August 24, 2021 6:39:11 am
The last two years have seen former Chandigarh Golf Club president Birinder Singh Gill taking up a new role as the president of the Forest Hill Golf Course in Nayagaon near Chandigarh.
Gill has been overlooking the changes in golf facilities as well the golfing programme at the club. With the club launching its junior tournament programme on Monday and the first of the six junior tournaments starting on August 29, he is hopeful that more youngsters will compete as well start playing the sport.
“Since I joined the Forest Hill Golf Club in 2018, one of our focuses was to make the infrastructure at par with the other golf clubs. Once we tried to achieve that and with work still in progress, we wanted to start the junior tournament programme as well the coaching programme. To give kids and youngsters access to playing over the golf course as well learning on the range has been one of our main goals and the junior tournament is the first step in this direction,” said Gill.
While the Tricity is spotted with the Chandigarh Golf Club, Panchkula Golf Club, Shivalik Golf Club (Chandimandir Cantt) apart from the Mohali Golf Range, the Chandigarh and Panchkula golf clubs see a rush of members throughout the week.
Gill sees the club bridging the gap for the emerging numbers of golfers in the Tricity.
With Bengaluru golfer Aditi Ashok finishing fourth at Tokyo Olympics missing a medal by a whisker, Gill believes that the more youngsters start playing the sport, the better it will be for India’s s chances in international tournaments. “We all saw what Aditi Ashok’s performance has done to generate interest in golf in India. We saw people waking up at 4 am daily for four days to follow Aditi’s round in Olympics and it has to be one of the pathbreaking moments for the sport in the country. More and more people are showing interest in golf and apart from private golf courses, there should also be public golf courses and ranges for giving access to more public. Here, non-members too can walk in and play over the course or learn golf by paying a nominal fee and with almost no waiting and that is one of our main targets,” says Gill.
The renovated 3,562-yard-long golf course has now seen four new tees on the 12 holes respectively apart from four target greens on the range area. With the eighth hole being the longest with 490 yards and first hole being the shortest with 134 yards, Gill sees the 12-hole golf course and range offering new challenges to the golfers. “We have got the Tifdwarf grass over the greens and most of the professionals come to play here too and find the greens challenging. The layout of some holes has been changed apart from setting up target greens at the range area. While the wind factor also makes the course a bit of challenging, the presence of natural water hazards too makes it trickier for golfers,” shared Gill.
The coaching programme is being run by coaches Ajay Gujral and Manjit Kochar and the course is also set to host the IGU Feeder Tour events next month. “Hosting the IGU feeder Tour events has meant that golfers from the region as well other cities compete at the golf course and playing on a golf course with some elevation changes also helps them to understand the different conditions,” said Showkat Maqbool, director, Forest Hill range Golf Academy and golf course.
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