Golf is a sport that teaches your child life-changing traits : Kshitij Naveed Kaul

Golf is a sport that teaches your child life-changing traits :  Kshitij Naveed Kaul

Teenager rookie Kshitij Naveed Kaul has been making India proud. Last year he registered a one-shot victory on the final day of Pune Open Golf Championship 2019 and everyone has been going gaga over his game.

Mumbai Live sat down with Kshitij to understand how he has been spending time in the lockdown and what are his plans now that things and sports are getting back on track. 

In a very short time, you have managed to ace the game, how does it feel to have achieved so many things so young?

 Very early on golf for me was having fun with my parents, catching butterflies in the course, sitting with my parents outside in my lawn, where my father had made green for me and enjoying barbeque and rejoice in a game of putting with my father. Over the years golf has become a way of life for me.

Growing up from topmost Junior in 2014-15 to number one Amateur in 2017-18 to Rookie of the year 2019 in the professional circuit has been a reflection of my love for the game. My achievements have been just the milestones in this beautiful ongoing journey

You were at the prime of your form when the coronavirus outbreak started so did it disappoint you, that you will no longer be able to go out and play?

This was unprecedented and unexpected, but without losing much time on contemplation, I adapted to the situation and used the time to refine some parts of my swing which were long overdue. I am sure that this would take my game to a higher level whenever I return to playing.

How have you been practising your game during this lockdown?

Lockdown has been an opportunity for me to focus on various aspects of the game which would generally take a backseat. I followed a routine where I could focus on fitness, building strength, flexibility, and building my mental strength. Fitness and remaining injury-free are paramount in golf. I am sure it will be surprising for many sportspersons, that a 2016 study stated that Golf is the most injury-prone sport in the world after basketball.

Now as things start to open up, how do you plan to get back to playing, Will your gameplay change? Are there any new strategies that you have thought of during this time?

It would be thrilling to get back on the course after a long gap, With my increased fitness level and my ability to hit the ball longer, will give me a lot of advantage and take my overall game to next level. I am also looking forward to playing some international events and improve my world ranking once flights start. 

How has this pandemic changed you as a person and a sportsperson?

Pandemic only made my belief stronger that golf is akin to life’s journey, there may be uncertainty but there is always hope, there are ups and downs but never lose your nerve, there can be a good day or a bad day, and let this not upset you, Just move on.

 Any advice that you would like to give to budding golfers in India?

I feel golf is the best sport any child can pick up from an early age. Golf is the only game, where Indian Golf Union conducts tournaments across age groups, therefore unlike most other sports, you can enjoy golf your entire life. The golf course is a safe place to spend the day and often facilitates mentoring relationships with successful adults.

You never know who you will meet on a golf course, but it’s one of the easiest places in the world to make friends. At a very young age, you make friends across the length and breadth of the country. 

 Playing golf does not restrict you to play among your age group but also gives you opportunities to play with people across varied interests. I had the opportunity to play with Kapil Dev at the age of 12, Have played with business personalities, and interact with them teaches you a lot many things. Even at 12, I was learning about real-life business every day from all the adults I played with.

 Golf is a sport that will teach your child life-changing traits like integrity, discipline, persistence, and respect. As you will learn to conduct yourself on the golf course, these lessons will translate directly into everyday life. Besides, for a lot of students, who want to pursue studies abroad especially in the US, there are a lot of opportunities when it comes to college funding. The earlier you start, the greater is the chance is of gaining access to scholarships.

 This should probably be at the top of the list, but one of the best reasons to take up the sport of golf is that you will have an absolute blast. You will have a chance to learn new skills both physically and mentally, make new friends, and discover new opportunities.