'Golf is the toughest game I've played'

'Golf is the toughest game I've played'

First Priority

'Golf is the toughest game I've played'

Bangalore’s homebred golfer, Sharmila Nicollet, is all set to represent India in the Ladies European Tour (LET) for the second year in a row.

She tells Metrolife that she’s much stronger, both physically and mentally, for the upcoming season.

“I’m super excited. I’ve made a lot of changes to my game, fitness and life. I’ve started following proper nutrition, working on my level of fitness, yoga, and even changed my ball flight,” says Sharmila adding, “I’m a lot stronger now because I was a lonesome Indian last year and it was really tough for me to play so many tournaments back to back. But this year’s going to be a lot better.” 

While she always knew that sports would play a big role in her life, her reasons for sticking to golf specifically are quite interesting. “I’ve played a lot of sports in the past — I was an athlete, skater, state-level swimmer...

 But I found golf very intriguing because it’s the game of the mind. You play against yourself and it’s much more challenging as an individual sport. Golf is the toughest game I’ve played — and I’ve played every possible sport,” she confesses. 

“I won my first tournament at the age of 14 and I never looked back. I wanted to take it up as my career and I dropped other sports, my studies took a backseat and I turned pro at the age of 18. And now, here I am on the European tour,” smiles the 22-year-old.She highlights certain areas related to golf in India that need to be addressed urgently.

 “What we lack is sponsorship, parental support and infrastructure. We need a lot of courses and trainers to encourage junior golf, since it gives youngsters the opportunity to maximise their potential. I just hope that parents back them up fully, like my mum did, because there’s a lot of scope in India,” notes Sharmila. “I hope to win some international tournaments so that the sport gets a facelift — that’s when people change their perspective towards it,” she adds. 

Ask her what her week looks like when not touring and she laughs and says, “Six times a week, from morning to evening, I put in eight to nine hours of practice. That’s the sacrifice I’ve made since I was 14. I couldn’t even have a normal school or college life. But it’s paid off and it’s become my life now. Sunday’s my only day off and that’s when I go crazy. I love UB City — it has my spa, Shiro and my coffee shop!”

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