Energetic Thapa wants more

Kathmandu, December 13:

Ghana Shyam Thapa has crossed 60 but age does not matter for him.

The first Nepali professional golfer Thapa celebrated his golden jubilee of golf this week. Thapa, who joined Gauchar Golf Club (now known as Royal Nepal Golf Club) in 1958 as a teenage golfer, turned pro 10 years later. Since then he has spent 50 years in golf.

“At that time we had to go to India to play golf,” reminiscences Thapa, who turned pro after taking a six-month course in Delhi in 1968. “I played in numerous events under the Indian Tour but the best moment came in 1976 when I won the third position after a round of two-over 74 at the Wills Open,” says Thapa, who also played in the Asian Circuit from 1975-82.

Thapa, along with amateur Bishnu Shahi, twice represented Nepal in the World Cup. In 1975, the two golfers went to Bangkok and two years later the duo went to Philippines representing the nation.

He became a club pro at Bombay Presidency Golf Club from 1985-1993 and went to Germany as a teaching pro at the Bad Bevensen Golf Club from 1994-1997. After returning home, Thapa formed the Nepal Professional Golfer’s Association (NPGA) and built two golf courses — Tribhuvan Army Officer’s Golf Club in Kathmandu and Executive nine-hole Course in Nawalparasi.

Asked about his future plans, Thapa says he is ready to help in the development of golf. “I cannot stay away from golf and I will do whatever I can do for the sport,” says Thapa. “The NPGA and NGA have supported me in every way but it is not sufficient. I think I can still do a lot for the sport,” he says.