New Delhi: 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 at the Take Solutions INDIA GOLF AWARDS at the JW Marriott Aerocity in New Delhi for the third edition of the bespoke event.
Amitabh Kant, the IAS officer at the centre of the 'Make in India' campaign and CEO of Niti Ayog, presided over the evening, while eminent golfer Daniel Chopra made an emotionally charged address about the state of golf in India. S Chikkarangappa was awarded the Best Pro Male award, while Aditi Ashok and Vani Kapoor shared the Best Pro Female award.
Anirban Lahiri was anointed a global golf ambassador given his status as the most-recognised Indian golfer of the present era. His success over the last year and his presence on the PGA TOUR have helped place India on the global map of golf.
“Lot of people are asking me questions about India and golf in India. For me to be able to represent my country is really special and I hope to be able to carry that flag really high,” Lahiri said on receiving the recognition.
The work done by Anirban's coach Vijay Divecha and his academy at the Eagleton golf course was picked for special praise under the Best Golf Academy category. "It is indeed an honour for Eagleton to win the best golf academy award. The golf academy has produced the likes of Anirban and Chikka and more are waiting in the wings," said Chetan Meda, director, Eagleton Golf Resort.
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.
Arun Muruggappan and Pawan Munjal received acknowledgement for their unstinted support to the game in India as the Best Corporate Golfers. The game in India would not be sustainable but for the generous support of corporate India.
In recognising Khalin Joshi, Shubhankar Sharma and Gursimar Badwal, the Indian Golf Awards underlined their growing prominence as talents to watch out for in the years to come. Anitya Chand and Bamby Randhawa were recognised as the Best Teaching Pros in the country.
Kensville was awarded the Best Golf Course in the country. Gautam Thapar of Avantha was praised for his support for the game and his efforts with PGTI and received the award for the best corporate contribution to golf.
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.
The GolfingIndian.com is the primary source of everything golf in India. “There is a need to give back to the game. These awards set new global benchmarks with every passing edition. The very best in the game get the recognition they deserve. It’s really unique because it’s here that golfing corporate honchos, celebrities, bureaucrats, national leaders all are rewarded for their game on the same stage as golf's professional maestros from India and the world in a bespoke and stylish ceremony.”
The TAKE Solutions has been the main supporter of the awards since inception and continue their relationship as they play their hand in strengthening golf in India through their unflinching commitment to the game. The vice-chairman HR Srinivasan, who is a prolific golfer himself says, “We are proud to be associated with India’s foremost award ceremony recognising excellence in golf. It is exciting to witness all of golf’s brightest stars as well as corporate supporters of the sport on a single platform. The TAKE Solutions India Golf Awards is truly an emphatic step towards placing Indian golf on the global map.”
List of Award Winners
Best Pro Player (Male) - S Chikkarangappa
Best Pro Player (Female) - Aditi Ashok & Vani Kapoor
Best Rising Player (Male) - Khalin Joshi & Shubhankar Sharma
Best Rising Player (Female) - Gursimar Badwal
Best Teaching Pro - Anitya Chand & Bamby Randhawa
Best Golfing CEO - Arun M & Pawan Munjal
Best Golfing Celebrity - Latika K & General JJ Singh
Best Golf Academy - Eagleton Golf Resorts
Best Golf Course - Kensville Golf Club
Veteran's Award - Bunny Lakshman Singh
Global Golf Ambassador Award - Anirban Lahiri
Dr Bharatram Life Time Achievement Award - Ali Sher
Achievement for Corporate Contribution to the Sport - Gautam Thapar