Watching the opening of the Ryder Cup, which kicks off today in Kentucky, sets me wondering about golf and chemicals. Why is golf the sport of the international petrochemical industry?
Even as EPCA has axed the Sunday sailing competition this year, and the tennis numbers dwindle away, but the golf event at the Cannes-Mandelieu Old Course Golf Club is still going strong.
ICIS used to organise/sponsor the European Chemicals Open golf tournament which took place every year at the Oude Maas club in the Netherlands. I seem to remember that Michael Lowe, a former ICIS accountant who played off a handicap of 2 did rather well in that one.
But today the European petchem industry is bursting with golf pros manqués. Rumour has it that Mark H at Intermarc, Guy P at INEOS and TJ at ExxonMobil are borderline pro, but that they have instead opted for the glamorous world of chemicals. (Everyone in the MEG business knows that former BMS-trader Mark Sluzny played tennis in the Davis Cup.)
I’m always impressed by the sporting attitude displayed at US golfing events, where some of the players are complete beginners and turn out in the most unflattering shorts. You’d never catch Europeans being so inclusive or so relaxed about appearances. One senior European contact at ExxonMobil in the Netherlands was known to have taken an intensive season of private lessons before he would venture out to play at even his own golf day.
The focus on what Ryder Cup players are wearing, not to mention their Golf Wives and Girlfriends (GWAGs), maybe has a message for petchem travellers to Monaco. If you and your partner want to look your best for the EPCA Photo Gallery which stays up on the EPCA website for the whole year, not to mention the slide show at the EPCA Luncheon, it’s probably time to get your co-ordinated outfits ready now.
The Blog is trying to imagine what it would be like if all the petchem wives had to wear a uniform along with their Spouse’s badge.