Well known Tour pro Shiv Kapur, a former Asian Games Individual Gold medallist and three-time winner on the Asian tour, posted his first top-10 finish of the year at last month’s SMBC Singapore Open. The 40-year-old Kapur has also been in the news for the UAE Govt granting him a Dubai Golden Visa and for announcing an association with Marriott which will give Marriott Bonvoy members the chance to participate in exclusively curated Marriott Bonvoy Moments including the opportunity to play with Kapur and attend golf clinics.
IGW caught up with Kapur to pick his brain about the state of golf, including the controversial Saudi Golf League and talk about his association with Marriott.
IGW – Tell us your thoughts on the Saudi Golf League.
Shiv – So far there has been a lot of talk but nothing concrete. The Saudi involvement in the Asian Tour is a very welcome addition and it has propelled the Asian Tour into a Tour that is now a destination with huge prize money events and live broadcast of its finest tournaments. It’s a very exciting time in the world of golf and many changes are expected around the world.
IGW – Your thoughts on the future of the Asian Tour’s lucrative new International Series starting in Thailand – why haven’t they scheduled one of the series in India?
Shiv – I think India is in the future plans and like I mentioned earlier The International Series is a game changer for Asian golf.
IGW – Life since shifting to Dubai.
It’s been very easy to adjust to life in Dubai. The large number of Indians here make it feel like home and I have been very lucky to have some great friends here, so it was a seamless transition for us.
IGW – Who are your coaches ?
My coach is based out of La Costa in San Diego and my trainer Alistair Parlane is at the ELS club Dubai where I spend 4 days a week trying to stay in shape and I jury free now that I’m in my 40’s.
IGW- Your thoughts on the Golden Visa to Dubai.
It was a big honour to have been invited by the government. It gives me and family a place to call home and we have enjoyed every minute of our time in Dubai.
IGW – Your home course in Dubai?
I play and practice out of the ELS club Dubai that has hosted an Asian tour event in the past and is regarded as the finest practice facilities in Dubai, where most of the top professionals practice here. I’m very honoured to be an Ambassador of the club.
IGW – Your thoughts on Professional Golf Tour of India ( PGTI)
I think the PGTI has done a fantastic job of putting up events through the pandemic and giving Indian golfers a platform to prepare for the big stage…a lot of great talent is coming through the PGTI and they seem ready to win on the Asian Tour and beyond.
IGW – What do young Indian amateurs/pros need to do to stay competitive in world golf?
There is no substitute for hard work and on top of that, you have to have the self belief to win at the big stage. Mental toughness is the key to success at the highest level. Talent will only take you so far.
IGW – Tell us about Marriott Bonvoy
Marriott is the leading hotel chain in the world and to have a chance to partner with them and the Bonvoy program to create experiences for their guests is a great privilege for me.
We have planned many exciting opportunities for the members including gold masterclasses and inside the ropes access. I’m very excited for what lies ahead.
IGW – Which are your favourite cities to travel?
Bali holds a very special place in my heart and The Ritz Carlton Mandapa is one of my favourite hotels in the world, it is one of the most stunning properties I have ever stayed at.
IGW – Why do you enjoy staying at Marriott properties?
The quality standards are always maintained and the welcome you get is like returning home each time. And above all the Westin Heavenly bed is my favourite
IGW – What golf tip do you have for amateur golfers ?
Most amateur golfers tend to not pay enough attention to their alignment and ball position, most mistakes stem from a poor setup. Hence it’s important to have a good setup before you go into correcting your swing and also never try to hit it too hard, good Rythmn and contact are more important than speed.
IGW – Which are your favourite golf resorts around the world?
There are several fantastic golf resorts around the world. Marriott’s association with golf dates back many years and they have a history of resorts like Doral in Florida and The Ritz Carlton – site of the world match play just to name a few. I’m also very excited for the opening of Marriott’s first golf resort in India at Golfshire, Bangalore in the coming weeks.
Photo – Asian Tour