JOHN HELM, " WILD DOGS ON THE TEE BOX AND GOLF MEMBERSHIP FOR 500 RUPEES"
"FOOTBALL, GOLF, OLYMPICS, IT'S BEEN A HELL OF A RIDE"
John Helm is one of Europe's top football commentators, having learnt his trade as a top sports journalist. Humble beginnings as a journalist for the Yorkshire Post led to a glittering career in Broadcasting. His role call of notable events include 10 football World Cups, European Championships, and UEFA cups, 4 Olympic Games, 20 British Golf Open championships, Ryder Cups and travelling on the European Golf Tour for many years.
"I HAVE PLAYED GOLF IN OVER FIFTY COUNTRIES"
Helm has been a member at Baildon Golf club since 1953. Whilst working for the BBC he also became a member at West Surrey golf club. "I take my clubs with me wherever I travel around the world. I played Kaduna Golf club in Nigeria and had to have an armed guard with me, to shoot any crocodiles and kidnappers, very bizarre".
|Kaduna Golf Club, Nigeria||Brasilia Golf Club|
He has played in over 50 countries including Nepal, Russia, Ukraine and many in Asia. " Last year I played two new courses in Poland, three new courses in Jersey, a few in Brazil and Korea, and more recently twelve in India."I am a genuine twenty four handicap now, but have been as low as fifteen, not bad for a senior of 78 years".
Helm is currently commentating on the Indian Premier League along with former Ipswich Town and England defender Russell Osman. Importantly, the game has grown exponentially since the HERO franchise seven years ago. As a result attracting former premiership stars including Roberto Carlos, and Nicholas Anelka. Many are on multi- million pound contracts for the 16 game season. On the odd occasion that Helm has any time off, he plays golf with Osman at the local course. "Russel and I played at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club, the second oldest in the world. It's a great course apart from the rabid looking dogs on the tee box."
Other venues included Tollygunge in Kolkata, the Bombay Presidency Club, and the Madras Gymkana Golf Club in Chennai. "It's a bit unusual as its right in the middle of a racecourse, the caddie could have a drink, but the players couldn't, very strange".
The tour of India concluded with golf courses in Gurgoan Delhi, Bombay and Kerala. A total of twelve course made up their unofficial competition in the sub- continent
ROYAL WILLINDON GOLF CLUB IN SOUTH MUMBAI
"We received an invitation to play at the Royal Willingdon Golf Club in South Mumbai by the owner. We each had a caddie to carry for us, which was a blessing as it was really hot. At the first hole I boomed a ball straight down the middle only to find a second caddie in the middle of the fairway, trying to find my ball amongst 300 range balls! Yes, you guessed it, the practice range ran straight into the first hole. Two caddies were needed, one to carry the clubs, and one to find the ball!"
"Anyway I was just about to put on the green about twenty feet away from the flag. When four men arrived carrying a bucket, spades, and a long plank of wood. They commenced to take out the flag and fill in the hole".Then to our amazement they created a new hole forty feet away from me, and much nearer to Russell. Who was now only six feet away. It was hilarious!" To conclude a crazy day we purchased a few beers afterwards that led to us being offered club membership by the owner, for 500 rupees (£6.50).
You really couldn't make it up