With three top-10s on the Asian Tour last season, Jeev Milkha Singh is far from yielding ground to the new crop. That’s in competition; off it, the young generation is a source of inspiration.
The mind stays inquisitive and the latest theories on fitness and the constant testing of equipment have led Jeev to follow the trends with interest.
Inspired as he is by the youngsters --- be it their driving distance or knowledge of apparatus --- he tees off with week after week, the endeavour is to beat them at their game. Of course, after more than two decades on tour, he knows “what to take on board” (read what works for him).
Working on “believing in what you do and putting it to use under pressure” was always on, the latest on the regimen is fitness. “The fitter you are, the longer you’ll be on the tour and stay competitive,” said Jeev on the eve of the Hero Indian Open.
Throwing a sideward glance at a young competitor hitting it long at the driving range, Jeev spoke of a recent finding. During a pro-am in Wentworth, near London, he was asked who he thought had the best heart rate among sportspersons. Sprinters came to the mind, but to his surprise, rowers top the list.
Enlightened, he got back and included rowing in his drills. “It’s all about pulling in golf,” and it’s added a couple of yards to the drive.
Despite the fascination for fads, Jeev is firmly old school. The talk about the redesigned DLF Golf & Country Club being a stern test of skill is brushed aside. The sloping fairways and undulating greens have caught his fancy.
“It shouldn’t be about hitting it straight; this isn’t a game of darts. The layout should set the imagination going in a way that the challenges work for you. Of course, there will be times when things won’t go your way.”
While he strives to stay competitive on the main tour for as long as possible, a new avenue has him excited. Jeev, 45, is looking forward to the senior tour once he’s 50. That’s in no way a lowering of guard but after following Thai Prayad Marksaeng’s run, the opportunity has him excited.
Prayad won his 10th Asian Tour title in Singapore a few days prior to turning 51 in January, and has already notched up two wins on the senior tour in Japan.
“At 50, one feels like a kid, a 21-year-old starting his pro career,” Jeev said on the “new awakening”.