On any evening, if one goes down to the practice range at the swanky course on Gurgaon’s Golf Course Road, invariably, the last person practising will be a diminutive eight-year-old. Kartik Singh, a student of Manav Rachna International School, is known across the DLF Golf and Country Club as one of the most hardworking golfers in the city.
The young golfer’s work ethic has started reaping dividends for him in competitions now. On December 23, Kartik finished first in the Under-8 age group at the Kids’ Golf World Championship organized by US Kids Golf in Malaysia, making him the youngest Indian to win a junior world title.
Kartik started playing golf three years ago and it was only due to his golf training that his family moved to Gurgaon a little over two years ago. “I used to play golf when we were in Kochi,” says Kartik’s father Dhananjay, a Naval officer.
Kartik, who hones his skills at the DLF Golf and Country Club under the guidance of Raju James Joseph, was first spotted by golf coaches in Kochi three years ago when he accompanied his father on one of his weekend golf games.
The coach there said Kartik had the best hand-eye coordination he had seen. Sometime later, I took him to Bengaluru and got him evaluated under a coach there, who said he was the most talented golfer he had ever seen.
These things led me to believe that we needed to get him trained. Within two months of his first tryst with the sport, Kartik had grown strong enough to participate in competitions
Kartik Singh finished first in the Under-8 category at the Kids’ Golf World Championship. The eight-year-old poses for us at the golf course in Karma Lakelands, Gurgaon
But despite his natural talent, the eight-year-old is no slouch when it comes to practice. He started training in Karma Lakelands golf course in Sector 80 when he moved to Gurgaon and today, divides his time between there and the DLF Golf Course, which is closer to his home.
“He loves practising and being out on the course. We try to make sure he practices at least five times a week,” informs his father Dhananjay. The father-son duo can often be seen practising till 8-9pm at the course.
“I love golf and enjoy playing it a lot. The practice does not seem like work,” the eight-year-old prodigy tells us. For now, Kartik is participating in the age-group categories but both he and his family harbour hopes of him going professional and competing with the best in the world one day.
The DLF Golf Academy, opened in 1999, is the first professional golf school in the country.