the-south-asian Life & Times                   April - June 2009



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 Iqbal Hussain

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 Most Spectacular
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Gulmarg Golf Club, Gulmarg (near Srinagar, Kashmir)

L-R: The signature hole - the 9th; a church by the side of the 18th; the Club House in winter
Photo Abid Maqbool

The second oldest golf course in India after the Royal Calcutta Golf Club.


Holes – 18

Length – 6760 yards

Par – 72

Signature Hole – 9th

Altitude – 8,500 feet / 2,650 meters

Open from April to November

No carts – but caddies available

The original six-hole golf course in Gulmarg, a tiny hill station near Srinagar, was built in 1890 by a British army colonel. In 1901, the Maharaja of Kashmir donated land that was turned into a separate course also known as the ‘upper course’, which was redesigned in the 1970s by Peter Thomson, into the Gulmarg Golf Club – a links style public course. The turf, since it lies buried six to eight feet under snow for five months of the year, is soft. The greens are a combination of moss and a variety of high-altitude grass, which are fast to play on, and the thin air carries the ball further.

It features the country’s longest hole, the 8th, a 610-yard par-5. The toughest hole is the 17th.

It is among the highest and the most beautiful green golf courses in the world. Gulmarg, approximately 2,650 meters above sea level, is also a skiing destination. It is a little over 2 hours (flying and driving time) away from the heat and dust of Delhi!

The Club is managed by Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation. Golf sets can be hired at the pro-shop in Gulmarg.

The Gulmarg Golf Club is currently closed. Ranjit Nanda, a Delhi based golf course architect is redesigning the greens and fairways and extending the course yardage. The course may be ready by summer 2010.














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