At the age of 6, Prarthana Khanna’s parents wondered which sport she would pursue. Initial attempts at swimming and tennis proved futile. It was the opening of Hamoni’s stand-alone golf facility in 2014 that drew the youngster to golf.
“During her first ever practice session, she enjoyed getting the ball up in the air,” says father and caddy Puneet, a New Delhi based High Court lawyer who has been credited with supporting Prarthana at every step thus far.
In 2016, the Gurgaon junior made her way into competitive golf and won 3 times on the Albatross Tour. The following year, she notched up another three wins. In recognition of her efforts, and finishes atop the order of merit, Prarthana was awarded the Albatross Junior Tour Player of the Year for both 2016 and 2017.
Winning the OOM made the soft-spoken Prarthana eligible for the True Visions International Golf Tournament held at Suvarnabhumi Golf Club, Bangkok, in April 2017 where, in her age bracket, she finished fifth – the top four spots all went to Thai girls familiar with the layout.
In the last two years, she has played and won over 50 tournaments on the Junior Master Series, Little Masters Junior Golf Tour and Champions Junior Golf Tour. While not on the golf course, Prarthana enjoys air-pistol shooting, having finished runner-up in the Under-15 category of the 1st South Delhi District Rifle Association late in October 2017. She will represent her state again in 2018.
The 9-year-old from Shri Ram School currently carries a 9-handicap and represents Manesar Golf Club. Coached by Abhishek Ahlawat at the Hamoni Golf Camp, she plays a full set of Callaway Xj Junior clubs customized for size. The young golfer is also focused on her fitness, beginning her day with yoga and stretching exercises. She follows this with skipping and, post her sessions on the course, concentrates on strengthening her core.
Her ultimate aim is to turn professional and contribute to women’s golf in India.
(Read more in the March issue of Golf Digest India. Download here.)