Chandigarh Golf League : Flagship for new beginnings
Designed on the lines of cricket’s Indian Premier League(IPL), Chandigarh Golf League shall witness 20 teams comprising a total of 360 golfers battling it out on the greens of Chandigarh Golf Club from September 21 to October 30.
Come September, and the Chandigarh Golf League (CGL) is all set to tee-off coinciding with the onset of a crispy autumn. A brainchild of golfing minds over months, the event, a first in the ‘ City Beautiful’, shall finally see the light of the day thanks to the untiring efforts of the incumbent management committee at the Chandigarh Golf Club headed by its president, Col Bobby Chahal.
Designed on the lines of cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL), CGL shall witness 20 teams comprising a total of 360 golfers battling it out on the greens of CGC from September 21 to October 30. Team owners who are members of the club have got the owner rights by paying an upfront amount . They have the discretion of selecting their core group of ten golfers; the balance eight go under the hammer through a poker auction thus making each team of 18 club wielding players. Each team plays against the other in two editions of 10 days each with a strategic pause of 20 days between the two editions . The winner teams get prize money out of the sum collected. The balance amount shall go towards promotion of sport and organizational expenditure.
Controversies and imponderables
The game of golf is not a cut-and-dried in its profile. It makes the imponderables like handicapping rules and conduct a challenge , especially when it comes to club golfing . The hype around the inaugural edition had its share of controversies . The most debated was the issue of handicapping. Some smart ones with foresight sensed the league coming and thus resorted to submitting cards with inflated handicaps. Since golf is assumed to be a gentleman’s game, most golfers take fairness for granted . Well, all fingers are not the same. Another issue that ruffled potential team owners and players was the issue of poaching resorted to by a solitary visionary inclined to include good golfers in particular team. The issues were faced upfront by an unflappable Bobby who put all controversies and anomalies to rest in a sagacious manner. Well , all seems settled as of now.
Flavour of CGL
Such events come with their share of excitements, colour and flavour. The team owners have given trendy names to their teams. For example, Karan Tandy whose son is a founder owner of a popular coffee brand and hoping for similar fortunes, has named the team after the brand, “Sleepy Owl – chargers.” Darvesh , who hosts an yearly golf tournament by the name of “Chashme shahi” has gone for the same name . Team owners have extended their existing ventures to the CGL team like one who also owns Empire stores has given the same name to his team and so on. Some teams are planning to kit up their teams in style with trendy tees, costly bags and branded shoes . Designers are being roped in to decide on trousers, shorts, caps and the works. So to some it’s “to be seen is half the battle won” and to others who are conservative in their approach it’s, “Handsome is he who handsome does.”
Carnival at CGC
One thing is for sure: the Chandigarh Golf Club , during the conduct of the league, will turn into a carnival zone. Golf promotion will witness never before soirees for the participants and their spouses . The organisers expect an attendance of no less than 800 heads for each of the functions – all to be hosted by the club courtesy the money earned from the team owners. Like one of us , the chip of the old block, remarked, “League is OK . I play golf the year around. Why one is in it is for the glamour and the social humdrum.”
The organisers promise it to be the event of the millennium. “It’s here to stay,” they say . We have the reason to believe because Brandon D’Souza , the renowned golf event organiser is behind the show. Meantime, it’s not the teams that people are betting upon but some golfers with skill and temperament to take to big stage.
Here’s wishing CGL God Speed.
( The writer is a member at CGC and a keen participant at CGL)