Only 15, Anika Varma is a golf sensation

Young prodigy takes it to an international level with her talented ability


Sarah Rietz

Dedicated player Anika Varma swings back on the golf course.

Fifteen year-old Anika Varma no longer strives for greatness – she has reached it. 

Varma’s love for golf started when she was four. Her whole family played golf, and it was only natural that she would try to be up to par.

“I used to go to the golf course with my sister and my dad and we used to play all the time,” Varma said. 

Once she started, she couldn’t stop. Varma became obsessed with golf, and despite her young age, she acknowledged the hard-work it would take to be the best. 

Some people might’ve got burnt out or tried another sport, but Varma has never relented in her love for golf.

“The tournaments I get to play, the people I get to meet, the exposure because I’m at the level where the swing and the scores aren’t everything,” Varma said, “Basically for me, golf is my entire social life and… more important than everything else.”

All of her hard work clearly paid off as she is only fifteen and has played with professionals, and is featured in multiple publications such as Golf Digest India, Business Standard, Devdiscourse and more.  

“I played two professional events in India, and in India, I used to play in a lot of international tournaments,” Varma said.

Varma moved to America at the beginning of this summer even with all the craziness in her life, such as tournaments every week and practice everyday.

“(I moved to America) because my parents wanted me to have a better golfing career,” Varma said.

I played two professional events in India, and in India, I used to play in a lot of international tournaments,

— Anika Varma

Especially at the young age of fifteen, moving countries or even cities is a huge change in someone’s life. Yet, Varma took her parents sacrifice and made something out of herself. For example, Varma recently placed top five in the 2019 Hero Women’s Indian Open, a professional tournament.

“I played the Indian Open for the last four years – I got a spot because I’m the number one junior in India,” Varma said. 

The cash prize for this tournament was one-hundred thousand dollars, which Varma would’ve been able to accept had she been playing as a professional, and not as an amateur. 

Clearly, Varma has astounding skills and won’t let anything get in her way on her road to success. 

“ ‘She has learned to take ownership of her game, that I think is the way to sum up our relationship so far,’ ” said her coach, Noah Montgomery in the article, “Living in the Future: The Anika
Varma Story” by Amit Pandey and Aman Misra in New Delhi.

With such a great level of commitment, it would be understandable if Varma were to struggle at times with balancing golf and school. However, that is not the case. 

“I want to be best at both,” Varma said, “It’s tough but it’s worth it.”

It’s very stressful as a parent, because I see the kind of hard work she puts in and she’s so committed to it,

— Sonal Varma

Varma is undecided on whether or not she plans to go professional straight out of high school but is doing everything in her power to make that a possibility while also maintaining good grades so that college is an option as well.  

Varma puts in an incredible amount of time and effort, but her achievements wouldn’t be possible without the love and support from her parents.

“It’s very stressful as a parent, because I see the kind of hard work she puts in and she’s so committed to it,” said Sonal Varma, Varma’s mother. 

Varma’s friends also support her in her aspirations.

“We go out [to practice] everyday together for five hours and motivate each other,” said Hanna Montgomery, a close friend of Varma. 

All of Varma’s friends and family support her no matter what, as they have no doubt she will succeed in life no matter what path she chooses. 

“Whatever makes her happy,” said Sonal Varma. “She has her whole family’s support.”