A Golf Tour of India is a very exclusive holiday in the “tee” gardens of India ! With the pick of golfing circuits and hill-station resorts, it is a holiday in a colonial setting, with gymkhanas, bungalows and “Burra Sahib” clubs. It evokes an old-world atmosphere reminiscent of Nawabs and Viceroys, of garden parties and tall cool drinks. The Golf clubs of India are veritably period settings that have for long retained the stately grandeur of the British Raj.

The visiting golfer can look forward to much more besides a challenging test of his skill — for most Indian courses combine a sense of history, scenic surroundings and a variety of other leisure activities with great game possibilities. Golf is as much a part of the British legacy bequeathed to India as parliamentary institutions, electric trams, the game of cricket, or the skirl of bagpipes Beating Retreat in the softness of an Indian sunset.

Royal Calcutta Golf Course
Built in 1829
2nd Oldest Course in World

The oldest golf club in the world to be founded outside of England and Scotland was in CALCUTTA in 1829. As British influence spread over the vast sub-continent, golf courses and clubs were established wherever “a patch of grass grew”, and in many places where it did not ! India’s second golf club, Royal BOMBAY became in 1842, the second oldest in the world outside of Scotland and England. Thirty years had to go by before BANGALORE in south India started a golf club in 1876, followed in 1878 by the scenic Shillong Club in Upper Assam some 2000 miles northeast in the eastern Himalayas. AHMEDABAD, India’s textile city, started a golf club in 1884 and two years later the MADRAS Gymkhana Club started a golf section. In 1887 a golf course was created in the dusty army cantonment in the erstwhile princely Nizam’s dominions of Hyderabad.

Thus golf had already been played in India for 59 years before the first major courses were started in the USA and Europe in 1888. Before the end of the 19th century India had nearly a dozen golf clubs. Out of 73 “Royal” golf clubs in the world, the designation being bestowed by favour of Sovereign, India was honoured with three such patronages: Royal Calcutta, Royal Bombay and Royal Western (in Nasik). The latter two now no longer exist.

With memories that go back a hundred years or more, and many a record waiting to be broken, this is a holiday that goes beyond tees and greens. While you can golf sun-up to sun-down at picturesque settings with verdant greens and rolling pastures in absolutely bracing cool mountain air, you can also explore the art and architecture of an ancient land and visit monuments that have not lost their splendour over thousands of years.

This is a holiday with a difference. Not only are you the ‘guest of honour’ at luncheons hosted by ardent golfers. Destination India itself extends you a ‘green-carpet’ welcome.


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