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EXCLUSIVE: Club memberships integral, but Golf in India needs to grow: Rahil Gangjee

Asian Tour
Posted by Admin 24 Apr 2018

In an EXCLUSIVE CHAT for 4moles.com, veteran Golfer Rahil Gangjee, who shrugged off a 14-year spell to win the Panasonic Open Golf Championship in Japan, says opening this game up to the public is a must for it to grow. 



By Priyanka Sen Sarkar



Rahil Gangjee interview



India’s Golf veteran Rahil Gangjee savoured the latest chapter of a late-career fairy tale by shrugging off a 14-year spell and winning the Panasonic Open Golf Championship in style. That Rahil is 39-years-old appears to have no bearing on his game as he went on to put a masterclass at the tournament in Japan. With this victory, Rahil jumped a massive 935 places from World No.1037 to World No.372.


The 39-year-old claimed the winner's blue jacket at the 150-million-yen ($1.4 million) tournament by sinking a birdie at the last hole at the Ibaraki Country Club near Osaka.


Ask him on what does it mean to end the barren run and he says, “After 14 years, this means that all those times when I doubted myself, when I felt low about anything in life and all those hours I spent stressing over whether I would be able to deliver when the time came ...were all worth it. It means that what the books say about not giving up are all true ... but everyone will have a different journey.”



Heartfelt wishes pour in on Twitter



Twitter Rahil



When Rahil clinched his dream title, Twitter was abuzz with a lot of wishes pouring in from the Indian and Global golf fraternity. While Jeev Milkha Singh tweeted, ‘So proud of you @GangjeeR! What a performance and nerves of steel to win his first international title after 14 years. You set an example in perseverance and dedication, my friend,’ Anirban Lahiri said, ‘Overjoyed to see @GangjeeR win #PanasonicOpen after years of dedication and persistence. Wish I was there to celebrate with you, my friend!’ 



Twitter Rahil




‘Golf Club memberships okay, but Golf in India needs to grow’



Rahil Gangjee interview



Indian pool of golfers is growing with players leaving their mark on international shores. While it all sounds fancy on the outside, accessibility to the game remains the biggest challenge for most golf lovers. So, are Golf clubs and membership concept hampering the spirit of Golf? “Memberships are integral to any club. But opening this game up to the public is a must for it to grow ...and only the Government can help by providing land and more importantly access to the public courses,” says Rahil. 



With 75% Golf courses being Defence-owned, civilians do not have access to the same. Should Defence-owned courses be opened up for the civilians so that it helps the game to grow? “I don’t think that’s for me to comment on, but it would definitely help if the public had more access to our lovely sport,” says the veteran Golfer.



And what is the greatest thing, he has learnt about Golf? “Golf teaches you how to live life. I have always said it’s a lifestyle not just a game. You can’t hide from yourself in this game,” says he.




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