India Sports

Arjuna Awardees in Golf

Golf started in India as early as 1830, and India's lush green golf grounds keep on attracting numerous golfers to the country ever since. Interestingly, India happens to be the second country only after Great Britain, which took up the game. In fact, when the first major golf course was inaugurated in the US in 1890, India had already completed six decades as a golf playing nation. It was the same time at the turn of the 20th century, when the game started for the first time in history in Europe.

The Royal Calcutta Golf Club was instituted in 1829, which has the honor to be the oldest golf club in India and the first one outside England. Sooner, Royal Bombay Golf Club came into existence in 1842, followed by a third golf club of India in Bangalore in 1876. Royal Bombay Golf Club has ceased to function now. The Shillong Golf Club was the fourth golf course, which came into existence in 1886, amid the lush green surroundings of Meghalaya, (Assam Region).

At present, there are more than 190 golf courses in India, some of them at the most scenic places with diverse geographical regions. These golf grounds also represent the rich cultural heritage of our country. At all of country's golf grounds, you will find a slight regional touch and exquisite beauty of Indian culture.

In Delhi, the golf club is located amid the historical monuments of old Delhi, which represents the medieval grandeur of India. In southern India, most of the golf clubs are located in lush green tea estates on the beautiful and less hot hill stations. In Kashmir, a golf course near Srinagar is located in Gulmarg, which boasts of being located on the highest field in the world. Poona Golf Club and Presidency Golf Club, Mumbai are the beautiful golf clubs in western regions.

There are many other golf courses which are located at the most amazing places in India. There are many golf tour operators, which can offer you sightseeing, exotic local culinary, and spa & yoga facilities apart from the opportunity of golfing at those places. The governing body of golf in India is the Indian Golf Union (IGU). Like other sport federations, IGU handles the tasks of promotion, broad basing and development of the sport of golf in India.

IGU was formed with the initiatives of some prominent golfers in Kolkata in 1955. They were joined in by their counterparts in Delhi, Mumbai and Madras. The IGU also had a task to maintain the high standards of golf and development of golf courses across the country. Soon, the Amateur Golf Championship of India was started to nurture emerging golf talents in India. Indian golfers have exhibited excellent performances at the international events. Rashid Khan, the ace Indian golfer had twice won the Faldo series Asia. Rahul Bakshi also became a winner at the Faldo series grand finale, held in Brazil.

Rolex, the leading brand of watches have always associated with the game of golf. Rolex has signed a contract with IGU as the official sponsor of the sport and to contribute towards financing the IGUs programs over the next five years. R&A, Royal and Ancient (Golf Club of St Andrews) has also committed to assist financially the Greens keepers of Indian golf clubs. The president looks after the programs of the IGU Council, and he is assisted by an additional 23 council members.

Different national golf championships are organized by different bodies and golf clubs in India. For example, Amateur Championship of India, which began in 1892, is organized by the Royal Calcutta Golf Club. Inter Zonal championship is conducted by Sardar H.S.Malik, since 1958. Indian Golf Union organizes Junior Championship and Open Championship is held by Indian Golf Union. IGU Handicap Stableford is conducted by Royal Calcutta Golf Club.

List of Arjuna Award Winners in Golf

1999Chiranjeev Milkha Singh (Jeev Milkha Singh)
2002Shiv Kapur
2004Jyotinder Singh Randhawa (Jyoti Randhawa)
2007Arjun Atwal

Last Updated on 10/09/2012