METRO PLUS

Waiting to strike the greens

WITH the winds blowing hot and cold, it has been a difficult summer for Coimbatoreans. But, the situation is quite different at the Coimbatore Golf Club (CGC). Take a stroll down the course and you may well squeeze your eyes in disbelief seeing the beauty of the greens. Lush and lively, they really are. It will only make one say that the summer has been quite kind to all.

The sprawling 130-acre course has the best greens in the country, players say. The course is not only a local man's delight, it has also captivated the visitors. Even as the greenery elsewhere is fast fading, the CGC continues to look fresh thanks to maintenance.

Well known for its length of 7100 yards and high-speed winds, the course received a fair amount of rainfall to supplement the extensive watering being done by the sprinkler systems, which were fully operational this year. "The course is in its best ever condition," says Mr G Venkataraman, the man who has been toiling hard to keep the course in top condition. "Our sprinkler systems are the most effective and have been put in place at a fraction of the cost being spent by other golf courses. With the sprinkler automation work being taken up this year, the course will look green through the year," he adds.

All this work is being done with a purpose. The CGC is gearing up for the big show — the Cotton City Open, which commences on Aug 13. The four-day tournament is the second leg of the 2003-04 season's Hero Honda Golf Tour and the first leg of the Southern swing.

The tournament offers a prize purse of Rs. 8.5 lakhs. "We are thrilled to sponsor the third edition of the Open, which has received tremendous response from all the Hero Honda Golf Tour professionals over the past three seasons," says CGC President K. Rajagopal.

"The winds will ensure that the golfers have a tough battle on their hand. In last year's tour, the Cotton City Open recorded the highest score, which is a clear indication that the Coimbatore golf course is the most challenging in the country. We will strive harder in the days to come," adds Mr. Rajagopal.

The golf course, which hosts a par-72 facility, is well designed with strategically placed bunkers and water bodies. Proper course management with accuracy of the tee will be the key to success here. Defending champion and top ranked golfer on the tour, Mukesh Kumar of Mhow and the other competitors face a stiff contest.

RAYAN ROZARIO