Vidur Subramaniam: A golf prodigy

Vidur has placed 11th in the all-age Australian Men’s Amateur Championship. He’s only 17.

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17-year-old golfer Vidur Subramaniam is on a mission. In January alone, the final-year Hills Grammar School student dominated a field of the state’s best junior golfers to win the gruelling Harvey Norman Sydney Week of Golf tournament, then went on to place 11th in the all-age Australian Men’s Amateur Championship, beating out hundreds of leading amateur golfers from 11 countries.

But for Vidur, these achievements are just the beginning of what he hopes – and by all accounts, what promises to be – a long and successful career in what many consider the toughest sport in the world.

Vidur’s mother, Revathi, expected her son’s initial interest in golf to last a day or two, at most. But that’s because Vidur was only three years old when he first picked up a club. “We went to the golf course one day to register my husband, and Vidur was tiny,” says Revathi. “But Vidur said he wanted to play as well, so the pro at the golf shop picked up a club, cut the shaft and gave it to him,” she laughs.

Vidur Subramaniam
(Source: Supplied)

Now, the serendipity of that moment is clear. “When I first picked up a club, I immediately fell in love with the game, all aspects of it,” says Vidur. “My favourite thing about golf is that I can play a course ten times and on every hole my shot will be different every time I play the course. No factors will ever be the same – the wind, the weather, everything will always change.”

Even in its relative nascency, Vidur Subramaniam’s golfing career has had its ups and downs. Last year, a spinal stress fracture forced him out of the game for several months, the by-product of a rigorous gym routine. While Vidur has wound back his time in the gym, he still maintains a demanding training regimen that involves several strength and conditioning sessions a week, as well as seemingly endless hours of skill development and game analysis.

It’s an investment that Vidur considers a necessity. “That’s what makes golf so entertaining,” he says earnestly. “If you hone in your stats, you can figure out the areas that need to be improved. If I only have 7 hours to play golf in a week, I’m dedicating those 7 hours to the deficits in my game.”

Vidur Subramaniam
(Source: Supplied)

Vidur is no stranger to competing with grown men on the course – in fact, he relishes the challenge. “[Placing 11th at the Australian Men’s Amateur Championship] was super satisfying, but my view is that everyone is a competitor regardless of their age, and I am more focused on skill development. As a junior, I really wanted to compete in this event and produce a good result, because it gives me more exposure and allows me to make a statement,” he says.

It’s no surprise, then, that Vidur demonstrates a sense of maturity that belies his age, whether it’s his clarity of thought or his awareness of the bigger picture. Speaking about the relative lack of ethnic diversity in Australian golf, Vidur is matter-of-fact: “Being of a diverse background gives me my own sense of personality. It’s who I am. It makes me stand out a little bit more, it makes me unique.”

“I’d like to set an example for younger kids, especially of Indian descent who are aspiring to be a professional in any sport – if you’re producing results, you’re hardworking and you’re determined, you will continue to achieve success,” says Vidur.

Vidur Subramaniam 4
(Source: Supplied)

Vidur dedicates his success to his parents. “The amount of sacrifices they make in their day-to-day life for me, including 4am starts – I still haven’t made it, I have a long way to go but I wouldn’t be anywhere without them,” he says.

He speaks glowingly too, of two important figures at the Ryde Parramatta Golf Club: his caddy, Bobby Laing – the “greatest guy you’ll ever meet” – and his “incredible” coach, Glenn Kelly.

In the next few months, Vidur Subramaniam hopes to secure a golfing scholarship with an American college, both to launch his professional career and to tick off a more personal goal: “I want to be self-made,” says Vidur adamantly. “I want to go to college on a decent scholarship so I’m not putting any financial burden on my parents.”

(Source: Supplied)

It’s a little glimpse of what Revathi describes as Vidur’s “sheer grit”. “When he’s determined, he goes all out, and when he’s down, he knows how to lift himself back up. It’s a quality that I can learn from,” she says proudly.

Vidur’s father Vijay echoes those sentiments. “While I’m extremely proud, the road ahead is going to be even more challenging. He’s got to show a lot of grit, determination, focus and have great skills. He’s demonstrated he’s got all that, but now it’s about amplifying it.”

There’s no doubt that Vidur Subramaniam’s journey is just beginning.

READ MORE: Amateur golfer Navish Gupta’s ‘Lagaan’ moment

Ritam Mitra
Ritam Mitra
Ritam is an award-winning journalist and lawyer based in Sydney. Ritam writes on domestic and global politics, human rights and social justice, and sport.

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