GOLF MAY BE AN EXPENSIVE SPORT, BUT BUSINESS INVESTORS IN THE STATE ARE PULLING OUT ALL THE STOPS FOR ITS SUSTAINABILITY, AS SEEN BY THE VAULTING INTEREST IN THE NEW GOLF COURSES SET UP FOR FUTURE GAINS.
Take One: During the seventh edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015 held in Gandhinagar about 100-odd top leading corporate leaders, foreign delegates and state and union government officials had an opportunity to participate in the ‘Vibrant Gujarat Golf Cup 27’ at the Kalhaar Blues & Greens – a Nicklaus Design 18-hole golf course situated between Ahmedabad and the Sanand Tata Nano plant.
Take Two: Gujarat’s golfing duo, Brijesh Patel and Sid-dharth Naik, made the Limca Book of Records/National Records for their home state. The first came in June 2014 for having played 182 holes from sunrise to sunset and the second one in 2015 for playing the maximum number of golf courses within 12 hours.
A sign of the times surely – all this – as we turn the spotlight on Gujarat’s intent to seriously position itself as a leading golf destination in India. It’s an interesting scenario right now for the state as the focus on golf happens to also be in sync with the role of golf in India’s own tourism agenda. Golf is an expensive sport and business investors in the state are aware that it will take time to pull in the numbers for its sustainability. But already there’s a burgeoning interest in it as a sport for the future.
‘Golf tourism has inherent strength of its own in Gujarat and can be promoted stand alone,’ as pointed out by the state tourism department, way back in 2012. Even the possibility of its combination with MICE tourism is seen as quite viable. Looks like a win-win situation provided the investments are sound and the management on par, as they say in golfing parlance. Several world-class golf courses have been developed by private endeavour around Ahmedabad and Vadodara. For those who have stayed the course, its serious business and efforts are on to deliver the goods—be it the quality of the grass on the course, the club facilities, service back-up and the training and professional tutoring staff at their Golf Academies.