Golf tournament in Kashmir Photograph:( WION )
By holding such events, the government of Jammu and Kashmir is not only promoting tourism but is also making Kashmir the next golfing destination
After years of Hiatus, Kashmir Golf Courses are back to hosting international tournaments. With the most picturesque backdrop and best terrain, an international tournament has started in Srinagar's Royal Springs Golf Course.
More than 126 professional golfers from India and abroad are participating in the tournament.
The government of Jammu and Kashmir is promoting the valley as the golfing destination since Kashmir's golf courses are considered to be the best in India.
''It's an international golf tournament which is being hosted by the Professional Golf Tour of India. It's a prestigious golf tournament. It's a very proud moment for us to host 126 professional golfers, one among them is Udaymane who represented the country at Olympics," said Javaid Bakshi, Secretary of the golf course. "He was leading the pack yesterday.
An inspection team arrives before the players to check the golf course, Bakshi informed. "They have a course director who does all the planning. We are lucky and proud that Mr Sampat who is the tournament director has rated this golf course as one of the best in the world. It's a big feather in the cap of Union Territory. These golfers will go as ambassadors and promote Kashmir as a golfing destination,'' Bakshi added.
The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has six golf courses in total. Out of these, three are in Srinagar, one in Pahalgam, one in Gulmarg and another one in Jammu. The Royal Spring Golf Course has 18 holes with three lakes, a club house and around 8.5km pathway for cart. The golf course is spread over 100 acres of land.
''Royal Springs golf course is scenic but it has got challenges for the golfers. Currently, 126 golfers are playing here. The course is planned so meticulously that it challenges the golfers," said Sampath Chari, Tournament Director. "There are very good pathways on which you can score. You have got uphill and downhill, and the greens are very tricky. Wind speeds are different and the mountain at the back and the front make it more difficult.
Adoring the beauty and talent of Kashmir, he added, "It's fantastic to promote Kashmir as the golf destination. This has the potential of holding big tournaments here. We need to nurture young talent. We need to train the young so they pick up this sport as a professional. If it opens up a bit more, sky's the limit.''
The golfers participating in the tournament are all praise for the beauty and landscape of the Royal Spring Golf Course. They also say that it has more potential and should be opened to kids so that they can take it up as their professional sport.
''It doesn't feel like any other golf courses in India due to its scenic beauty, just the terrain is very different. It is my first time here and it is great to be here. This golf course has much more potential, it can go on the globe and become an international destination for golfers. We want more people to play the sport. The more the kids play the sport, the more people will get to know about it,'' said Aman Raj, a golfer.
By holding such events, the government of Jammu and Kashmir is not only promoting tourism but is also making Kashmir the next golfing destination.