What do golf and IT consulting for SMBs have in common? The answer is lots, including continually changing challenges, experienced competitors and the knowledge that there’s no easy route to victory and that success has to be earned every time. There are lots of parallels and this was a good enough reason for SAP to invite its Business Partners and selected customers to the SAP SMB Golf Masters 2004 tournament in St. Leon-Rot on September 13.
St. Leon-Rot – a challenging course
Golf balls have been flying across fairways in this small Baden-Württemberg town since 1997. The twin 18-hole golf course is one of the most challenging in Germany and has played host to high-ranking international tournaments, including the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open, in the past. Designed by Englishman Dave Thomas, St. Leon-Rot combines lots of characteristics from world-famous Scottish and Irish courses. The day provided the participants with both a challenge and some inspiration and there was, of course, no shortage of fun and team spirit. However, the participants had to overcome a challenge even before setting foot on the course as only players with a handicap of 36 or better were allowed to play.
After check-in on Monday morning, the 100 or so participants from six different countries had brunch together on a day offering perfect golfing weather (slightly cloudy and 22ºC). It all kicked off at 12.30 p.m. when the first players began the first of 18 holes on the demanding course. And SAP hadn’t forgotten about the “golf dummies” in the party. The “Golf Olympic Games” was a real sporting alternative with a high fun factor for those who couldn’t or didn’t want to play. During the day, many of the participants showed that they not only know a great deal about IT, but are also experts at golf.
Six hours later and the winners in the different categories had been determined. Miroslav Bradic (ADD ON) took first place ahead of Gabriele Neubauer (Pluradent) in the men’s/ladies’ gross score category. He is now looking forward to enjoying his prize – a five-day golfing holiday at the Fancourt Hotel and Country Club in South Africa. Men’s/ladies’ second and third places were won by Birgit Bohnhorst (itelligence), who finished ahead of Gisela Rauchholz (KHS Kisters Maschinenfabrik), and Michael Kiefer (zetVisions) and Christoph Eltester (PS400). Helga Jöst (Oliver) took first place in the ladies’ net score category, followed by Wilhelmine Gispert (LOGOCOM International) in second place, who finished ahead of Evelyn Hluchy (BOWA-electronic). In the men’s net score category, Adnan Mumbasic (ITM Research) finished ahead of Hans-Werner Tramnitz (DV Systems) and Hasnain Mazharul (Plaut Lange & Co.). Ladies’ “nearest to the pin” winner was Aina Olsen (SAP), with Julian Page (i-fusion.net) winning in the men’s category. The “longest drive” in the ladies’ category also went to Aina Olsen, with Michael Deissner (Cytonet) scooping first place among the men.
The successful day was rounded off by a thoroughly enjoyable evening event, which not only saw the prizes being awarded, but was also used by all participants as an opportunity to cultivate new contacts and to catch up with old acquaintances whilst enjoying a glass of local wine and a tasty bite to eat. Later on, Jonathan Price provided the other participants with some musical entertainment. Dr. Birgit Bohnhorst from SAP Business Partner itelligence gave the day a resounding thumbs up: “The SAP SMB Golf Masters 2004 provided an ideal platform to play some good golf, chat to other SAP Business Partners and offer our customers something a bit different.” Or as Klaus Hüttemann from GSOAG customer Hüttemann put it so succinctly: “There’s nothing better than starting the week with an SAP event on the golf course in St. Leon-Rot.”