Salem, Tamil Nadu, 19-08-2021
Innovative Muniyappa builds yet another mini golf course, this time in his native village
Former Indian Open champion C Muniyappa has built quite a reputation for himself with his innovative ways.
While being stuck in his grandfather’s village in the Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu during the nationwide lockdown last summer, Muniyappa put his ingenuity to work by creating two mud greens in the vast space available and carving out a five-iron and a putter from a tamarind tree. These innovations helped the Bengaluru-based professional practice and keep in touch with the game even during the lockdown when there were no events happening.
The 43-year-old Muniyappa, drawing on his experience from last year, has gone one better this time around.
The 2009 Indian Open champion whose home course is the KGA in Bengaluru, made a trip to his own native village called Poolampatti in the Salem district of Tamil Nadu in late March soon after playing the last PGTI event and before the lockdown was imposed due to the second wave of Covid-19. The purpose of Muniyappa’s visit to Poolampatti was to build a house for himself on his land.
However, this time around he was better prepared for practicing golf in the rural setting as he was carrying most of his clubs, unlike last year when he only carried his seven-iron.
So even as the construction work for his house began, Muniyappa, also a winner on the PGTI, got down to the creative task of once again building his own mini golf course in the village. He utilized pieces of land where his family usually grows peanut.
The multilingual golfer, fluent in his mother-tongue Tamil along with Kannada, English and Hindi, took three days to get the practice facility ready as he was helped by his wife and sons Kiran (17) and Prem (11).
Muniyappa and his family built three mud greens, one more than last year, by clearing the rocks and levelling the land. The greens were 12 feet by 13 feet in size. On this occasion, he also made holes which were deeper just like those on greens at proper golf courses. The holes were five inches deep as pipes were used to make them. The pipes were pressed into the ground and the area around these spots was watered in order to make the holes to perfection.
Muniyappa took about three hours each to build each green. He also came up with tee boxes for each of the three holes. Each of the three teeing areas measured about five feet by five feet. The seasoned pro’s hard work and labour led to the creation of three holes measuring 120 yards, 140 yards and 150 yards. He uses the approach-wedge, nine-iron and eight-iron to tee off on these holes respectively.
The winner of two professional events has excelled at carving out wooden clubs from tree branches since his childhood. He put that skill to use once again by making a wooden putter for himself from the branch of a tamarind tree.
Muniyappa explains that practicing at this makeshift golf course in his village has multiple benefits for him.
“I’m quite proud of my effort of having built two mini golf courses in a rural setting since last year. Coming to the village was a compulsion for me this year as I was constructing my house. But with this facility I’ve managed to keep in touch with the game despite being away from my home course.
“Unlike the course I created last year, these holes are closer to being proper par-3s. So I get to use my approach-wedge, nine-iron and eight-iron from the tee boxes and aim for the green. The greens are small in size and that helps improve the accuracy of my tee shots. The mud greens are undulating so putting isn’t easy and that in turn helps in improving my putting skills,” said Muniyappa.
Formed in 2006, Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) is the recognised official body of professional golf in India. PGTI's objective is to promote professional golf in the country, as well as to give players an opportunity to be involved in the decision making on all aspects of the game. Headed by Mr. Gautam Thapar (President), PGTI's governing body comprises leading Indian golf professionals. PGTI currently has over 300 members.
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