Remarkable support from Parents & School makes Chaitanya Pandey conquer in Golf
Prabha Thakur Pandey
1st October 2011
Proudly says ‘imd1’ for
If it hits at the right time, the addiction of excelling in Sports goes on making a person from starting to play just for exercise purpose and end up winning medals for his/her country. This Golf Prodigy is the youngest Indian to win US Kids European Championship 2019 in Scotland. He finished T13 competing against a truly international field featuring more than a hundred plus boys from close to twenty different nationalities, Chaitanya's highly credible performance to shoot a final round 36, which was the fourth best of the day hosted at the Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club in North Carolina.
The young prodigy has been training at the Delhi Golf Club where he has also been aligned with the “Camp of Excellence” organized by the club to nurture and showcase exceptional junior talent. He practices for a minimum of upto three hours a day with his Coach Romit Bose. Chaitanya, student of K R Mangalam World School GK II nces his studies and passion in a way to accommodate time for other hobbies such as reading, dancing and playing the guitar.
The motivated and determined champ doesn’t only play golf as a sport but respects the game for its many lessons. “Before I got into this great game, I used to get upset losing a match. But now, to me It's not about winning a tournament, as long as I know I am giving my best, I feel complacent. Other than that, I have learnt the importance of honesty and mental endurance as well.” Says Chaitanya. He is also an excellent tennis player. His tennis mentor Aditya Sachdeva of Team Tennis India motivated him to take up golf.
Team imd1 wishes all the success to this cutest linksman and applauds his parents and school fraternity for being an amazing support system.
Know me Beyond Golf
Age is just a number as Champions are made from something they have deep inside them. Dream It...Believe It...Achieve It!
I draw inspirations from:
Food I Love
Mom’s home cooked food
Food I Don't Like
If you do not become a Golfer then
I will become a Tennis Player or an Astronaut
Like Vacations at
Favorite Pass time
Playing Chess & Guitar
“Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger.” – Arnold Palmer
Favorite Movies / Series
Caddyshack & Short Game/td>
Favorite Actor / Actress:
We are really keen to know; how did your journey begin?
It came about by accident really. I started playing tennis at the age of four, and it was my tennis coach, Aditya Sachdeva, who suggested to try golf as a way of improving my tennis swing. I found out that I had a natural talent for it and began entering golf tournaments within two months of taking it. I was lucky enough to win my first event and I was convinced that this is something I wanted to pursue.
What were the hardships / hurdles you have encountered during your journey? How did you overcome them?
Probably the best hurdle is trying to make sure that my schoolwork does not suffer because of the golf practices. I am lucky to have studying in a very supportive K.R.Managalam World School and have had great encouragement from the Chairman, Principal and Class Teacher. My parents are a great help who let me study in the car whilst I am travelling to practices and tournaments and help me study in the evenings. It is not always easy, but I know how important it is to keep up. I also had to learn about the mental side of the game on how to overcome with the pressure before and during a tournament, and to cope when things do not always go well on the course or on the green as I would like.
What's your success mantra?
Work hard and enjoy what you do, whether you are on the practicing on green or playing in a tournament.
Success is incomplete without its share of setbacks. What advice would you give to others about handling them?
Not to be defined by them, but to learn from them instead. Golf is a game that you can never completely master. That means that you may have a bad hole, a bad round, or even a bad tournament. When that happens, you must not be too hard on yourself. Try to think about what you did wrong. How you can improve on it next time? and then move on in your mind. There is nothing you can do to fix the past. Concentrate on the future.
Who has been your influencer in this journey & how?
My biggest influencers and supporters have been my parents. Whilst I have had a great support and advice from my original mentor and tennis coach Aditya Sachdeva, and my current Golf Coach Rohit Bose. It is my parents to whom I owe the most. They have encouraged me at every step of the way, have found the money for me to compete in tournaments, which happening abroad are very expensive. They have made sure that I keep up with my schoolwork as well. Most importantly though they are always there to support me, making sure that I stay humble and prepared to work hard, but also picking me up if ever I have a bad day.
Tell us something about your Coach…
Rohit Bose is widely regarded as one of the top golf coaches in India. His organisation has set up academies and learning centres across India, and also helped to set-up The Champions Junior Golf Tour (CJGT). He was featured in Forbes Magazine as a “Top Coach”. He is very knowledgeable and experienced but, what really stands out is his passion – he just loves the game of golf! A number of his students have gone on to have successful careers in the sport, both at national and international levels, and I am very lucky to have him as my mentor and coach.
Do you think Golf and its learnings can be helpful in life even if one does not want to consider it as a career?
