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Addiction keeps lady golfers swinging

Forty years after a separate Ladies section was formed at the Cosmopolitan Golf Club, now Tamil Nadu Golf Federation (TNGF), nearly two dozen lady golfers continue to keep the game flying high, as was evident from the annual prize distribution, held at TNGF, Nandanam.

Addiction keeps lady golfers swinging
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Malini S, Gayathri S, Mangala

Chennai

Every Wednesday, the ladies play among themselves at TNGF, and every month there are tournaments in various formats —Stableford, Bogey, mixed-doubles, where half-adozen four-balls take part. This is a far cry from the days when the course used to host the all-India regional tournaments, with scores of entries. 

“We won recognition from Indian Golf Union (IGU) in 1979, and was classified as ‘A’ grade course. We conducted the Southern tournament here until 2000. Now Bengaluru holds Regionals,” says Malini Srinivasan, the golfer who was the first zonal rep. Sponsors were plenty, and the prestigious events for the local players include the AR Srinivasan Cup, instituted by ARS, owner of Midland theatre.

Megan Utley Cup, instituted by the late Megan, whose husband was with the British Consulate, is another sterling tournament. Malini Srinivasan and Susie Kurien, two senior golfers too instituted cups. Many of the golfers travel to other regions to take part in tournaments regularly, says Jayashree Bharath, golf captain, Madras Gymkhana. 

“We have enough sponsors to host a tournament every week, but there are not many lady golfers. But I am proud to say we have a great mix — Oviya Reddy (she is still in school) and Vyjayanthimala Bali, who is 84, but walks with military carriage to tee-off,” laughs Malini. 

Jayashree Narasimhan says Wednesday matches apart, the ladies paly at least on two other days, every week. Gayathri Sridhar says she plays for the sheer joy of the sport. For Premalatha, Gayathri Keshavamurthy and Lakshmi, it is all about going out there and improving their handicap, every time. TNGF ladies captain Mangala says they are addicted to the sport and that is what draws them,” she adds.

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