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Swinging to Glory: How a caddie became a professional golfer

Swinging to Glory: How a caddie became a professional golfer

C.C. Chengappa

Published: 15 Feb 2021 4:55 AM GMT

The stereotype of Golf being a rich man’s sport is true to a large extent. There exists a huge disparity right from gaining an opportunity to play in public clubs to even affording a golf set. Yet, there are a select few individuals who are on the course every day, observing, advising, and more importantly learning. They are the caddies of the golf course without whom a lot many golfers would always be stuck in a limbo during their game. Some of these caddies use their observation skills to the maximum and eventually pick up the game. Chikkarangappa was one such individual who followed this trajectory all they way to the top when he became a professional golfer. This inspirational story is about sporting perseverance and the will to fight.

Hailing from a village near Eagleton, one of India’s most famous golf courses, Chikkarangappa began going around the golf course as a caddie at the age of 9 in order to provide for his family. He gave what little he earned to his parents and would often return from school and head immediately to the course to take up his job. It was here that he began noticing kids his age and adults learning the game. It took him a while, but he eventually summed up the courage to pick up the game on his own and with due credit to the resident coach and Eagleton owner, Chikkarangappa was allowed to use the facilities free of cost. This gave him the boost and made him a regular player, practicing regularly, and learning the game. It was even against the wishes of his parents who wanted him to finish his studies rather than play. But he was adamant and continued to show promise in several junior tournaments. Years later, overcoming all odds ranging from language barriers to monetary issue, ‘Chikka’ stands tall amongst the best Indian golfers in the country as of now.

In his short amateur career, he won the Junior National Golf Championship, Asian Pacific Junior Championship, Karnataka Junior Open, Faldo Series Pre-Qualifying Asia Cup amongst many others. As a professional he has competed on the European and Asian Tour with wins coming in PGTI Eagleburg Masters, Asian Development Tour, and the McLeod Russel Tour Championship. The list carries on for him not just in the past but into the future as well. He has continued showing promise in his short career and has done justice to the talent and effort put into him by well wishers who first noticed his interest for the game back when he was just a child.

One hopes to seem him compete on the PGA tour and hopefully in the Olympics as well. But till then, we must relish the path that has brought him to where he is today. He has challenged the notion of a rich man’s sport by engaging with the very game itself game and ensuring there can be no barriers to anything except those that are present in one’s own mind. A truly apt belief for any sportsmen.

Also read: How badly do you miss ESPN School Quiz hosted by Harsha Bhogle?

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