Golfing in Kashmir
Golf tourism is one of the main attractions of the Kashmir valley in summers. The peak season for golf in Kashmir is from April to November. One advantage that the game of golf in Kashmir has over other golf courses that the weather here is quite refreshing and the shade of the bordering Chinar and Pine trees enables the play to go on longer.
The main golf courses of Kashmir are:
Gulmarg Golf Club
This club was established in the early days of
the British rule by Sir Neville Chamberlain, K.C.B..
The Gulmarg Golf Club has attracted many golfers for
almost a century. The Gulmarg Golf Club is
surrounded by a lush green trees, alpine flowers and
crises crossed by snow fed streams and rivulets;
gently twisting slopes covered with a natural mossy
terrain, and a crispy cool caressing weather.
This golf course was redesigned by the famous golf architect, Peter Thompson. Today its has a 6,760 yards, par 72, 18 hole. The layout of the course too is strikingly different from most golf courses - hardly any stretch is flat - the land slopes and inclines along the complete area of the course which has a par of 72. This highest golf course in the world, also boasts of India's longest hole, a par five, 610 yards. Unlike most of the other par-fives on the Gulmarg course, the eighth plays much longer than its 610 yards because of the uphill factor. The green course features not only the rippling rivulets, pre-defined streams and ponds, but also herds of sheep which rules out the need for lawn mowers and keep the fairways in excellent condition.
The most interesting and trying hole on the Gulmarg course is unquestionably the 17th. Although not very long, it calls for some precise hitting to land on the green which is daringly placed on the edge of a cliff. The 18th hole, a par five, is an thrilling experience. It's downhill crosses from St. Mary's Church to the club house, a drop of 300 feet. The Gulmarg Golf Club is adequate enough to handle the holiday golfer and organize for the services of caddies and coaches. Golf sets can also be hired at very affordable and reasonable rates. Facilities at the club consists of a bar, library, lounge, table tennis, lawn tennis and lots more. The Gulmarg golf course is generally open between April and November, as it is concealed by snow for the rest of the year and its disciplined slopes are converted into mini ski runs for beginners.
If you are planning to play golf regularly through out the entire duration of your stay in Kashmir, a temporary membership can be availed, which will enable you to use the course for as long as you are here. Naturally the membership permits you to use the clubhouse restaurant facilities. You can hire a golf set and balls for the day from the pro-shops at Gulmarg. If you want to brush up your play, or simply want to learn golf as a beginner, there are efficient trainers at both clubs.
Kashmir Golf Club
The Kashmir Golf Club is situated on the Maulana Azad Road. Spread over an area of 52 acres, it boasts of common fairways and a par of 70. It also has well laid out bunkers and hazards, interspersed between chinars and pine trees. This 18-hole course has served as the venue of a number of tournaments. Kashmir Golf Club prides itself for churning out the first golfing professional in India, Ghulam Mohammad in 1930.
The Kashmir Golf Club at Srinagar with well laid out bunkers and hazards, interspersed between chinars & pine is a professional 18-hole course and has been the venue of many tournaments. The course has common fairways and a par of 70. Srinagar offers an exclusive opportunity for golf enthusiasts to play through the summer, from April to November. Srinagar's pleasant climate allows the golfer to play longer hours without getting tired.
Royal Spring Golf Course
The most scenic Golf Course in a natural environment created against the dramatic backdrop of Zabarwan mountains at Chashma Shahi, the Royal Springs. These springs were the source of soft sweet water, prized by the Mughal Emperor Jehangir, around which he built an exquisite walled garden - the Chashma Shahi. The legendary garden overlooks the Golf Course which also contains four of the Royal Springs. Golf at Royal Springs, Srinagar is a truly transcending experience for the golfer and nature lover alike.