Diksha Dagar, 1st Indian Female Professional Deaf GolferAbility India
Diksha Dagar, born on 14 December 2000, is an Indian female professional deaf golfer. She has competed in several amateur golf tournaments despite her deafness. She became no 1 amateur ladies golfer in India from November 2015. Diksha Dagar represented India at the 2017 Summer Deflympics where golf was included in the Summer Deflympics for the very first time and competed in the women’s individual golf event securing a silver medal. Diksha also qualified to represent India at the 2018 Asian Games. She is also considered as one of the emerging amateur golfers in India. In 2019, she became only the second Indian female golfer after Aditi Ashok to win the Ladies European Tour and became the youngest Indian woman to do so at the age of 18.
Diksha has been using hearing aids since was six. This Indian girl let her talent be heard loud and clear at the Deaflympics in Turkey in 2017. The 16-year-old emerged the runner-up in a field of 46 players who took part in the golf competition. This was the first time golf had been introduced in the Deaflympics.
Talking to Indian Express about her performance, Diksha said,
“It seems it was not my day. I gave everything but luck was not on my side but I’m happy that I could win the silver.”
Diksha was introduced to golf by her father Col. Narinder Dagar and it didn’t take her long to clinch the junior’s number 1 title in the country in the amateur ranks. Her brother Yogesh Dagar, who also has a hearing disability since birth, participated in the competitions but couldn’t not qualify for the Deaflympics.
In an interview with Hindustan Times, Diksha said, “I have been learning golf since the age of six. I love to play the sport, but no one was ready to provide coaching to me. So, my dad became my coach and my strength. It wasn’t easy, my father also had a job to take care of, and I could not have played alone, so he coached my brother, too. Being differently-abled, I hardly had any friends. Besides my family, golf is my life.”
She took part in eight tournaments at the national level winning four of them and ending up second in the other two. She also participated in four international tournaments including the World Ladies Amateur Golf Championship. Diksha’s achievements fetched her a berth in the national team for Usha All India Amateur Golf Championship, which is turning 100 this year. Diksha is also the only under-18 Indian player who figures in the top 500 global rankings.
Dagar turned professional in early 2019. In March 2019, she emerged as winner of the 2019 Investec South African Women’s Open, a tournament on the 2019 Ladies European Tour. This was her first win as a professional, becoming India’s youngest woman to clinch a Ladies European Tour title at the age of 18. She defeated South Africa’s three-time champion, Lee-Anne Pace, by one shot. She became the first Indian to clinch the South African Women’s Open title and second Indian female overall to claim the Ladies European Tour Title.
Source: Indian Express, Hindustan Times, Wikipedia, Photo: Times of India