Yuvraj Sandhu, a talented and emerging Professional Golfer, discovered his passion for golf during his early childhood. Backed with strong family support, the Chandigarh-based golfer became India's Number One Amateur Golfer in 2017. He made his professional debut in October 2018 during the Panasonic Open, an Asian Tour Championship conducted at the Delhi Golf Club. Systematic training and persistent hard work have helped him to create a niche for himself by registering two wins. Yuvraj is currently ranked amongst the Top 14 professionals on the PGTI Order of Merit. He wants to be one of the greatest golfers. He has been training with a vision to rub shoulders with the best of players in the 2024 Olympics and be a strong contender for the Gold Medal. Here is a quick interview with our favorite athlete:
What was the impact of COVID on your sporting life? And how did you cope with that?
Covid has adversely impacted the growth of many golfers especially young professionals like me. When I was peaking with my performance, all the planned tournaments were suspended. Thus, despite having status on the Asian and the Professional Golf Tour of India, I did not get to play an adequate number of tournaments to display my competitive skills and to prove my mettle. It also broke the momentum which a player eagerly looks forward to commencing a winning streak. Notwithstanding all this, I have used this time to recoup, introspect and reorient myself for the ensuing season starting at the end of Aug/ Sep 21.
What are the upcoming tournaments which you are targeting?
The upcoming target is to do well on the Indian Tour. I am heading to Hyderabad for the 1st tournament post a long wait. I am pretty much excited about commencing the schedule from one of my favorite golf courses. We have 10 tournaments lined up for the time being.A big event is coming up at the end of the year at Tata Nagar i.e.Tata Open, which is a Tour Championship. The International event that I am looking forward to is the European Tour Qualifying School, which will be held on January 22. I hope the travel restrictions will get reduced by then. Status on the European Tour will provide me with greater opportunities to excel and move closer to achieving my long-term goals.
How do you feel about Indian golf prospects at the Tokyo Olympics?
All the players that qualified for the Tokyo Olympics are renowned and reputed. At a personal level, I know them well. Anirban Lahiri is someone whom I admire and have met him a couple of times while playing on the golf circuit. We share a strong Army-Golfer Bond, so I am really proud of him for representing India for the 2nd time in the Olympics. With his current form, he is definitely one of the contenders.I also have a strong bond with Mane. We have been regularly playing on the Indian Tour. He was my roomie for 10 days when we had gone to play on the Asian Tour last year. He is a go-getter and is highly positive in his approach. Finally, about Aditi. I have played a lot of junior golf with her. After she moved out on the European Tour, we somehow lost contact. Anyway, we do have beautiful memories. I am really proud of each of these players and wish them the best. This time, I have a strong feeling and we can look forward to podium finishes.
When do we see you at the Olympics?
Well, you can see me at the Paris Olympics in 2024. I am fine-tuning various aspects of my game in close conjunction with, my coach, club fitter, physical trainer, physiotherapist and mental trainer. Next year I am also planning to go to the USA to play some qualifiers for the PGA Tour. This road map will prepare me to be my best version for 2024
Tell us something about your role model professional golfer.
My role model in professional golf is none other than Tiger Woods. I have always looked up to him. I practically started playing golf because of him. There are a few things which I relate on a personal level with Tiger because Tiger is an Army kid and his father was somebody who helped him become what he is. I have a similar bond with my father. He pushes me, he tells me to be the best. He gets the best out of me. And also in Tiger's life, where he wasn't the biggest or strongest, but he worked for it and he made sure that he outworked every single player on the field. I feel that I too have that quality of outworking a lot of players and to date, I have kept working on that. I will continue to keep working harder and smarter. I feel the most admirable thing about Tiger is his work ethic. The similarity in work ethics is what helps me to keep pushing myself day after day. I literally live with, “Never Ever Give Up” attitude on my Sleeve.
How do you help Grassroot-level golf players?
The grass-root level golfers for me are the juniors, amateurs, or people who have just started playing golf and are aspiring to be professional golfers at the National and International levels. At my home club, there are a lot of juniors and amateurs with whom I keep interacting on a regular basis.
We do practice together sometimes. I see there are only very few junior golfers who are actually committed and determined to become very good players. I always advise them that professional golf is not a sprint, it's a marathon. You have to be just at it and wait for the results. The results will happen in a matter of time. So, I feel if I can give a piece of advice to a child who is at the age when I started playing golf and walking through what I have done, I feel that I would tell him/her something that makes the child a little bit calmer, a little bit focused on their goal. I think that would really help me and I can say to myself that I helped somebody today.
I have also been to my school a few times. I am an Army Public School, Chandimandir Alumni. I have been speaking to the students in their primary years, and have tried to motivate them for playing competitive sports and of course their personal fitness.