CONDE NAST TRAVELLER - I Travel for Sport First!
According to you, what are some of the best golf-courses/ resorts and why? Is there someplace that you'd really like to play golf that you haven't so far?
I'm two years into the sport and as I love to travel have had the opportunity to play many spectacular courses in India and around the world. But there truly are still so many to discover. One of the most memorable was staying on a remote but luxurious castle with spectacular views on a cliff at Wick, in Scotland and playing the courses there with their beautiful, fairways banked by the sea. I’ve also really enjoyed the courses across Dubai - like the Emirates and at the Els Club, where I get to play quite often. In Asia, Thailand also has some great golf tourism going on, and I get there often. Some of the new Indian courses like Prestige in Bangalore are developing interesting stay and play options, offering with luxury villas right off the course.
The top of my wish-list is the Augusta National Golf Club. There is something about the Augusta Masters that moves people in profound ways. It's unique among sporting events like that. I’d like to watch that live soon, and hopefully play it some day. Northern Ireland has some of the most spectacular courses and many of those resorts have made the Condenast lists and would be on mine too.
Your career has taken you to so many places. What is your favourite city and why? What kind of traveller are you?
I love Rome. From sheer grandeur and history to its devastatingly beautiful architecture, its effortless style and mouthwatering cuisine, Rome is a magical city that’s intoxicating and full of surprises.
I travel for sport first. The locations I chose in the past were those that most supported my goals as a swimmer, and now my itineraries are created by the best opportunities for Golf.
Do you have a fitness routine while travelling, on long flights?
Travelling for training and competition is the norm for most elite athletes. And I try to train everyday. While making bookings, I’ll check where the course or driving range is, the gym etc. and plan my time to include those. On a flight, especially if you’re crossing time zones, the quicker you adapt the easier it is to race. From small things like, immediately changing your watch to the time zone you’re headed, minimizing caffeine and increasing fluids to stay hydrated to making time for simple stretches or short walk it all helps.
You're so young and have already achieved so much. Is there still something you really want to accomplish that you haven't? How has travel influenced you
I began swimming when I was 7 and in my very first race, came second last. Being desperately competitive, I vowed to win at the sport, and grew to be one of India’s best ever, with many national records and wins to my name. Two years into Golf, I feel like that same 7 year old, once more, just beginning on a new dream, with much to look forward to. Travel teaches me to delight in discovery and enjoy the journey for the story it holds will be far richer than what I can script now and I want to see how it unfolds so I can tell it well. And with a world of pretty golf courses, this is certainly a trip I’m looking forward to.