Jeev Milkha Singh still remembers the first time he held a club in his hand to train at Chandigarh Golf Club 39 years ago. On Sunday as the Professional Golf Tour of India announced the Rs 1.5 crore Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational presented by Take Solutions to be played at Chandigarh Golf Club from November 1 to November 4 this year, it was an emotional moment for the 47-year-old golfer.
“I still remember accompanying my father Milkha Singh to the Chandigarh Golf Club as he wanted to learn the game. I saw other kids train at the club including Amandeep Johal and was fascinated. At that time, the golf course had 12 holes and there was a small zoo near the ninth hole. As a kid, we would play our rounds and then watch the animals in the zoo. I won the ITC Classic in Chandigarh in the late 1990s here and also played in the Arnold Palmer Invitational tournament in USA. Now having a tournament named after me is the same kind of feeling. I am thankful to the PGTI and H Srinivasan of Take Solutions for this honour,” said Jeev Milkha Singh.
Last year saw the Chandigarh Golf Club hosting Take Open in October with Shubhankar Sharma winning the title. It was also after a gap of three years that 7,202 yards long course hosted a PGTI event. Singh played in the tournament and it was after five years that the professional golfer played at his home club. The last three decades have seen Chandigarh Golf Club seeing a lot of changes including conversion to 18 holes from 12 holes apart from a new range. While playing on Asian Tour, European Tour and japan Tour has meant that Jeev only played in five PGTI tournaments since 2007, the Chandigarh golfer counts the experience of playing at Chandigarh Golf Club as an enriching one. “It is tree-lined course and one has to be good driver of the ball to achieve success on this course. For me, the seventh hole is the most challenging on the course and this will be the same during the tournament in November,” he said.