Jeev: Being Milkha Singh’s son, there used to be a lot of pressure on me in school. Every sports day, people would say “Milkha Singh’s son is supposed to win the race”. I never did, but as I grew up, I realised that my father is a very well-known person and I’ve got to respect him for his achievements. He always emphasised on hard work, discipline and determination, which helped me get to where I am today.
Jeev: Actually, my father never wanted me to be a golfer; he always encouraged me to study. One summer, when I came home for from Bishop Cotton in Shimla in the seventh grade, I worked really hard on my golfing and I did well in the junior tournaments. That’s when I told my father I really want to play this game. He said, “Okay, if you want to go ahead, but studies will still be your first priority.” I went on to get a golf scholarship in the States, but I still wasn’t sure I wanted to play professionally. So I got a degree in business and administration. By the time I was 21, I knew golf would be my life so I called my father and said “I want to be a professional golfer” and he gave me his blessings. I never expected that. And there’s been no looking back ever since.
Jeev: At the time there weren’t many professional golfers. The only professional tours then were the Asian tour, the US tour and the European tour. But I got into it professionally anyway. But as the years went by, I would often be asked by extended family and friends when we met what I really do. They’d say “You play this game for fun, but what do you really do?” It was hard for them to believe that I made a living out of it. But then things changed; the media picked it up well, there was a lot of awareness about the game after about 7-8 years. That’s when people started recognising it as a profession.
Jeev: Every time he tells me that I start laughing because that’s the first thing he says when he sees me! But you know, I love playing and I feel I am fit enough to play for 35 weeks a year. I practice a lot on the golf course, whereas others do it off the course. But when I am off the course, I simply spend a lot of time with my family.
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