Golf, of course!
With its immaculate green cover, the Golconda Golf Course can match the best in the world
IT IS an ambience that would leave all the golfers and the spectators spellbound. The magnificent stretch, which resembles the best of the green carpets in the world, squeezed in between the famous Quli Qutub Shahi tombs and the historic Golconda Fort, is a sight to behold. A stroll on this wonderfully maintained golf course of the Hyderabad Golf Association is a delightful experience.
Joint secretary of HGA, Ramesh Reddy, may not be far off target in asserting that once completed, the 18-hole course can match the best in the world. "The current three-hole course with its green cover has surpassed the imagination of those familiar with the Bangalore golf course.
This is a fair tribute to the teamwork of the officials involved in the whole project," he remarks. Unlike many of the Sports Associations in the State, which crave for financial assistance from the State Government, the HGA seems to be on a different and sound footing. "The full-fledged, 18-hole course, should cost us about Rs. 18 crore. But we are not scared of this figure. So good is the response from the corporate groups," explains Reddy who has been a regular golfer since 1966. The "response" is evident in the way Medwin Hospitals came forward to sponsor the first open tournament of HGA for different categories, aimed primarily at wooing golfers of different age group to the course.
The success of the project can also be attributed to the meticulous job of the chief instructor of the course G.S. Krishnan, a certified coach from the International Golf Union. With the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation chipping in a big way, as the entire golf course falls within its domain too in view of the historic significance of the area, things have certainly become more easier than expected.
And now with the State Government virtually giving the green signal for extending the course to its full length, which spills into the Golconda Fort, things certainly look pretty brighter. Right now, the HGA has a healthy membership of 600 and the number is bound to swell once the ambitious project, which includes the prestigious club house, is completed. What really delights the HGA top brass is the increasing number of youngsters taking to the sport. "We are determined to wipe off the impression that golf is a sport for the oldies and the elite. And we strongly believe that we have been largely successful to this end, if the young kids who are fascinated with the sport is any indication," says Gopalakrishnan. Proof, if needed, was there in the Medwin Open tournament of HGA when Gautham, a tiny tot, walked across with enthusiasm to pick up the `most promising golfer' prize. "These are the moments we are so keen to see repeated at this course in the coming months. And with summer holidays fast approaching, the numbers might just increase," says the chief instructor.
For his part, Ramesh Reddy is confident that they will complete the project by 2006-end."Funds should not be a problem at all. We have three membership drives already in place - permanent (for established golfers), associate members (for beginners) and service membership," he says.
Once the golf course meets all the requirements of the IGU, it should not be a problem even to host an international event. "We are really grateful to the State Government and the military authorities in the vicinity for all their help in our endeavour to see that a truly world-class golf course takes shape at the earliest," Reddy said. If the current pace of work is any indication, and mind you that includes the only floodlit drive-in range, the HGA is on the threshold of creating history by presenting golfers a truly civilian golf course in the city!
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