Pro-Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar teaches a few shots to city’s women golfers
The sweltering midday sun couldn’t break the resolve of Chennai’s women golfers from hitting a few balls in the air at the Cosmopolitan Golf Course with the 26-year-old pro-Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar. It was a golf clinic in which a group of 25 women golfers got an opportunity to fine-tune their skills from a golfer billed as the next big thing.
“Our country lacks infrastructure for golf and it is important to get people interested, especially in a big city like Chennai. I do four or five such clinics every year,” says Gaganjeet, who is visiting Chennai for the first time.
It is his way of giving back to the sport that has given him name and fame. “When I started playing at the age of six, I didn’t have a coach. My dad who played the game taught me whatever he knew and then I read golf magazines to understand the sport better,” he says.
The women at the clinic got individual attention from Gaganjeet. Nalini Radhakrishnan, who has been an avid golfer for the last three years, said they had been playing without really knowing where they were going wrong, “If we played a bad shot, we didn’t know what the fault with our shots was; he corrected our techniques.”
When compared to the 2,000 male golfers, there are only 25 or so women golfers in the city. “This is an effort to encourage the women to take up the sport,” says Nalini.
At the clinic, there was one sportsperson who was playing golf for the very first time — Thirush Kamini, first Indian woman to score a ton in the Women’s Cricket World Cup. She said such initiatives would encourage women to take up the sport. “I have never played the game before, but I was able to pick it up as it has a few similarities with cricket. He shared a lot of tips about foot work and how to swing the club.”
When asked what could be done to get people interested in golf, Gaganjeet said that all that was needed was good infrastructure. “We don’t need world class coaches or anything. We only need good infrastructure — public golf courses and so on. Talented golfers will rise to the top.”