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Steady golfer finds the key to success in meditation

March 6, 2012

 In the middle of a good run – an Asian title already under his belt and a dream spot in The Open Championship – Anirban Lahiri, who will spearhead Bangalore’s charge in the city-based Louis Phillippe Cup that begins at the KGA on Wednesday, said he doesn’t want to throw it all away like he did last year.
Lahiri, who has got his game back on the rails this season, admitted that the 10-day meditation course at the start of the year was the key to the turnaround in his fortunes. After a practice round at the KGA on Monday, Lahiri spoke to TOI on a variety of topics. Excerpts:
Your fortunes slipped after a similar start last year, how did the turnaround happen?
Last year I got off to a great start and then went into a slump. I took my foot off the pedal and I’ve learnt from it. The second half last year was disastrous in terms of opportunities and not taking them. I’ve also matured from having played badly in the second half of last year. I’m going to take this victory (Sail-SBI Open) in my stride. My focus levels will be a lot higher this year as compared to last year. Hopefully I’ll learn and improve on my performance.
What was the key?
It has to be the meditation course that I did in January. I went to the Vipassana International Meditation Centre in Hyderabad. I had done it before and the course has always helped me to rediscover myself. I didn’t go specifically for my golf, it has always helped me to get clarity in my personal life and in my head and that translates into my golf. I’ve become less angry on the golf course. It has also helped me stay in the present. My expectations went up after the victory last year at the Panasonic Open and I started getting in my own way. That is what I must do differently this year. I still need to focus on the process, on my routines and practice and not worry about the results.
Game-wise did you make any changes?
I’ve been working on my swing with my coach. There is a constant swing work going on. Nothing major.
Have you set any targets for the season?
No. I’m not setting any quantitative targets this year. That’s the mistake I’ve made in the past. My targets this year are to perform well and compete in some of the co-sanctioned events. That is where my record hasn’t been the best and I need to improve. I’m focusing more on competing and playing well in the bigger events. If I can stick to my goals and doing better in those (bigger) events, the results should follow.
Every golfer’s dream is to move westwards (European Tour and the PGA Tour), how soon do you think you will get there?
It is a difficult question to answer because golf is a funny game. Sometimes it takes five years to take you to a higher level. Sometimes in the space of two years you can go up two or three levels. I have seen a few who have done that. Everybody has his own time. I can’t say how quickly I can get there, but my endeavour is to get there. However long it takes I’m ready to work till then and afterwards as well.
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Categories: Motivation
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