By Pradip Rodrigues
Mandeo Singh Pathania is a 32-year-old immigrant who turned pro in 2005 and is working feverishly to achieving his goal of qualifying for the PGA tour.
He currently works at the prestigious Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville and has the distinction of being its first ever South Asian to teach at Glen Abbey and win in the CPGA tour.
Mandeo’s inspiration comes from his dad Col. Ravi Pathania who fought the 1971 Indo-Pak war. The 32-year-old, who turned pro in 2005, now plans to play in the Americas and prove his worth on the USPGA Tour. He is looking at getting into the Web.Com Tour besides taking some essential tips from former World No. 1 and PGA Hall of Famer Bob Toski.
He stayed in the US for almost 6 months, trained under Toski for a month who taught him to modify his game to the faster greens and long holes in the US.
Mandeo even played on the junior Canadian Tour last year and was waitlisted for the RBC Heritage Championship on the PGA Tour on a sponsor’s exemption. But it was after he married to Toronto-based financial consultant Namrata Shergill that his resolve to play in the US got stronger.
Can-India caught up with this remarkable man with an enviable work ethic and a dream.
What inspired you to turn to golf?
Being an army officer, my father used to be a regular golfer, I grew up watching him play. It was when I was thirteen and won each and every club championship at the Army golf course in Delhi, the feeling of challenging yourself was so great that I decided to take this game up seriously and turn pro eventually.
What is it about golf that has shaped your personality?
With golf it is more about being positive, having a great imagination, having immense feel in your hands and being calm. One can never predict how the day is going to be or can rely on form. It’s called a game of inches, as a few inches is the difference between world number 1 and a struggling professional. This feeling of being positive and trusting yourself is a feeling that keeps me going.
What’s your typical day like?
A typical day during playing season starts with running and core exercises, followed by meditation and then practice. A full day would usually include 8 hours of practice and 2 hours of physical fitness.
Tell us about your journey and why you now call Toronto home.
In 2015 I shifted to Florida for the winter and played the Web.Com qualifying. Last year I moved back to India to play in the winters and came back to Toronto in April. I got married that year and moved here. Currently I am teaching a lot and being in the industry, as there is not much of Pro golf in Toronto. I am based at Glen Abbey which is a busy facility and is helping me financially to earn enough to get in to any tour I want to.
Do you have a great work ethic?
Being born to an army officer, discipline and strong work ethic came as a part of package growing up.
My wife Namrata supports me 100% to pursue my goal and I am lucky to have her by my side. It is difficult to understand a professional sportsman’s mentality and dreams. I have not yet achieved my goal of playing on the PGA Tour bit without holding back anything I do everything physically, mentally and financially to move towards my goal. As there is a very small percentage of world population who take up sports as a career, our lifestyle and approach towards a day are very different.
Describe your life in Toronto?
Life is Toronto is just fabulous. I am associated with ClubLink here and they own fantastic golf courses, one of the best I have ever played around the world. Corporate golf and golf coaching is also big here and keeps me super busy. I teach at Glen Abbey and Rattlesnake Point which are great golf courses and also the home to Canadian golf.
How do you spend your down time?
Apart from travelling and exploring a new country every year, me and my wife are both fitness freaks so for hang out it is dragon boat races, hot yoga, gym or the lakeshore path for running.
Staying close to downtown and right by the lake we have a choice of various restaurants be it Japanese, Thai, Indian and Mexican. Our favorite hangout is usually outdoors in parks or around the lakes.