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Posted at: Apr 26, 2019, 8:55 AM; last updated: Apr 26, 2019, 3:09 PM (IST)

Teeing off to glory

As Chandigarh Golf Club turns 50, members share what it means to them. From inculcating sportsman's spirit to being an extension of their home, young and old have a special connect with the club that is as much a social hub as golfers’ dream venue

Mona

Sharing a serene spot next to City Beautiful’s pride Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh Golf Club has been the hub of all things golf and some fun family time for 50 years now. The international standard 18-hole course that spans 7202 yards is many a nature lover’s dream and also home to some of the finest golfers.

As the club celebrated its golden jubilee this Wednesday, it was a quick trip down the memory lane for many of its members. For agriculture entrepreneur, Karan Mahajan, it’s always been home. “It’s here that I had my first swimming and golf lessons. The club did inculcate in me the sportsman spirit,” reminiscences Karan, who we found in the lush greens with his daughter Nitara, who is learning golf now.  “Our parents would often drop us here and let us swim or play – it was like an extension of home – everybody knew everybody, we would eat and have fun together.” 

For Sameera Jaspal, it’s been the ultimate family zone, “My grandfather, who is 96, and my daughter who is about to be six, it’s been the meeting ground. Family gatherings are almost always here and each time I am here with Amaania (her daughter), I kind of relive my childhood bit by bit.”

We catch Amrit Harpal Singh merrily playing Canasta over the Thursday early evening. “For last 50 years, I have come here with friends for lunches and dinners, some tambola or a game of Canasta,” she shares, looking over from her cards for a split second.

“From a two-room building to a golf course of international standard, it’s been quite a journey,” says Dr GS Kochhar, Director Administration and Chairman Events at the Club. A tennis player to begin with, it was golf at this very club that turned tables for him, “Now, I call it my second wife,” laughs this former PGIEMR professor. Bureaucrats, defence personnel to crème de la crème of the city, have patronised the club for last five decades and it’s been as popular for old as for young. Yes, now and then it makes to news for dress code violation conflicts or other, “We are pretty disciplined that way, not as much as Kasauli Club though,” says Dr Kochhar.

“This place provides a holistic atmosphere for anyone interested in golf,” vouches Ajay Pratap Gujral, naming the legends that these greens have seen in action - Jeev Milkha Singh, Sujjan Singh, Harmeet Khalon, Irina Brar, to fresh young talents like Shubhankar Sharma and Hunar Mittal. Coaching since 2002, Ajay is happy that kids as young as five are starting golf lessons. Tournaments to scholarships, the golf course is open to non-members at a slightly raised fee. One of the oldest employees, Pandit Gopal Dutt Sharma takes pride in looking after the guests since 1977. “It’s only here that we get to greet the who’s who while working amidst serene nature,” shares starter Vinod Kumar, serving the club for last 25 years. 

The Golden Jubilee celebration continue for a bit, the weekend is packed with a bumper tambola and lot many more tourneys are in the offing for 50 year young-old club of the city!

Golfer Shubhankar Sharma says, "Chandigarh Golf Course is the crown jewel of Chandigarh. It has produced a series of world-class golfers led by indomitable Jeev sir."

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