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When it started drizzling on Sunday evening and most of us were sipping tea from the comforts of our home, several sport enthusiasts came together to watch the gripping finale of a sporting tournament, hosted by JW Marriott Hotel Bengaluru and organised by RN Sports Marketing.
Held on July 21, the After Hours Golf event saw the presence of eminent sports personalities like Sonam Chugh, professional female golfer; Atul Ujagar, Country Director, Nike India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and Prithvi Raj Urs, Honorary Secretary, Karnataka Golf Association (KGA), to name a few.
While the grand décor and exquisite dishes added charm to the memorable evening, the 2019 British Open finale kept everyone on the edge of their seats. From golfers to celebrities and socialites, everyone had a gala time cheering for their favourite players in the final game. Amid the main guests was the Mysuru golf star Sonam Chugh who caught our attention. We chatted with Sonam Chugh about being a female golfer and also the pay disparity in the sport.
While speaking exclusively to Boldsky.com, Chugh said, "Golf is a great sport and over the years, the number of women players has increased in this field. It's such a wonderful sport! It makes me immensely proud to see that a lot of fathers are supporting their daughters to play golf."
Adding to this, she said, "It's a growing sport and many players are taking up golf in Bengaluru as compared to those in Delhi."
In 2015, Chugh won the 22nd World Corporate Golf Challenge at the Oitavos Dunes Golf Course in Cascais, Portugal. She also represented India and won the trophy at the Toyota Karnataka Golf Festival as well as the Prestige Masters.
Sonam Chugh is the daughter of Nina Prakash and V Prakash and is the first qualified International Certified Rules official, who started playing her first tournament at the age of 12.
On being asked about the pay disparity and the challenges that women face in golf, Chugh told us, "There's not too much money in women's golf or any women's sport for that matter. So, it's a bit difficult. We are getting there slowly with a positive approach. But if we bring into account the international tournaments, the pay is higher as compared to tournaments in India."
Even though young girls and women are taking up golf, a lot has to be done to make the sport more accessible for female players. Golf is one such sport that demands superlative skills and the ability to focus or concentrate. If we go back in time, golf was known as a gentleman's sport. But, with time, women are also opting for this noble sport.
Also, today there is no dearth of women players. One such example is Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone's sister Anisha Padukone, who has created a niche for herself. She picked up this sport while visiting a local club in Bengaluru. She made it to the top-10 in national rankings and has been representing India from a very young age.
Several reports mention that in the UK, a number of golf clubs have introduced women-only golf courses and coaching sessions, and are looking for more female coaching staff.