Anitya Chand of the DLF Golf Academy won the Best Teaching Pro Award at the Take Solutions India Golf Awards 2016. A spectacular and bespoke ceremony rewarded and recognised some of the best golf talent in the country. With several strong pros under his guidance such as Vani Kapoor and Neha Tripathi, Anitya is among the most sought after teaching pros in India. He is also deeply involved with the performance centre and academy at DLF. Here is Anitya in conversation with senior editor Anand Datla
Anand: Many congratulations Anitya on being awarded as the best teacher at the India Golf Awards. Express your reaction at the selection and your feelings on being the recipient of this prestigious award?
Anitya: Thank you. It feels great to be recognized by a platform as significant as the India Golf Awards and in front of the entire Golfing Community of the country. My sincere gratitude to Golfing Indian and the jury of the awards for having considered me. As an instructor, you always work with the sole aim of improving the student golfer in front of you and an award like this motivates you to work harder and strive to do your job better and better. It definitely makes makes me feel very special
Can you discuss your evolution as a teacher? What went into developing you as a golfing guru?
I can from a playing background and joined the DLF Golf & Country Club as Head Professional in 2004. Even as a player, I was analytical and keen to know what makes the golf ball do what it does. As an instructor, I soon realized that my knowledge about the golf swing had to increase vastly and so did my communication skills. This would not only ensure that my diagnosis of the student’s problem would be correct but would also make him / her understand their game better. Thereafter, it was a continuous learning and up gradation process with trainings at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Singapore and Orlando, the PGA of America and PGA’s of Europe Teaching Summits, Certifications in TPI, bio – mechanics, SAM Putt Lab, club fitting etc.
Anitya Chand on winning Best Teaching Pro at India Golf Awards
As you teach a lot and go through various trainings and seminars, it all keeps adding into your evolution as a teacher and helps you to answer the basic question “What can I do to make my student a better golfer?” and that is a continuous process.
Tell us about your students at this time and the kind of work that you do to train them into ace golfers?
I work with a variety of players as well as handle a large junior program at the DLF Golf Academy. Manu Gandas, Vani Kapoor, Neha Tripathi, Veer Ahlawat, Gaurika Bishnoi and Kartik Sharma are a few of the names of the better players in our program.
I work at first improving a student’s physical ability and then give them the confidence to take that improved ability and perform on the golf course under various situations. To improve the abilities of my students, I use a lot of technology like video analysis, TrackMan, K VEST bio – mechanics and the SAM Putt Lab on a regular basis. This gives them instant feedback and the improvement can be seen and measured over a period of time. Every student is also put under a physical fitness and speed development program so that they can keep up with the best in the game.
What are the key ingredients needed to make a successful golfer today?
Without a doubt, the biggest has to be the drive and the fire in the belly. You see the spark very clearly in the players who make it and they have that extra bit that carries them through, even when things are not going well.
“I work at first improving a student’s physical ability and then give them the confidence to take that improved ability and perform on the golf course under various situations.”
Also, with the game being dominated by power and long drives, being a strong and fast athlete is a must to be successful today. A strong foundation of good fundamentals is also a key ingredient
What are your thoughts on the state of golf in India now, among juniors, amateurs and professionals?
Golf is a sport where the interest is increasing very fast in India. The vast middle class population of the country wants to try the sport. Although there are various facilities coming up across the country, the demand far outweighs the supply. There is huge spurt in junior golf as well with the kids having many opportunities to play in tournaments, both at the zonal and the national level. The Indian Golf Union does a great job by providing a tournament circuit to the juniors as well as the amateurs / ladies and giving a platform to hone their skills and join the professional ranks later.
Golf is a sport where the interest is increasing very fast in India
PGTI and WGAI, the professionals bodies run approximately 25 and 16 events a year on the men’s and the ladies’ tours respectively and are working hard to increase the prize money available to the professionals. India, today has all the stepping stones for budding golfers to go from junior golf to amateur golf to professional golf and make his / her mark professionally on a world scale. Having said that, the future seems to be only getting better in all aspects.
What are your aspirations as a coach?
I remember that when I was playing competitively, there were no academies or coaches and we pretty much had to figure things out on our own or wait for a foreign coach to come into India and guide us. Today, together with my partner Karan Bindra, we have made a state of the art Performance Center at the DLF Golf Academy that matches with the best in the world. It is our goal to create a facility and a program in India where golfers of all ages and abilities can come and improve their games using the technology and expertise. We want to create an environment where we maximize the talent and ability of an individual and help them achieve their potential.
On a personal front, I would like to keep improving my knowledge and ability as an instructor. This will enable me in helping my student improve faster and ultimately produce better players for our country.