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A pioneer in Women’s golf: Simi Mehra

 

Recently tying first with Tavleen Batra at Hero Women’s professional tour, 2014 in Pahalgam; at the age of 42, Simi Mehra is one of the leading golfers in the country and a pioneer of the sport in India.

Born in Kolkata, Mehra was interested in golf since she was in school. When she grew up, she became the first Indian to play professional golf. As an amateur, she won the1993 Malaysian National Championship and the 1994 Indian National Match Play Championship along with Indian National Stroke Play Championship, the same year. Her career has been going uphill ever since.

 

In 1997, she left India to pursue golf professionally. The same year, Mehra became the first Indian to enter the LPGA tour, which she played from 1997-1999. In an interview with the Telegraph, she revealed “You cannot even imagine the hardships I faced in the early days …I never asked my parents for money. I slept in cars, driving from town to town in the US playing tournaments,” said the veteran player, whose passion for the sport drove her to move to the States. She added, “I’ve eaten $0.99 meals because I didn’t have money to buy a proper meal …But I’m resourceful and resilient and definitely not a quitter!”

 

One of the longest hitters in Indian golf, Mehra’s hitting could even put some of her male counterparts to shame. However, after continuously playing professional golf from 1994, she suffered a series of injuries that forced her to quit playing for some time. From 2003 to 2007, she incurred severe injuries to her ankle, wrist and then underwent a surgery for a tennis elbow.

 

[Picture Courtesy: Ladies Europe Tour]

 

She is not just an unapproachable role model for women who wish to make a career in golf; she makes sure to guide and coach players whenever she can. Last year, Mehra was nominated as the President of the Ladies Asia Golf Tour. Having faced troubles as an amateur, Mehra tries her best to encourage other young players to pursue their passion. In an interview with Outlook India she said, “It’s not an easy sport and travelling internationally is not easy. It’s tough financially—that’s the biggest deterrent for the Indian girls.”

 

Simi Mehra has not just opened doors for Indian girls to explore the idea of pursuing golf as a career option, but she has also put Indian golfers on the map. We hope she continues to do well and gets India its first international win in golf.