Udayan Mane’s Olympic dreams may have been crushed by the second wave of the pandemic and the subsequent shutdown of tournaments on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), but the burly golfer can take heart from the fact that he can push himself a lot more these days.
If Udayan would be “dead tired” after playing 24 holes at practice, the threshold has gone up, and now even after 30 holes he is game for more action. Credit to the heightened endurance and leaner look goes to the intense work put into fitness when life, why only sport, had come to a grinding halt last year.
With “an active lower body and passive upper half”, there was always the crying need to “buckle down on this area of the game”. India’s No 1 is “still evolving on a daily basis” but is happy the cry around him to attend to this critical sphere has died down.
It wasn’t just coach Vijay Divecha on Udayan’s case, fitness expert Saurabh Bhaduri was among the first to broach the topic. When PGTI shut operations in mid-March last March, time was ideal to get cracking.
Between Saurabh in Pune and Samarth Dwivedi in Ahmedabad (Samarth shifted to Gurgaon recently), Udayan has acquired quite an insight over the past few months, and the gains are showing.
A strict diet plan in place, which varies somewhat depending on the state of activity, Udayan has tested himself enough after the restart in November to say confidently that “he has a lot more energy during a tournament round, has a deeper understanding of his swing, is a more consistent ball striker with a better range of shots”.
The New Year has been a harbinger of hope. As was he was searching for a purple patch like the one towards the close of 2019 and early 2020 which saw him win thrice in succession, Udayan won the Delhi NCR Open in March just before Lockdown 2.
Photo Credit: PGTI