The grey skies above the Royal Calcutta Golf Club did not open up that morning, but Divyanshu Bajaj poured his heart out. Life has been good but that can’t be said about his golf, save in patches. The demands of the sport have been more than the returns and that rankles, though with time the knocks have been taken into stride.
“The game takes away a lot more than it gives,” is the matter-of-fact reply. The words are shaped by experience, and every incident reflects how the sport has honed Divyanshu’s outlook towards life and matters close to the heart.
In search of his maiden win even after more than a decade of turning pro, Divyanshu has learnt to cope with the hurt in a way that it now fuels the drive to work towards a breakthrough. It was easier said than done for one who came close to quitting last year when the pandemic almost caused his world to come crashing down. The golf course has been his second home from a time difficult to recollect, and when tournaments and practice got stalled, coping with the sudden lull became tough.
“I went down on myself with the reasons why I was playing the sport,” said Divyanshu. Those were moments of weakness, not lack of belief, fuelled by the uncertainty of the times and somewhere down the barren run on the pro circuit.
A chat happened at home, and the parents stepped in once again. Divyanshu’s biggest support system has been his parents, and the outcome of the conversation was to take baby steps towards normalcy. Mentor Gurbaaz Mann and some friends chipped in too, and when Divyanshu tees off on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) in Hyderabad in the first event after Lockdown 2, the preparations have not been better.
The phase has seen an unprecedented time and work go into shaping the mind and body to the extent that Divyanshu is raring to have another shot at that elusive win. And why not, the nagging accuracy at home, and strong show in big-ticket events give confidence that his time will come.
“After more than a decade on tour the fire does not get lit in smaller events.” The top-4 at the 2017 Take Solutions Masters, co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour, and the 2019 Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational serve as proof. What these weeks did was instil the belief that he belonged to the big league and could compete with the best.
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More importantly, the Take Solutions Masters taught Divyanshu the importance of “staying in the mould and not breaking it.” It helped get out of the habit of experimenting with clubs and shafts to an extent the knowledge acquired has equipped him with enough knowhow to fit his clubs.
Building a structure and staying in it, Divyanshu knows all he needs to do is keep pushing and the results will come. There is no timeframe but that isn’t a worry anymore for the hardened pro as he knows he has the wherewithal to cope with the blows along the way.
Photo credit: Divyanshu Bajaj/Akanksha Julka