The Junior Training Programme of the Delhi Golf Club teaches kids the basics of golf and life
A kid grows up a lot faster on a golf course. Golf teaches you how to behave.” – Jack Nicklaus, winner of 18 Majors.
Perhaps the Delhi Golf Club (DGC), which has been running its Junior Training Programme (JTP) for the last 27 years, is inspired by Nicklaus. However, the DGC is not just restricted to teaching the kids how to behave. The ‘Nursery of Indian Golf’ means business and looks forward to spotting some talent when it opens its doors every year to children between eight and 15 years of age, from both members and non-members.
This year too the DGC witnessed encouraging participation from around 200 children, divided into four batches for 10 days each. According to the teaching professionals, the children not only learn the basics of the sport but also receive lessons of life. “We teach the basics and step by step go on to explain almost everything about the sport. There is a ‘Peacock course’ (a small course within the DGC) where the children get the feel of being on a golf course before they tread the main course,” says Anjali Chopra, a teacher.
“Most of them are novices. So it has to be fun for them. I use a lot of golfing aids and colourful visuals to make the experience enjoyable for the children. It is a sort of nursery education for them,” says Anjali, herself a product of the JTP. “Besides, they get rid of their class consciousness as they mix with children from different backgrounds.”
A veteran teacher, Ram Dayal takes a lot of pride in the JTP. “The programme has produced a lot of good professionals, like Ashok Kumar and Rashid Khan, and we extend student membership to exceptional and sincere youngsters.” Both Ram Dayal and Anjali agree that every year they find some new talent from the JTP, which is being sponsored by Usha International since 2006.
Led by its ladies section, the DGC pursues its passion to nurture the kids. “It is very exciting for us. A lot of youngsters come from humble backgrounds and show their talent here. A year ago, we started a scheme, ‘Golfing Girl Child,’ under which 11 girls of our staff were provided all help to play golf. Most of these girls have done well in the JTP competitions this year,” says DGC lady captain Bubbles Suneja. “We also teach etiquette and spoken English to the golfers from not-so-well-off backgrounds. We want them to emerge as competent and confident golfers who can face the world,” adds Suneja, with a sense of satisfaction.