Embracing boring routine in chase of excellence

With a great start to 2024 and the lessons from the tough last year, Tvesa Malik has her goals clearly set for the future
Last Updated : 23 April 2024, 15:46 IST
Last Updated : 23 April 2024, 15:46 IST

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Bengaluru: What does it mean to chase excellence? Or, what does chasing excellence look like? The answer mostly paints a boring picture for the prerequisite to achieve the desired results is doing the same things at the same time for days, months and years. 

And there are few better examples of such toil in Indian golf than Tvesa Malik whose obsession with routine is awe-inspiring. 

“I hope it doesn’t come across as crazy,” she laughs. "I love the grind of it. I love the process of it. I can’t think of enjoying doing anything like I enjoy putting in the hours in the gym, at the practice range and trying to bring all that together on a golf course." 

It came as no surprise, then, that the 28-year-old picked up her first international win at the Super Sport Ladies Challenge on the Sunshine Ladies Tour in South Africa a few weeks ago. With rounds of 71-65-71 for a total of nine-under 207, Tvesa registered a three-shot victory to add to the 13 professional titles she has won on the Women’s Golf Association of India (WGAI) tour. 

The win on foreign soil was a long time coming for one of the top Indian golfers who turned pro in 2017 and made her Ladies European Tour (LET) debut in 2019. Always a contender to win the title in any tournament the Delhi girl enters, the path to her latest success came after nearly two years of a rocky period.

The six top-10 finishes on the LET in the 2021 season meant she was well on her way to conquer new frontiers. But a swing change at the end of her stellar year curtailed that progress and took her off balance. 

“I had a miss that was left (missing shots left of the target). I mean I played with it pretty much the entire 2021. I was playing well despite the misses and so I didn’t want to touch it. 

“When I came back, I realised that it might not be realistic in the long run because the golf courses keep getting tougher. There were certain flags that I wasn’t able to access that easily and some shots you want to hit or things such as hitting the ball both ways, body moving a bit more efficiently… With the pressure and everything I wanted to be more technically sound so as to achieve consistency with ball fight and contact. That took time,” explains Tvesa about the lull in 2023 where she managed only one cut out of seven events after playing two full LET seasons in 2021 and 2022.  

“There were glimpses of a few good rounds. The quality of my game was better than the year I did well on the LET but I was still nowhere. I wasn’t having those results. That was really frustrating. But I’m glad it has sort of fallen into place now,” Tvesa says. 

The win, after missing the cut in the opener, ensured her entry to the rest of the seven tournaments on the nine-event tour apart from earning her a place in the newly-introduced Waterfall City Tournament of Champions - where all the winners (men and women) of this season’s Sunshine Tour will battle it out from May 2-5 in Johannesburg. 

With a great start to 2024 and the lessons from the tough last year, Tvesa has her goals clearly set for the future - not result oriented but to be more disciplined to be a little better every day. 

“Golf is such a rude wake-up call. You also don’t want to set yourself up with these crazy high expectations because you are working ridiculous amounts. So I’m trying to be a bit more balanced with it now.” 

The win has been long forgotten. Trust Tvesa to be up the next morning to go through the same grind - wake up, warm-up, rolling, short run, stretching, breakfast, drills on the range, tee off at the first hole... at the exact same time!

Published 23 April 2024, 15:46 IST

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