Among the landmarks for Aalaap IL, a couple find relevance here. The first was being introduced to golf at 9 by father, SK Lakshminarayana in the sylvan settings of the JWGC in Mysore. For a while, in fact not till 2015, golf was a way of acquiring a different perspective to life and bonding over sport with close friend Yashas Chandra. Uppermost was pursuing academics, and when Aalaap graduated in computer science engineering, another box got ticked.
The fondness for data and breaking it down worked in a way that Aalaap was able to “analyse situations differently and use stats before planning a shot”, but the effects of a bad result lingered longer than he would have liked. Prevailing in a marathon 6-hole playoff to win the Southern India Amateur, a first, helped decide the future course in 2016, and Aalaap made the paradigm shift to professional ranks with the belief that he could win on bigger platforms. But the inherent issue remained.
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This and charting unknown waters on the Professional Golf Tour of India bogged him down. “I was always chasing the perfect swing and trying to replicate what I did at practice,” he says. Stumbling but learning, Aalaap waded through the initial seasons and lockdown while getting enough time to introspect. When the Tour restarted in November, the Players Championships in Panchkula and Chandigarh were no different, adding to the frustration of sitting idle for eight months.
With two flagships events approaching, a conversation with coach Laurence Brotheridge proved critical. The advice was to “be a kid again and find yourself on the golf course”. Living in the moment and keeping it simple helped Aalaap carry home his biggest pay cheque from Jamshedpur. Another one was from Chandigarh where he had never made ct as an amateur. The going’s been good and there’s hope that the New Year would bring more glad tidings. The faith has paid off as he posted two top-20s at the Glade One Masters and Delhi NCR Open.
Photo credit: Aalaap IL
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