Over the years, golf has gained momentum in India. With golf courses spreading to various parts of the country, enthusiasts — from both outside the country and within — won’t face a dearth of choices should they wish to tee off while on a tour. And talking about tours… golf tourism has been on the rise. The tourism ministry is looking to promote the sport as a niche tourism product and rightly so, given the abundance of natural beauty that India has been blessed with. While the country is home to more than 250 golf courses, here are some of the more scenic ones…
Its location, the altitude and the array of facilities available make Pahalgam Golf Course a favoured destination among tourists. The 18-hole layout is a three-hour drive from Srinagar.
Golfing in the middle of nature—surrounded by snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas and alpine vegetation—is an experience to savour. The long yardage is not a factor, but accuracy is critical for good scoring. This unexpectedly well-maintained course is located 2,400m above sea level and covers a wide expanse of elevated and plain area.
The multiple-award winning DLF Golf & Country Club, Gurugram, is easily among the most picturesque golf courses in the country. The facility boasts 27 holes, the 18-hole Gary Player championship course and the 9-hole Arnold Palmer course. The latter also offers floodlights for those who seek a ‘night golf’ experience.
While visually stunning and unique, the par-72, 7,654-yard Gary Player layout at DLF G&CC is considered one of the sternest courses. It comprises of massive water bodies (including a par-three island green), while elevation changes coupled with undulating fairways provide an unforgettable golfing experience for recreational and professional golfers alike.
DLF G&CC has played host to many professional tournaments, too, such as Johnnie Walker Classic, Avantha Masters and – more recently – Hero Indian Open and Hero Women’s Indian Open.
Set in a valley and constantly rated among the country’s top golf and leisure destinations, Oxford Golf Resort is home to Pune’s lone 18-hole private golf course.
The Phil Ryan-designed layout is surrounded by the Sahyadri Hills on three sides and, while pleasantly contrasting to the eyes, the white sand bunkers and lush green turf make it challenging for the visitor. The course is also equipped with state-of-the-art drainage systems and the overall landscaping is designed to seamlessly blend with the Sahyadris. Breeze plays a big factor, too, as does the varying gradient across the topography and doglegs on the third and 18th holes.
The resort is also home to Leadbetter Golf Academy, a world-renowned golf school headed by David Leadbetter, who is considered one of the greatest coaches the sport has seen.
If mountains have their own charm, so do beaches! Part of The Lalit Golf & Spa Resort, The Lalit Goa Golf Greens is currently the only golf course open to visitors in Goa.
The 9-hole course is of international standard and offers visitors the unique experience of playing right next to a beach, thus enabling magnificent views of the Arabian Sea. The sea breeze and the sound of the waves crashing only add to the golfing delight, thereby making for a perfect addition to your next holiday in Goa. It is also the only championship golf course in the union territory and is equipped with well-trained staff, caddies and a fleet of deluxe golf carts. There is a driving range and a practice area for putting, too.