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OOTY GOLF COURSE

Ooty Golf ClubThe Ooty golf course follows the soft contours of downland, with its tonsured effect of tree-bare heights, ringed with gorse and thickly wooded copses of eucalyptus, oak, rhododendron and fir in the hollows. The course is surrounded by the thickly wooded Avalanch Range.
The altitude of 7,600feet, a few degrees above the equator, provides a combination of light and thin air which is a near intoxicant, and the ball travels much further than it would in the plains because of the rarefied atmosphere. The Ooty golf course is not only scenic but also quite trying, and it would be wise for the visitor to play only nine of the 18 holes on the first day.

Nine of the 18 holes on the Ooty course are blind in that you cannot see the green from the tee because of the undulating landscape. Guide posts fixed on the intervening ridges give the player the necessary directions. The most gruelling hole on this course is the fifth, all uphill and a good 200 feet higher. But the green is rewarding, with a breathtaking view across the hill ranges. The most exciting green is undoubtedly the 13th. It's here that the player could be interrupted by the baying of hounds as he bumps into a fox hunt in progress. Dating back to 1847, the Ooty hunt has carried on uninterrupted, and Class I foxhounds and beagles are still bred and trained here.

The Ooty fairways are lush but tight, and the greens are large and well maintained. A unique feature of the Ooty greens is the fencing that protects them from the wild animals that occasionally stroll on the course. In fact, a pug mark or a hoof print is a free lift! Where could anyone play more challenging golf?

Crowning the Nilgiri mountains in the south of India is the town of Ooty, as Ootacamund is more popularly known. Viewed from Coimbatore (89 km), the blue mountains, as the Nilgiris literally denote, seem to be permanently enveloped in blue. This could be brought about by the large number of gum trees that dot the mountain side, or by the gentle mist, which is so characteristic of the local weather. Ooty, at an altitude of 2,286 meters, is characterised by gently undulating downs and neatly planted tea gardens. It was Ooty's Wenlock Downs that caught the eye of Col. Ross Thompson, who wasted no time in converting the spectacular area into a golf course, and founded the Ootacamund Gymkhana Club in 1896. The Wenlock Downs closely resemble the South Downs of Sussex, complete with yellow flowered prickly gorse bushes.

Ooty Golf Course Highlights
Year of Foundation : 1896 (incorporated). Became 'greens' in 1929 a Ross Thompson designed golf course.
Altitude : 7,600 feet
Open : Round the year
No. of Holes : 18
Distance Ladies : 5,125 yards
Distance Gentlemen : 6,074 yards
Par : 70
Additional Facilities : Bar & restaurant, table tennis, card room, billiards.
Accommodation : Six huts; annexe with ten rooms.


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SHILLONG GOLF COURSE

Close to the Polo Ground is one of the most attractive locales of the town, the Shillong Golf Club. Golf was introduced to Shillong in 1898 by a group of British Civil Service officers who initially constructed a nine hole course at an area called Laban. lt was only after the first world war that Shillong gained popularity as a golf resort for European golfers from East Bengal and Calcutta, and in 1924 the present 18 hole course with its picturesque club house was inaugurated.

The layout of the new course was done by Capt. Jackson and C.K.Rhodes, who were remarkably successful in preserving the natural beauty of the area while giving it an excellent layout. The course is set in an undulating valley covered with thick groves of pine and rhododendron trees. The tight fairways are carpeted with an indigenous species of lo cal grass which hardens the soil and makes the course tough to play. The longest hole on the course is the 594 yards, sixth, which makes it an extremely trying hole, and also one of the longest in India.

The tight fairways are difficult to negotiate in any case, but the task is made even more trying by the number of 'out-of-bounds' streams that criss-cross almost every fairway. Most of the approaches are uphill shots, and even veterans opt to play safe. The greens are as challenging as the fairways. They are lightning fast and are invariably trapped by heavy sand bunkers.

The 372 yards, par five, ninth hole is a dog leg, and one of the most picturesque on the course. The tee off is from a pine grove elevated some 200 feet above the fairway. The tiger line is onto a steep ridge and to the left of the single pine tree which demarcates the common eighth and ninth fairway. The second shot is placed into the elbow of the dog leg which is in a valley, and from where the green is now visible on a hillock ahead. The third stroke has to be lofted to gain height as well as negotiate the tight fairway. It requires a good chip and a lucky putt to get a par on this hole, as the area around the green is uneven, and the green itself extremely fast. Not only is the Shillong course scenic and enjoyable, it's also challenging. Obstructions don't come only in the form of bunkers and trees, but also rain. Shillong is just 56 km from the wettest place in the world!


Shillong Golf Course Highlights
Year of Foundation : 1898
Open : Round the year
No. of Holes : 18
Distance Ladies : 5,231 yards
Distance Gentlemen : 5,873 yards
Par : 70
Additional Facilities : Bar & cafeteria
Accommodation : In the City


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KODAIKANAL GOLF COURSE

Kodaikanal Golf Club came in to existence on June 17, 1895. An 18 hole, par 66 course, it is laid over natural grasslands and is criss-crossed by streams. Located about 6 kms from the center of town on the road to pillar rocks. Total length of the course is 6426 yards. An 18 hole, par 66 course, it is laid over natural grasslands and is criss-crossed by streams. The fun loving British were the architects of the course; the course and the clubhouse are situated on Golf links Road connecting the Kochi road, near the famous tourist attraction view point 'Suicide Point' or 'Green Valley View'. The course with its well furnished club house recently gave up the 19th hole, for the license was too costly. Some of the finest greens adorn the course like emeralds; one can play the full 18 holes here. The spread of the course is about 150 acres.

The jungle which runs very close to the course attracts wild animals sometimes. Wild boars are commonly sighted in herds. Tigers used to be sighted near the 6th hole, and the hole itself is named 'Tiger Hole'. Some of the other holes are also given very interesting names, depending on the challenges they offer the golfer. The 4th hole is called the Devil's Dip, for the fairway from the tee-box to the green is a solid dip, which runs on as far as one's sight can carry. The 12th hole, due to the strenuousness of the walk and the stroke, is called the 'Cardiac Hole'. A hard hitters' course, the thirteenth green is not visible from the tee box. The 15th hole, which has the longest yardage of 587 yards, needs two good shots to sight the green. The entire course takes about 3 hours to play all the holes.

At least 50 tournaments are conducted during the year. Palani Hill Open, Veday Cup, Rudrappan Memorial Cup, Contessa Open and A V Thomas Tournament (introduced recently), are some of the major tournaments generally held between end April and the beginning of June. A par rating of 72, the course is a long-hitting course.

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JAYACHAMARAJA WODIYAR GOLF COURSE, MYSORE

In 1906 The Late Maharaja Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar chose the foothills of the famous Chamundi Hills as the location for the Race and Golf courses. Located on 110 acres in the premises of the Mysore Race Club. The course was redesigned in 1996 by Pacific Coast

A brown course, the JCW Golf Course is laid out within the Race Course at Mysore. The size of the course is one hundred acres. Krishnarajaa Wadiyar, the Prince of Mysore, started the course and maintained it until he lost his privy purse. With a par rating of 63 when it was started, it is 70 today. The course is out of bounds during the racing season in Mysore.

The two major tournaments conducted here are Maharaja's Tournament and Addicts Golfing Society of Southern India.



Mysore Golf Course Highlights
Year of Foundation : 1906, redesigned in 1996 by Pacific Coast Design Company of Australia
Open : Round the year; best season (July-October)
No. of Holes : 18
Lenght : 5920 yards
Distance Gentlemen : 5,873 yards
Par : 70
Accommodation : In the City


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