Golf Through the Eyes of a Canadian Golfer
Zaahidali “Ziggy” Nathu is a professional golfer from Richmond, BC. He spent his youth playing hockey but transitioned to golf after playing at his local course with his father and brothers over the summer.
Ziggy began playing competitively as a junior at 15 and went on to play for the University of British Columbia where he rose to the role of captain in his third year and lead the team to seven victories including winning the Canadian National Championship and individually winning the PGA Works Collegiate Championship in 2019.
Since turning pro in 2019, Ziggy has made the cut for numerous PGA Canada events in the shortened 2020 and 2021 seasons in addition to accumulating a number of accomplishments like winning an event on the Vancouver Golf Tour and gaining conditional status on the South American PGA Tour during the 2021/2022 season.
As a proud partner, Allo was able to sit down with Ziggy and discuss his experience in golf, the lessons he’s learned, and his goals for the future.
Learning from Golf, Learning for Life
When asked what aspect of the game is most appealing and what keeps him coming back, Ziggy reflected on the continual improvement inherent to the game. “I just feel like you can never be perfect playing golf. You can always find a way to improve somewhere. You might be really good at, let's say, putting, but you can always get better at putting. No one's perfected the game of golf, so it's awesome to be able to just keep working at it and continually get better. I don't think there are a lot of things in life that are like that.”
With this endless goal of constant betterment with no real hope of ever attaining “perfection”, frustration can become a very real obstacle. It is through this that Ziggy says, golf teaches you patience. “You learn not to force a lot of things when you're playing, and I think that's a really big lesson for life in general. Just knowing that if things are going to happen, they're going to happen. You don't need to go out and force yourself to try to do things. As long as you have a plan and you stick to your plan, most times things are going to work out alright.”
When patience falters, focus unravels, and your game begins to suffer, it is easy to slide into negative thinking, but Ziggy advises that it is best to keep a positive mindset. “You just have to believe in yourself and know that if you keep putting in the work, you're going to get better. There are a lot of moments in golf, and professional golf especially, where things seem like they're not going your way, and it's really easy to be frustrated, but you’ve just got to be positive.”
But staying positive is more complicated than it sounds. Mental health is a complex and highly individual aspect of self that needs to be maintained and trained just like any other part of the body. “This past year was kind of my first full real season on a real PGA sanctioned tour, and it didn't really go the way I wanted it to,” Ziggy recalls. “I didn't really play that well, not that I didn't have the skill set to play well, but it was a lot of mental lapses. So I started working with a sports psych learning more about myself on and off the golf course.”
Gaining Experience to Overcome Obstacles
Mental fortitude is key when working to overcome obstacles, and that is certainly no different in the world of golf.
Ziggy points to monetary and logistical challenges as being some of the most difficult to overcome as someone working towards a career in the PGA. “It's an expensive game. It's expensive to travel, expensive to play. And at the lower levels, we're not really getting paid that well. So finding financial backing to pursue the game for a long time, that's probably one of the biggest [challenges].”
“Besides money, definitely planning everything,” Ziggy states. “Going through as a junior, mostly, my parents would take care of everything. As a college golfer, the school takes care of everything, the coach takes everything. And then when once you turn pro, unless you're like top five in the world and you have people planning things for you, at my level, I'm doing everything.”
But the obstacles are all worth the effort when the real payouts of being part of an international sport like golf come around. For Ziggy, that meant making connections.
“I've got to meet so many people from so many parts of the world that I don't think I would have got to meet before. And a lot of them have become really close friends. A good example of that would be when I went down to South America for the first week, I was traveling alone. I didn't really know anyone, and I just happened to meet a guy named Ryan Davis on the first hole of a practice round. And then right from there, we became really good friends. We ended up traveling the rest of the season together and we're super close now. So you build connections that way.”
Fuel Your Golf Game with Allo
If Ziggy’s story has inspired you to head out to the driving range, book a time on your local course, or even just to hit up the nearest putt-putt place, be sure to fuel your body with an extra boost of protein in your coffee or tea thanks to Allo protein powder for hot coffee.
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