Every child’s golfing dream is to be as good as Tiger Woods. For Pranit Mandge he is on that journey. With a handicap of 13 at just eight-years-old, Gulf News met Pranit during his practice session at the Tommy Fleetwood Academy at Jumeirah Golf Estates to get to know him more.
So Pranit, tell me how did you get into golf?
I’m eight years old now, and I got into golf when I was two. I just had an interest in going to play golf. Before that I was into cricket, but then I got into this game of golf and I just got addicted to it. I first saw it on tournament on TV, I saw how they were playing and I was like, yeah I want to play. And now here I am!
Where do you tend to play most of your golf in Dubai?
I practice at JGE (Jumeirah Golf Estates), but when I started I played at the Claude Harmon Academy at the Els Club. Then I have in the last two years joined TFA (Tommy Fleetwood Academy Dubai). Now recently I've also become a member of Arabian Ranches Golf Club which is my home course. It's a very nice course and a beautiful course.
You mentioned you have just joined the Tommy Fleetwood Academy here at JGE, who coaches you?
My basic coach is Joseph O'Connor. Then I have two more coaches that analyse me and help me in a few touches. That is Michael Sweenie and Diarmaid Fraser. I have these three coaches that are really good. I really like them and they really help me to get to this stage.
You are on summer holidays from school at JSS International, and you have a pretty busy summer of golf coming up haven’t you.
Yep! I play on the U.S. Kids Golf Local Championships in Dubai, and I also play in the Emirates Golf Club Par 3 tournaments that I have been winning! I love to play with teenagers like aged 18 or 20 year olds. Then I play in the TFA (Tommy Fleetwood Academy) Junior Monthly Medals over here, so I'm busy! But there is more to come, there's a lot to come. The local tours here will start in September but it's going good. I will have a sweaty hot summer!
Have you made lots of friends playing golf?
Yes it’s great. I have made a lot of friends in the US, in Scotland and also in Dubai. I have a lot of friends from golf. I really enjoy playing with them. They were really good and kind. Golf is good because most sports you have to do everything quickly, like tennis, football, basketball. In golf, you can take your whole time and you can just hit. It's a game of patience and also enjoyment.
Have you been to spectate at any pro events here in the UAE?
I have seen a lot of professional tournaments out here on the DP World Tour. I've been able to see Tyrrell Hatton, Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy. They're really good at golf!
Do you have a golfing dream Pranit?
Of course, my dream is to reach the goal of being at the height of Tiger Woods. Being first and the top of the world, winning all my tournament that I face. I really want to become a professional golfer and I will.
I’ve got to also ask, do you have a golfing hero?
My golfing hero…. It would have to be Tiger Woods.
And finally do you have a dream fourball?
Just me and my golfing friends.
Well, Rory McIlroy of course and then Tommy Fleetwood and Collin Morikawa!