The new management committee of the Chandigarh Golf Club (CGC), under Ishwar Pratap Singh Mann, has started with a bang. On the face of it, it seems they are determined to leave a mark. Barely into the fourth month of its coronation, the team has shown potential to deliver what it promised.
First, some positives. The fairways and greens are playing optimally. Despite inclement weather, regular mowing and manicure is unhindered. The new captain’s untiring dedication has been showing good results. The committee is also receptive to positive suggestions. A separate desk has been created to keep the members informed regarding various issues of the club.
Another good tiding is that the catering and food is vibrant. The menu is evolving. And, so is the variety of beverages. A move to improve the turnout of waiters and support staff is appreciable. Mashie and Niblick — club’s magazine, which has long been in limbo, has finally rolled out. Equally heart-warming is the response to Thursday’s Tambola, thanks to the incessant efforts by Dr GS Kochhar and Biru Sibia. Members flock well before time because of the fear of missing out the event.
But there still remain some contentious issues bugging regular golfers. There is a popular saying that personal fads have no logic and, thus, no justification. We see that at the 17th dog leg. Miffed with long hitters trying to charter across the jungle straight to the pin, a tardy state emerged. Old, shabby and worn-out logs were dumped in the jungle to dissuade adventurous golfers. This has now turned into a termite breeding ground and an eye sore!
The CGC is essentially a members’ club. Hosting prestigious tournaments is a matter of pride. But, the new management seems to be obsessed with this idea. As a result, many ambitious and arduous projects are underway — widening of greens, digging of imaginative sand traps and deepening of existing bunkers. These initiatives, which may give a boost to CGC’s quest for recognition, are making life difficult for the members. As far as widening greens is concerned, the erstwhile patches, which were perpetually water-logged, are now the extended part of some greens, especially the 7th and 15th holes. The project needs deliberation.
Also, ponds at the 6th and 18th holes have become glaring eyesores. Both are filled with muck. Nothing can be done to improve their state for they were conceptualised without a vision and executed in a hurry. They may have made the course challenging by a notch, but they are breeding hubs for dengue and malaria.
Now, coming to the club’s finances. One doesn’t have to be an economist to understand that the easiest thing to boost treasury is to increase the taxes. Other than being the easiest, it also comes with many negatives. Merely to flash a comparative subscription structure of golf clubs in other parts of the country to justify an almost 80% increase in fee of the members is absurd. I wonder why this template wasn’t applied when lesser lease amount for the club was justified.
All in all, the management committee folks are eager beavers. That portends even better than ‘achhe din’ at the club.
(The writer is an avid golfer at CGC)