I was about 9 years when I got attracted to golf watching it on television. “Wow! They are playing in such a big garden. I also want to play this sport”. I told my parents and after a lot of deliberation both agreed – after all, golf is an expensive game!
In a year and a half or so, I started participating in amateur age-group tournaments organised by or on behalf of IGU. I received a trophy here and a trophy there. Of course, that was a fun time. Like, if I am playing at The Gaekwad Baroda Golf Club or Delhi Golf Club I would be more fascinated by the brightly coloured peacocks. During the shots, I would follow those who raised fan-like blue crest with colourful eyespots. At Baroda Golf Club, there were buffoons too, almost threatening to pick-up the ball and run away! There are so many species of birds that keep chirping, singing endlessly – but melodiously – at all the courses I have played so far, and that includes courses in Scotland, United States of America and Malaysia besides India. Frankly, golf is a wonderful sport. The greenery, lakes, fountains and the overall serenity simply consumes you.
I turned Professional in June 2019 at age 17. The Pro-Tour administrators, my senior Pros – who are now my good friends – welcomed me. However, by this time the chirping n’ singing of birds still enticed me but rested at the back of my mind. The calm n’ quiet water bodies and the sparkling fountains charmed me, but I had learned to give them a cold look. The beautiful peacocks with raised blue crest nonetheless invited, but I had stopped falling prey to them! This is where the golf is played at your best, nay, you have to play at your best. The excitement, however, never stopped.
I have the city of Hyderabad on mind for a few reasons. I don’t remember the particular year but I was playing the 13th hole on the final day of the IGU organised amateur tournament at the Hyderabad Golf Club. The green, for us, looked as usual as it looked the previous rounds. But, it had something else in store. Each one of us were hitting towards the pin, but the ball would either roll over or change direction or stop shockingly every time three of us putted 7-8 times! Ultimately, the organisers cancelled that hole from the scoresheet.
Then, the two great memories at Boulder Hills Golf and Country Club, Hyderabad. This is where I won my first Pro-Tour event with -2 score on August 16, 2019. The 1-foot par-putt gave me the Win. But, when I was standing for that par-putt, my heart was pumping, legs were shaking, hands were unassuming, and the mind was running at the DeChambeau driver speed… I returned to normal after the Electral-water bottles fizzed n’ drenched me, courtesy my good fellow golfers and now friends! This Boulder Hills win also secured me a birth for the LET held at DLF, Delhi, in October 2019.
Of course, the most amusing moments came during the last couple of holes. I repeatedly kept asking the leader-board carrier to upgrade my name to the first position. But, he didn’t budge at all and repeatedly kept ignoring me by looking the other way!
Gauri is an ambassador for Golf Partee, the collection of polo shirts that she loves can be found here.