Dharma’s upsurge in Rambagh a result of going back in time

0
117
M Dharma shot identical scores of 8-under 62 to take a three-shot lead at the Jaipur Open at the Rambagh Golf Club. Photo: PGTI
M Dharma shot identical scores of 8-under 62 to take a three-shot lead at the Jaipur Open at the Rambagh Golf Club. Photo: PGTI

M Dharma and Yogender go back in time. The man from the Noida Golf Course has been on the bag for Dharma the past 15 years, and their familiarity is to an extent that the seasoned pro from Bangalore can claim, “He knows me, my game and mentality better.”

Related Content: Driver’s on song and so is Abhijit Chadha

It is courtesy this association that Dharma has two recent top-10s and is in the lead at the Jaipur Open at the midway stage. The putter is at the heart of this matter, but it took two minds to figure out the recalibration.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by PGTI (@pgtofindia)

If Dharma had his way, he would have had Yogender shift base to Bangalore, but that is yet to happen. Dharma stays hopeful and has ensured distance isn’t a hindrance. Even when not on Tour, the two are in constant touch and exchanging notes on the way forward.

Every athlete has a unique tale of coping with the pandemic and emerging from lockdown. For Dharma, it was upping the fitness level and some focus on the short game. The changes primarily pertained to the grip and stance.

When the Professional Golf Tour of India resumed last November, Dharma was happy with his ball striking but not with his work on the greens. “The feel (with the putter) was off but I told myself to be patient,” he said.

The Ahmedabad leg this February gave hope that the changes were working, but Dharma went into Lockdown 2 searching for answers once more. Restart 2 did not pan out differently, starting with Hyderabad, and the tale was quite the same in Panchkula despite this season’s first top-10. Dharma smiles that he managed it despite the putter not doing his bidding.

Inspirational: Set goals, work hard, Sungjae Im’s advice to aspiring pros

A solution was needed, and fast, with big-ticket events approaching at the business end of the season. On Yogender’s suggestion, Dharma revisited old videos of the short game when the going was good and the putter was instrumental in the two wins in 2013 and 2017.

The outcome of those sessions was realisation that “Putting is all about feel. One can’t change what is natural.” Dharma’s grip and stance are back to what they were in the good old days, and the results are in print. He has not shot an over-par round starting from the Delhi Golf Club at last week’s PGTI MP Cup, where he finished top-5.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by PGTI (@pgtofindia)

The Rambagh Golf Club has seen Dharma in a new avatar. Identical rounds of 8-under 62 place him atop the leaderboard with a three-shot lead. If argued that it is preferred lie this week, Dharma has this to say, “You still have to putt well to get that score.”

Photo credit: PGTI

Also Read: 1 birdie = 1 gum, Priyanshu Singh relives a breakthrough from sideline