Amid rise in Covid-19 cases, golfers back in Gurugram

Gurugram: With the District Administration easing lockdown measures in the city, most Golf Courses in Gurugram have now begun operating albeit with some precautionary measures. Despite a large number of cases being reported from the city, there are a substantial number of golfers who are attending the courses and playing several rounds of the game.

Even as there is huge interest among golfers to play the game, caddies, unfortunately, continue to feel the pinch of the COVID-19 crisis as they have not been allowed to assist players, for safety reasons, as per authorities. Taking cognizance of the large-scale maintenance that Golf Courses in the city require, most of the senior caddies are right now involved in maintaining the greens.

While most caddies rue the fact that their additional source of income has suffered, there is satisfaction that their jobs are secure. There is however fear that with the rising number of cases, the Golf Course may be asked to close again.

The enthusiasm for the game among a large number of golfers has, however, not been affected. According to an official of one of the major golf courses here, there are 200 to 300 Golfers who come daily to play the game.

"There is a difference between taking precautions and fear. I choose to take precautions but we cannot be scared and close everything. The economy should also now be moving. I am coming out and playing Golf not only because it suits me but also because I understand the importance of how my coming out is crucial for sustaining the livelihoods of hundreds of people who are involved in maintaining the world-class golf courses which this city possesses," said Ravi Kapoor, one of the city's residents.

There are at least 12 Golf Courses in Gurugram and Manesar. Most of them are privately owned by major realty developers and big corporates. Even as real estate prices in Gurugram have witnessed a decline in the last few years, Golf has proved to be a major source of additional revenue for most private developers in the city.

In fact, the Golf Course Road, which has one of the most expensive residential and commercial real estates in Gurugram derives its name from the 18-hole Golf Course developed by one of the major realty players in the country.

Being appreciated for its world-class services, a lot of international as well as national Golf tournaments have been taking place in Gurugram. A large number of foreign expats and corporates have resulted in huge demand for memberships of the Golf Courses despite the steep membership fees. Besides holding major international tournaments, Golf has also proved to be an effective means of diplomacy for the Haryana Government. In January and February this year, the state government held separate Golf tournaments for Japanese and Korean expats and diplomats. During the course of the tournament, several officials also discussed various investment proposals for Korean and Japanese companies in Gurugram.

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