New Delhi: Ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh urged on Monday the government to build more public courses in India to make the sport popular in the country.
While Jeev admitted that off late Indian golfers have made their presence felt at the global stage, he said a lot needs to be done from the government`s end to make golf a mass sport in the country.
"We need more public golf courses and driving ranges in the country to popularise golf," said Jeev, who was named the brand ambassador of Swedish luxury car-maker, Volvo Auto on Monday.
"In India, golf is considered to be an elite sport so it is not possible for everyone to play in private courses. We need to give opportunities to all who want to play the sport. And for that, we need public golf courses.
"That`s what I have been requesting the government because it is the government which has to allocate the land to build public courses," he said.
The inaugural Golf Premier League, a franchise-based event organised on the lines of Indian Premier League by professional golfer Shiv Kapur earlier this year, has been a huge success and Jeev feels such initiatives will only help in promoting the sport.
"We can`t compare golf with cricket. Cricket is a mass sport in India but GPL is a good initiative to promote golf in India," said the 41-year-old, who finished tied 22nd at the just-concluded Panasonic Open at the Delhi Golf Course.
Asked about his comments on the drug scandal involving
Indian boxing`s pin-up boy, Vijender Singh, Jeev refused to be dragged into the matter, but said every star athlete has some responsibility towards the society.
"I don`t want to comment on any individual, but I feel if people look upto you as a role model, you have certain responsibilities. We are role models but at the end of the day we are human beings as well," he said.
The son of legendary athlete Milkha Singh, Jeev is also a great movie buff. Apart from golf, Jeev doesn`t follow other sports and watches movies to unwind himself before any major tournament.
Asked about the upcoming movie on the life of his father, titled `Bhag Milkha Bhag`, Jeev said he is waiting with bated breath for the release of the film on July 12.
"The team of `Bhag Milkha Bhag` has done an excellent job. Farhan (Akhtar) is brilliant. He has lived up to Milkha Singh`s character. For sure it is going to be a hit," he said.