IT IS not every day one witnesses a group of middle-aged men seeking wisdom from a 23 years old. However, when it comes to the articulate and composed Shubhankar Sharma, the young golf champion who now calls Chandigarh his home, the scene comes as no surprise.
Addressing a crowd gathered to hear him interact with Gurbaaz Mann, former golfer and Sharma’s mentor, the golf prodigy discussed his extraordinary journey towards becoming a successful professional golfer. By the end of the discussion, many were eager to ask questions regarding Sharma’s approach to his sport, seeking advice on the ways in which he managed pressure and overpassed the jadedness that seeps in when one begins to turn their passion into their profession.
“There are times when you get so tired of travelling everywhere, playing at all these events in new places, but it’s during these times that I have to remind myself of how grateful I am for my life now, and how so many others would love to be in my place,” Shubhankar said in an interview to Chandigarh Newsline.
Despite all that he has achieved in such a short span of time, the golfer remains grounded. “It all comes down to those who surround me and who have stood by me and supported me throughout my journey. This includes my teachers, my mentors and of course my family,” Shubhankar said. The golfer’s father is a retired Colonel from the Indian Army who has always been a pillar of support to him. “It is not like he was very strict or something, but the whole family had imbibed a disciplined way of being, where everyone worked and respected each other,” Shubhankar said.
It was Col Sharma who motivated Shubhankar to turn to professional golfing. “Everyone else advised me to stick to amateur golfing. That way, there were many more opportunities and tournaments for me to participate in, and they were probably right, but my father always believed I could do more,” the golfer said. “He said he knew I was meant for something more and that I should pursue my dreams regardless of what others deem more practical.”
Shubhankar’s mother provided the much-needed spirituality in his life. “Being religious is one thing, but being spiritual I believe takes you to a higher level of introspection, which has allowed me to remain calm and composed and persevere through challenging times,” he said.
There were times in Shubhankar’s life, where he felt lonely and burnt-out, travelling to places around the globe for his golfing tournaments. It was during these times that he decided to learn how to persevere and take account of his feelings regardless of the circumstances through meditation.
“Meditation has truly helped me, and listening to Sadhguru has been a revelation,” he said, referring to the Indian mystic known as Sadhguru. He returned from a meditation retreat with Sadhguru’s Isha Foundation last week. Shubhankar listens to music of all genres for a much-needed escape. “Music keeps me going, no matter what the genre. But in the New Year, I also wish to read more books. I have read sports biographies, but I wish to read a wider range of literature,” he said.
What else does he look forward to next year? “I will always keep working towards a new goal, that’s just the way I am,” he said.