Saturday, February 2, 2013

On a different pitch, but the master still in control

On a different pitch, but the master still in control
Taking stance at the Kensville Golf and Country Club made it obvious that it was a different pitch, but the ability to strike the sweet spot (of the driver in this case), showed that a change of turf had had little impact on Sachin Tendulkar's ability.

The grip and follow through did not adhere to the manual, but striking off a high tee he touched the 200-yard mark. Watching the ball soar may have thrilled but the inability to middle it rankled.
In came a suggestion to push the tee deeper, the alteration added to his striking prowess with the ball going past 250 yards, and “the sound of the ball connecting with the (middle) of the club” continued to ring several hour later.
“It was fantastic,” he gushed. He was speaking in a new capacity, and though for a while, the transformation was complete.
Gone was the dark-blue tee and replacing it was a similar-hued outfit with the club logo.
That wasn't all; the rest of the gear was spanking new too. Clearly, Tendulkar had blended into his day-old role of a golf ambassador.
Much before his arrival on Friday, the diktat of “no cricket questions” had resonated several times through the portals.
“It is in respect of the 120 golfers assembled here (for the Gujarat Kensville Challenge),” was the organisers' argument.
Cricket was a no-no, but a query did have Tendulkar drawing a parallel between cricket and the sport he is open to embracing.
The talk was on mental toughness, and he remarked, “There are sessions when a bowler gets the better of you but to hang in there and see off that phase requires planning and mental strength. Similarly, playing out 18 holes requires vision.”
Deadline was approaching, but Tendulkar ensured he fulfilled his commitments with the golfers (a putting contest for charity) and fans before leaving.
He had come "home" and on the way back, the numerous billboards screaming, “Welcome home, Sachin Tendulkar,” would have brought on a smile.

Tendulkar's tryst with Golf: Master blaster shows he can swing a golf club as expertly as a bat

Tendulkar's tryst with Golf: Master blaster shows he can swing a golf club as expertly as a bat

Master batsman Sachin Tendulkar is known to be keen on racquet sports, but if one watches him swing a golf club, one will be convinced that he could be good at any sport.
Tendulkar was at the Kensville Golf and Country Club in Ahmedabad on Friday and tried his hand at golf as he hit nearly 25 balls. He wielded the club like a cricket bat, and his swing was as natural as that of a professional.
The large galleries surrounding the cricketing ace were amazed to see that each of his shots was crossing the 200-yard mark, which is some achievement even for a weekend golfer.
Sachin Tendulkar"I like to hit the ball, whether it's cricket or golf," joked Sachin at a media interaction. "I have played golf only a few times, once with teammates when we were on a tour to South Africa. But I want to play golf more in times to come," said the maestro, who was on a visit to his villa at Kensville.
Former Test cricketer Rahul Sanghvi also tried his hand at golf.
There is an adage that golf is addictive. Tendulkar said: "Some of my friends play golf. They say the more we play golf, the more our appetite for it grows. Probably it can happen to me also once I start playing more golf."
At present, it seems that associating with golf has become a style statement for cricketers with Kapil Dev owning the Chandigarh team at the Rs.1.25 crore Louis Philippe Cup and Harbhajan Singh co-owning Uttarakhand Lions at the inaugural Golf Premier League next month.
Asked if he has a similar plan, he said, "As of now I haven't decided but probably in future I may think over it. Cricket and golf are associated with a bat or ball so golf seems to be an obvious choice for cricketers these days."
Tendulkar was full of praise for the layout.
"I have been to many golf courses and even had an occasional attempt at the driving range, but visiting a golf course, while a tournament is in progress was a new experience.
"I really enjoyed it and the golf course is a lovely one. I have seen other courses, but I really liked this one," said Tendulkar. He said that what separates golf from other sports is its peaceful nature.
"I have played cricket throughout my life and there is a lot of cheering in the stadium even before I take strike. But in golf, you can feel silence even after making a shot, and it helps you think more clearly," said Tendulkar.
Coincidently, his son Arjun is also in the city at the Motera cricket stadium, where the u-14 Mumbai XI is playing Gujarat in the West Zone League. However, Tendulkar didn't visit his son.
"I don't want to intervene in his career. I want to leave him alone to enjoy life and cricket," he said.

