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Teeing off

Jaydeep Chitlangia

Jaydeep Chitlangia  

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The apex golf body talks about its plans to popularise the sport

The Indian Golf Union (IGU), the apex body for golf in India, is planning to organise two new marquee events as part of the 2015 professional Indian golf calendar. To be called the ‘Indian Masters’ and the ‘Indian Classic’, the pro events will be played as part of the Asian or Challenge Tours. On the sidelines of the 114th Tata Steel amateur golf championship , the president of the IGU, Jaydeep Chitlangia, says that these events will be another step in the body’s plans to conduct major pro events outside of the capital.

In addition, the IGU (as part of its T20 programme) is looking to employ a strategy that would allow the game to grow, excel and sustain. “We have an action plan that offers support and advice to all our stakeholders on what should be done to encourage the game; be it engaging young golfers, taking the game to schools and the grass root level, addressing infrastructure problems, conducting rules and greenkeepers clinics, liaising with the government, pushing the National Initiative for Golf in Schools, or putting in place a national handicapping system (NHS). In short, the T20 programme defines where golf will be in 2020,” Chitlangia says.

The NHS, which aims to address the all-important but vexing issue of having a rational handicapping system for golfers, is seeking to put in place a common and fair handicapping system that will be relevant in clubs and tournaments across the country.

Introduced around a year ago, the NHS is a boon to amateur and pro golfers who are not members of IGU-affiliated clubs, but want to play in tournaments. Around 1,000 golfers have already signed up for the NHS.

With golf all set to be a sport in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, he stated that the IGU was in the process of identifying future prospects and the two-member Indian team. “Anirban Lahiri (world no. 70 and the highest ranked Indian) is leading the pack, and once he qualifies for a spot, the other member will get in automatically.”

He is thrilled with the recent announcement that an Indian company will be sponsoring Tiger Woods. “It will help bring in more sponsors in the game.”

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 6:42:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/teeing-off/article6691039.ece

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