Avani Prashanth, a grade VII student of Greenwood High International School, Bangalore shines with winning sparks in C-category at the Indian Golf Union (IGU) Junior Girls Amateur Golf Championships. She won IGU Jharkhand Ladies and Junior Girls Golf Championship held at Golmuri Golf Club, Jamshedpur, by a huge margin of 24 strokes. Commencing with reserving herself in Top 2 in the IGU Eastern India Ladies and Junior Girls Golf Championship held at Tollygunge Golf Club, Kolkata, Avani recalls her journey. Young golfer on course Young golfer on course Young golfer on course
Who introduced you to Golf?
It all started when I was three years old. My father was encouraging my grandfather to take up golf. I was fascinated to accompany them. With a nagging toddler behind, they had to take me along. That’s when I was thrilled with the magic of golf and discovered my interest in the sport.
How has Golf helped you grow?
I love the game of golf and I can play for hours together. Even though I was just four back then, my father permitted me to practice. My passion grew with each passing day. He would go, play his match & come back and I would still be practicing. Golf is a sport that requires tremendous level of fitness, endurance and a calm mind. It is critical to have a long term athletic development program approach where the focus on golf skill development, fitness and nutrition is balanced. The game teaches to be completely self-dependent. It helped me compete against myself and focus on continuous improvements.
Who are you training under and how long do you practice?
Laurence Brotheridge of David Leadbetter academy is my coach. He is based at Oxford Golf resort, Pune. I practice golf on the Golf course four days a week and on other days, I practice at home. I practice building swing speed & distance control at home and everything else on the course. Every time I get to the Golf course I spend around 6-8 hrs for practice.
How diet helps you in building your game?
My parents have been taking advice from sports nutritionists QUA Nutrition. Diet is an extremely important in the making of a good Golfer. Taking the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fat and vitamins is critical in developing a fit body which is essential for golf. It is also very important to keep your body injury free for long term.
How do you balance studies and your career in sports?
My school Principal, Aloysius D’mello, is extremely supportive and has allowed me to stay away from school two days a week for my practice. I update myself on all that has been taught during my absence at the first available opportunity and thereby balance my studies & Golf. I was also awarded a General Proficiency certificate in 2018 for striking a good balance between my studies and excelling in sports.
How do you feel about achieving success and what are your plans for the future?
I am happy with my performance so far in the IGU Junior Girls Golf Championship and I am the current Order of Merit leader. I am now preparing for the US Kids Golf World Championship at Pinehurst, North Carolina. I want to win the tournament and become the first girl from India to do so. I also want to represent India at the 2024 Olympics and win a Gold Medal. In the long term, I want to become a professional golfer, become World no.1 and inspire young girls to take up this wonderful sport all around the world.
What are your other interests and hobbies?
I enjoy playing Soccer and I used to captain the Greenwood High Under 12 Girls team. I was also selected to play for BFC junior team. Soccer helps me build fitness in the lower body and it is very useful to have a strong stable lower body to swing fast in Golf. I also enjoy solving the Rubik’s cube and can solve a 3X3 cube in less than a minute.
What is the message that you would want to convey to students across the country?
Golf is a wonderful sport and it is a sport one can play for the rest of their life. It helps to keep fit as one walks a lot in the game. It helps to build discipline and a good character in oneself.