Golfer Khalin Joshi talks about his career and the world of professional golf
Khalin Joshi describes his time in the world of professional golf as “a bit up and down”. Joshi – India’s top-ranked amateur before he made the jump — missed a card on the Asian Tour after finishing tied-66th at a qualifying event in Thailand recently.
A couple of other tournaments ended with disappointing results as well, though he hopes to turn it around after earning a permanent spot on the Asian Development Tour.
The 21-year-old, who turned pro in early 2013, talked to The Hindu during the awards ceremony of the Sanctum – Prestige Golf Tournament at the Sanctum Club recently on his journey so far.
How has the transition from amateur to professional golfer been?
It has been a bit up and down. I had a good start to 2013; the first couple of months went well. But apart from that, the year was average. On the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), I finished 26th in the order of merit. On the Asian Tour, I made the cut in all the tournaments that I competed in. I feel I need to be more consistent this year to get a few wins under my belt. A few starts on the Asian Tour would be great too.
What is the biggest difference between the professional and amateur tours?
On the professional tour, anyone in the field can win the title. On the amateurs, it is usually only two or three golfers who are always the main contenders.
As pros, even when we are not playing well, we need to shoot a level-par or a one-over. Anything worse, and we will not make the cut. For me, I feel like I need to get more consistent. In 2013, I could not string four good rounds together. I have to play very well over four days to have a chance of winning.
Are the lifestyle changes difficult to cope with?
It is. I have to travel a lot. Last year, I played for about 30 weeks. On the amateurs, you play only around 20 weeks in a year. Here, we’re living out of a suitcase. It gets a little lonely sometimes, because I do not have a permanent roommate. This affects my game a little. But then, a year has passed, and I have gotten used to these things now. Hopefully, 2014 will be a better year.
Do you travel with anyone from your support team?
Just my caddie, he travels with me when I play in India. He does not come with me when I play abroad. My coach, Gaurav Diwan, lives here in Bangalore. When I’m here, I make a conscious effort to go and see him.
Do you interact with other Indian players on the pro tour?
Yes. A few of them — Shiv Kapur, Anirban Lahiri — know a lot more about the golf courses because they have played on them many times.
When I enter a tournament, especially if it abroad, I try to interact with them as much as possible.
Their presence will help you adjust to the new environment…
It does. Whenever I meet guys like Shiv or Jeev (Milkha Singh), I ask them for advice on things which can help me out – on matters both on and off the course. To have such accomplished people around is a huge deal.
What are your targets for this year? What tournaments will you compete in?
There aren’t many tournaments in March; the season starts in April. I have PGTI events in Kochi, Bangalore and Nepal, and the calendar is packed till Christmas.
The Asian Tour events will happen mostly between September and December.
I need a win as soon as possible. My game is in decent shape; I hope to win a tournament soon.