02 February 2020: Sneha Singh is a precociously talented teenager from Hyderabad, making big impressions with her stoic game. The young lady had honed her skills in Hyderabad under the watchful eyes of her father. Only, he is not just a parent, he also doubles as her coach. Sanjay Singh is a former professional and a class A teaching professional. No wonder that her little brother Saatvic is also a promising junior golfer.
Since winning her first big event in August last year, Sneha has made rapid strides. She has made her debut in the Hero Women’s Indian Open before going on to capture the All India Ladies Amateur title.
“Improvement in scoring and staying focussed through the round, till it is over,” she explains when asked about the biggest improvement in 2019.
Being in a supportive school helps and Sneha receives plenty of it from DPS in Hyderabad. “I attend school regularly, but the only regret is that I miss some exams due to my tournament schedule. The school supports all sports players and provides encouragement. We also have a lot of junior golfers in my school.”
An early start
Sneha started swinging golf clubs as a toddler, influenced by her father. “I started the game as a 3-year-old at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club in Calcutta where my Father used to play as a professional,” she says.
But then the family moved to Hyderabad ten years ago and have since called the Hyderabad Golf Club their home. “We moved to Hyderabad in 2010 and my success in the IGU South Zone Junior circuit motivated me to continue the Game,” said Sneha.
She was the only amateur to win a title on the WGAI Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour in 2019, joining a select band of young women who accomplished the feat in the past. While Ridhima Dilawari and Pranavi Urs won in 2018, Diksha Dagar won as an amateur in 2017.
Gurbani Singh, Aditi Ashok, Tvesa Malik, Raksha Phadke and Meher Atwal have also won as amateurs in previous years.
Strong structure of support
The role of her parents has been vital in the developing story of Sneha. “The sacrifices, support and dedication of all parents is priceless and it is the same with me,” acknowledges the 15-year-old. “I am taught golf by my father who is a Class A Coach. My mother takes me to tournaments and even my brother Saatvic, who is 8, also joins us sometimes.”
On a familiar course in Hyderabad, Sneha started the final round five strokes back from the seasoned Vani Kapoor. But the unfazed teenager went on to play some nerveless final round golf to secure her first big win.
“In WGAI Hyderabad, I was trailing by five after the penultimate round. But a long birdie on the second hole gave me enormous confidence. I got the feeling that I was able to see the pin positions well,” recollected Sneha. “I just took off from there, making birdies at the 5th, 7th, 8th & 9th to chase down the lead.”
But she relishes her success in the All India Amateurs a little more than that resounding win in Hyderabad. “The WGAI victory was a turning point and helped me believe in my abilities,” says Sneha. “But I enjoyed the 103rd IGU All India Ladies Amateur victory more as it is a prestigious amateur title and a dream come true.”
On her goals for the future, representing the country is next on her list. “I want to represent India, and playing for the Indian flag is my goal,” asserts Sneha.