Sinha twins begin Grinnell career on historic note

Vrishali Sinha ’19 scored a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to tie a record set by Hilary Minnick in 2001.  Photo by Rae Kuhlman

Vrishali Sinha ’19 scored a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to tie a record set by Hilary Minnick in 2001.
Photo by Rae Kuhlman

Mithila Iyer

iyermith@grinnell.edu

Getting to know the Midwest after growing up in one of the biggest metropolises in South Asia sounds like an uphill task, but not for twins Vidushi and Vrishali Sinha ’19, first-year golfers from Haryana, India.

They played an integral part in the women’s golf team’s victory at the Mount Mercy University Invitational at Hunters Ridge Club in Marion, Iowa last weekend. Vrishali’s score of 2-under par 70 on Sunday tied Grinnell’s school record.

“It was definitely a really proud moment for me,  I was extremely happy. But then again, it also puts a lot of pressure on me to perform well for the next few tournaments,” Vrishali said. “My drives were really good. I missed two fairways between all the rounds, and my putting was really good, iron shots not that great, so I’m going to be working on that this week.”

Vrishali’s twin sister Vidushi also put on an impressive display at the event, finishing as the event runner up with a score of 158.

“I wouldn’t say I was completely satisfied with my performance. The first day I think I played pretty well. I shot a 76 for over-par. It was the first time we played this course, and it was our first tournament, so I was pretty happy with that,” Vidushi said.

Preparation was key for this tournament with the team arriving early to play three practice rounds before competition began. Despite this, Vidushi feels playing in the States is different from playing in India, meaning there was an adjustment period. 

“I think that the toughest part was getting used to the greens. The greens here are a lot faster and reading the lines was hard. I think that was a challenge, but Coach Jennie [Jackson] helped us out a lot with that,” Vidushi said.

Golf is a family affair for the Sinhas, but the twins are the first ones to take the sport really seriously.

“Our dad started playing first, and then our brother started playing,” Vidushi said. “Then we started playing, we played together every weekend and really enjoying it. We then took it to the next level, started playing tournaments [and] getting coached by one of the best in India. That’s what really made us enjoy it.”

After getting in contact with Head Coach David Arseneault and talking to people about the school, the twins felt that Grinnell was the place for them. 

Golf is played by everybody in the Sinha family but the twins are the first to play at the college level.  Photo by Rae Kuhlman

Golf is played by everybody in the Sinha family but the twins are the first to play at the college level.
Photo by Rae Kuhlman

“Vidushi and I were both very clear that we did not want to attend a school with extreme pressure on sports. We wouldn’t have been able to keep up with that. We wanted to join a Division III college,” Vrishali said.

After their first couple of weeks on-campus, Vidushi and Vrishali have fallen in love with the school’s close-knit campus community, friendliness amongst their peers, individual attention with their teachers, excellent facilities and the close friends they have made. And, of course, golf. Despite their recent success, the twins are both looking forward getting even better.

“I’d like to perform better next time, I know I can. Hopefully, the next few tournaments will be better,” Vidushi said.

Vrishali shares a similar sentiment. “I just want to take it one tournament at a time. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Just because I’ve had a good start doesn’t mean I’m going to have a good season, so I’m just going to practice regularly, work on my game and just take it from there,” she said.

The Sinha twins and the rest of the Women’s Golf Team will golf this Saturday and Sunday at the Luther College Sail Classic in Decorah, Iowa.