On Thursdays, Dileep Mangsuli does not need an alarm to wake him up. The thought of his weekly trip to one of the six golf courses in Bengaluru is enough to kick-start the day. The executive director of Siemens Healthineers gets to the spot by 5:45 am and can be seen greeting the first rays of the sun peeking over the horizon with fresh swings of his golf club. By 9 am, he wraps up his game, which also entails a 10-km walk, and heads straight to his office. “When I get to the office, I’m absolutely refreshed,” says Mangsuli.
While he has always been fascinated by sports, especially ball games like cricket, tennis and ping pong that he was particularly good at, golf entered his life rather late. It was only in 2008 when Mangsuli, then 45, was introduced to the sport in the USA by a friend. “I realised that there is so much to this game that no one thinks about. When you watch it on TV, it looks like such a dull game—why are people walking for so long and hitting that one ball into that small hole? To do it in a certain number of strokes is a huge challenge. It is something that I’ve always enjoyed—how can you get better?” he says.
Surprisingly, he was able to connect the ball to the club from the word go. While he says he was terrible in the beginning, just to see that one stroke that he intended to hit a certain way, go that way, made him feel like he had learned something. That is one of the things that drove him to golf besides the fact that it gave him a chance to walk on beautiful courses lush with trees and water bodies while being in the company of good friends.
Mangsuli also relates golf to life. He talks about how it taught him to be present. “Golf is a game where the ball needs to be played from wherever it is lying. If the ball lands between two trees, you have to play it from there only and make the best out of it. You are not trying to change anything. It makes you be present and play the game,” he says.
The other thing that it taught him was how one should forget the past. What matters in golf is your next shot, not the previous ones. Much like life, if you’ve hit a bad shot, you cannot carry its memory to the next shot, he says. “You see what can be a good shot from that bad situation. Similarly, you can get to positivity through any situation in life. That is what I draw from golf,” adds Mangsuli.
He is a life-time member of Clover Greens in Bengaluru and can also be regularly spotted at the Prestige Golfshire and the Karnataka Golf Association, his favourite of the lot owing to its difficulty level.
The executive director says that it also helps him network and draw ideas and solutions through the interactions he has with his fellow golfer friends while playing. He likes to play with new people and describes how within five minutes of playing, you become friends. It fascinates him how he gets to know only later that people who look ordinary and enjoy the sport with him have achieved something in life. Golf, he says, has kept him young at heart as he is continuously learning.