Growing up in India, I faced a decision many junior golfers face. Most had to pick between their golf or academics, due to the sport not being classified as a competitive one in Indian colleges. I could have easily taken the route of playing in amateur tournaments and going to college locally, but this would prevent me from getting an overseas education in America and the exposure that comes with playing golf at a highly competitive level. Coming from an Army background, it wasn’t easy for me to convince my parents to support me as I embarked on this route as it was new and unconventional for them. Looking back today, I am glad to have gotten them on board with my dreams.
While my scores were good enough to gain interest from some Division 1 schools, I chose the University of Charleston, a top D II school to further my academic and golfing career. Collegiate golf was a huge shock and change for me in the beginning – there were longer golf courses which required the maintenance of a healthy balance between athletics and academics. Adjusting to playing golf as a team sport was also a very different experience for me. The reality of collegiate golf drove me to work harder every day in the gym, golf course, and the classroom. Struggles were not absent along this road I traveled, but eventually, I managed to lead my team to qualify for the 2017 & 2018 NCAA D2 National Championship, and win the 2017 & 2018 MEC Conference Championship.