fortunate to meet a lot of excellent business people,’ says Chantelle.
Chantelle and Anthony have played on many courses around the world, with their ultimate favourite course being the Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland.
Chantelle is part of a ladies’ group of golfers at the Irene Country Club who she describes as ‘just such an amazing bunch’. Although her husband is the one who plays seriously, Chantelle has got through to the finals of the Sanlam Cancer Challenge at Sun City.
‘Golf is definitely one of your more expensive sports. The initial investment into your first set of clubs is quite steep, so you have to be sure that you love it before you commit. Socialising afterwards can also get pricey,’ says Chantelle.
Irene Country Club is a very special place for the Usmars. The 7th tee box is where they remember their lost loved ones.
‘We decided to get married on the tee box, and after the ceremony we had champagne and both of us hit one golf shot to remember Antz’ Dad and my Mom. It was a small gathering and truly special. A magnificent day!’ describes Chantelle, fondly.
‘I think anyone can play golf. It obviously helps a bit if you have good hand-eye coordination. The best thing about the game is that handicaps allow people of all ages and abilities to play together, compete and have fun.’
Is she missing golf during lockdown? ‘Absolutely! Especially living in close vicinity of a golf course that you can see every day! Our estate is looking amazing and I cannot wait to get out there.’