Pro golfers move Delhi high court seeking entry rights in golf club
Eighteen professional golfers, including Rashid Khan, winner of silver medal in the Asian Games 2010 and a two-time Asia champion, on Monday moved the Delhi high court, challenging the Delhi Golf Club’s (DGC) decision to stop the entry of professional golfers.
The plea filed through advocate Vivek Narayan Sharma sought cancellation of the club’s lease and referred to the Centre’s instruction to reserve 10% quota for professional golf players as the club operates on government land leased to it for the promotion of golf.
According to the petition, in 2016, the club arbitrarily made a rule that non-member professional golfers would be allowed to practise at the golf course only after 4.30 pm in winters and after 5.30 pm in summers.
This move was opposed by the golfers, following which the ministry of urban development asked the club to provide 10% quota at DGC to professional golfers. But the order was not followed, the plea said.
An official from the club said they do not have any knowledge about such a petition and the allegations made in it.
On December 7, 2018, the DGC put a notice that said non-member golfers would be able to practice after 4.30 pm in winters and 5.30 pm in summers. Additionally, it mentioned the names of few people who would be allowed to practice, against the directions of the Centre to reserve 10% for the golfers, they said.
“It is quite pertinent to mention here that being sportspersons, they have to practise for over 10 hours and a single game of golf takes around 4-5 hours to complete on a ’18-hole course,” the plea said, explaining they need more time for practice and that the time slot provided by the club is not enough.
The petition said professional players have been suffering because of the non-compliance of the Centre’s orders, affecting their performance due to the lack of a place for practice.
The petition alleged mismanagement in the club and said the petitioners were discriminated against and restricted from using the club’s facilities, canteen and entering the annex area.
The petitioners said that due to such a treatment, the rankings of the players, including Khan, began to fall. They also wanted a direction to the authorities to check and repair the historical monuments at the site.