BENGALURU: In comparison to cricket, golf may not be hugely popular in India. But it is gradually generating interest, with golfers earning laurels both in India and abroad.
Some of them have received support from TAKE Solutions, a Life Sciences firm that supports Khalin Joshi, S S P Chawrasia and Chiragh Kumar, who were felicitated at a city hotel by cricketer R Ashwin, the guest of honour on Saturday.
One look at their accomplishments would make any Indian proud. Joshi clinched his maiden Asian Tour Title at the Panasonic Open India 2018. Kumar won silver medal as an amateur at the 2006 Asian Games.
He also won the Panasonic Open in the Asian Tour circuit and is a four-time Indian Tour winner.
Initially a caddie, Chawrasia is a proud Arjuna Award winner, who participated in Rio Olympics, four-time European Tour winner, two-time Asian Tour winner and 11-time Indian tour winner.
His is a remarkable rags-to-riches story.
The new golfers on the block – Karandeep Singh Kochhar and Kshitij Naveed Kaul – are the latest to be supported by TAKE, which has been promoting the sport for over 16 years.
The event became interesting with a discussion on ‘Making professional Indian golf more popular’.
The panelists were Venky Rajagopal (CEO, Indian Terrain), golfer Rishi Narain, Chiragh Kumar (pro golfer) and former cricketer Sujith Somasunder.
The discussion was moderated by Tarun Sardesai, CEO and director of instruction, TSG Golf Academy. They suggested that players be active on social media, and exchanged ideas to give attention to golf at the grassroots level.
Throwing light on the scenario, Somasunder said, “There are two aspects about popularising the sport – the pull and the push factor, which includes pulling sponsors and supporters. When I was growing up as a cricketer, the pull for me was how I would emulate the heroes. When more people take up the sport, you pull the players. Through social media, how we portray the heroes so that it pulls players is important. It also brings in parents, and stakeholders.”
“How can supporters and sponsors push the already existing good players beyond the confines of playing at home? One thing is to take them there and the other is to help them stay there longer. How can we make them more competent? These are the two things through which viewership and sponsorship will come,” he added.