Gerrit van Rooyen
Courses Around the Wold - Delhi Golf Club
Updated: May 25, 2020
Last week I mentioned I wanted to write about a few interesting clubs I have read about or heard about from Steve since writing for Wellington Golf Tours.
This week I want to have a quick chat about the Delhi Golf club in Delhi, India. Steve recently went to India, but because of the pandemic had to cut that trip short and come bunker down with the rest of us in shaky New Zealand. We just moments ago had a 5.8 reasonably near to where I live and even though it makes you feel a little... wobbly, I still love living here. The countries I have lived in before all had their problems. I gladly take a bit of shaky ground over corrupt politicians, overpopulation (causing crime and hunger), and pollution any day!
But back to the Delhi Golf Club.
The club was originally (built in 1930) much larger and named the Lodhi Golf Club. However, due to a number of possible factors, it was not making enough money from the members it had (apart from during the second world war, when it had many Allied officers playing there). My theory is that it was just built at the wrong time for the wrong audience. My reason for thinking this is twofold. The Delhi Golf Club is significantly smaller and said to be in a "walled in" area now.
The first point seems obvious, the cost of running a golf course is a lot, as we have seen before in simply maintaining the greens! So maintenance on such a large course, (covering well over 0.89 square kilometres!) must be enormous.
Secondly, as I have read so far on the history of the game, golf developed a less upper-class crowd only recently. The move to wall-in the area to make the Delhi Golf Club more exclusive was probably done to try and attract a wealthier crowd and make it a bit more exclusive. Luckily, the government decided to go with a plan to keep the rent for the land low after the founders of the Delhi Golf Club proposed they keep the land cost down and not relative to actual value so that it would make money for the country instead of being a financial burden.
The club now has all kinds of people attending, with all kinds of beautiful architecture dotting the landscape.
Some interesting facts about the club
1) According to their live counter, there have been 414,626 visitors to the club. I do not know if this is since the counter went live or since the start. I had no frame of reference if that is a big number so I checked how many people golf in all of New Zealand yearly. Apparently, around 35,000 tourists golf over an average 3 year period in all of New Zealand.
That means the Delhi Golf Club has had about 35 years worth of the total New Zealand tourists go through its doors in its lifetime!
2) One of the biggest hurdles to get the new course vibrant again (during the 1951 redesign) was how to keep the roaming cattle out. As you may know, cattle are sacred in India and it is not just a case of getting rid of them.
3) Not only does the Delhi Golf Course sport a fantastic looking course, but it is also a great spot for bird watchers. Apparently, there are well over 300 different species of birds in and around the courses. During the lockdown, locals are reported to pass the time enjoying birdwatching in, what must be, an amazing location for it.
This coming Sunday I will make a post about the Omaha Beach complex in France.
I hope you all had a good weekend and if you have any suggestions of clubs or courses, or anything golf related I can look into, please let me know. Till next time!