New mindset and setup, Khalin Joshi thriving as a ‘rookie’

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The Jaipur Open is a break from the past and vindication of Khalin Joshi's new thought process. TheGolfingHub Photo by Virendra Singh Gosain.
The Jaipur Open is a break from the past and vindication of Khalin Joshi's new thought process. TheGolfingHub Photo by Virendra Singh Gosain.

The past is passé for Khalin Joshi. The three wins on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and breakthrough on the Asian Tour are confined to the record books as Khalin’s mind is a clean slate.

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What occupies him now is to kick in a level of consistency that makes him tough to dislodge every time he is in contention. We know where that is coming from — the angst of throwing it away at the PGTI MP Cup. A win at the Delhi Golf Club (DGC) last week would have been a breakthrough for the “rookie pro”, as Khalin calls himself after emerging from lockdown last year. But he did make a point to himself. “I played well at a venue I haven’t been comfortable for a long time,” he said. We won’t talk about the 2018 Panasonic Open, Khalin’s last win on any Tour, as that is a reminder of the past and time had lapsed since he won.

 

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That changed on Friday at the Rambagh Golf Club. The Jaipur Open was a break from the past and vindication of the new thought process. “Throughout my career I have gifted or lost tournaments when it was there for the taking.” In that hour of disappointment at DGC, Khalin was sure of one thing though. “If this not this week, the next one, my time will come.”

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That it would arrive so soon was uncanny, almost as if he had a premonition. “When you know your game is getting better you can predict these things.” Whether the changes Khalin has brought about in the mind and around him stand the test of time will be known in a while, but they seem to have worked as of now.

 

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During Lockdown 1, Khalin tried out a host of indoor contraptions to stay sharp like many of his ilk only to realize that a direct impact of the innovations was on the feel when tournaments resumed. “When Lockdown 2 happened, there were no such measures and I told myself whenever PGTI resumed I would not be Khalin Joshi, but one trying to build a career and reputation from scratch.”

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For a pro on Tour since 2013, it was beginning afresh. Khalin started work with a new trainer, deleted old swing videos from the phone or anything that “does not work anymore” and expectations were zilch every time he teed off. If anything from the past stayed on was the pain that “I haven’t won as much as I should have”. With nothing to prove to the world but himself, Khalin has come close almost every time since tournaments resumed the second time last month.

Khalin Joshi

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In no hurry to win again and alive to the fact that “I am not easiest guy to beat when playing my best golf”, Khalin’s win at Jaipur is proof and a departure. “I worked my way up in all the previous wins, this week I went out all guns blazing from the start.”

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