Saturday 1 August 2015
‘Team-building’, like that other corporate favourite ‘ice-breaker’, is one of those words that usually strikes fear into the hearts of those at whom it is aimed, generally because it signifies the start of something excruciating, tedious and/or fraught. But those people have never played mini golf.
This July, for the fourth year in a row, saw the start of the Annual Mountbatten Mini Golf Tournament, which was first decided to organise on a whim and which has now become not only a firm fixture of the Library year, but also an enjoyable talking point through the quiet summer months.
Fourteen contestants took part, but there could be only one winner. The first round’s main highlight was the notable achievement of the tournament’s worst score (94), but it was still anyone’s to win. Dark horses abounded, with a competitive canter from Dan and Helen on 55 and some determined trotting from Rebecca and Jane, both on 60.
The field narrowed in round two, a frenzy of interest sparked by Sarah’s tally of 53, a score unbeaten this year. However, only eight contestants could go through to round three, and while it was hard fought, it turned out to be the men who soared over the fairway, taking the top four places, while the remaining four women got stuck in a bunker.
Dan and Fotis appeared to be golfing dynamos, Graeme had clearly been practicing, and David would rather die than lose. Helen valiantly battled back with a score of 54 but it wasn’t enough to trouble Dan in first place. With his main contender David having to make do with a possible second place, it was left to Fotis to pull off the biggest upset of the competition and unseat Dan from the Champion’s chair.
But it was not to be.
On a day of cold wind and threatening rain, and bravely carrying a trapped nerve from five days’ previously, Fotis was unable to rise to the challenge, and slipped sadly down into fourth place. Dan took first place and David was secured in second, with Helen pulling up in third.
Prizes were doled out, applause shared, and much fun enjoyed by all.
There are a lot of ideas about team-building – how to do it, what not to do, its structure, objectives, mission, and so on – but the main one seems to be that it shouldn’t feel like it. It should be fun for its own sake, a chance to spend time with colleagues in a relaxed way, and something that everyone can get involved in.
With that in mind, we’re already thinking about tournament number five, next year. Can’t wait!