He’s been playing the game for 14 years, and with his field hockey background from his home country in India he earned a single-digit handicap within a year of first picking up a golf club. See what longtime PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com World Amateur Handicap Championship participant Ramana Reddy Challa loves about golf, about Myrtle Beach, and about competing in the world’s largest and most fun golf tournament.
I am Ramana Reddy Challa. I’m aged 55 years, and I’m in Flight 14. This is my 11th year in the World Am and it’s been quite an experience coming all the way from India. I picked up the game when I was 41, so I’ve been playing this game for about 14 years. And I picked this up playing in Hyderabad, my hometown in India.
During my schooling, I took up field hockey very early. I was 12 years old. I was paying for the school team. Golf looked pretty similar to field hockey except that I told myself that this is a game I should be able to do well because in field hockey, you’re running at full speed. You’re able to hit a ball wherever you want. I find that golf is a game that you can stand, take your position and take all the time and then hit the ball.
When I started golf, a lot of people told me that you can’t become a single-digit handicapper in one year, but I somehow managed to do that. Either I was lucky or I was able to play better. I won quite a lot of tournaments right from the first year onwards. I’ve been winning some of the national-level tournaments, maybe more than 200.
As far as the results are concerned, in the last 10 years of the Myrtle Beach World Am, I’ve been in the top 10 nine of those years. Considering that there are more than 3,200 golfers playing in a single tournament, it’s so beautifully learned and executed and conducted. I haven’t heard of another tournament in the world that’s of this magnitude, of this size. That’s one of the reasons why it brings me all the way halfway around the globe to come here and play.
Myrtle Beach by itself, it’s such a beautiful location. You have the ocean, the beaches. And the best part is for golfers, you have a hundred-plus golf courses. It’s a beautiful place. It has been a very good experience learning the game and coming to the World Am, meeting new people, golfers from all over the world. So it’s been a wonderful experience. So that’s the reason why I come here and enjoy every moment.