What does one mean when they use the term ‘Bucket List’? Over an extended period, people have been associating the word with fancy and adventure activities that someone would end up doing at some point in time, but there is no clock ticking there. On the contrary, we believe that a bucket list is a long list of things that people wish to achieve in their lifetime, which is why every accomplishment, small or big, falls under a Bucket list. Taking from that perspective, we are featuring India’s one of the most coveted Golfers, Ali Sher.
Team Woovly got a chance to interview the Golfer and trace his journey. Before we begin, let’s give you a quick summary of Ali Sher and his position as one of the top echelons of Indian Golf. In the year 1991, Sher brought Indian Open victory to Indian Golf and became the first Indian professional ever, to win the much-coveted Indian Open title. First time in 162 years, India was taking the title home, thanks to Sher. His performance worked as an inspiration for several budding golfers in India. Sher broke the foreign stronghold in Indian Golf by putting up vigorous efforts.
So, how did Sher became a force to reckon with for Indian Golf? Let’s trace his journey through this interview. We can’t thank Sher enough for walking down the memory lane with us and ruminating about his early playing days when Golf clubs used to be made out of wood not metal.
What’s Your Take on the Evolution of Golf in India?
“I remember it was PG Sethi who was the first amateur to win the title in 1965. There was a big gap after that before I won it in 1991. At that time, Golf was not so prevalent. It was deemed a boring game for the cronies. But gradually, with awareness spread, and now youngsters are playing well, and Indians have started owning the grounds.” Sher said.
To recall, Ali Sher was among the first caddie-turned-golfer in India. Sher became the inspiration to many caddies. There have been more after him like SSP Chowrasia, C. Muniyappa, Harendra Gupta and others.
How Did it Feel After Becoming a Pro Golfer and a Recognisable Face in the Sports Fraternity of India, Specifically Golfers Community?
“For me, it helped me economically the most. People started giving respect to my family and me. We were also given memberships to some coveted Golf clubs all across the country. A lot had changed since 1991 when I started playing; earlier we used to get total price money of 1 lacs with the winner taking only 16K as the winning amount. Now, the winner takes home way more than that.”
Recounting his struggles during his playing days, “There were no clubs at that time, and we used to make clubs and drivers from wood. Now, we have metal drivers and even the balls are of good quality.” Adding further, Sher said, “My first win was perceived a fluke by many but my second win made all them take me seriously. I was still travelling on buses, but people started recognising. That felt good.”
How Did Someone Like Ali Sher Found his Ground in a Sport Like Golf and Not a Sport Like Cricket?
“It all started with my father. He used to visit these Golf clubs, and I used to bring food for him. Gradually, I started taking an interest in the game. My first win in 1992 made me believe better in the game, and then I decided to make it my only passion. I want to mention my mentor, Ravi Talwar, who made me a Golfer. He owned Elite Motors showroom in Connaught Place.”
Sharing his thoughts on Cricket, Sher said, “Coming to Cricket, I like watching the game. I feel Cricket, as a sport, in India has got better exposure from the media and in turn from the audience. It would have been better for sports like Golf if it received similar support from the Indian sports media.”
What Are Your Favourite Cuisines? Do You Have Any Food Bucket List?
Sher chuckles to our question and says, “I have tried all the cuisines in the world! Not left with any choice now.” Adding further to his answer, he says,” I’m not finicky about food. I eat whatever I get and am thankful for that.”
What’s Your Take on the Movie, Freaky Ali?
Acknowledging our question, Sher says, “I have not watched the movie yet. I have heard from my friends that it is loosely based on me.” So, can we say that the movie is on your watch list? “We can put it that way!” he says. Well, we watched Freaky Ali and we think that although the movie covered one aspect of Ali’s life, the rest of it completely different from his life.
Well, that was Ali Sher. An inspiration to budding golfers and a gem of a personality. Sher’s dedication and loyalty towards his game prove that accomplishing your dream could be the best bucket list achievement of your lifetime. With this, we hope that India produces more golfers like Ali, who bring more victories home.
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