The State Hornet

Golf sisters thrive on the green since move from India

Sacramento+State+sophomore+Nishtha%2C+left%2C+and+senior+Astha+Madan%2C+right%2C+helped+lead+the+women%27s+golf+team+to+its+first+Big+Sky+Conference+Championship+since+2007.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Golf sisters thrive on the green since move from India

Sacramento State sophomore Nishtha, left, and senior Astha Madan, right, helped lead the women's golf team to its first Big Sky Conference Championship since 2007.

Sacramento State sophomore Nishtha, left, and senior Astha Madan, right, helped lead the women's golf team to its first Big Sky Conference Championship since 2007.

Thomas Frey - The State Hornet

Sacramento State sophomore Nishtha, left, and senior Astha Madan, right, helped lead the women's golf team to its first Big Sky Conference Championship since 2007.

Thomas Frey - The State Hornet

Thomas Frey - The State Hornet

Sacramento State sophomore Nishtha, left, and senior Astha Madan, right, helped lead the women's golf team to its first Big Sky Conference Championship since 2007.

Thomas Frey

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In 2010, sisters Astha and Nishtha Madan made it their goal to earn a college golf scholarship in the United States while at The Shri Ram School in Gurgaon, India.

Astha, now a senior, was in ninth grade, and Nishtha, a sophomore, was in seventh grade.

The sisters went directly to the golf course each day after school at 2:30 p.m. to work on driving, putting and specific shots, like hitting out of the sand, rough or fairway. The pair pushed themselves until the sun went down. During the summer, they would play in amateur tournaments all around India.

The sisters grew up in Gurgaon, India, where Astha began playing sports from the time she was about 5 years old. Nishtha, who is two years younger, eagerly waited for her chance to play, as she watched Astha participate in swimming, tennis, golf, track and soccer.

They each played multiple sports for about five years until Astha turned 10 before honing in their focus on just two sports.

“We were playing a lot of sports for fun,” Astha said, “But after a point, we just played golf and tennis.”

As each year passed, they were hitting the ball farther and more accurately on the golf course.

Their skills earned them chances to travel and play golf all around the world. First, Astha would qualify for international tournaments, then about two years later, Nishtha got her chance on the same stages. The Madan sisters played in countries like South Korea, Japan, Colombia and the United States.

“I was not planning on staying in India for college,” Astha said. “I had set a goal to play collegiate golf and had been working towards that ever since.”

Courtesy of Astha Madan
Sacramento State sophomore golfer Nishtha Madan practices her swing Thursday, Oct. 26 at the Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento, California.

In the summer before her final year of high school, Astha was one of three girls from India to qualify for the 2013 Junior World Golf Championships at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego.

She finished with scores of 74 in each of her first two rounds on the same course that hosted the 2008 U.S. Open.

After her final round, Astha had two recruiting visits scheduled. The first to San Diego State and the second to the University of San Francisco. On her visit to San Diego State, the coach told Astha that she didn’t have any remaining scholarships available. The Aztecs coach knew that Astha was visiting USF the next day and recommended that she also visit Sacramento State.

Sac State coach David Sutherland never had a player referred to him like this, but he knew who Astha was. Astha said she quickly came to the conclusion that not only did Sutherland have about a decade of experience on the PGA Tour, but he also knew how to keep things relaxed and fun with the team. She said she fell in love with the fact that she could play golf year-round and that there are several golf courses near the university.

It took just one day to change her collegiate path, as she committed to Sac State. The ripple effect would change the life of her sister, Nishtha, who followed Astha to Sacramento two years later.

Astha was away from her family and her country for the first time in her life. The biggest difference, she said, was the way people act, but being on a team helps.

“It’s almost polar opposite,” Astha said. “India is community-based. But golf is a team sport in college, and our team dynamic is so good. The team feels more like a family.”

Astha thrived as a freshman: she won the Matador Invitational, finished in a tie for second place at the Big Sky Championship and was named Big Sky Co-Freshman of the Year. She then dropped her freshman scoring average from 76.18 to 75.28 (third in school history) as a junior and is averaging 74.11 as a senior.

Nishtha continued to play in India during Astha’s first two years in college before coming to Sacramento herself.

“The coach seemed like a great person, and I loved how green it is,” Nishtha said. “It was a pretty easy decision.”

In her junior year, Astha was able to mentor and help acclimate incoming freshman Nishtha and Sofie Babic from Sweden, who was also new to the United States.

“She was definitely helpful,” Babic said. “She is a really good friend and person. I know she will always be there if I need her.”

Despite the family dynamic, the team struggled early last season with three of the team’s five starters being freshmen or sophomore. However, the Hornets improved as the season went on, as they won two of their final three tournaments, including the Big Sky Championship where Astha hit the winning shot on a playoff hole. It was the team’s first conference title since 2007.

Nishtha’s average of 75.55 as a freshman was fifth in school history, and she is on pace to break that this season. Meanwhile, Astha is closing out her senior season with goals of joining the Ladies Professional Golf Association after she graduates. According to Sutherland, her short game and mental approach are at a professional level, and she is getting stronger on her drives.

“I don’t think any player has ever graduated from here having the effect Astha had,” Sutherland said. “I don’t even want to think about what our program will be without her. Astha is a really great leader to this group.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
5 Comments

5 Responses to “Golf sisters thrive on the green since move from India”

  1. Kiran Jai on October 31st, 2017 11:51 pm

    CongratulAtions Girls!! With Your dedication, passion and hard work, you have not only proved your metal but made ur parents & country proud!!!
    Keep up d spirit & hard work!!
    Kiran & Rajiv Jai

  2. Dr Bindu chawla on November 1st, 2017 8:14 am

    Absolutely great work and admirable game these two sisters play !!

  3. Jasjit Singh on November 1st, 2017 6:10 pm

    Proud of you and your achievements Astha & Nishtha, all the best!

  4. Champika Sayal on November 1st, 2017 7:27 pm

    Well done Girls!
    Ten years ago you were two adorable little golfers watching the Women’s Indian Open when it was launched -now hope to see you come and win the Hero Women’s Indian Open.

    Champika Sayal
    Secretary General
    Women’s Golf Association of India

  5. Prakash Bhandari on November 18th, 2017 6:24 pm

    You have done well to make us proud, do well to make India proud

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Golf sisters thrive on the green since move from India

    Featured

    On the anniversary of his death, Sacramento remembers Stephon Clark

  • Golf sisters thrive on the green since move from India

    Featured

    SPICY TAKES: Maybe you should moan because you like it

  • Golf sisters thrive on the green since move from India

    Featured

    Stephon Clark Legacy Weekend begins with a trauma focused workshop

  • Golf sisters thrive on the green since move from India

    Featured

    Sac State’s Delta Chi chapter removed for three years following investigation

  • Golf sisters thrive on the green since move from India

    Featured

    OPINION: Stephon Clark’s killers weren’t charged. What happens next?

  • Golf sisters thrive on the green since move from India

    Featured

    Pay rates for Sac State faculty lower than most CSUs

  • Golf sisters thrive on the green since move from India

    Featured

    Sac State panel discusses future of women in politics

  • Golf sisters thrive on the green since move from India

    Featured

    Sac State hosts week of events following DA’s decision

  • Golf sisters thrive on the green since move from India

    Featured

    Sac State student organizes book drive for Camp Fire victims

  • Golf sisters thrive on the green since move from India

    Culture

    Sac State alumnus, rapper Consci8us nominated for 2019 SN&R SAMMIES

Navigate Right