With special thanks to www.golfingindian.com, we bring you this column by Champika Sayal, the former Chairperson of Indian Golf Union’s Ladies Section. She is also Secretary General of the Women’s Golf Association of India. She is the winner of the Veterans Award at the first Take Solutions India Golf Awards and a staunch support of women’s golf in India.
It’s a first in the history of the storied Delhi Golf Club that the first ever international women’s professional golf tournament will be held with the Hero Women’s Indian Open (HWIO). It even coincides with Thanksgiving Day and so plenty to be thankful for.
For those who don’t know the women’s national open title is 43 years younger than the Men’s Indian Open. This is finally a big beginning. Delhi Golf Club comes with more than just massive audience galleries. The club was adjudged the Best Course in the country by the recently held Take Solutions India Golf Awards. The 7th edition of the HWIO will have the players hear the chirping of 300 species of birds, spot our grey owls perhaps see some spectacular images – the rising sun and a moon that can be seen early dawn through the late November haze as players walk down the fairways.
For the girls, much of the excitement of playing this tournament has to do with the face they are going to test new ground. Delhi Golf Club’s natural beauty is a paradise of 188 acres. It has some of those most revered leftovers of the Mughal era strewn across the course in a small dome structures. Who wouldn’t get goosebumps playing at a course that’s relics at least 500 years old? It’s the Mughal history that lends the official name to it as the Lodhi Course.
Over three hundred golfers are greeted each morning and afternoon on the magnificent course every day. It’s truly spruced up to welcome the world’s best female golfing talent. Being a homegrown golfer I remember during our learning years, senior club members often boasted about playing golf on full moon nights, when the game was played by few who knew nuances of the game. One heard these stories with envy.
The Lodhi Course was re designed by legendary Golfer Peter Thompson in the mid seventies and has been set up for the fairer sex at just over 6200 yards for the forthcoming Championship. The DGC has been host venue to several men’s international championships including a men’s European Tour event in 2008, the prestigious Asia-Pacific Ladies Invitational Golf Team Championship more popularly referred to as The Queen Sirikit Cup on two occasions.
Visiting dignitaries including the famous singer Engelberg Humperdinck, who I have had the pleasure of playing with, raved about the savoury “Masala Omelettes” and “Samosas” that are served almost through the day. His song ‘Am I that easy to forget?’ may well be apt for a memorable round of golf at this course. For the foodies looking for energy boosters, don’t forget to try the Hot Ginger Lemon Tea. The club’s grilled and barbeque served on the terrace of the PUB overlooking the mystic monuments and 18th green, is probably one of Delhi’s picturesque spots during the early evenings of the changing season.
It will be quite a treat to watch some of the younger players tackle the mind boggling bushes that line fairways as the Delhi Golf Club continues to be one of the toughest golf courses for application of golf rules. It’s challenges are made of trees and forest ways that have stood the test of time, history and golf balls. Although unseasonable storms of the last two years have brought down a number of the old magnificent trees, making some of the holes a lot easier to score on. Peacock calls can be a distraction for players. Even more so if they choose to enthral you with a dance. Crossing Peacocks and Peahens have the right of way on the course, a Golden Rule that all golfers respect at the Delhi Golf Club
With all these wonderful things to do, in additional to playing spectacular golf, here’s a big cheers to the ladies.
www.golfingindian.com is the digital partner of the Hero Women’s Indian Open