The 7th Annual India Golf Expo enjoyed great success in its first foray into Bengaluru. Close to 500 delegates attended the 2-day exposition on April 19 and 20 at Hotel Lalit Ashok along with 70 real estate developers and 50-plus golf clubs from across the country.
The exposition focused on golf ’s sustainability and touched upon key elements required to grow the sport in India and the world. The event included a seminar by a delegation from The R&A (The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland) – the global rules governing body – alongside presentations by other experts from different domains, drawn from across the globe to share knowledge and best practices for the development and sustenance of the sport in the country.
This year the expo was geared towards raising awareness around golf among developers, tourism authorities and club managers. Golf course design and renovation, technology to minimise wastage and further recycling of natural resources, golf course maintenance, promoting the sport locally to encourage participation, the relationship between golf and real estate and the impact of golf on tourism were some of the topics covered at the expo. The GIA also recognised the leading contributors to the sport with the GIA Awards.
Also read: The R&A’s View on Sustainability in Golf
“The Ministry of Tourism has been actively promoting India as a significant golfing destination. We have supported professional men’s and women’s tour events, corporate events and expositions under our policy. The future holds tremendous potential for golf tourism.” — Mohamed Farouk, Director, Ministry of Tourism
The golf industry in India is growing and the golf tourism industry worldwide is valued at US$ 4 billion a year. There are over 3 million golf tourists travelling in Asia annually. In the last 5 years the golf industry in India has attracted Rs. 5,000 crores of investment, and the India Golf Expo is aimed at giving a boost to the industry that has been hit by the real estate slump.
“Golf is a global sport with certain prestige and standing and if India becomes a recognised golfing nation, it will give us a better global positioning. The largest land owner is the Indian government. So, the GIA should focus on lobbying the government on benefits of allocating more land for golf. In many sports the star players themselves get involved in promoting the game. Great Indian stars like Jeev Milkha Singh, Jyoti Randhawa and others must be involved when meeting government officials.” — Charu Sharma, TV commentator and avid golfer
Currently, there are new golf projects being worked on in Mizoram, Naya Raipur and Hyderabad. India has in excess of 240 golf courses and there are an estimated 150,000 individuals playing golf across various age groups.
Related: GIA Awards at India Golf Expo 2018
(Read more in the May issue of Golf Digest India. Download here.)