Winning is a Treat

At 34, she is celebrating her first pro-am win at Satish Memorial Trophy. Nikki Ponappa of Bangalore left her plush corporate job to pursue her love for golf and turned pro in 2008. She is yet to achieve a big success in pro golf but she likes to keep her focus on the broader good golfing experience. Nikki shares her life and times around golf with Rajlakshmi Retesh at

Q: A pro-am win at 34, how do you see this win?
A: A win at any age is great! However, this win is special as it comes at a time when I needed a boost to my self-confidence. In addition, to win a trophy instituted in the memory of Late Satish Tandon, who was responsible for the growth of women’s golf in India, makes it even more valuable.

Q: How are you planning to make the most out of your good form?
A: You are as good as your last tournament, keeping that in mind, I just want to keep working on the basics and fundamentals without getting ahead of myself. That is what my focus is, and intends to be in the same thought process.

First a corporate person, then six years into pro golfing. What would you count as your greatest achievement so far?

Turning Pro was the greatest one so far, apart from that the constant effort to get better is in progress. I have had two hole in ones at KGA [Karnataka Golf Association] Hole #8 and Hole #4 which was special too.

Q: You left your corporate job for golf – do you still feel this was your best decision?
A: Absolutely, my decision of leaving the corporate world to follow my heart and that was the best thing I have done to myself. Golf has given me great exposure, which was not possible if I had confined myself in the Corporate World. However, I must admit that the corporate experience has also helped me in my golfing journey to an extent.

Q: Who is your golfing idol and why?
A: I don’t have one golfing idol but, there is a lot to learn from Tiger Woods for his persistence and mental composure post his personal debacle. Annika Sorenstam is the other golfer I have always admired.

Q: What keeps your golfing spirits alive?
A: Every birdie, each eagle and a good Par save. Golf is my passion and I have faith in my abilities, these two combine very well to keep the fire burning inside me!

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
A: Results are incidental to effort. I endeavour to be in a place where I am, as passionate about golf even after five years from now, as I am today!

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