In 2013, the 13-year-old Aadil Bedi topped the IGU junior merit list of Northern India. Chandigarh lad who began his golfing career at the age of four, shares his experiences of growing with the equipment, which is integral to being a good golfer.
[Q] What was your first equipment? Your dad said you first played with only a pitching wedge and putter? Is that true? How was that experience? [/Q]
[A] At the age of four, my father first introduced me to the game of golf. I use to accompany my father at Panchkula golf club, where my fathers use to play golf with his foursome. I could walk only nine holes. Slowly my father bought me three clubs and seven iron pitching wedge and putter of US KIDS, cut to my height. I played nine holes initially. My tee was only 50 yards from the greens. I use to hit 40 yard off the tee then rest was putting chipping. My par was initially five strokes slowly it was brought back to three. When I turned five, my tee positions went back to 100 yards. It was real fun. [/A]
[Q] Share with us the clubs you used in the following. [/Q]
[A] At different stages, I used different equipment:
a) When you began to learn golf.
From age 4 to 6: As I have said earlier, I used three clubs of US KIDS fitted to my height by Ms. Pauline Singh, the club fitter at CGA Range Chandigarh. I used it for 3 years. I was so passionate to hit golf balls, that it lost all the grooves from clubface. I extended its height, as I grew older. After extension, I still used my first putter until I was 10 year old. I simply loved my D shaped US KIDS putter.
b) Your first set.
From age 7 to 9: I got my first set at the age of 7, it was PING MOXI. It was having driver, wood-7,9, P,S and my old Putter.
c) Your second set.
From age 10 to 11: I visited USA to play Callaway world cup in the year 2010. I was nine. There I bought US KIDS tour series (RED Series). It was having 14 clubs. I was very particular about my putter height. My father use to get me the clubs, which suit my height, so that I need not adjust my swing to clubs. Third set I used from same company, with golden stripe, it was 6% lighter clubs than adults were.
d) What set do you play with now?
My coach and my father always kept an eye on my swing speed. We did not have monitor at Chandigarh. So, I came to Ambience mall at Gurgaon to play virtual golf at the mall. There they have launch monitor. I use to note RPM, launch angle and swing speed of driver and irons. When I got back to my coach he suggested me type of shaft and length of clubs. I gathered it from various places and got it fitted from Pauling Aunty. Now I am fit for adult clubs as:
Driver: PING ANSER regular shaft length 45″
Woods: PING G20
IRONS: TITLIEST AP-2 SERIES
WEDGES: TITLIEST SM-4
PUTTER: SCOTTY CAMERON D SHAPE [/A]
[Q] Which is your favorite golf club in the bag and why? [/Q]
[A]Until the age of ten, my favourite golf club was sand wedge. I use to practice short chip so much that groove use to finish. I use to buy two sand wedges in one set to practice more with the wedges. When, I participated in European championship at Scotland at the age of 11. I finished 9th. I realized that top 8 players were not better than me in ball striking. Then I fell in love with putter. Now I spend more time on putting greens and I am very particular in up keeping of my putter. Suddenly I started shooting under pars at the age of 12 with the help of putter.[/A]
[Q] How important is selecting equipment? [/Q]
[A]Your clubs are your main weapons. It is the most important parameter to be a good player. You should not adjust your game as per clubs; your clubs should suit your game. Good coach always helps to select your equipment. If parents are willing to spend money on equipment, then it is always an advantage over other juniors. Because I started very early as I grew up, I altered my equipment as per my height. It was difficult but my parents did it for me.[/A]
[Q] What kind of equipment upgrade did you go in for as a junior? [/Q]
[A] As I grew in height, my swing speed changed and my hand sizes changed too. I selected my clubs as per my height and swing speed. For selecting driver, shaft weight and length are important but flex is most important. For putter it is purely personal. For irons, it is only length of clubs that matters. [/A]
[Q] What is your advice for young boys who are joining now? [/Q]
[A]If one is starting around the age of 3-5, I can only advise that, spend more time on putting and chipping rather spending time on hitting the golf balls. Parents can guide the kids to adjust the tee off points. My father always taught golf in competitive way. There was an incentive in shape of coke or chips, if I finish on winning side. Now my pocket money comes from my betting with father, however, the competition grew tougher with my age. But, I’ve always enjoyed learning the game. Friendly environment and support from parents is very important on the golf course and off the course. As the juniors are 6-7 year older, they must start participating in the golf tournaments to make the learning process more interesting. [/A]