Photo by Randolph B. LeongsonGary David is going back to his roots.He has proudly represented represented his province of Bataan since joining the big league, but this time, the 39-year-old is returning as member of Bataan Defenders in the upcoming Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.ADVERTISEMENT Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises LATEST STORIES “This will be my first time to play in front of my home crowd since I turned pro,” said David.David also sees this MPBL stint as his last hurrah as a basketball player, slowly accepting his fate in his ongoing battle with Father Time.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“It seems that way, but as long as I feel that I can still play, I’ll play. I’ll always try to help our place get those wins. It’s my own way of giving back to my fellow Bataan people. It’s an honor to team up with people who also came from Bataan and I’m really glad with this experience,” said the Dinalupihan native.David knows how some of his teammates feel starstruck around him and he is using the opportunity toto impart whatever knowledge he gained in the PBA and his international career to his Bataan teammates. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd PLAY LIST 02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:50Trending Articles03:00House honors Rodolfo Albano Jr , a veteran lawmaker, mentor and family man01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH “When I attend our practices, they can’t help but take a picture with me. But I tell them that we’re together everyday in our practices and they can see how hands-on I am with them. I am willing to teach them what I know and give them advice if they need it,” he said.David also likened this run with Bataan to that of Gilas Pilipinas as he compared the sense of pride of the players in defending their respective home turfs.“This is more about pride. Here, we don’t talk about how big your salary is. What we’re fighting here is the pride that you carry the name of your hometown. You want to be at your best every single time and we want to proudly represent the people of Bataan,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Wiggins carries Timberwolves to 126-118 win over Clippers Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View comments
Amar Singh tackles the phone-tapping controversyTalking TroubleBy making the “phone battle” a national issue, Samajwadi Party (SP) General Secretary Amar Singh has blocked any possibility of leakage of the taped conversation that could have embarrassed him (“The Phone Battle”, January 23). However, politically he has not gained much. The mutual,Amar Singh tackles the phone-tapping controversyTalking TroubleBy making the “phone battle” a national issue, Samajwadi Party (SP) General Secretary Amar Singh has blocked any possibility of leakage of the taped conversation that could have embarrassed him (“The Phone Battle”, January 23). However, politically he has not gained much. The mutual abuse of the SP and the Congress could only help the BJP.A. JACOB SAHAYAM, Thiruvananthapuram”The way Amar Singh has treated the phone-tapping controversy shows that his aim is not to bring up the issue of surveillance but to settle political scores.”B.K. PARMAR, GhaziabadIs it a mere coincidence that immediately after Amar Singh’s brother joined the Congress and claimed to expose the SP leader’s activities, the allegations of phone tapping surfaced? The issue has also pushed aside a more serious matter of the Supreme Court notice to Mulayam Singh Yadav in a case of disproportionate assets. The protests by Amar Singh appear like tactics to garner public sympathy in Uttar Pradesh, where his party’s image has hit rock bottom.P.K. SRIVASTAVA, on e-mailAmar Singh has emerged as the real leader of the Opposition which is starved of issues with which to take on the Centre.NAVNEET DHAWAN, DelhiIt has become fashionable to accuse Sonia Gandhi of anything and everything, no matter what the problem the politicians and bureaucrats face. Since she was born in a foreign country these people with no values find an easy scapegoat in her.GREGORY D’SOUZA, HaridwarPolitical parties always exploit scandals to make it to the headlines. Amar Singh and his party have done the same.K. CHIDANAND KUMAR, BangaloreadvertisementWrong ServeI want to clarify that I was never an employee of K.K. Birla, whereas, you have mentioned that I was a protocol officer (“The Phone Battle”, January 23).AMAR SINGH, National General Secretary, SP, DelhiAmusing TwistsWhere was Brinda Karat when pesticides were found in cold drinks (“Yogi in a Tangle”, January 23)? Such contents were not mentioned on the bottles of these beverages. Even mentioning “artificial colours and flavours” does not specify the exact nature of the contents. A number of medicines, toothpastes and ointments are gelatinebased. Is it not the duty of the manufacturers to mention that gelatine is derived from bones? Why should it be mandatory for only ayurvedic medicines to mention all the contents?RAJIV CHOPRA, DehradunIt is not correct to say that “the law does not require