Indian golfer Udayan Mane has been in top form recently, winning three consecutive titles on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and only losing out on a record fourth through a playoff with upcoming star, 19-year-old Aadil Bedi.
At the Tollygunge club last week, Udayan Mane and Aadil Bedi played out the longest playoff on the PGTI tour at the Bengal Open, stretching it to the sixth extra hole (the previous one being four) before the latter managed a chip-in birdie to beat Udayan Mane.
While the narrow loss must have been a blow to the Indian golfer, his purple patch- wherein he achieved 15 consecutive sub-70 rounds and led the PGTI Order of Merit - was one to admire. And Udayan Mane believes it is down to his new vegetarian diet.
“From January, I have become overwhelmingly vegetarian,” he told Indian daily, The Times of India in an interview. “Once in a while, I have fish because my omega and protein levels aren't too high.”
The switch was inspired by one of his coaches, Vijay Divecha, who had turned to a vegan diet after being diagnosed with diabetes. “He encouraged me to turn vegetarian,” revealed Udayan Mane.
“The effects were immediate. I lost weight and slept better and deeper, which allowed me to recover faster.”
Better awareness to his game
The change in diet was only one part of his recent transformation, the other being his drive to get to know his body and his game better. “I have also given more importance to physical fitness and learnt to relax on the field,” admitted Udayan Mane. “Another reason is that I have understood my game a lot better, so I have been able to diagnose problems quicker.”
The 29-year-old, who turned pro in 2015, also highlighted the mental strength needed to succeed on the tour and how he went about getting it. “I shifted back home with my parents to Pune,” he added in the interview.
“After Bengaluru, I was in Ahmedabad for over a year, where I didn’t have a life and golf became more like work and not fun. It is such a mental battle on the course that lifestyle changes can have a big impact.”
The Indian golfer is currently ranked 223 in the world, making him the second-highest ranked Indian behind Rashid Khan and thus, could yet play at the 2020 Olympics.
If he does make it through, Udayan Mane felt it could help promote the game better in his home state. “It would surely mean a lot. Everyone will be happy and it will help grow the game in Maharashtra,” he said.