Growing up in Martinpurwa, the breeding ground of Lucknow golfers, Sanjeev Kumar was no different from the kids smitten by the love for kites. The difference was this hobby was frowned upon by father Hari Ram, a pro golfer in his time and coach at the Lucknow Golf Club.
Sanjeev can now look back and smile at those instances when he was caught flying kites in the club and smacked, leading to several broken irons. Never mind the financial loss Hari Ram had to bear, the bouts of making the boy run from the club to home with him in pursuit on a bike and club in hand, forced Sanjeev to think.
A love for the sport that has sustained the family was born and with it a work schedule that has paid dividend. A pro since 2011, the 28-year-old has several top-10s on the Professional Golf Tour of India and its Feeder Tour and has come close to breaking through as well. In this age of gadgets and reliance on technology to get better, Sanjeev prefers to keep it simple. Up at 4am, running, stretching, yoga and meditation make up his fitness schedule. “Going to the gym makes me stiff and hampers the swing,” he says.
After assisting Hari Ram in coaching in the early hours, it’s time to hit the 9-hole course, three hours in the morning and an equal duration post lunch. If the company is right, playing 36 holes in a day is not uncommon.
Not much of a range person, Sanjeev believes simulating match situations on the course is what brings results. Only if a flaw needs to be ironed, does he hit the practice area.
The lockdown was a test of patience but had a silver lining. After a long while he got to fly kites without any guilt.
Photo credit: Sanjeev Kumar