Gulmarg offers one of the most scenic golfing
opportunities in North-India
History of Golf in India
In India you can play golf almost anywhere, for this sport is widely
played by a cross-section of people. In the hills and high Himalayan
fastness, in metropolitan cities and in small towns, by lakes and
forests, or sorrounded by tea estates, out in the deserts and in old
cantonment...the flavour of India is visible everywhere.
India was the first country outside Great Britain to take up the game
of golf. The Royal Calcutta Golf Club, established in 1829, is the
oldest golf club in India and the first outside Great Britain. Because
of the British rule, the eighteenth century saw a mushrooming of new
golf clubs in India. The founding of the Royal Golf Club of Calcutta in
1829 was followed by the now-defunct Royal Bombay Golf Club in 1842 and
the Bangalore Golf Club in !876. The Shillong Golf Club incorporated a
golf course in 1886.
Golf has already been played in India for 59 years before the first
major course was opened in the USA and Europe in 1888. By the end of the
!9th century, India had a dozen golf clubs.
What makes golfing in India exciting is the diversity of its courses.
Not only does it have the oldest gold club in the world outside Great
Britain, but also the highest, at Gulmarg (altitude 2,700 metres) in
Kashmir. There are golf courses in the mountains, plains, deserts and at
beach resorts. The environment of each course is unique in its culture
and history, highlighting all that makes India a diverse destination. In
fact, it would not be wrong to say that one of the best ways to
experience India is through its golf courses.
Most of India's courses are well connected by road, rail, and air,
and have excellent accommodation facilities. Unfortunately, India still
has to rely on the West for golfing equipment, and visitors are advised
to carry their own sets, with an ample supply of golf balls.
Till the '50s, golf clubs in India were affiliated to the Royal
Calcutta Golf Club, which followed the rules of St. Andrews in Scotland.
In December 1955, a group of golfers got together to form the Indian
Golf Union as the controlling body for the game.
The Indian Golf Union is now affiliated to the World amateur Golf
Council, and has done a great deal to promote golfing in the country. In
1957, it started its first training camp at the Royal Golf Club in
Calcutta, where assistant professionals and caddies were brought from
all over the country and trained to teach golf.
The year 1958 is a landmark in the history of Indian golf. For the
first time, the amateur Indian Championship was moved away from the
Royal Calcutta Golf Club to be played alternately at Delhi, Bombay and
Calcutta. The most important annual event in the calendar of the Indian
Open Golf Championship was first played in Delhi in 1964, and won by the
Australian golfer, Peter Thompson.
Golfing in India has come a long way, and a large number of Indian
players now compete on the international circuit. Golf enthusiasts
continue to grow in numbers, and new courses are added almost every
year. And what could be a better feather in India's golfing cap than the
fact that Delhi was chosen to host the first ever golf competition for
the Asian Games in 1982.
Golf Clubs of India
|Bangalore Golf Club
No.2, Sankey Road,
High Grounds, Bangalore 560001
|Ootacumund Gymkhana Club
Ooty Golf Club,
|Chandigarh Golf Club
|Kodaikanal Golf Club
|Madras Gymkhana Club
Race Course, Guindy
|Delhi Golf Club
Dr. Zakir Hussain Marg,
|Bombay Presedency Golf Club
Dr. Choitram Gidwani Road,
Chembur, Bombay 400 074
|Gulmarg Golf Club
|Royal Calcutta Golfing Club
18, Golf Club Road
|Shillong Golf Club