The name Chuda B Bhandari is well known in Nepal's golfing circles. Fondly known as CB, he has consistently been Nepal's top amateur. He started golf quite late, but has worked his way up to being a scratch golfer (zero handicap) within just a few years. CB is now 26 and all set to further improve his game through intensive training abroad. His ambition is to be a successful professional in the not too distant future.
CB practices at least 6 hours a day, and can be seen at the Royal Nepal Golf Club working on his game through rain or shine. He is very passionate about the game, and in fact is so in love with it that he aims to make it his career.
"Golf is my passion. I feel very lucky to be able to say that I want to make it my profession one day. I will put in every thing I have to be a successful golfer, and now I am looking for some sponsors to support my training."
I caught up with CB while he was practicing at the RNGC and stole a few moments of his practice time.
Deepak: How long have you been playing?
CB: Without counting my initial visits to some golf driving ranges, it has been six years now.
How did you start the game?
Through my uncle who lives in Scotland. He invited me for a holiday in Bangkok in 1997. While we were wandering around, we came across a driving range and he asked me if I wanted to try to hit a golf ball. That was the first time I held a golf club in my hand. I knew of the RNGC back home, and right there and then I decided to pick up this sport. I saw an advert for a cheap golf set and bought it right away. That's how I got started.
Who supports you and what is your source of inspiration?
My uncle. He has been very supportive and wants me to be a successful golfer. He is my source of inspiration.
What kind of future do you see in golf?
Golf is gaining popularity every day. It's a very lucrative sport and the prize money in professional golf tours in the continent is very substantial. If the economy of our country improves, it would also be much better here.
What are your goals?
I don't want to sound too optimistic, but I plan to go for intensive training in the summer, play as many regional amateur tournaments as I can and establish myself as a good amateur player. Then in two years time I plan to turn professional.
What are some essential things Nepal Golf Association should do to bring up the standard of golf in the country?
Well, what we really need here is more regional amateur tournaments. The Nepal Amateur Open that started last year was a perfect example and needs continuity. More regional golf tournaments should be organised. This would get top golfers into the tournament mindset and result in better performances in international golf tournaments.
Who is your idol?
I like watching Phil Michelson and Vijay Singh play, but don't have any idol.
Deepak Acharya is a golf instructor and Head Golf Professional at Gokarna Forest Golf Resort & Spa, Kathmandu. [email protected]