Once considered a sport of the elites, golf has come a long way in India, both in terms of popularity and recognition.
With the establishment of golf courses and clubs across the country, increasing international success, and growing public interest, golf is becoming a sport to reckon with in India.
The Rise of Golf in India
A sport that traces its Indian roots back to the British colonial era, golf has steadily grown in popularity over the past few years. The journey has been long, with the sport taking time to gain traction amongst the masses.
However, today, golf in India is experiencing a period of rapid growth and acceptance, marked by the establishment of numerous golf courses and clubs, increased success in international tournaments, and a surge in public interest.
Establishing Golf Courses and Clubs
The emergence and establishment of golf courses and clubs across India have played a pivotal role in popularizing the sport. With over 220 golf courses in the country, some of which are at par with international standards, the sport has witnessed a significant boost.
- Development of Golf Courses: Golf courses have popped up in various parts of the country, ranging from metropolises like Delhi and Mumbai to smaller cities and even hill stations. Some of the most renowned courses include the Delhi Golf Club, Royal Calcutta Golf Club, and Kodaikanal Golf Club.
- Role of Golf Clubs: Golf clubs across India not only provide enthusiasts with the necessary infrastructure but also serve as training grounds for budding golfers. They organize local and national level tournaments, fostering a competitive spirit and promoting the sport on a larger scale.
Increasing International Success
The growing recognition of Indian golfers on the international stage is another factor contributing to golf’s increasing popularity in India. These success stories have inspired many and led to increased interest in the sport.
Success Stories: Indian golfers have been making their mark in international tournaments. Figures like Jeev Milkha Singh, the first Indian to join the European Tour and the first to break into the top 100 in the world rankings, Arjun Atwal, the first Indian golfer to win a PGA Tour event, and Anirban Lahiri, who has represented India in the prestigious President’s Cup, have all played a crucial role in boosting the sport’s image.
Growing Public Interest
Public interest in golf has seen a substantial increase, thanks to widespread television coverage of golf tournaments and the introduction of golf in school sports curricula.
- Television Coverage: The broadcasting of international golf tournaments on Indian television channels has played a significant role in familiarizing the Indian audience with the sport. Increased coverage has not only exposed viewers to high-level golf but also helped educate them about the rules and nuances of the game.
- Golf in Schools: Many schools across India have begun to incorporate golf into their sports curriculum. This initiative exposes students to the sport at a young age, fostering interest and potential talent.
- Accessibility of Golf: The development of miniature golf courses and driving ranges in urban areas has made the sport more accessible to the public. These facilities provide an avenue for interested individuals to try their hand at golf without committing to a full-sized course, thereby helping to demystify the sport and increase its popularity.
The Best Golf Club Sets for Men in India
As the popularity of golf continues to rise in India, the demand for golf equipment has increased. Choosing the right golf club set is crucial for anyone taking up the sport.
Callaway Men’s Strata Ultimate Complete Golf Set
The Callaway Men’s Strata Ultimate Complete Golf Set is a great choice for men looking to step up their game. It includes everything a golfer needs for a competitive round of golf.
Wilson Golf Men’s Ultra Complete Package Set
The Wilson Golf Men’s Ultra Complete Package Set is perfect for beginners and intermediate players. It includes a driver, fairway wood, hybrid, irons, pitching wedge, and putter.
Precise M5 Men’s Complete Golf Clubs Package Set
The Precise M5 Men’s Complete Golf Clubs Package Set is an excellent choice for men who want an affordable yet quality set. The set includes titanium woods, hybrid, 5-PW irons, putter, and a stand bag.
Golf and Football in India and a Brief Look at Mohun Bagan AC – India’s Popular Football Club
The popularity of different sports in India has seen various shifts over the years. While cricket has always dominated the sports scene, football and golf have also carved out their niches, albeit in very different ways.
Football has deep roots in Indian culture, with a fan base spread across the country. It’s a sport that transcends social strata, played in dusty fields in rural areas, urban parks, and grand stadiums.
The Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League, the top professional leagues in Indian football, have significantly contributed to popularize the sport, enhancing its visibility through domestic and international broadcasts.
An iconic name in Indian football is Mohun Bagan Athletic Club. Founded in 1889, Mohun Bagan AC has a storied history, with its successes resonating far beyond its home city of Kolkata.
The club has won multiple national titles and has a fan base that extends globally. The team’s history, coupled with its recent merger with ATK to form ATK Mohun Bagan FC, has ensured its prominence in the Indian football scenario.
On the other hand, golf, a sport once perceived as elite and inaccessible, is slowly gaining popularity in India. Despite its late start, the sport has witnessed significant growth in the last few decades.
The establishment of golf clubs, international success of Indian golfers, and rising public interest have all fueled its popularity. The Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) has played a significant role in popularizing the sport and providing a platform for Indian golfers to showcase their talents.
In comparison, golf and football serve different segments of the Indian population. Football, with its mass appeal and deep cultural roots, continues to dominate the sports scene, especially in states like West Bengal, Goa, Kerala, and the Northeastern states.
Golf, though not as universally popular, has found its niche, primarily amongst the urban middle and upper classes. It’s an emerging sport that’s witnessing growing participation and viewership, but it still has a long way to go before it matches the fever-pitch popularity of football.
While football remains a sport of the masses, golf is gradually shedding its elitist image to become more inclusive and accessible. Both sports, with their unique appeals and dedicated fan bases, contribute significantly to the diverse sports culture in India.
Golf in India has come a long way from being an elite sport to becoming increasingly popular among the masses.
The rise in golf courses, international success, and growing public interest have propelled golf’s popularity. The growing market for golf equipment, exemplified by the demand for men’s golf club sets, also testifies to the sport’s rising popularity.
As we appreciate the growth of golf, we cannot overlook the influence of other sports, particularly football, symbolized by clubs like Mohun Bagan AC, in shaping India’s sporting landscape.