The Jamsaheb of Nawanagar (present-day Jamnagar) went down in history as India’s all-time-great cricketer, popularly commemorated today through the domestic first-class cricket championship named after him as the Ranjhi Trophy. His numerous offshoots, such as Duleep Sinhji and Ranvir Jadeja carried Indian cricketing to newer heights to the extent that renders Indian cricket incomplete without its Jadejas of Nawnagar. Anyone hailing from such an illustrious lineage of sportspersons is sure to carry the Jadeja fervour in their DNA.
One such daughter of this Saurashtrian clan lives up to her iconic familial legacy with one tiny difference. Instead of the leather-covered cork ball that conveyed their sporting prowess, Nitika Kumari Jadeja deftly dots golf courses around the world with a white birdie. The young veteran first turned to the club in 2001 at a nascent age of 14. Within four years, she had won the Junior Amateur Trophy and stood 5th in the All-India Ladies’ Amateur tournament. Nitika continued to take the nation by storm with her swift achievements that led her to turn into a golfing professional at 20. She emerged as Rajasthan’s first female golfer to represent India in the international golfing circuit. With several national and international accolades under her belt, Nitika pursued formal training in sports psychology and counseling from the United Kingdom before returning to India. Nitika Jadeja presently stands tall as Rajasthan’s only woman golf coach and founder of GolfRaj.
This winter, Rajputana Collective takes immense pride in featuring the renowned ace golfer and her venture into the field of sports entrepreneurship.
The story of GolfRaj began in 2005 st Jaipur’s Rambagh Golf Course, when Nitika’s father, Prahlad Sinhji Jadeja founded a quaint pro-shop called Golfdays. The all-in-one go to shop for Jaipur’s golfing community evolved for the next decade and a half and became a professional golf academy in 2019, re-invented by Nitika and her father as GolfRaj. A state of the art academy for golfers across all proficiencies, GolfRaj offers golfing solutions from a to z. Whether it is customising golf equipment or the need for tailor-made classes across multiple age groups, the father-daughter duo has it all.
“My true objective at GolfRaj is to make golf as an easily accessible sport to the people of Jaipur. I also wish to debunk many myths and misconceptions that people attach to it. For example, contrary to popular belief golf isn’t a very costly or time consuming sport. We provide all golfing equipment and training aid at no cost in order to incentivise golfing beginners to pick up the sport without the standard financial considerations. The only initial investment that one has to make is the coaching fees. Further, GolfRaj has developed a flood lit academy for all those golfers who face time constraints due to work and other commitments. We are proud to announce that GolfRaj is Jaipur’s first-ever 24x7 driving range with floodlights”, Nitika explains.
Interestingly, Nitika’s father, who too served Indian cricket as an eminent player, took up golf after accompanying her in several amateur golf tours. Today, he is renowned as amongst India’s leading golf coaches and is the first one in Rajasthan to have obtained a teaching certificate. Nitika complements her father’s longstanding experience in the field of sports training with her professional qualification as a counselor. It is oftentimes the case that a certified counselor lacks experience and credibility in the sport, and also that several professional sportspersons do not carry any psychological know-how beyond their own mental conditioning. In comparison, Nitika Kumari Jadeja carries the rare gift of brilliance both, on the golf course and off it.
Her comprehensive approach delivers state of the art coaching to beginner and amateur golfers not just in terms of technique, but also in the mental make up that sustains a complex sport. Building a strong and resilient mindset is integral to any sport, but the psychological interaction of a player with his/her techniques is unmatched to that in golf. Nitika is a firm believer of being result-oriented, and hence, emphasises on the importance of persevering one’s skill and technique right to the last hole with levelheadedness and patience. In her own words, “When it comes to being a woman of a privileged background, things still did not come easy for me. Family support aside, respect in a sport always comes with results. I am fortunate and proud to have enjoyed this journey, and continue to do so. My knowledge and experience has so much value to impart to the journey of my fellow golfers, who are starting out on their sporting journeys.”
Given that we are all in the midst of a pandemic, Nitika stands true to her familial spirit by seeing a silver lining despite the storm. “It is the best time to pick up a new skill right now. Golf is a sport that ensures minimal contact while teaching, and provides a safe environment for families to be competitive with their children and learn a new skill alongside. We are the only ones in Jaipur who provide video analyses to our students and have top class software in order to do so”, she concludes. To all those in Jaipur who are looking to escape the mundanity of a post-pandemic world, GolfRaj extends itself as an escape that is hard to resist, and impossible to ignore!
For queries, kindly visit https://www.golfraj.com/
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