The persistence of true champions

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

There can have been few more popular winners of the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup in the 19-year history of the event than this year’s men’s and women’s champions, Francis Clark (above with trophy) and Nadine Heubel (below with trophy).

Clark, a Gulf-based Englishman who supplies services to the regional duty free industry, won the main trophy for recording the best stableford score over the two-day tournament. His is not just a tale of golfing ability and persistence, however, but also of human fortitude.

Clark’s a proud member of the burgeoning travel retail cancer survivors’ club having battled an ultra-serious variant of the illness in recent years. He is yet another example of how this disease can be defeated and it was great to see him in such fine form, sporting and otherwise.

As for Nadine Heubel, the much-admired Director Marketing Distribution at Gebr Heinemann, it must be said that the roar from the crowd that accompanied the reading out of her name could be heard all the way from Abu Dhabi.

Nadine is a comparative novice at the game but boy has she come a long way.

As recently as 2007 The Moodie Report quoted Nadine (then with Hugo Boss) at a generous 25-1 to win the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup Ladies’ Championship, noting: “The Fraulein of the Fairways, Nadine drives the ball like a Mercedes down a German Autobahn… though sadly usually in first gear.

“Determined to show who is Boss among the ladies this year, Nadine has been reading Richard Ferne’s indispensable guide to golf, ‘How to reach the Ladies’ tee in four shots or less’ and could be strutting her stuff along the Dubai Duty Free prize-giving fashion catwalk come Monday evening.”

Well, we were right – admittedly four years late.

We can also claim some credit for teaching Nadine to keep her head down during the swing. In the 2006 Moodie International Superstars Honorary Invitation Tournament (MIS-HIT) at Cannes, Nadine, then a very fledgling fairway Fraulein (playing off a handicap of 36), was given the considerable honour of playing the ceremonial opening drive with the whole field gathered behind her as not altogether silent nor respectful spectators.

To her credit, Nadine’s drive was straight and true – a commendable performance given that she played an exploding golf ball, courtesy of Premier Portfolio.

Now this young German superstar is exploding down the fairways in a whole new manner – like Clark Francis a prime example of persistence paying off.

[Zineb and Cleotilde, two of the fantastic Dubai Duty Free team who helped make this year’s event such a great success]

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