Bend it like Jeev Milkha Singh: Tee off a golf career

  • HT Education Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 17, 2015 14:35 IST

Thanks to the success of ­players like Arjun Atwal and Jeev Milkha Singh, who have made a name for themselves in the international arena, golf is becoming popular in India.

Golf is about hitting shots around a course through the least number of strokes/shots. In other words, it is a precision club-and-ball game in which competing ­golfers attempt to hit the ball into each hole on a golf course with the least number of strokes.

Golf is one of the few ball games that do not require a ­standardised ­playing area. The game is, instead, played on ‘courses’, each of which has a unique design.

As per the Golf’s 2020 Vision: The HSBC Report, one of the ­reasons for the game’s ­popularity in Asia is that ­consumers are ­turning to ­leisure activities.

Interestingly, enthusiasm for golf is high in China and India ­(higher than in core golf markets such as the US and the UK), which suggests that the growth of this sport will be enormous in these markets.The public perception of golf is still, to some extent, influenced by the attitudes of exclusive clubs. By developing training golf ­courses and introducing versions of the game that can be played in urban spaces, more people will be encouraged to play this sport.

According to another report titled India Golf Industry Outlook to 2018 — Increasing Golf Real Estate Projects to Escalate Growth, “The rising income of the middle class, ­growing ­purchasing power, ­ ­corporate events, talk shows and greater ­youth participation in sports and sporting events are some factors that have ­attributed to the development of golf in India within the last couple of years.”

However, there is much to be achieved.“To get more people to make a career in golf, the sport needs to be popularised at the school level. Sponsorships will help in attracting talent,” says Gaurav Ghei, an ­­international- level player.

“Young golfers should focus not only on their swing but also on developing their own unique style. A good coach and regular practice are also very essential,” he adds.

Mind game
For golf, a strong will is very essential. It is one of the few sports where you act and don’t react

Rs. I take home
At the entry level, a golf ­professional may earn Rs. 25,000 a month

I love my job because...
Golf is a very lucrative career if you play at the national or international levels

Expert gyan
Get yourself a good coach and visit him/her at least once every three weeks to keep a tab on your performance. Relying on golf as the sole option for a career is not the best choice. You must always have an alternative

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