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Putt it right

education Updated: Aug 01, 2012 16:04 IST

Hindustan Times
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The lowdown
Golf involves hitting shots around a stipulated course by making the least number of strokes/shots to complete the course. 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 fewest number of strokes. The golfers use different types of clubs to hit the ball. 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. Courses typically consist of nine or 18 holes. If a course has nine holes, it will have to be played twice through to complete 18 holes. Golf will debut in the Olympics in 2016

Clockwork
A typical work day in the life of a golf-teaching professional:
5am: Wake up
5.30am: Do warm-up exercises
6am to 8am: Give lessons at the local golf club
9am to noon: Continue with lessons after a one-hour break for tea and snacks
1pm: Lunch
2pm to 3.30pm: Work out at the gym
4pm to 8pm: Continue giving lessons
8.30pm: Reach home

The payoff
At the entry level, a golf professional can earn Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 a month; at mid-level Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 45,000 a month and at the senior level Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2 lakh month. Talented players can earn more. Professional golfers make a lot of money depending on the tour they play and their playing skills. Jeev Milkha Singh bagged 518,046 euros (about Rs. 34,076,164) in prize money for winning the Scottish Open in July

Skills/TRAITS
* A golfer needs to be dedicated, disciplined, hard working and willing to go that extra mile for his sport
* For golf in particular, a strong will is very essential. It is one of the few sports where you act and don't react; so mind power takes you a long way
* Persistence and a steady hand

Getting there
You can take lessons for Rs. 150-850 per half hour, depending on the coach you hire. In addition, you pay about Rs. 35 to Rs. 50 for balls and in about four to six weeks, you get to learn the basics of golf. This depends on your personal ability and the time you are able to devote to the learning process.

You can rent clubs at any driving range at a golf course near you or at a stand-alone driving range facility for Rs. 10 to Rs. 50 per golf club for practice. Becoming a golfer is easy but becoming a pro is an altogether different cup of tea. Amateur golfers play for sport/trophy while pros play for money

Institutes and URLs
* DLF Golf and Country Club
www.dlfgolfresort.com
* National Golf Academy of India, Chandigarh
www.ngai.org.in
* Delhi Golf Club
www.delhigolfclub.org
* Noida Golf Club
www.noidagolfcourse.com
* David Leadbetter Academy, USA
www.leadbetter.com
* Butch Harmon School of Golf, USA
www.butchharmon.com
* Pinehurst Golf Academy, USA
www.pinehurst.com

Pros and cons
* Good prize money in professional golf
* Name and fame
* Chance to play for your country as an amateur
* The sense of competing against the course and your own self will give you a high
* Players have to travel often and stay away from home for long periods
* Remaining focused is key

More golf courses are coming up in India. The government is making efforts to bring the sport into the mainstream. However, more public facilities, which could be driving ranges, are needed - Jasjit Singh, teaching professional, Delhi Golf Club