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Written By: Damini Agrawal
Golf, often dubbed the "gentleman's game," has a rich history and a storied tradition of excellence. The Indian audience has witnessed the rise of several golf stars who have made their mark on the international stage. However, have you ever wondered about the price parents pay to raise a golf star? Raising a golf star often starts with nurturing a young talent's dream.
Dedication to Excellence: Young golfer perfecting the swing
Just as it was in the early 20th century when Indian golfers like Ali Sher and Peter Thomson first made their mark, parents play a crucial role in identifying their child's passion for golf. It begins with introducing the sport, providing access to golf courses, and supporting their budding golfer's aspirations.
At this stage, parents may spend around ₹5,000 to ₹10,000, much like the families of legendary golfers who started with humble beginnings. For instance, Jeev Milkha Singh, the son of the famous athlete Milkha Singh, began his golf journey on modest terms.
Indian golf pioneers in their early years: From left Ali Sher, Jeev Milkha Singh, and Arjun Atwal
The Role of Coaching and Training:
To shape a golf prodigy, world-class coaching and training are essential. Indian golf history witnessed the advent of professional coaching during the 1990s when players like Jyoti Randhawa emerged. Parents invest significantly in hiring professional coaches who can guide their child's progress from basic swings to mastering the complex techniques of the game.
Guidance and Mentorship: Mastering golf under the watchful eye of a coach
Top-notch golf coaching can cost anywhere from ₹20,000 to ₹50,000 per month, a far cry from the era when golf coaching was limited and aspiring players had to rely on their innate talent.
Balancing Academics and Golf:
One of the most challenging aspects of raising a golf star is striking a balance between academics and sports, managed both the education and golf during his formative years. Indian parents prioritize education, and managing rigorous golf training alongside school can be quite demanding.
This phase might involve expenses for private tutors or enrolling the child in a school with a flexible curriculum. The costs can vary, but on average, parents can spend ₹15,000 to ₹30,000 monthly on educational support.
The Financial Burden: Equipment and Tournament Fees:
Golf is not a cheap sport, and this has held true throughout its history. when parents invest in his golf equipment, the cost of quality golf equipment and tournament fees can quickly add up. Parents must be prepared to invest in clubs, balls, attire, and registration costs for various tournaments.
Tools of the Trade: The investment in quality golf gear
Quality golf clubs can range from ₹20,000 to ₹1,00,000, a significant increase from the early days of Indian golf. Tournament registration fees may vary from ₹2,000 to ₹10,000 per event, depending on its prestige and location.
Traveling the Circuit: National and International Tournaments:
As a young golfer progresses, they often need to participate in national and international tournaments to gain exposure and experience. This involves extensive travel, accommodation expenses, and time away from home.
Travel expenses can easily reach ₹1,00,000 to ₹5,00,000 annually, considering flights, accommodation, food, and transportation to different tournament locations. This mirrors the experiences of emerging Indian golfers like Gaganjeet Bhullar and Shubhankar Sharma, who have traversed the globe in pursuit of their golfing dreams.
Psychological Support: Handling Pressure and Competition:
The mental aspect of golf is as crucial as the physical, as exemplified by the legendary Jeev Milkha Singh, who focused on mental conditioning to elevate his game. Parents must ensure their child receives the necessary psychological support to cope with competition stress, handle disappointments, and maintain a strong mindset.
Engaging a sports psychologist or counselor can cost approximately ₹5,000 to ₹15,000 per session. The number of sessions required may vary depending on the child's needs.
Sponsorships and Scholarships:
Securing sponsorships and scholarships can ease the financial burden significantly, as exemplified by the recent success of youngsters like Diksha Dagar, who secured sponsorships to further her career. However, this requires not only talent but also a solid network and dedication to promoting the young golfer's potential.
Scholarships can cover various expenses, but they often come with performance expectations and contractual obligations.
Raising a golf star in India is an extraordinary journey filled with passion, dedication, and numerous challenges, spanning generations. Parents play a pivotal role in nurturing their child's talent, both financially and emotionally. The price they pay is not just in monetary terms but also in time, effort, and unwavering support. It's a journey that embodies the pursuit of excellence, and for some, it culminates in the fulfillment of a dream, continuing the rich legacy of Indian golf.
While the dream of raising a golf star is alluring, it's important to recognize that not all journeys lead to professional success. Parents must be prepared for the possibility that their child may choose a different path. This decision can affect the financial investments made throughout the years and may necessitate adjustments in future plans.
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