Final Shot with Kapil Dev

The Indian cricket legend, who was in Hong Kong last month to compete at the Asia-Pacific Seniors Amateur Championship at Discovery Bay, talks to Alex Jenkins about taking up golf, his favouite course and the rise of the game in his homeland

Kapil Dev at the Asia- Pacific Seniors Amateur Championship

When did you first pick up a club?

I first started playing golf in December 1994. I remember this because I stopped playing cricket the month before. A friend of mine got me over to Delhi Golf Club. I was amazed. Golf is a game where you compete against yourself. You dream of improving every hole.

What's been your lowest round?

I played six-under at the Army Golf Club in Delhi. I play most of my golf at Delhi Golf Club. I've had four rounds of four-under there.

What's been your most memorable moment on a golf course?

Probably when I made my first hole-in-one. I didn't even know what a hole-in-was, really. It was the first year I played and it just happened. Holed out from 185 yards on the fifth at Delhi Golf Club. I've had three holes-in-one since.

Do you recall which club you used?

I was playing with Honma golf clubs but I don't remember the number. If I was so intelligent I wouldn't have left school when I did [laughs]. I was never a good student, which is why I went to play sports.

Do you have a favourite golf course?

Your favourite golf course is the one you're playing well on! But no. Delhi Golf Club is still very interesting for me, even though I play there day in and day out. It's a great course, very testing and it never seems to play the same twice.

What did you make of Discovery Bay?

I enjoyed it. I think the greens were a little too fast compared to what we - the Indian team - are used to. But it's a nice layout.

Who would accompany you in your dream fourball?

Me, myself, my wife and my God! But if you want famous people then it'd be Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa.

Can golf ever enjoy the popularity of cricket in India?

Golf has grown a lot in the past 15 years in India. You can't really compare it with cricket but golf is certainly becoming a lot more prominent these days, especially around Delhi. The courses are packed on the weekends. With the success of players like Jeev Milkha Singh, Anirban Lahiri, Gaganjeet Bhullar and Shi v Kapur golf is getting a lot more attention and a lot more people are willing to give it a go.

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