Shubham Jaglan

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The Times of India

Milkman's son Shubham Jaglan lifts world junior golf title Avijit Ghosh,TNN | Jul 19, 2015

He belongs to Israna, a village in Haryana's Panipat district. Shubham trained at an abandoned agriculture field. He practised his bunker shots from a cement mixer filled with sand. He rehearsed chips near his angaan from a tiny grass strip with holes. That he learnt much of his golf primarily watching experts on YouTube.

When Shubham claimed the IMG Academy junior world championship for the 9-10 age category in San Diego, it wasn't just another trophy on a burgeoning shelf -- he has already won over 100 tournaments -- it was a heart-warming moment of breath-taking young talent overcoming overwhelming odds with the right support.

It appears that an NRI set up a small golfing range in his home village of Israna. He bought the kids some equipment and hired a local caddie to teach them. But after a few months, most kids seem to lose interest. The caddie too quit, but not without leaving some equipment at Shubham's home and telling his father that his son had real talent. Despite the setback, Shubham kept practising on weekdays. On weekends, he took a bus to the Karnal golf course to hone his game.

"Shubham would spend hours watching video tutorials on the computer. A lot of what he had learnt at that stage was self-taught. For someone just seven years of age, his understanding of the mechanics of golf was phenomenal," says Nonita Lall Qureshi, a top golfer, who has been coaching Shubham since he was 7.

When they met, it was evident that the family had a major decision to make: leave their home, dairy business and move to Delhi so that Shubham could play serious golf. The family needed pro-active intervention at this stage which was provided by The Golf Foundation, a charitable society formed in 2000 by golfers who wanted to give back to the game by helping a pool of talented, underprivileged golfers in India.

Former Asian Games gold medalist Amit Luthra of The Golf Foundation says that they found suitable accommodation for Shubham's family at Ashram after encouraging them to move from Israna to Delhi.

"We bought them a Hondo Brio because he had to travel with Shubham in NCR. We ensured his father and him got a US visa. And we take care of his expenses in India and abroad," says Luthra, also a recipient of Arjuna Award. Delhi Golf Club gave him free playing facilities.

After winning the world junior championship, Jaglan praised his father for working harder than him in a Facebook post. He also credited his coach Nonita for pushing his "game and mind to this level" and to Luthra sir for "giving all day the support that I needed" "Shubham has really adjusted well to the changed culture, language and all. He goes to Laxman Public School where his grades are in good. He has balanced his game, fitness, education and free time," says his coach.

Nonita also points out that Shubham has a clear concept of golf being "a target sport." "Once his drive was just five yards off target and I said, good shot. He said, maam, how can you call that a good shot. He is focused on accuracy and hugely demanding on himself." Nonita says he loves Tiger Woods although in other interviews he lists Seve Ballesteros and Gary Player among his idols. One day, lovers of Indian golf hope that Shubham Jaglan will join the elite club.

July 2015: IJGA World Stars of Junior Golf

The Times of India, Jul 25 2015

Prodigy Shubham Jaglan, the 10-year-old son of a milkman from hinterland Haryana, swung his way to the IJGA World Stars of Junior Golf crown in Las Vegas, winning by a handsome five-stroke margin. He had clinched the IMG Academy junior world title for the 9-10 age category in San Diego.

Coached since age seven by India's former top golfer Nonita Lall Qureshi, Shubham comes from Israna, a village in Panipat district. Supported by the Golf Foundation, which was formed by golfers such as Amit Luthra to help underprivileged players, Shubham now lives with his family in Ashram, south Delhi.

Before being spotted by Nonita, Shubham trained at an abandoned farmland and practised his bunker shots from a concrete mixer filled with sand. He learned most of his early golf watching pros on YouTube.

In Shubham's village, where boys aspire to become wrestlers, wielding a golf club was unheard of before the prodigy's exploits became known. who was noticed in Aamir Khan's reality TV serial last year, has been winning tournaments with amaz ing consistency .

In the same television interview, Shubham thanked his family , especially his father, his school and Delhi Golf Club for giving him all the facilities for playing.

“I am just working hard and being honest, there are no short-cuts for me,“ said Shubham, who now goes to Laxman Public School. The young golfer loves Tiger Woods although in an interview he also listed Seve Ballesteros and Gary Player among his idols.

The case of Shubham Jaglan is an excellent illustration of how much sporting talent there is in a country of India's size ­ if only spotted and nurtured. Shubham's feats prove that given the right opportunities and access to sporting facilities, such talent can reach global levels.Unfortunately, access to sporting facilities is so constrained and a culture of sports so lacking that despite a population of over a billion, the country produces hardly any world-class sportspersons.Governments need to invest and create the infrastructure so that every child can participate in sports. Corporates too can do their bit to ensure Indian sports takes its rightful place on the global stage.

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