As the season winds down, Indian golf finds itself in a happy space. The health of any sport can be gauged from its state at the grassroots, and some hard facts show there is reason for optimism.
The order of merit of the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), the launch pad to global tours, wears a young look. Among the top 10, six players are less than 30. Particularly heartening is that Udayan Mane and Honey Baisoya, Nos 2 and 4, are between 21-26 years, and with earnings that would leave anyone in that age bracket immensely proud.
It was at the PGTI, Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar prepared themselves before charting their course. At 29, Gaganjeet is the youngest to bag eight titles on the Asian Tour after the triumph at the Macau Open in October. Anirban, the highest ranked Indian at No 66, has made an impact on the PGA Tour, coming close to a breakthrough win on golf’s biggest stage quite a few times. Stringing their wins at home, the two have moved on, paving the path for others to follow. Shubhankar Sharma is one to have taken the cue. At 21, he became the youngest Indian winner on the European Tour, and soon after his amazing run at the Joburg Open, stated “how a small thing from a great player” inspired him.