Blue Skies and Poinsettias bring cheer to #HWIO2016

There is plenty of cheer going around the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram this week.

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Nov 8, 2016: The stylish DLF Golf & Country Club, venue of the Hero Women’s Indian Open, close to India’s Capital city New-Delhi had much to cheer late yesterday afternoon when blue skies appeared just before sunset. The weather report warned of continued haze, something that has taken a toll on most of the Northern States in India over the past eight days. Pleasantly though, all of us at the club had much to rejoice as the winds of change ushered in clear skies around 4pm.

It is the Hero Women’s Indian Open week, the tournament is in its tenth edition. As potted plants were brought in to decorate the tournament village, the Ponsettias added a nice touch to the festive setting that has gripped the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram.

Poinsettias is a popular Christmas plant with its flowers blossoming in deep shades of Red. The plant is known as “La flor de la Nochebuena” in Mexico, “Crown of the Andes” in South America and “Flor de Pascua” in Spain. The Poinsettia plant is also considered to be a symbol of love!

Golf for women in India is growing – just before Christmas in six weeks, Indian women’s golf will celebrate the centenary of the All Indian Ladies Amateur Golf Championship which had its first edition in 1916.

The championship was dominated by British Ladies until the early nineteen seventies. A true celebration indeed as the younger generation of Indian golfers make a global impact in the game for the fairer sex a century later!

Going down memory lane, the first edition of Women’s Indian Open in March of 2007, was under the threat of stormy weather on the Pro-am morning- an unforgettable moment was the charming lady volunteers who had come all the way from Pune (a city located in India’s Western Ghats close to Bombay) to give support to the first ever Women’s Indian Open Championship.

The ladies from Poona Golf Club were a cheery group who watched the clouds threatening to play spoilsport to the first event. In moments, they made a circle of ten holding hands. I was summoned to join them to chant away the clouds, which I did and followed their spirited chants.

Looking at the sky that had started to drizzle for a few moments- there was a sudden gust of wind that blew the clouds higher and higher! The effect of some positive chanting was so strong that – we did not have any rain the whole week!

On an Optimistic note, the stars of the week include “BAMBAM” Brittany Lincicome from the United States who stands at 5ft 10 inches and is known to be one of LPGA’s longest hitters. Brittany making her debut appearance in India will be an inspiration to India’s youngest competitor in the field Sifat Sagoo a young Indian amateur playing her debut Indian Open at age 15.

It seemed just few years ago that Dame Laura Davies appearance in India’s flagship championship in 2010, inspired young Indian players such as Sharmila Nicollet and Aditi Ashok who made global impact in bringing attention to India’s female golfing fraternity.

India’s second money ranking player on Ladies European Tour, Neha Tripathi will be seen in action at the 10th edition this week with Indian Olympian Aditi Ashok and Vani Kapoor leader of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour 2016.

With ten years of professional golf, it is encouraging to see that at least six players are scheduled to play in LET’s Q school in December this year. This change being witnessed is largely due to LET’s popularity as a multinational tour which has given impetus to women’s golf in India and the Middle East.

Our hope is to see an Indian Winner and an unforgettable Tournament.

 

By Champika Sayal, Secretary General -WGAI

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