Photography and article contributed by: Migs C. Bravo-Dutt (Guest contributor)
Contrary to earlier predictions of rain and thunderstorms, July 4 turned out to be a relatively clear day – a perfect Friday afternoon for the 244 golfers who trooped to the panoramic Raffles Country Club for Metta’s 15th Annual Golf Tournament, with Keppel Offshore & Marine as the title sponsor for the sixth year in a row.
The Metta staff and volunteer team were at the club early that day to set up and prepare for the tournament in advance, such that everything was in place when the first participant arrived before mid-day: staff and volunteers were at several points to welcome the players who were then ushered to the registration counter. Metta personnel facilitated the registration, distribution of tournament kits, tagging of golf equipment, and helping ensure that the right bag went into the right buggy.
At about 1 pm, players headed to their buggies, and excitedly waited for the first shotgun tee-off, which promptly came at 1 pm for Lake Course – 26 flights were assigned to this course, for a total of 104 players. The shotgun tee-off at Palm Course followed at 1:30 pm where 140 players joined the tournament, grouped into 36 flights. The players happily applauded upon hearing the shotgun tee-off, and immediately scooted away to their first hole thereafter.
I volunteered to take photographs of the golfers at Palm Course, and for this I was stationed at Hole #1, beside a refreshment kiosk manned by a group of cheerful Metta Alumni youth –they would clap and get excited every time a buggy would approach, which happened every 10 minutes or so, and their enthusiasm never wavered throughout the afternoon. The students would eagerly hand out bottled water, apples, and brownies and muffins to the delight of the players. Some golfers jokingly requested for beer. At times, the weather indeed called for an ice-cold beer but the cheerfulness of the Metta team more than made up for the lack of it.
When I approached each batch of golfers for a group photo, the golfers would happily oblige, sauntering over to the designated “photo-booth” – the spot beside the tournament banner. Without prompting, the sporting golfers took care on not to cover the Guest of Honour’s photo on the banner, an indication that many looked up to Mr. Choo Chiau Beng- Senior Advisor to Keppel. The players were very cooperative, holding their smiles for as long as it took me to get my camera ready (even when I took a bit longer on a few occasions when I forgot to set my camera in advance). I did not really have a hard time capturing everyone nicely in the frame. Some golfers clowned around a little bit, adding to the fun of the photo session. It was an amusing time for me, seeing how excited the players were to pose for the camera –in turn, the snaps were immediately printed by the Metta team and were included in the souvenir items distributed to the participants later that evening.
Once their group picture was taken, the golfers would set up their tee, and test their swings, before they would finally hit the ball. After every player had his/her turn, they would then hop back into their buggies and would be off to the next hole.
The game ended at approximately 5 pm, giving time for the players to freshen up before dinner at the Stamford Suites. Dinner’s programme started with the welcome speech by Metta’s Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Ee Tiang Hwee; followed by wonderful performances from Metta School’s students. Three students in elaborate harlequin costumes performed one of the more challenging acts I’ve seen so far: walking on stilts while juggling at the same time! Another group of jolly children rendered a well-choreographed dance number in the spirit of the World Cup, which clearly engaged the diners.
Another highlight of the dinner program was the announcement of the tournament winner. Golfer, Joseph Yapp came in as the overall champion, with a gross of 75. The much-awaited Lucky Draw, awarding wonderful baskets of gifts to the winners, followed this segment:
First Prize – Yilai Abalone Prosperous Box Set, $200 RISE F&B voucher, and a Complimentary flight for 4 at the Raffles Country Club worth $2,600 (Sponsored by Harvest Resource Supply (SG) Pte Ltd, MBS and RCC).
Winner: Juha Kuntola from ABB Pte. Ltd.
Second Prize – Yilai Abalone Prosperous Box Set and a $100 Dining voucher at Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant worth $2,000 (Sponsored by Harvest Resource Supply (SG) Pte Ltd).
Winner: Chan Ka Heng from Univenture Technologies Pte. Ltd.
Third Prize – Samsung Galaxy S5 worth $1,068 (Sponsored by M1)
Winner: Cheng Tian Hock.
More prizes were also given away, including Grand Hyatt dining vouchers, Tupperware hampers, $500 NTUC cash vouchers, Aerogaz electrical appliances, Mitsubishi fans, Honey hampers, among others.
While not everyone could go home with the top prizes, each participant received a goodie bag from our wonderful partners and generous donors/sponsors:
- Singapore Pools – Towels
- Oh Guan Hing- Sesame oil
- Gan Teck Kar – Organic Tea
- Gan Teck Kar – 2 tubs of California Creamery Nacho Cheese Sauce
- Gan Teck Kar – Granola bar
- Chiropractic Clinic- Complimentary massage Tui Na vouchers
It was overall a productively fun Friday, albeit some golfers having to rush through dinner to catch an important World Cup match that night!
The Metta staff did an amazing job coordinating the daylong event seamlessly, from registration in the morning to awarding of prizes after dinner.
The fun and engaging tournament and dinner generated about $232,000 for Metta Charity. Clearly, it was another successful event and partnership for both Metta and Keppel teams as everyone was effectively a winner that night, having fun while helping with a great cause.