Golf Club with a heart

Golf Club with a heart

Every golf course boasts of its glorious past, but few can compete with the Delhi Golf Club. Here lie the end of dynasties, the relics of empires and ruins which stand as the testimony to an age of glory.

The Delhi Golf Club is one of the oldest golf-courses in Asia and the oldest one in Delhi. It was founded in the 1920s as the Lodhi Club and is located on Dr Zakir Hussain Road in Nizamuddin and it became a corporate entity on 24 February 1950.

The course was originally laid out by the Britishers, integrating existing Mughal structures and tombs such as the Lal Bangla into the course. The golf club has undergone various changes over time, and at one point it had to sell at least a third of the land it occupied to the municipality of Delhi in order to finance itself. Today it is a favourite meeting point of the Delhi’s elite and hosts various tournaments and cups such as the Indian Open.

Arjun Pasricha, executive assistant to the secretary, Delhi Golf Club, said, “The course comprises the championship 18-hole Lodhi Course which is part of the Asian PGA Tour and the shorter 9-hole Peacock Course. The latter came into being when the course was re-designed by Peter Thomson. Right now we have more than 3000 members, all above 21 years, which is the minimum limitation for membership here.”

Although much has changed at the Delhi Golf Club to meet the needs of its ever increasing population – the course that existed just prior to Independence covered a much larger area, including parts of Kaka Nagar and Golf Links, both nearby housing localities. Talking about the membership structure, it has three categories – for business class the fee is Rs 6 lakhs for lifetime, for Central Government servants it is Rs 3 lakhs for lifetime and Rs 1.5 lakhs for dependants of the members.

But, isn’t golf an expensive sport for many and which can’t be afforded by all? “Yes, it is an expensive sport but things have changed in the last 10 years as people have started to put in money. For ex, you need a caddy boy for sure and the kit is also expensive. But, we have underprivileged kids whom we train in our Club, who can’t afford to pursue this sport. These are staff’s children and who are not members of any other clubs. We select them after analysing their potential. If the student has the calibre, we also renew their membership.”

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