declaration of ingredients of a particular medicine if it is based on classical texts” recognised under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. The Second Schedule of the Act requires “all medicines other than homeopathic” to have a list of all ingredients on the label or container. Medicines that contravene this requirement are deemed to be “misbranded drugs” and invite legal action. The only concession available to the ayurvedic, siddha and unani products is that if the ingredients are listed in the classical texts, then manufacturers need not obtain marketing approval from the Drugs Controller General.CHANDRA M. GULHATI, DelhiThe article is highly biased against the yogi. While yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar may have excellent knowledge of certain aspects of yoga, he seems to have none as far as pranayama is concerned.Y.N.I. ANAND, MysoreIyenger is a revered yoga guru for the Indian media because he has taught yoga abroad. Ramdev’s simple yoga steps are imparting health benefits to millions of Indians but this is not the criterion by which the Indian media in the English language judges anybody. Yoga and ayurveda are India’s ancient treasures and if someone is making the common man aware of their benefits, then his efforts should be appreciated. Politicians like Karat are free to raise the labour issue if there is a violation of the law but mixing it with the issue of vegetarianism only makes them a butt of joke.ARUN BALA, on e-mailRamdev has done injustice to not only vegetarians but also non-vegetarians. For who would like to eat the skull and bone powder of human beings? He should be punished.SNEHAL SHUKLA, AhmedabadKarat has displayed great courage by exposing Ramdev’s questionable acts. His claims of achieving cures for cancer, advanced arthritis and diabetes through yoga and ayurvedic medicines have not been scientifically evaluated.RAJU VAISHYA, DelhiThe controversy over ayurvedic medicines underscores the need for stringent regulation. Surveys reveal that adulteration of alternative medicines is rampant across India. Such practices bring the Indian businesses and philosophically rich medical systems into disrepute. A better regulatory framework will reward genuine practitioners and expose charlatans.ANIL KUMAR PANDIT, DelhiadvertisementThe Jehad FactoryRecruitment of the Hindus by the Hizb-ul Mujahideen in Kashmir on allurement of money exposes the falsity of the terrorists’ commitment to a cause (“Now Hindu Jehadis”, January 23). The picture is the same elsewhere too. The Maoists in Jehanabad and Giridih reportedly distributed pamphlets in Jharkhand and Bihar, inviting young people to join the “revolution” on a monthly stipend of Rs 2,000 and compensation of Rs 2 lakh in case of death.ASOKE C. BANERJEE, KolkataThe profession of terrorism has nothing to do with religion. It is exploitation of the youth. Governments in all states as well as at the Centre must provide counselling and employment to the boys who have taken up arms to bring them back into the mainstream.RAKESH BAHUGUNA, on e-mailFoot in MouthPutting his foot in his mouth is not new for Raj Singh Dungarpur, the manager of the Indian team (“Unsound Bite”, January 23). Raking up the issue of Sourav Ganguly’s performance at this stage does not serve any purpose. It will only demoralise the team. Dungarpur should be removed from the post. Discipline is not something to be enforced only among the players. It is applicable to our loud-mouthed sports officials also.V.V.S. MANI, MumbaiTest of MettleWest Bengal rather than Bihar will be the real challenge for Election Commission (EC) official K.J. Rao because in Bihar the people were with him (“For a Level Playing Field”, January 23). But West Bengal may not allow Rao to function smoothly with both the state Government and party cadres determined to resist any change.SUBHASH C. AGRAWAL, DelhiThe article says that I had requested the EC to remove state government employees from the election coordination committees. I had petitioned the commission to exclude only the employees belonging to the Coordination Committee of State Government Employees’ Unions and the “Non-Gazetted Police Karmachari Samiti” or to any of their affiliates.TATHAGATA ROY, President, BJP, West BengalOverseas Citizenship of India cards to NRIsFAMILY FOLDSGiving Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards to the NRIs is a way of reaching out to them (“Promises, Promises,” January 23). It will help them develop a stake in India.REKHA RAI, PatnaIt is a tragedy that the Government has decided to shower sops like voting rights and OCI cards on the NRIs. Investments in India by them have always been driven by interest rather than loyalty.THARCIUS S. FERNANDO, ChennaiIndia is finally treating the NRIs right by welcoming them. This will create a goodwill trust for it abroad.VIVEK RASTOGI, Shimla
