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Golfing in India

Golf the sport that we know it today originated from a game played on the Eastern Coast of Scotland in the Kingdom of Fife during the 15th century. Players would hit a pebble around a natural course of sand dunes, rabbit runs and tracks using a stick or primitive club.

It took centuries for this sport to evolve and develop into a well-organized International sport much sought after by the top brasses of government service, diplomats and corporates honchos. Till some time back Golf was considered to be a sport purely for the rich and famous. However, the current paradigm re-defines this sport and its patronage. As times have changed, the quality of equipment used has shown a remarkable uplift. The wooden clubs have now been replaced with high carbon and graphite material, which gives a true feel while driving and putting shots.

Recently, top corporate houses have started organizing golf clinics for amateurs who wish to take up this sport as a perfect stance for merrymaking and socializing within their circuits.

Let's start our journey through some of the finest golf courses within the country where a stress free golfing holiday awaits you and your family.

Royal Springs Golf Course, Srinagar

Royal Springs is an 18-hole championship Golf course with panoramic views of the Dal Lake encompassed with fir-covered peaks of the Zabarwan Hills. The view of the mesmeric lake from the tee box of the fifth hole will put any golfer's attention to test. Those looking for a mid-game break will appreciate the tea shelters conveniently located along the course's sidelines. During your stay at any of the Hotels in the vicinity one can take a family boat ride on Dal Lake along with a visit to Kashmir's fragrant gardens. The intriguing Pari Mahal, Mughal Gardens and Hazratbal Mosque should also be visited during your stay here.

Agra Golf Club
Enjoy the sport you love in the home of the monument of love in this historic city. The Agra Golf Club offers a glimpse of the Taj Mahal at various points on its nine-hole course. It can also be played with a separate set of tees to make for an 18-hole game. Most of the nearby hotels can organize a morning round of the course. In addition, a visit to the majestic Taj Mahal, followed by Agra Fort and nearby Fatehpur Sikri can surely be cherished for a long time. In addition, there are plenty of cultural attractions for the family, including the shopping streets of Agra that offer a good selection of local handicrafts and jewellery to take home with you.

The Kodaikanal Golf Club, Tamil Nadu
Each hole at this 18-hole picturesque clifftop course has a unique character to test your skills. High up in the Palani Hills of Tamil Nadu, at 7,000ft above sea level, Kodaikanal is a town firmly entrenched in British Indian history—which explains the presence of its historic, 116-year-old golf course. It will also test your physical endurance, as you'll have to walk up steep slopes to reach the different holes spread throughout the course. The Palani Hills have easy, well-marked trekking trails and scenic picnic spots to enjoy a leisurely lunch.

Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort, Greater Noida
For New Delhi's golfers, this Greater NOIDA resort, along with its Greg Norman-designed course, is both a weekend getaway and a place to mix business with leisure. The resort's sprawling sports complex, Six Senses Spa, Kids Club and eight restaurants and bars are ideal for the family to spend time in while you're teeing off on the 18-hole golf course. Avid golfers will also enjoy Jaypee Greens' special golf training facilities and golfer-treatment area. A family can enjoy a full day at this retreat lazing in the swimming pool or chilling away at Boomerang, the adjoining in-house Resto-bar.

Aamby Valley City, Maharashtra
Just about two-hour drive from Mumbai, the Aamby Valley Golf Course is a perfect destination for the stressed yuppies looking for some respite and quality time for them. Beautifully Designed by UK's David Hemstock Associates, the 7,087-yard course is nestled in the Sahyadri Hills of Maharashtra. Part of Aamby Valley City, this day-and-night championship fairway's front nine courses have natural and man-made hazards like water bodies and sand pits. This planned city has plenty of activities to keep the family occupied, including a spa, gym, discotheque, and numerous shopping and dining options.

The Royal Calcutta Golf Club, Kolkata
Tee'd off in 1829, this is said to be the world's oldest course outside of the British Isles. Designed in a manner similar to Scotland's famous St Andrew's fairway, its spectacularly preserved par-72, 18-hole course is both inviting and challenging. And the club's veranda is the perfect spot to unwind with a mint tea after a game. Kolkata's Park Street is home to famous food haunts like Flurys, Mocambo, Blue Fox and Peter Cat. For a dose of culture, visit Chinatown, which has some great restaurants as well as a Chinese temple. It also has a private yacht that the family can rent for a cruise around the Bay of Bengal.

Oxford Golf & Country Club, Pune
This championship course, just 22km from Pune airport, is bordered on three sides by the Sahyadri Hills. The 18-hole horseshoe-shaped course is ideal for seasoned golfers. Several vantage point tee boxes provide you with great views of the silver sand bunkers as you drive your ball down the Hills and over 40 practice bays give it its world-class appeal. The course is part of a 1,100-acre township. Although the township itself has plenty of activities to keep your family busy, you can also make the short drive into Pune to enjoy its buzzing music, nightlife and dining scene. Those who enjoy adventure sports can visit Della Adventures in Lonavala.

Golfshire Club, Bengaluru
Extend your business trip to India's Silicon Valley and have your family join you at The Prestige Group's Golfshire Club. Just 45 minutes from the city centre, its course is designed by PGA Design Consulting and managed by leading golf course management company, Troon Golf. Set at the foot of the Nandi Hills on the edge of Lake Karehalli, the 250-acre course features undulating greens, several of which are two-tiered and deep, with shapely bunkers to challenge any avid golfer. The course is part of a part-residential, part-commercial luxury development with its own spa, swimming pool, squash courts, restaurants, and crèche, making it ideal for a family day out. And with the city just a short drive away, you can visit its many malls, restaurants and clubs.

Kensville Golf Living, Ahmedabad
Designed by India's professional Golfer Jeev Milkha Singh, the Kensville's 18-hole PGA-standard course is a verdant oasis just outside Gujarat's bustling commercial capital. Golfer Shiv Kapur trained Sachin Tendulkar at this course, and Kensville has hosted three European Challenge Tour events. Budding golfers can train at the Kensville Golf Academy; there's also a 700-acre residential development within the complex that they can stay in. Visit Ahmedabad's Sabarmati Ashram, where Gandhi spent part of his life, the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, and the Museum of Vintage and Classic Cars.

Just Tee off at one of these and drive the ball before putting it in the hole….. Cheers!