There was a predictable two-step process for the many outstanding players who joined Leaf golf: (1) Sign the contract, (2) Explain to the golfer why you are doing it.
We’ve heard all kinds of reasons: more time to stay home with family and friends, the chance to “grow the game,” the allure of unconventional coordination and a team element, and yes, of course, the guarantee of “generational wealth, no matter your performance.”
New LIV signature Anirban LahiriThe 92nd ranked player in the world and runner-up this year Players ChampionshipHe mentioned a few of these reasons in an interview this week with Hindustan Times newspaper. He said joining the league would help “correct my work-life balance,” noting, “It’s a very secluded life out there as one of my top athletes.” He also said that “collective golf is very exciting, and a lot can be done about the right kind of team,” just as it has, as it happened, with cricket in the Indian Premier League, which since its controversial launch in 2007 has become the most-attended cricket league In the world.
But Lahiri, who is from Pune, in western India, and now lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, also provided another, less common reason for moving to LIV: He believes more time in or near his home country would improve his game.
Lahiri has worked with Vijay Devicha, one of the leading golf instructors in India since 2002. Historically, they have been collaborating every two months, with Devicha visiting Lahiri in the US between tour stops or Lahiri returning to India to check in. During the pandemic, when Divecha was unable to travel outside India, the teacher and student were restricted to virtual lessons. Lahiri said the arrangement was less than optimal.
“I am a player who needs regular maintenance to hit him,” he said. “When I don’t see my coach for a long period of time, small mistakes tend to creep into my game. There can be something as small as poor posture, but that obviously has a huge impact on the gameplay.
“I’ve felt at times over the past few years that my golf has leveled off. I’ve felt like I’m not playing to my potential, which is almost as bad as feeling like I was playing badly. Obviously in our day and age, we can do video sessions. , etc. But I am a very steep player and I need regular physical intervention from Vijay. Every time we worked together I was playing better when we came back.
“I look forward to regular sessions with him. I absolutely believe that, along with social improvement, life will do wonders at my game.”
Lahiri is ranked 33rd in the world. He won seven times on the Asian Tour and played on two teams in the Presidents Cup. But he never won the PGA Tour. In his last seven PGA rounds in 2022, he missed the cut five times and failed to qualify for FedEx Cup Qualifiers.
In addition to regular counseling from his coach, Lahiri said spending more time close to home will make him in a better vacuum. Living in a half-world away from his roots was trying this. after 2nd place in the Players CenterLahiri said he had to wait four months to be able to go home to celebrate.
If things don’t work out for Lahiri on the big-money LIV tour, he said he sees the Asian tour as a “great support plan” – not only as a way to make a living but also as a way to reconnect with friends.
“The camaraderie between the players is on a different level,” he said of the Asian circuit. “I’ve had more dinner meets on one of the Asian Tour tours than I have done all season on the PGA Tour.”
The next LIV event is this week outside of Boston. Lahiri will make his first round match playing alongside Ian Poulter and Jason Kokrac.