Bengaluru Girl Ankita Kedlaya Feels US College Golf Is Worth The ExperienceE very month Golf Digest India in partnership with the International Junior Golf Association (IJGA) and Albatross Junior Golf Tour India brings you tips and advice perfected over decades to help groom the future champions of golf. In February we spoke to Nikita Arjun who gave her insights on her college golf experience. This issue we bring you a conversation with Ankita Kedlaya who also attended the IJGA Golf Academy in South Carolina at 16 and has gone onto pursue college golf. We will keep bringing you more insights from other Indian students in subsequent issues.
| Ankita Kedlaya
Hometown: Bangalore, India
Height: 5’ 6”
University: East Tennessee State University (Freshman year)
Scoring Average: 75
Lowest tournament score: 70
Major field of Study: Sports Management
What made you want to go to the US for golf training?
The availability of resources to help me
further, develop my game.
How did attending the IJGA Academy in
South Carolina help you?
The whole atmosphere of the academy
prepared me well for college golf and also
helped fine-tune my game.
The biggest difference between junior golf in
India and the US?
There are copious amounts of tournaments
all over the United States and the competition
you face is not a limited number. The
number of resources to help take this game
to the next level is in abundance.
How has the transition from high school in the US to college been?
Going into college golf was a smooth transition from junior golf to me. IJGA basically prepares you for college life beforehand. They teach you how to be independent and accountable which are two key aspects when
it comes to “college life.”
The biggest difference between competing in junior tournaments versus college level?
In junior tournaments, you are just playing for yourself. When it comes to college golf, you are also playing for the team and college. Along with focusing on your own goals and accomplishments, you learn to focus on the team’s goals and expectations.
What advice would you give Indian juniors interested in earning a college golf scholarship to the US?
I would say that it is definitely worth the experience. You learn so many new and exciting things whether it’s in golf or in life. It’s fun to be part of a college team because you feel as if you are part of one big family. What do you love most about college golf? I love being part of a team. The coach and teammates literally become your second family since you spend most of your time around them. While you get to play the sport that you love, you also get to major in whatever you desire which for me, is a ‘win-win’ situation.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I would have around 2 – 3 classes in the morning. Practice starts around 1:15 pm and ends around 5:30 pm. We also have scheduled fitness 3 times a week from 5:00 to 6:20 pm.
Biggest challenge this semester?
The biggest struggle for me, just like most others was time management. Being a student athlete, it’s harder since you miss many classes due to tournaments but once you manage your time efficiently, you shouldn’t
have a problem.
What advice do you have for junior golfers
in practice rounds?
We focus a lot on course management and strategic play. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your shots.
Can you tell us what traveling to tournaments
are like in college?
You tend to really bond with your teammates during that time. Being part of a team while traveling makes you feel more special than usual.
Were academics challenging as you
moved from High School to College?
It wasn’t particularly tough. The first year during college, they make everyone take general subjects so it’s not tough to grasp. In fact, in college they offer more tutoring services and there are many advisors and helpers to aid you if you are struggling in anyway.
How do you spend your weekends?
I normally use my weekend to play more golf since all the resources are available seven days a week. Evenings are spent in catching up with academics and of course friends.