| Bankipore Girls’ High School principal Bilkis Jahan plays a shot at the tourney on Friday. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
Patience and practice coupled with good fortune showed on Friday, as amateur players got ready to tee off on the Patna Golf Club greens.
Sixteen amateur women golfers from Patna, who eat, sleep and talk golf, showed off their skills on the course on the inaugural day of the 41st Patna Annual Golf Championship.
Bilkis Jahan, the principal of Bankipore Girls’ High School and one of the golfers trying out their luck, said: “I wore an orange T-shirt because it is my lucky colour. I thought it would bring good fortune for me.”
She said one of the best things one can learn from golf was patience. “Several people roam around on the golf course when you are playing a tournament. But you cannot be a good player if you lose your calm and concentration because of this. Patience is must for golf players,” she said.
Jahan, who visualises her shot before going for it, added: “I decide how to swing the club before playing my shot. Those who feel golf is more of a physical game are completely wrong. It is a mental game because only those who are mentally stable can be good golfers.”
Patna Golf Club, a 98-year old club, organises the annual championship to promote the sport among residents. To be played over three days, participants have also come from Ranchi, Calcutta, Varanasi, Kanpur, Jamalpur, Delhi and Jamshedpur. The club was established in 1916.
Rekha Jain, 53, one of the participants, said: “My husband, S.K. Jain, and I have earned the name of ‘regular couple’ on the golf course because we come here often to practise. Once we started playing golf around 9.30am and went on till 5.30pm. People at the club were shocked. They wondered how we got the strength to play for so long but we were hardly tired.”
Apart from the women’s patience and practice, participants in the senior citizen category amazed the spectators with their grip and posture.
Niyaz Ahmad, a former director-general of police of Jharkhand, was one of the VIPs playing in the senior citizen’s category on Friday.
He said: “Golf helps me socialise. The uniqueness of this sport is that one does not only play against opponents but also the golf course. You try to win over the obstacles on a sprawling golf course. Playing golf at this club is very challenging for there are several trees which pose many challenges.”
Seventy-four-year-old A.B. Singh said he has been hooked to the game because of the mental peace it gives him.
Tapan Ghosh, the captain of Patna Golf Club spread over 165 acres, said: “The main competition of the tournament, Kalyanpur Cup, for 0-18 handicaps will be organised on February 22-23. The results will be declared on Sunday. Chief minister Nitish Kumar would be the chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony the same day. Among the attractions of the day would be a performance by a Calcutta-based band.”