My journey with golf started quite early in life; when I was around two and a half years old. It was not golf back then, instead, having fun with my parents. My father was a golfer and sports lover. He would always invent various means to play a new game, with a vision to develop me into a sportsperson.
Once we built a hut in the front lawn, where he aligned old glass bottles on a compound wall and asked me to break them one by one from a distance of 10 to 15 yards. We also made a putting green in the backyard and mini obstacle course, with ropes and bars all around. I used to love climbing those little slopes with the help of ropes.
In the evening we would enjoy a barbecue in the back lawn with floodlights and have a game of Putting. Over some time, I would accompany my father to the East Point Golf Course, where I would play with him and learn the nuances of the game. My father had cut an iron for me, which I used extensively; my journey started with all fun, love, and good times.
Rising up from the topmost Junior in 2014-15 to number one Amateur in 2017-18 to ‘Rookie of the Year’ 2019 in the professional circuit has been a reflection of my love for the game. My achievements have been just milestones in this beautiful ongoing journey.
When it was all about fun, I did not face any challenges. However, finding a coach who could answer my curiosity towards the game was necessary and a task. My father wanted me to train under a good coach. Not having much knowledge about coaches, we discussed with people around, and someone suggested that we will find a good one in Delhi, this is how we shifted from Visakhapatnam to Delhi. I learned under various coaches over time and finally settled down with Commander Gangadhar who was at that time at Coimbatore. I have been receiving training from him since 2011.
Of course, my parents, who give me a lot of strength and stand beside me like a rock. They want me to have fun and learn the game the correct way. They have taught me to choose harder right instead of easier wrong and be truthful and a better person with every passing day. To excel in whatever I do is my inspiration.
Pandemic has been disastrous for every walk of life, no tournaments, no travelling and confined to one’s surroundings. This was unprecedented and unexpected, but without losing much time on contemplation, I adapted to the situation and used the time to refine some parts of my swing, which were long overdue. It only made my belief stronger that golf is akin to life’s journey.
There may be uncertainty, but there is always hope, there are ups and downs but never lose your nerve, there can be a good day or a bad day, and let this not upset you. I am focusing more on my fitness and sure that this would take my game to a higher level. Though I also enjoyed my time with my family, I had some great time with my cousin’s around.
My plan is to excel in every part of the game and put my country on the world map of golf; this would be possible if someone from India attains the number one spot in the world ranking of professional golf. I will strive to achieve that position. Furthermore, remain physically fit to stay relevant for a more extended period.
My fitness and acing my swing has kept me pretty much busy recently, however, I do indulge myself in other activities too. I love swimming and learning new dance steps and moves. Music is in our family, which I enjoy listening to whenever I am on the go. I also love windsurfing, which I learned quite early in life and plan to pursue it further. To relax sometimes, I play badminton.
I want to set a personal example in this game, fitness and as a person, I wish that schools took up this game to teach values to children. Golf is a game where you challenge yourself. You can play with yourself as well as with your friends. It is a game which teaches you focus, discipline and how to be respectful towards peer players. While playing this game, you will find yourself much closer to nature.
Playing golf does not restrict you to play among your age group but also gives you opportunities to play with people across varied interests. I had a chance to play with Kapil Dev at the age of 12, have played with business personalities, and interacting with them teaches you a lot many things. Even at 12, I was learning about business every single day!