Kerala's first 18-hole golf course, work on which is progressing on a property owned by the Cochin International Airport Limited here, is scheduled to be thrown open to the public in September next year.

 According to V. J. Kurian, the Managing Director of CIAL, the company has already started work on the remaining nine holes, in addition to a permanent practice range and a full-fledged club house with various ‘golfer and non-golfer' amenities. On completion, the course will have a total playing area of around 7,200 yards.

 “Once the project is commissioned, we expect to draw major golfers from round the world to here by conducting tournaments of international standards,” he said.

 During this phase, CIAL also plans to set up a golf academy on a priority basis to impart training for the public in the game. The cost for completion of the second phase is estimated to be around Rs.11.5 crore.

 On completion of the second phase, it also proposes to rope in more individual and corporate members to the facility.

 CIAL commissioned the first phase of its all-weather golf course comprising nine holes in May 2010 and allotted about 1,350 memberships under its early bird membership scheme.

 Earlier in September this year, a board meeting of CIAL had given its nod to a proposal to set up a centre for sports excellence as an expansion of the CIAL Golf and Country Club (CGCC).

The centre, to be set up at an estimated cost of Rs. 40 crore within a period of two years will have an indoor stadium with 2,600 seats and a swimming pool.

The stadium will also have multiple facilities for various indoor games like badminton, table tennis, basketball, squash, billiards and boxing.

“The objective is to make these facilities available for the general public along with the CGCC members who can use this to upgrade their sporting skills,” said Mr.Kurian.

“With the world -class facilities to be set up, we also hope to convert the area into an international sporting destination,” he added.

Earlier, Mr. Kurian inaugurated a 200 sq.m. wide swimming pool at the CGCC. The pool with a capacity of 3-lakh litre boasts state-of-the art facilities including an automatic filtering system and two shower rooms.

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