Golf is fastest growing sport in India: Jeev

Chandigarh: While saying that golf is the
fastest growing sport in the country, Jeev Milkha Singh on Wednesday
strongly advocated the need to have public driving ranges so
that everyone gets equal opportunity to showcase their

"I think the sport has a great future in our country.
golf, I believe, is the fastest growing sport in India today.
Cricket is obviously like a religion and you cannot compare
the two. But only thing I want to have done in my country is
to have more public driving ranges as there is just one in
Delhi as of now," the 39-year-old pro said.

Jeev felt that if the common masses are to be given an
opportunity, driving ranges are a must.

He said that junior golf is the most important thing for
the sport to grow.

"If the child of a poor man wants to play, he cannot
afford to become a member of a golf course. We`ve got to give
these guys an opportunity. Golf courses, I can understand,
because of limitations of land availability, cannot come up
everywhere, but ranges should not be a problem...that`s how
the game is going to go to the masses," Jeev said, adding the
country of over a billion people can easily produce a world

He also praised the current crop of golfers in India.
"We have got a good special circuit in place. I feel
Gautam Thapar has done an excellent job," he said.

"Indian economy and the Asian economy is growing at a
fast rate and it is certainly going to give boost to a sport
like golf and help it grow," he said, adding that with golf`s
admission at the 2016 Olympics, there was all the more reason
that the government should take steps to have public courses.

Jeev also praised the steps being taken by the Omar
Abdullah-led Jammu and Kashmir government for promoting the

"I think (Union Minister and Omar`s father) Farooq
Abdullah is a great lover and ambassador of the sport.
Recently a tournament was organised in Kashmir and it is good
for the sport. The valley also has one of the finest courses."

Jeev, whose nagging back injury has had an adverse
affect on his form and pushed him down the ranking chart, felt
that in golf "life begins at age 40".

"I hope that at the end of season I will improve my
rankings. In golf, life does start at 40. I am a firm
believer in that. If you see Vijay Singh, the best golf he
played was when he was 40-45 years of age. Only thing at this
age, when you`ve got the world at your feet, is that one has
to stay fit and in good health," said Jeev, who will turn 40
in December.

Jeev, who will be featuring in the Czech Open, has seven
weeks of packed action coming up that will see him play
tournaments in Scotland, Switzerland, Holland and Macau, and
two tournaments in Japan and Dubai.

The golfer, who was here last week holidaying in his home
town, said in his free time he likes to watch movies.

"I dont really follow other sports as this game
involves a lot of time travelling from one place to the other
and playing tournaments. My interests are watching movies and
the latest ones I watched with my wife was (Bollywood movie)
`Zindagi Na Milege Dubara`. We enjoyed `Delhi Belly` too, and
had such a laugh. My getaway is watching movies," he said.

Jeev said that his family joins him on some tours as
he does not want to miss his one-and-a-half year old son grow.

"We get so involved in our profession, but at the end of
the day, family is most important. After 10 years, If I missed
out on seeing my son growing, I would say what have I done.
You don`t stay on top always. You can be anybody in life.
(the glory) It`s not there for ever," he said.


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