Sachin Tendulkar takes Kensville by storm; enjoys putting and driving

Sachin Tendulkar takes Kensville by storm; enjoys putting and driving

The Golfing community got a taste of super celebrity as Sachin Tendulkar paid a visit to the Kensville Golf and Country Club on Friday. Tendulkar, who has a Villa at the Kensville Golf and Country Club, took time out to go around the golf course and also interact with the players.
The Golfing community got a taste of super celebrity as Sachin Tendulkar paid a visit to the Kensville Golf and Country Club on Friday. Tendulkar, who has a Villa at the Kensville Golf and Country Club, took time out to go around the golf course and also interact with the players.

The players, fans, officials and members of Kensville virtually swarmed the legendary cricketer, who seemed to enjoy himself in the midst of sportsmen and fans.

Tendulkar tried his hand at driving and then putting, too, alongside many of the internationals, like Shiv Kapur, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Rich Beem, Rahil Gangjee and Rhys Davies, who are participating here this week.

"I have been to many golf courses and even had an occasional attempt at the driving range, but visiting a golf course, while a tournament is in progress was a new experience. I really enjoyed and the golf course is a lovely one. I have seen other courses, but I really liked this one," said Tendulkar.

When asked if he would take up golf seriously sometime, Tendulkar said, "I enjoy racket sports and have not been able to play golf. My focus has been cricket, maybe golf will come sometime in the future."

Asked what was special about the course, he laughed added, "I liked the bunkers. They look great but don’t get into them. The greens is where you should play. They are great."

Tendulkar hit about 25-30 balls on the driving range and not once did he mis-hit or shank. "I enjoyed the sound of some of the shots," he said of the ones, which hit the sweet spot. His former Mumbai colleague, Rahul Sanghvi, a former India spinner, also had a few shots.

A good number of drives sailed past the 200 and 250 yards when he teed up a bit high. But after adjusting the height of the tee, his shots went past 250 and some even touched 300 yards.

Tendulkar later took part in the putting challenge with his teammates being Shiv Kapur and Gaganjeet Bhullar. They were up against a team, which included Rich Beem, Rahil Gangjee and Rhys Davies. Kensville Golf Living presented a cheque of Rs. one lakh to Tendulkar’s Charitable Trust.

Sachin Tendulkar plays golf in Ahmedabad

Sachin Tendulkar plays golf in AhmedabadSachin Tendulkar plays golf in Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad, Feb 1: It was one of the rare sights on Friday at Kensville Golf and Country Club in Ahmedabad. Sachin Tendulkar was not wielding his favourite cricket bat but a golf club. Master Blaster Tendulkar, who is Gujarat Kensville Challenge golf tournament's brand ambassador, attended the event on Friday and tried his hand at golf. Sachin Tendulkar playing golf in Ahmedabad on Friday The European Challenger Tour tournament started on Thursday in Ahmedabad. The event is hosted by India golfer Jeev Milkha Singh. Jeev said Tendulkar's presence will give a boost to the event and also hoped that the senior cricketer will take up golf after retiring from Tests. "It is good to have Sachin (Tendulkar) in the event. He is a brand ambassador besides me and Amitabh Bachchan and I hope he likes the sport and starts playing golf and join the likes of Kapil Dev, Madan Lal and Ajay Jadeja. He is a winner and I am sure he will do well," Jeev was quoted as saying before the start of the tournament. Tendulkar, who retired from One Day Internationals in December, 2012, was recently involved with the Mumbai team and won the Ranji Trophy at Wankhede Stadium. Mumbai defeated Saurashtra in the final for their record 40th Ranji Trophy title. The 39-year-old Tendulkar will now play in the Irani Cup for Mumbai against Rest of India from February 6 in Mumbai. After this, he will be playing the four-Test series against Australia starting from February 22 in Chennai.