From the rough to the green
“After you’ve played a round with somebody, you get a good sense of who they are and what they’re about. That’s what I love about golf – the social part,” says Guy Harcourt.
Humble, compassionate and emotionally intelligent, Guy (Grade 12, Pearce) is this year’s recipient of the Philia Prize in recognition of integrity and moral courage.
An avid golfer, he spent a lot of time at the school’s driving range when he was in grade eight and nine and very unhappy at the school.
“If I had had the opportunity to leave [Hilton], I would have. Credit to my parents for not giving in [to me],” he says.
“It just took me a while to settle. I had friends, but I didn’t have much drive or ambition.”
This changed for Guy towards the end of grade 9 during an entrepreneurship course.
“Each boy had to pitch a business idea to our economics teacher. He then picked three boys to pitch to actual investors who chose the best business. They chose mine.
“I think that made me realize that I have potential.”
Guy, who is writing his matric finals, wants to go to Stellenbosch University next year to study law or a PPE (politics, philosophy and economics).
“People think if you’re at Hilton, you’re going to take over your dad’s business and won’t have to work too hard in life or ever worry about money. But most boys here want to make a success of their lives themselves.
“They’re determined and hard-working.
“I would say 85 to 90 percent of parents of Hilton boys are sacrificing a lot to send their sons here, and their boys know it. My parents are making sacrifices to send my brother [Nic, who is in grade 10] and I here.”
Guy’s dad Mike is in renewable energy and his mom, Leanne, is a project manager.
This year Guy has served as a dorm leader in Pearce house, taking care of the grade 8s, as well as the head of transformation and the head of spirituality in the house. As the latter, he has challenged the boys to live out the biblical teaching that “faith without works is dead”.
Guy is not afraid to be vulnerable or to have courageous conversations. He recently told a prospective parent about how he struggled to get used to boarding.
“But the whole dorm environment leaves no boy behind, in a sense. Because everyone’s exposed; everyone’s out there; everyone’s vulnerable all living together. Being forced to interact with people is good. It gives you a leg up.”
Guy says that although it has been challenging leading grade 8 boys, he has enjoyed it. “If you come back to the dorm after school and see a grade 8 sitting on his bed, you know he needs a bit of encouragement. Knowing I can help and steer him in the right direction and make his day or week better is rewarding.”