Ground Zero with Kurush Heerjee


Life on the pro tour is far tougher than what Kurush Heerjee had anticipated. More than the craft — even here Kurush admits he is a little different and that is the way it will be for the time being, it was the work ethics that made him stand apart after crossing over from the amateur to professional ranks early last year. Since he played his first tournament on the Professional Golf Tour of India in Hyderabad before the pandemic, Kurush’s endeavour has been to get closer to the big boys on tour. There are several pointers of reference, and one piece of stat does not make for impressive reading. The 26-year-old from Jamshedpur loves his food and dessert. No harm, but it certainly is injurious to the spirit, leave alone health, to watch a youthful figure gulp down a can of Coke in a flash at lunch. There were 52 instances in the space of two weeks, some of which were tournament days.

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Not anymore. Watching the athletic Viraj Madappa hit balls at the driving range was a wake-up call. “I told myself, ‘He is a pro, you are one too, but look at the difference,” said Kurush. From a trainer’s nightmare, Kurush is a favourite and addicted to pumping irons. A lot more ground needs to be covered, and work is on. Till date, he does not have a single weekend round to show, but rather than let that discourage him, Kurush has used the string of missed cuts on PGTI as motivation to get better. For one, who came close to quitting the sport not long back, the steely talk is not for show. Especially, after he sought an “escape route” to college life in the US but was dissuaded by father Farzan. Kurush does not know if the goals will be met but come what may he will not quit. The grit he exudes is also the by-product of being late off the blocks.

“I had an ordinary amateur career, and results started to show up quite late.” Perhaps, unknown to Kurush, the tendency to fight his way out of the rough, on the golf course and otherwise, gave birth to the never-say-die spirit. Grit it is for Kurush, and a momentous week which provided insight that he had oodles of it was the 2018 Eastern India Matchplay on his home course, Beldih Golf Club. On three occasions, he fought back from the brink, a sum-up of his career till date, but did not relent. Given the pressure of being watched by family and friends, bailout wasn’t easy. There are video and text chats as proof of the euphoria around that week and have been preserved on the phone. They now serve as tonic to pep up the spirit whenever Kurush is at a low. He will not give up, come what may, and when that’s the attitude, targets often get met. Here is wishing Kurush luck on another front. For almost three months, he has been tweeting daily to catch John Daly’s attention, requesting him for a drink at the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews in July next. There has been no response so far, but has done little to shake Kurush’s perseverance.

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