New ‘Covid rules’: Jeev, Ajeetesh, Sharma back of the golf course; maintain social distancing

V Krishnaswamy New Delhi | Updated on May 21, 2020 Published on May 21, 2020

The golfers are back. From Chandigarh to Delhi to Bengaluru, they are back on the course and swinging away but with a new set of Covid-19 rules in the game.

At the Delhi Golf Club, Shiv Kapur was swinging clubs alongside his old friend, Gaurav Ghei, both of whom have tasted internationals wins at the course and who have practically learnt all their golf at the DGC. And of course, both were masked up. No backslapping, no handshakes, just an acknowledgement of the other’s good shot. No customary snacks and coffee or lemon juice, but just a goodbye and drive back home.

In Chandigarh, the city’s most recognisable golfer, the 90-year-old Milkha Singh, is yet to hit the course, but his son, a standard bearer of Indian professional golf, Jeev Milkha Singh, was there at the Chandigarh Golf Club with his buddies.

The new rules

Precautions prescribed because of his age kept the senior Milkha away from the course, but the younger one was out there with his mates, Uttam Singh Mundy, former pro and now CEO of PGTI, Gurbaaz Mann, a former pro and now a coach and Ajeetesh Sandhu, a regular on Asian and PGTI Tours. Maintaining social distance, wearing an assortment of mask (Mundy had the most fashionable one) they all maintained the ‘Covid-19 rules’ while playing golf. Amritinder Singh, a former Asian Tour pro, and now a swing coach for Jeev, and a good friend of all of them, accompanied them all.

Jeev said, “To be honest, it was most relaxing to be out and playing golf after such a long time. More than two months since I hit a ball. So a bit of rust, but nobody minded that. We were just happy to be on a golf course.”

He called it a “liberation of the mind.” He added, “We knew what we were in for – temperature check, sanitiser, one-cart-one-person, carts sanistised, no shaking hands, high-fives from far and maintaining social distance. We golfers are used to a lot of discipline, so respecting the ‘new’ rules in these times was part of that,” added the 48-year-old Jeev.

“Maybe what I missed was my Dad on the course, where he is a regular. But since he is 90, he was not allowed and he sure missed the action,” said Jeev.

He added, “There were no stunning shots. But everybody was really excited to be on the course after two months. A lot of funny shots were hit on the course but we were all grateful to be playing after a long time.”

“Amritinder did not play. He just walked and kept us in good humour and watched our shots… he is a coach, so it was like a ‘Coach with four trainees’ in action,” said Jeev with a laugh.

With no caddies — they have not been allowed back as yet at Chandigarh golf Club since many of them come from containment zones — one person drove the cart with thee bags and others walked the course. “We are used to walking as pros, so that was perfect,” said Jeev.

Also hitting the course was Shubhankar Sharma with fellow pro, Karandeep Kochhar and Rohan Kathuria. “Just being back on a golf course was exhilarating,” said Sharma.

New normal

Ghei, whose first and most famous Asian Tour win, the Gadgil Western Masters, came at this course 25 years ago, said, “Being away from golf was so strange. It is the only thing I know best and it has been my livelihood for three decades. So its great to be back playing golf, even with rules that we never even thought of.”

Kapur’s final verdict: “It’s not the golf I grew up with. But, this could be the new normal. Yet, I am happy being able to swing a club after such a long time.”

Published on May 21, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.