18 Holes with Devang Shah

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‘Would love to play Augusta’

Devang Shah is Managing Director of one of India’s leading real estate developers, Navratna Group. A passionate golfer, he constantly works towards developing the sport in the country and has been doing so for many years.

Shah and Navratna built Kalhaar Blues & Greens, one of the India’s top championship courses, in 2012. Shah also serves as Chairman of the Junior Development Committee at the Indian Golf Union (IGU) and as President of the Golf Industry Association of India (GIA). He spoke to Golf Digest India about his love for the game.

Golf Digest India: What is your home club?
Devang Shah: Kalhaar Blues & Greens, Ahmedabad

GDI: When did you start playing golf?
DS: January 27, 1997

GDI: What do you love about the game?
DS: The variables, the fact that you play against yourself, and the similarities the game has with life!

GDI: Who do you play golf with the most?
DS: With my friends: Parthiv Mehta, Rajiv Vasa and Aditya Shah. Its always Parthiv and myself against Rajiv and Aditya.

GDI: How about your dream fourball?
DS: Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Donald Trump and me

GDI: Favourite golf course in India and abroad
DS: Kalhaar Blues & Greens (KBG) in India. My favourite course abroad is Bethpage Black. Among others, I’d love to play on the fabled Augusta National GC!

GDI: How often do you get to play?
DS: Thrice a week: Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, when I am in Ahmedabad

GDI: Your thoughts on doing business on the golf course?
DS: I have already built a successful business around a golf course! On a more serious note though – a golf course is the perfect place to spend 4-5 hours with the person you want to do business with. The environment is relaxed. And you also get time for more thoughtful questions and answers in between conversations.

GDI: Favourite male and female golfers
DS: Jack Nicklaus among men and, among women, Annika Sorenstam.

GDI: Describe your most memorable golfing experience
DS: I had my first, and till-date only, Hole-in-One on September 22, 2012, on the day my golf course was opened! Now that’s what I call “the Golfing Gods smiled on me”. Its perhaps the rarest of events that an owner achieves a hole-in-one on the day his golf course is inaugurated!

GDI: Do you use any golf apps on your phone?
DS: Yes, I use PGATour.com, EuropeanTour.com and Asiantour.com. I have also requested PGTI to have an app soon!

GDI: Your current handicap?
DS: Handicap Index 2.6

GDI: Your lowest handicap?
DS: Handicap Index 2.6

GDI: On an average how long do you drive the ball?
DS: About 270 yards with my driver

GDI: Your favourite holiday destination
DS: New York

GDI: Favourite dish on your home course
DS: Masala Oats

GDI: Mid-round power snack
DS: Always a cup of tea with butter toast while playing at KBG. Otherwise, bananas and nuts.

GDI: Favourite 19th hole drink
DS: Nimboo Pani, if I’m at KBG. Else, a glass of beer when I’m not in Ahmedabad.

(Read more in the December issue of Golf Digest India. Download here.)

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