It was an evening that came alive to the throbbing beats of Indian golf. A glittering collection of golfing royalty came together inside an elegant setting for the Take Solutions INDIA GOLF AWARDS at the Roseate in Delhi. The fourth edition of the bespoke event united the best of business and golf for a memorable evening dedicated to the development of the game in India. SSP Chawrasia was awarded the Best Pro Male award. Aditi Ashok and Vani Kapoor shared honours in the Best Pro Female category. Khalin Joshi and Gaurika Bishnoi were recognised as the emerging stars of Indian golf.
Amitabh Kant, the IAS officer at the centre of the “Make in India” campaign and CEO of Niti Ayog presided over the evening, while Sachin Pilot made an emotionally charged address about the role of sport in shaping a young and vibrant India. Former Finance Minister, P Chidambaran was his usual elegant self as he lauded the effort to celebrate golf in India.
The eminent jury, drawn from golf and business worked through a transparent evaluation process, guided by independent advisors Technopak.
Ashok Malik, India’s original golf champion and legend was among those attending the event. He hailed the idea of doing a summit and awards ceremony like this year after year to encourage and grow dialogue on the sport.
Ali Sher who received the Best Veteran award said, “It’s an honour to be recognised. We have been playing golf for years and delighted to see the recognition for the original heroes of golf”
Chawrasia scored a popular victory in the Hero Indian Open trumping the field on a memorable Sunday in Delhi last summer. The romance of SSP Chawrasia winning the Hero Indian Open and the Manila Masters helped him edge past Gaganjeet Bhullar to the award. The awards panel was locked in a lengthy deliberation before deciding in favour of Chawrasia. Gaganjeet also had a great season, scoring two Asian Tour victories in a sensational comeback from three years of physical struggle.
The Female Pro was an easier choice. Aditi was a runaway winner on the basis of her forceful rookie season on the Ladies European Tour. She won back to back titles in the Women’s Indian Open and the Qatar Open, besides earning herself a card on the LPGA. Vani Kapoor enjoyed yet another season of success on the WGAI’s Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour. She was the Order of Merit winner for a third year running.
Over the past year, Khalin Joshi and Gaurika Bishnoi have shown us their talents, clinching memorable victories on the domestic circuit. The two were rewarded for their performances, with the jury recognising them as the best emerging talent in India. To be fair, they had plenty of competition, but the duo just prevailed on the basis of their sustained performances through 2016.
The India Golf Awards are the most prestigious recognition in Indian golf and yet again a strong jury deliberated for long hours before arriving at their choice in each category. Knowledge partners Technopak ensured that the process remained transparent and objective.
The winners included some of the best performing players in the past season as well a selection of awards for corporate honchos and long-time supporters of the game.
Ravinder Zutshi, Harsh Mehta and Harinder Sikka received acknowledgement for their unstinted support to the game in India as Best Corporate Golfers. The game in India would not be sustainable but for the generous support of corporate India.
The Tollygunge Academy was picked for special praise under the Best Golf Academy category. Romit Bose was recognized as the Best Teaching Pro in the country.
Jaypee Greens was awarded the Best Golf Course in the country. Neelam Rudy was the best Celebrity Golfer for 2016. Ali Sher was acknowledged for his services to the game as the Veteran Golfer of 2016.
Aadil Bedi was picked for special mention as a golfer with promise for the future.
The awards are a brainchild of Shaili Chopra who has been at the forefront of this digital initiative www.GolfingIndian.com to narrate everything golf to a growing number of Indian golf fans. GolfingIndian.com is the primary source of everything golf in India.