The Golf Foundation is all set to mark it footprints across the country as it launches a nationwide Talent Search for Excellence in Golf to identify and nurture the realm’s top junior golfing talent. In a launch conference held here on Thursday, The Golf Foundation announced that it has set up four Zonal Centers – Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Pune in its quest for unearthing rare talent in a structured manner.
The Golf Foundation, in its commitment to unearth talent from tier two cities as much as the major metros, plans to take eight top qualifiers from each zone across age groups under its wing and provide them with holistic training which includes specialized golf lessons, equipment support, tournament exposure along with fitness, education, life skills etc. An elite panel of coaches and golf courses has been identified for each of the zones with the aim of providing a holistic development programme for the trainees.
(L-R) Karthik Bharatram, Amit Luthra, Anil Malhotra
The Golf Foundation, a brainchild of former Asian Games Gold Medalist & Arjun Awardee Amit Luthra, made a humble beginning in 1990 & was formalised as a Charitable Society in the year 2000, has produced champions like Ashok Kumar, Rashid Khan, and of late Shubham Jaglan a 10-year-old prodigy apart from supporting many other talented golfers like Chikkarangappa, Honey Baisoya, Harinder Gupta and Manu Gandas amongst others.
The talent hunt begins with TGF SRF North Zone Talent Search Golf Championship from June 2-5, at the Golden Greens Golf & Country Club while the Royal Calcutta Golf Club and the Oxford Golf & Country Club will host TGF SRF East Zone and West Zone Talent Search Championship respectively from June 30 to July 3, 2015. South Zone Talent Search will be hosted from July 6-10 at the Clover Greens with all the respective golf courses lending a helping hand.
Expert National Golf Academy of India certified coaches will head the four Zonal centers and oversee the personalized skills development of the young qualifiers and beneficiaries, to give them the platform to grow and paint their own picture. Ajai Gupta will head the North while the East is headed by Indrajit Bhalotia. Aditya Kanitkar and Rahul Ganapathy head the West and South Zonal Centres respectively. As the number of trainees increase the Centers will be increased. The aim is to reach 15 Training Centers in the next two years with four Centers of Excellence.
“In our endeavor to give back to the game we want to provide the young talent necessary tools to take a shot at becoming not just world beaters but better human beings as well,” said Amit Luthra, Founder CEO, The Golf Foundation, who pioneered the efforts of giving the young and underprivileged kids an equal footing to succeed. “Now the time has come for us to spread our gaze and do the same for deserving kids pan India & for those who don’t make it, provide an alternate source of employment. Shubham, as of now is second at the European Junior’s in Scotland,” he added.
Anil Malhotra, Chairman, The Golf Foundation, highlighting the success stories of the programme remarked, “We are so pleased to see Ashok Kumar and Rashid Khan make the most of the gentle push we could provide them and actually build on it to taste success nationally and internationally. Shubham Jaglan is another one making us proud with his prodigious talent and extreme hard work to become the world champion in his age group.”
Wg. Cdr. Arun Singh, Director General, Indian Golf Union the governing body of golf in India, to which The Golf Foundation is affiliated said, “We are really happy to support the initiative of The Golf Foundation. IGU will continue to extend any kind of support needed as it is in our interest to back every program that helps in the growth and development of the game.”
The Golf Foundation is also recognized by the Professional Golf Tour of India and is supported by a host of corporate entities lead by SRF, DLF, ITC, IL&FS, Sterling Tools, Arumah Valley and Take Solutions amongst others.
The Golf Foundation has found a great backer in The Gary Player Foundation with many of the Ladies European Tour players like Laura Davies, Lee-Anne Pace, Christy Kim and Simi Mehra also committing to give their mite. A plethora of celebrities from cine stars like Aamir Khan, Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff to cricketers like Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Virendra Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Aamir Khan and Olympic Silver Medallist shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore have graced the various events held by The Golf Foundation and pledged their support.
(Standing) The Golf Foundation beneficiaries
(Sitting L to R) Amandeep Johl; Karthik Bharatram, Jt. MD, SRF; Amit Luthra, Founder CEO, TGF; Anil Malhotra, Chairman,TGF; Wg. Cdr. Arun K Singh, Director General, Indian Golf Union.