Tee-Time: Play a Round at These 10 Best Golf Courses in India
Golf is a popular game with many older people and has multiple social and health benefits. Here’s a list of 10 best golf courses in India.
Golf is a timeless and ageless game with multiple benefits. It is played by millions of seniors, not only for the great social and health benefits, but for the mental challenge as well. We bring you a list of the 10 best golf courses in India.
Health benefits of golf for seniors
The average golfer walks 4 miles during 18 holes of golf, which is great exercise given that one has to negotiate various terrains. Walking the course also helps build muscle strength, improves cardiovascular functions, and increases endurance. If one is not feeling up to the task of walking the entire course, one can always try walking 9 holes and taking a golf cart on the back 9.
As seniors age after retirement, they have a hard time coming across the level of strategic thinking they did in the workplace; golf is a great way to continue to keep the brain fit. The social aspect of golf is equally important, because most players rarely ever get to low-handicaps (the scoring system to compare golfer skills) – this means they rely on the other great parts of the game for enjoyment, such as interacting with their peers.
“I’m just out here to relax and unwind,” goes the great golf cliché, representing that the game is all about having a good time with friends and enjoying the beautiful scenery surrounding most golf courses.
Ten best golf courses of India
Indian golf courses are located against spectacular backdrops – from deserts to tea estates to Mughal ruins – making the sport a truly enjoyable experience for the many young and old who play it. Some courses, like the Madras Gymkhana, are located inside a horse racing track, and others like those in Bhatinda and Patna are next to wildlife compounds (the 1st fairway in the Patna course is close to the lion enclosure in the zoo and in Bhatinda there is a protected deer paddock inside the course). The Battle of Delhi monument stands tall on the 16th tee in the Noida course and the Qutub Minar minaret forms a beautiful backdrop to the west side of the Qutub course in Delhi.
Here’s our pick of the 10 best golf courses in India:
1. Royal Springs Golf Course, Srinagar
Easily one of the most breathtakingly beautiful golf courses in the country, the Royal Springs Golf Course lies against the backdrop of the Zabarwan Hills, with the Dal Lake just around the corner. The view of the lake from the tee box of the 5th hole will challenge any golfer’s attention. Several tea stations located conveniently along the course sidelines offer a good mid-game break. The course is spread over 300 acres of rolling hills, native deciduous forest, lakes, wilderness and the occasional marsh. You may even spot the rare Hangul lurking in the thickets!
2. JAYPEE Greens Golf and Spa Resort, Greater Noida
An ideal place to mix business and pleasure for New Delhi golfers and out of towners, this modern course was designed by veteran golfer Greg Norman. The 18-hole golf course also offers golf training facilities and a golfer treatment area. The attached luxury spa at the 9-acre designer resort offers expert treatment facilities, hammams, yoga, qigong and tai chi for guests.
3. The Delhi Golf Club, New Delhi
Apart from being the golf club that has played host to viceroys and nawabs, this golf course is also a birdwatcher’s paradise. You can catch tantalizing glimpses of temples and Mughal ruins (including the marvellous 17th century Lal Bangla tombs) as you navigate the 18-hole course, making it one of the scenic stops on the Asian PGA Tour. A 9-hole peacock course (aptly named because peacocks frequently roam the grounds) only adds to its uniqueness.
4. Oxford Golf Resort, Pune
This all inclusive Pune golf resort offers a par 72 course that is one of the best maintained in India. Relatively new since it opened only less than a decade ago, this 18-hole course is surrounded by the Sahyadri mountains in the Western Ghats and its gorgeous location has won it many accolades. The uneven terrain of the course and the frequent wind changes make playing golf here fairly challenging. The club offers a training academy with a three course driving range.
5. Kalhaar Blues and Greens, Ahmedabad
This world class championship 18-hole course was voted the best golf course in India in 2017. Designed by ‘Nicklaus Design’ (company owned by Jack Nicklaus), the layout offers unique challenges and aesthetics like sand and beach bunkers, 14 bodies of water spread over 35 acres, a scenic ‘island green’, etc. The design also features a state-of-the-art computerised irrigation system – the entire course has been sand-capped to enable one of the finest water harvesting and drainage systems to drain rainwater and excess irrigation water to the lake. The campus also includes a Golf Academy.
6. Classic (Ridge and Valley) Golf Resort, Gurgaon
This 27-hole course was the first Jack Nicklaus course to open in India (Kalhaar Blues and Greens in Ahmedabad being the second) when the Ridge, Valley and Canyon nines were unveiled in 1998. This course is well-deserving of the many accolades it has received – on offer are an 18-hole Signature Championship Course and a 9-hole Signature Canyon Course. Set out on the foothills of the Aravalli range in Gurgaon, the course is characterised by wide, rolling fairways and fast, multi-tiered greens with water coming into play at many of the holes.
7. The Royal Calcutta Golf Club, Kolkata
This club, synonymous with the game of golf in the country, is the oldest (established in 1829) golf club outside the British Isles. Originally meant exclusively for the use of gentlemen, ladies were somewhat reluctantly admitted during restricted timings to play golf in 1880. The area over which the club is laid was originally paddy fields so the course is consequently undulating. Thousands of trees and shrubs were planted later to enhance its beauty. However, Royal’s conspicuous features are its strategically located water tanks and natural water hazards.
8. The Kodaikanal Golf Club, Tamil Nadu
At 7,000 ft above sea level in Palani Hills of Kodaikanal is a historic 116-year-old golf course. In the days gone by there was no ghat road to bring players here so ponies transported the American and British missionaries and Indian civil servants who then formed the backbone of the club. Today the club has 600 members from all over the world. Each hole on this picturesque cliff-top 18-hole course will test your skills with its unique character (the strong breeze can turn a par-three hole from an easy nine iron to a hard four). Be prepared to walk up steep slopes in order to navigate this course. And don’t forget to soak in the colonial atmosphere of Kodaikanal and explore its breathtakingly scenic environs.
9. Karnataka Golf Association, Bengaluru
An important stop on the South Indian golfing scene, the Karnataka Golf Association golf course – officially completed in 1989 – was designed with the input of British Open Winner Peter Thomson.Golf enthusiasts created this 125 acre oasis from the old Chalaghatta swamp. A 7219 yard par 72 course, it currently has a slope rating of 137 off the championship tees. The sprawling course comprises beautiful fairways and greens, as well as numerous ponds.
10. Bombay Presidency Golf Club, Mumbai
The Bombay Presidency Golf Club, situated in the Chembur suburb is one of the oldest and most famous golf clubs in Mumbai. The course was originally built in 1927 on 90 acres of reclaimed swamp land. It was designed by five-time British Open champion Peter Thompson and redesigned by Nelson & Haworth in 2009 when it went through extensive modifications. The 18 hole course is 6148 yards long and is Par 70.