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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Golf: Mukesh Kumar, son of soil, aims to drive home family resolve

Mukesh Kumar, India tour veteran, is aiming to defend the title at the Panasonic Open golf tournament to be played at the Delhi Golf Club from Thursday.

other-sports Updated: Nov 01, 2017 21:38 IST
Robin Bose
Robin Bose
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Mukesh Kumar heads the winner’s list of the Professional Golf Tour of India.
Mukesh Kumar heads the winner’s list of the Professional Golf Tour of India.(Asian Tour)

Pushing boundaries is ingrained in the Raghuvanshis, and this week the Panasonic Open will provide a chance to Mukesh Kumar, a senior member of the Mhow-based family.

Years of turning out at the Delhi Golf Club (DGC) meant he knew what to expect, but breaking through on the Asian Tour last year, to be the oldest winner at 51, was an aspect that fitted the family’s approach.

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Mukesh heads the winner’s list of the Professional Golf Tour of India, but the 19 titles mean little to his 89-year-old father, Nathu Singh. “Whenever I got home and placed the trophy in his hands, the reply would be ‘what’s special, winning is a way in sport’. An achievement is one that can inspire the generations to come,” said Mukesh on the eve of the $400,000 event.

Nothing short of victory

That’s done, and while he is keen on a repeat, falling short will not be discussed at length in the household.

Nothing special was done coming into this week, as Mukesh did what he has in the past. The fixation on fitness is not for him. Instead, it’s waking up at five and tending to the plants in his spread-out garden. Climbing trees to ensure their well being and crouching to aerate the soil keep him fit and is a source of joy too.

Thereafter, golf takes over till evening. All aspects are looked into, with special attention on putting. “That’s been a problem area for long,” and Mukesh does not settle for anything less than four buckets. (50 balls each).

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Narrow fairways

He hopes enough work has gone into this aspect, and with DGC not a favourite among the long hitters, Mukesh expects to contend over the weekend. If he is able to pull it off, the father will commend him for living up to the family’s ethos, else, the talk will centre on grooming the next generation.

Mukesh gives himself a couple of years in golf, playing the 2018 senior tour in Europe is up next and he will go to qualifying school for a possible last hurrah.

Other than that, the focus is on his college-going son. Parvesh is new to golf, but with his father’s reservoir of experience to rely on, Mukesh is hopeful of the 17-year-old making progress.

Daughter Pooja’s interest is outside his realm, but Mukesh admires her determination to crack the civil services examination. “Once, we were in our small car when she expressed the desire for an upgrade. Given the (unsafe) times, I said no,” said Mukesh.

Refusal hit her hard. “She went quiet but promised one day I would ride her official car (an SUV) with the red beacon,” said Mukesh with pride.

First Published: Nov 01, 2017 19:02 IST