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This 12-year-old golfer from Pune aims to break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 Majors

With two runners-up (Category C) title in three Indian Golf Union (IGU) tournaments held this year, city boy Aryaman Singh is on his way to become the next big thing in Indian golf.

pune Updated: Jun 12, 2019 18:12 IST
Pranav Shahaney
Pranav Shahaney
Hindustan Times, Pune
12-year-old golfer,Pune,Jack Nicklaus
Aryaman Singh practising at the Oxford golf course in Pune.(Sanket Wankhade/HT PHOTO)

With two runners-up (Category C) title in three Indian Golf Union (IGU) tournaments held this year, city boy Aryaman Singh is on his way to become the next big thing in Indian golf. The 12-year-old remained unbeaten in the West Zone championships from 2014 to 2017.

In December 2017, when Singh’s mettle was tested against some of the world’s top young golfers, he came out with flying colours in the US Kids Golf World Championship in Malaysia. However, he fractured his foot in 2018 and decided to focus on his recovery and golf development rather than compete in tournaments.

The 12-year-old currently trains at the Oxford Golf Resort.

Discussing how the experience was playing at the Clover Greens in Bengaluru during the IGU Southern India Junior Boys Golf Championship last month, Singh said, “The first day was quite good when I shot my first under par score. Things picked up as the tournament progressed and over the course of the competition, I ended with 13 birdies. In comparison to the courses here, the Clover Greens had a few more bunkers, the fairways run a bit more and the greens are slightly faster. It was also quite windy so I had to hit low shots to navigate through it.”

Singh started playing competitive tournaments since the young age of six and it is perhaps what gave him the edge over some of his peers who got into the game closer to their teens. Also, being undefeated for four straight years is what gave him the momentum and the psychological boost to pursue the sport full-time.

While golf may not be the go-to sport for kids aged five or six, Singh had no doubt in his mind as to which sport he would pick over the rest. Having tried a number of sports, it was clear that golf was something he could envisage himself making a professional career in.

“What I like about golf is that it’s not a team sport; I only have to rely on myself. It’s also an extremely challenging sport that keeps me on my toes,” he responded, when quizzed about why golf stood out over the other sports.

While he still may be only a few weeks into his teens, Singh hasn’t been one to set small goals for himself. Despite not playing the sport on a professional level thus far, he’s already eyeing the legendary Jack Nicklaus’ record of winning 18 Majors.

His parents and school authorities have backed his decision to make a professional career out of the sport. Speaking about how important their support has been, the teenage sensation stated, “I’m grateful to my parents for giving me the opportunity to play the sport and for constantly motivating me to do better. My school has been very supportive too. Whenever I needed a leave, they always granted me one and helped me cope with my studies.”

In order for Singh to take the next step, he knows that he’ll have to start winning the national level tournaments very soon and also put in solid performances when he’s on tour. The IGU Delhi State NCR Cup in October is the next national tournament that the 12-year-old will be competing in, but prior to that he’s targeting a couple of international tournaments that will commence in September. The Junior Golf World Championships in the United States has been on the player’s bucket list for a while and he’s doing everything he can to keep himself in form ahead of the tournament later this year.

First Published: Jun 12, 2019 18:12 IST