Hindustan Times (Lucknow)

Gangjee’s ‘strongest club’ to his rescue

- Kaushik Chatterji ■ kaushik.chatterji@hindustant­imes.com

The one-wood has got the biggest head of them all. Manufactur­ed from materials that have their origins in the aerospace industry — titanium alloys, for instance — it’s the most technologi­cally advanced piece of equipment in golf, the lightest and most expensive club in a bag. But if you are playing at the Delhi Golf Club, chances are the driver is not in your bag at all. The narrow fairways of the Lodhi course aren’t conducive to driver use. Sure, it adds meat off the tee, but distance isn’t everything — without sufficient accuracy, there’s the danger of ending up in the tangled mass of prickly bushes. And, of course, myriad fauna. Even on the long par-fives, one usually sticks to the safety of the higher-numbered woods.

That Rahil Gangjee can say with some conviction that he is “going to take the driver out” says a lot about his state of mind. Sure, he knows what the driver is “going to do”, where it’s going to take the ball. But it also shows that he is focusing on the positives. After Round Two of the Panasonic Open, it would have been easy to dwell on the two blemishes on his card.

Gangjee, though, took the bogeys in his stride. Also the duffed chip onto the 18th green, after his approach shot found the greenside grass bunker, landing in a bit of “loose mud”. Instead, he talked about his “strongest club” coming to his rescue on at least two occasions during the day, including the final hole, where his distance off the tee all but ensured the halfway lead. And, of course, America.

While unwilling to invest “a lot of resources and patience” in trying to access the PGA Tour, Gangjee remains grateful for the experience­s on the second tier, experience­s that have “elevated my game to another level”.

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