JJ Chakola tees off into the big league

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J.J. Chakola (27) is Coimbatore’s only golfer to make it to the pro series. A winner of the junior league, golf runs in JJ’s family. “My dad and granddad were both golfers.

Whenever I would come down from my boarding school in Ooty, they would take me to the golf course. It was only a matter of time that I realised that I had what it takes to be a good golfer. I started training and my first coach was from Chennai,” JJ said.

JJ started entering national tournaments and made it to the junior national team when he was just 13.

“My most memorable tournament in the junior league was winning the Asian tournament in 2006, when I was also the top ranked amateur in India.

I was the first from South India to win the title. It was a big motivator for me. I used the prize money to go to Italy for a six-month training,” said JJ, who was a left-handed player but was forced to switch because of lack unavailability of left-handed clubs in Coimbatore. He turned pro in 2008.

Becoming a pro is a big task and a golfer has to go to a qualifying school and compete against 400 others. Only 40 of them get a tour card.

“I finished first in the school tournament on my first attempt and I toured that year,” said the golfer who is sponsored by Kovai Hills.

JJ has had to move to Delhi for his love for golf and also got a B Com degree in between tournaments. He relaxes with his guitar and also has a flair for painting.

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