I am excited and eagerly anticipating the inaugural Albatross International Junior Golf Championship 2009, which tees-off at the par-72 Classic Golf Resort on Wednesday. Junior golf is the breeding ground for our future champions and it’s wonderful to see parents take the initiative in setting up the Albatross Junior Tour (AJT), and organise an international event of this magnitude in India. This augurs well for Indian golf as Albatross has set up an excellent foundation for nurturing junior golfers for subsequent tours like the amateur and later the pro tour.
Having won the World Junior Master Title in 2005, I know what a win in a junior international event does to a player.
It’s a great opportunity for the young Indian golfers to test their skills against the best talent from USA, Canada, UAE, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia and Korea. Such opportunities were not available in India to me during my junior days.
Indeed, if under the circumstances that existed in the past we could produce champion golfers like Jeev, Jyoti and Arjun, it’s certain that we can produce several more champions, with the backing of a structured tour like AJT, which, in its two years of existence, has already conducted 18 junior golf tournaments across India.
I see lot of potential in players like Ashbeer Saini (from my home town), Ankur Chadha, Feroz Grewal and Piyush Sangwan putting up a strong Indian challenge. Breaking par, once considered an enormous feat, is today a regular feature on the AJT, and there has been an enormous rise in the overall standard of play on the circuit and Albatross has gone one step ahead by introducing an “E” Category for junior players in the age group of 6 to 7 years.
Sport is all about belief and golf is more of a mental game and it is great to see Albatross investing in that aspect by organising mental and physical conditioning camps for junior golfers from age six onwards and adopting best practices in organising tournaments across India.
With the level of golf rising in the country, the more tournaments the juniors get to play, the better it is for them.
AJT's administration is indeed remarkable with all tournament information, past results, dynamic merit list, online submission of entry forms and profiles easily accessible at www.albatross.co.in.
I am impressed to see big corporate houses such as Adidas, Taylor Made, Audi, Pioneer Urban, MTS, Uni Style Image, Vital Gear and Spruce come forward and support the inaugural Albatross International Junior Golf Championship.
In the end, I would like to wish the junior golfers all the very best. Classic Golf Resort is an amazing venue and I am sure we are going to witness world-class golfing action over the next three days from the future stars in India's biggest international junior golf championship.