When you think of the powerhouses of golf a string of countries come to mind, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and European centres like France and Germany.
There’s always a few exciting South Africans and increasingly more South Americans joining the mix as well.
Such is the nature of the game though that a top player can come from anyway, Vijay Singh from Fiji highlighting this better than anybody.
There’s one region though that’s yet to be really tapped as a producer of golfing talent though and one which if done right could open the floodgates into the future.
India has a population of 1.1 billion people but at the moment they’re a mere spec on the world golfing landscape.
They do have a professional circuit known as the Processional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) but only limited players abroad.
With the re-inclusion of golf in the Olympic Games in 2016 though the Indian sporting fraternity has picked the sport as one they’re really planning to target into the future.
Director of the PGIT Padamjit Sandhu says tangible investments will be made not only for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but also extending into the future.
“We have five years before the Olympics but we need to look beyond it as well,” Sandhu said.
He picks out players Jeev Milkha Singh and Arjun Atwal as the best positioned currently to represent the country but also said they’d be placed under pressure from the likes of Jyoti Randhawa, Gaganjeet Bhullar and Anirban Lahiri.
He stressed the need for all five players to get more regular tournament time in events outside of India including invitational’s in Japan and Singapore.
“Let the players compete. This will help Indian players gain points in world rankings, thus providing a stronger bench-strength,” he said.
“We will need players who can be consistent over four days. For that the players need more exposure in international tournaments to get used to playing under pressure.”
That is part of one of the main problems he see’s with current players, their strength and fitness not quite up to scratch either physically or mentally.
If the Olympics were to be held tomorrow India would be included in the top 60 qualifiers however they are under no illusions as to the gap they have to make up if they are to be a medal prospect.
“A medal at the Olympics is unrealistic but we can press for them 2024 onwards. The idea is to bide time and ensure that when they win, they win big,” coach Romit Bose said.