It’s been seven years since the legendary Jack Nicklaus retired from professional golf, but he continues to contribute to the game through his design projects across the world-including India. With golf becoming a vital amenity for luxury communities worldwide, the legend continues to be associated with golf-related real estate through his company Nicklaus Design. In an exclusive interview with Golf Digest India Editor Himanshu Singhal, he talks about opportunities in the Indian golf real estate market, designs he would like to see in India, along with his perspective on Indian and international golfers and the state of the game.GDI: What do you think makes India an interesting golf course design destination for real estate developers and course designers like you? JN: Golf has been played in India for decades, but there has not been a great amount of play relative to the incredible population of the country. While cricket and soccer continue to be popular in India, golf has been a bit slow to catch on with the masses. With golf becoming an Olympic sport, combined with the population in India and a large middle class, there’s a real opportunity that exists to introduce and grow a game that really fits the demographics and also the collective talents of an athletic nation. The opportunity truly exists and it’s an exciting one. I think you’re going to see the game of golf grow in India because of golf’s inclusion as an Olympic sport. My hope is that this heightened global awareness will help promote the game.advertisementGDI: Have you ever followed any of the Indian pro golfers, playing outside India? Arjun Atwal & Jeev Milkha Singh have both been your guests at The Memorial.JN: I have met both Arjun and Jeev, but I don’t know a great deal about them. I do know they are both very good players and wonderful ambassadors for India, as well as the game of golf within India. As talented as they are, they are just two from the country and there are more people from India that play the game and could perhaps compete on the world stage. There will be more as time goes on, which will be healthy for the overall growth of the sport in India.GDI: As a player, did you ever hear about India from anyone?JN: Although I have not spent a great deal of time there, I have had the opportunity to visit India for golf course design work. It is a beautiful country, with such diversity in land. The people are kind and welcoming and have embraced us whenever we have visited.GDI: What is it about golf related real estate in India that excites you the most? What’s so unique about the Indian golf real estate market?JN: There is a certain lifestyle that surrounds the game of golf and I think that lifestyle appeals to many potential consumers in emerging markets such as India. I also think there is a greater understanding in these markets about the increased value associated with residential tied into golf. There is a growing market in India of aspirational, second-home buyers and golf-related real estate helps respond to that demand.GDI: What kind of projects would you like to associate yourself with, in India, and where?JN: I think I’d like to be able to design golf courses that display and reflect the beauty of the game of golf and layouts that highlight the beautiful land and destinations within the country. I would like to design courses that help introduce people to the game, attract them into the game and help the game retain its fans. I want to design golf courses that are enjoyable to play on a daily basis, but when needed, you can hide the pins on the right areas of the greens, move the tees back and have the ability to play a tournament on that same golf course. One of the challenges for a designer is to find that balance in design when you can create a beautiful golf course that people can enjoy on a daily basis, but one that can also be a tournament site. It can be a difficult thing to do, because you’ve got to make the design simple enough to encourage new people to learn the game as well. So it’s a combination, but it’s a goal we as a design firm try to meet, each time we are given the opportunity.GDI: Do you think you can contribute to the development of golf in India in any way? How would you like to go about it?advertisementJN: We have been working hard to contribute to the development of golf in India. But like many emerging markets, India has its own challenges. It can be very difficult to acquire land and assemble people to put it together and commit to it. We’ve done a couple of projects in India but it’s been relatively slow. I can understand that because of the world economy and because of the lack of available land and water. Having said that, I have challenged everyone in our design firm to make certain that if someone comes to us with the desire to create a golf course, no matter how much land they have, we should do everything in our power to provide them a golf experience. Nowhere does it mandate that we have to create for the client an 18-hole golf course of championship length. The best thing we can do for India and the development of the game is to provide every interested owner or developer a ‘golf experience.’ This can be anything from 12 holes to nine to six to just three. It can be a golf academy or even a learning center that has practice holes and greens. The game of golf has always been controlled by how far a golf ball goes. But, I think it should be the other way round. We have a lot of people coming to us with 40-acres, 60-acres and 80-acres of land and an intent to do a golf course. I think we owe it to the game of golf to introduce them to the game, retain them and design a course on that piece of property. We need to develop a golf ball to fit the property and not the other way round. If we can do that, the game of golf will grow in India and golf will be a far more affordable and accessible sport.GDI: Despite some good starts and tournament victories, Tiger Woods hasn’t been successful in finishing at the majors. How would you rate his game at the moment and where do you see him going? Do you think Tiger will ever be able to break your record of 18 majors?JN: I have said many times before that I believe Tiger will break my records, but he still has to do it. We are in the midst of an incredible streak as it relates to the majors and first-time winners. So what that emphasizes is not only how tough it is to win multiple major championships but the depth of young talent currently out there. Tiger needs to win four majors to tie me and five to break the record. I believe that would be one more major than the career total of any other active player in the game today (Phil Mickelson has won four majors). Tiger has the talent and the work ethic to accomplish it, but he would be the first to tell you that he still has to go out and do it.advertisementGDI: Who is the best player in the world right now?JN: I would have to say that the actual number one position is up for grabs. The top-ranked player in the world right now is Luke Donald. But if you look back at the recent major championship, when Webb Simpson won the US Open, he became the 15th player to win the last 15 majors. That’s the longest streak in almost 80 years (it matches the longest such streak since the Masters began in 1934). Perhaps more interesting, however, is that Webb Simpson’s win made it nine straight first-time major champions. That shows me that there is wonderful parity and depth in golf. Any one of these players can emerge and win their second and third majors. Then, all of a sudden, they will be looked at as being number one. The game being played at the highest level is very healthy, exciting and positioned well for the future.GDI: What is the secret of your success in golf as a player as well as a designer? Do you have any advice for the Indian pro golfers to help improve their game?JN: There is only a small percentage of golfers-be it in India or elsewhere-who will eventually play tournament golf and hopefully enjoy success, so I don’t think that’s as important as focusing on the average or beginning golfer. I think the important part is getting people to try the game, experience all the wonderful aspects of it and simply enjoy it. Golf is a game you play for a lifetime and one you can enjoy with your sons or daughters, your grandchildren and even your great grandchildren eventually. I picked up the game of golf when I was 10-years old, but I also know people who did not take up the game until their 40s, 50s or even 60s. Golf, as much or more than any sport or game, has the ability to teach valuable, character-building life lessons. That’s why various junior programs, such as The First Tee or SNAG, have enjoyed such success. They not only introduce the game to young boys and girls, but golf becomes a vehicle to teach them important life lessons-be it honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, discipline, or how to interact with adults and other children. The first book I ever wrote was called “The Greatest Game of All,” and I think one of the reasons the sport is so wonderful is because golf is a game for a lifetime and you should have the time of your life playing it.As for any advice I might offer an aspiring professional golfer in India, it would be the same advice I offer to any golfer who wants to develop his or her skills. You need to know who you are, understand your game, and play within yourself. It’s what I tell beginning and high-handicap golfers and essentially what I have told golfers such as Rory McIlroy. I have told this story many times before, but I think the best lesson I was ever taught-and it came from my long-time instructor Jack Grout-was to understand why I play golf, what I thought about when I played golf, how to teach others and most important, how to teach myself. Jack was my first instructor and he was a part of my life until he passed away when I was 49. During my entire career, he rarely stepped foot on a practice tee during a major championship. A successful golfer occasionally has to win without their best game and I won many times. I did so because I could control what I was doing. Because of the lessons taught to me by Grout, I not only understood the game, but understood my game. He taught me to understand why I was doing something on the golf course. He made me use my head, not just my golf swing. When I went out to play golf, I didn’t have to run back to him. He would teach me to be independent. That’s how I became a better player.