Of course. First of all, golf teaches you that there are no short-cuts in life. If you are able to succeed, then you must work hard. How much talented you may be, you need to spend hours practicing and honing your ability. It also teaches you humility and respect. You must respect the game, your opponents, and the golf course. The moment you stop doing that is the moment that you begin to lose. Last but not the least, it teaches you responsibility. Your coach can do all his best to school you beforehand but, when you step out on that first tee, you alone are responsible for your actions and how you perform. There is nobody else to blame if you make a mistake.
What are the pre-coaching essentials e.g. Right age, mindset or any other?
There is no right age to take up golf – I often say that age is just a number. I believe that, obviously, it helps to have a natural aptitude for the game. Coaching can help you improve, but there needs to be an underlying talent in the first place. However, there are many boys, and girls, who are naturally good at a lot of things, whether if it is playing sports, dancing, or playing musical instruments. It is only those who are prepared to work hard and practice, practice, and then practice again, that will succeed. Tiger Woods got to the top, not just because he is a very good golfer, but because he spends hours every day practicing on the tee and the greens when there no spectators around to watch.
How has technology transformed the world of Golf?
Well one area has been golf clubs, which are now made of lighter but stronger components, meaning that you can hit the ball further and straighter than before. And the size of club heads is bigger, which means it is easier to hit the ball, even if you do not make perfect contact with the ball. There are also a lot of gadgets that you can now get to help with your golf game, like range finders, and golf simulators. You can now even get special GPS watches which not only tell you how far to the pin but can also suggest tweaks to your golf swing while you are in the middle of a round.
What according to you is the scope of Golf in India?
The scope is huge. I think I heard that only about 100,000 people in India play golf, so that just shows how much room the sport has to grow! Part of the problem is that golf has been regarded as an elitist sport in the past, and the lack of facilities in this country is a problem. However, I think when people see Indian golfers like Shubhankar Sharma, Anirban Lahiri, Gaganjeet Bhullar and Aditi Ashok competing for, and winning some of the biggest events in golf, people will be inspired to take up the game themselves. It will never be as big as cricket, of course, but it has the scope to be much bigger than what it is now.
If you were to bring one big change in the way people get trained in Golf, what would that be?
Would like to see in place, a simple structured holistic sports development system which is uniform and is knowledge-based training for young Golfers. I would suggest that people need to focus more on the mental side of the game than just the purely physical. We can spend hours practicing our swing and our putting, but there is very little time spent thinking about the game, and how to cope when the pressure gets tough out on the course. At the elite level, everybody is technically of a very high standard. What makes winners stand out from the field is knowing how to cope under pressure, to find the fairway with that iron, or to save at par with a vital input. I’m fortunate to be in the practical fun learning area which is knowledge based and very satisfied but would like the same for all other talented young kids.
What do you suggest for better accessibility of Golf training in remote parts of India?
Golf is not a very popular game and restricted only to few members of clubs in most parts of our country. To encourage more participation there should be easier accessibility to existing facilities for nonmembers and junior players at a nominal fee. This would encourage more people to join training programs and play the sport of golf at these facilities and one day my country can also have many World and Olympic Champions in golf.
Your piece of advice to parents who are skeptical about their children taking up a career in any co-curricular activities?
Chaitanya’s Parent- If your child has a talent then you should encourage and nurture it, wherever possible. It can help children grow and mature as a personality and broaden their education. Chaitanya, already at a young age, has had the chance to travel abroad, and to meet and compete with children of his own age from all different nationalities and cultures. That is a learning experience that he would not have had apart from Golf. Of course, it is important that his studies are not neglected. But fortunately, his grades have not suffered at all since he has started playing Golf, thanks in part to his school who have been very supportive.
Your piece of advice to the youth of our country…
Work hard, enjoy what you do, and always try to do your best. And never forget to dream
Which was “that” moment when you considered yourself as “I Am The 1”?
I am not arrogant enough to think that I have made it yet. I know that there is a long way to go to reach the top, and that I must keep working and practicing if I want to get better. Not only golf is a tough game to play both physically and mentally, but there are also a lot of other good players out there, anyone who can beat you. I must take nothing for granted.
Any other thoughts you want to share…
Don’t forget to have fun along the way! Although I take my golf and my schoolwork very seriously, there are other things I like to do, like playing guitar, acting in plays, dancing, and playing football. Sometimes you just have to relax and enjoy yourself.
(To Chaitanya's Parents) What was your thought behind encouraging your kid to take up Golf as a professional career?
There was nothing premeditated about it. Golf was something that he started playing almost by accident, but when we found out that he was naturally gifted at the sport, we wanted to do all we could to encourage him. It would have been the same if he had been good at cricket, tennis or soccer. He is still just a young boy, and nothing is certain in life. But it Is our job as parents to encourage and support him to be the best that he can.