Lockdown diaries: Aditi Ashok learning to be ambidextrous

The lone Indian on the LPGA Tour is looking forward to finally getting back on the golf course.

Aditi Ashok has been home for the longest period since she was 12.   -  Getty Images

She has been busy hitting balls on to curtains and off a roll-on mat on her terrace but the big challenge for Aditi Ashok in the last three months has been trying to master the art of being ambidextrous.

The lone Indian on the LPGA Tour at the moment has been home for the longest period in over a decade and while it has not been easy, Aditi is now looking forward to finally getting back on the golf course. She has already walked out at the BGC in Bangalore thrice since the lockdown eased but admitted it wasn’t anything like before.

“It’s nothing close to how much time I usually spend, maximum three-four hours so far, but still it’s better to feel the greens than hitting balls on the terrace. Of course there are precautions and protocols in place – checking temperatures, mask on, walking through a disinfectant passage, no touching anything including scorecards and flagsticks and no hitting balls, only play on the golf course. But social distance is easy, you are not in a crowd anyways in golf,” Aditi told Sportstar.

Outdoors and nature

“Unlike other sports that are played in stadiums or on courts, golf even in normal times is all about outdoors and nature and the greenery and so is different from the rest in that aspect. At least for me, that was the thing I liked most when I initially started playing golf. There is so much variety and so not being able to go out has been a little hard. Also with the gyms all being closed, there’s limited stuff you can do at home,” she added.

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It is the longest she has been home since she was 12 but the forced break has given her time to catch up on non-golfing stuff. “I am baking a bit, used to earlier but I have got better at whatever little I make. I have also started learning how to write with my left hand, it’s good for engaging both sides of your brain. There have been a bunch of books on my to-read list that I have got through and of course there are movies, so it’s been O.K.,” she explained.

Uncertainty

The most difficult part, as for most professional sportspersons, has been the uncertainty. “Usually when I am practising or working on fitness or golf, I know when I am going to play next, which tournament and how much time I have left going into it. Now, even though there are tournaments on schedule, nothing is actually confirmed till it happens so you don’t know why or for what you are working. That has been a little difficult to deal with,” she admitted.

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While the LPGA has tentatively confirmed resumption with the Marathon Classic from July 23-26 in Ohio, the Ladies European Tour is hoping to get back to action in August with the British and Scottish Opens. “But none of it (in Europe) is confirmed and we are not sure as yet whether the organisers will allow all of us from across the world to come into their countries. In the USA also I think they will let us know only maybe a few weeks before the event is confirmed. Then again, no one knows for sure because things are constantly changing,” Aditi said.

And while the new normal would include lack of spectators at the tournaments, Aditi, relieved after the LPGA announced golfers would retain their cards for 2021, is hopeful the restrictions would not hurt players. But it’s wait and watch for now.

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