There was always a bit of golf in Mayur Mistry. Father Ganesh is a coach at the Bombay-golf Presidency Golf Club and as a child Mayur looked forward to the odd visit to the club.
Sport fascinated him and with time he made a mark across disciplines, especially as a district-level football player.
Noticing the spark, Ganesh suggested his boy try his hand at golf too. The liking was instant.
“The hand-eye coordination and the fewer number of shots determining performance was fascinating,” he says.
It was a rollicking start in 2010 with Mayur winning six times, and a dream was born. But there were impediments. Financial constraints prevented him from travelling for tournaments and spreading wings.
From his Chembur home, Mayur used to visualize himself on the big stage, and as per a conversation in the family, stayed content “just practising and playing events at the club to prepare for a pro career”.
Mayur won several times on the Indian Golf Union’s West Zone feeder tour and qualified for the main tour thrice but money matters intervened.
Despite having to hold back, Mayur was relentless at practice and the perseverance was rewarded with benefactors like the Golf Foundation and Jayen Shah stepping in to support his dream.
Hope soared as Mayur played the national amateur circuit for three seasons. But a test awaited elsewhere. His form dipped and reconstructing the game under coach Digraj Singh Marwah has been a long haul.
Qualifying for the national circuit again before Lockdown 1 was a huge validation of the toil.
There was hope of bigger gains on the golf course but the months of inaction following Lockdown 2 put paid to that.
Nevertheless, Mayur has spent time working on bulking up at home and now at the gym for better stability.
At 22, he is clear about the road ahead. “I want to turn up in an India blazer before turning pro in some time.”
Photo credit: Mayur Mistry