Golf at Mantripukhri greens : Golfers' paradise
M Rachandra Singh *
A Golf Course at Mantripukhri Manipur :: Pix - Sanjiv Metei
Golf is considered a game of the elite but this perception needs a change in view of the popularity of game at grass root level in many parts of India.
With the emergence of players of international fame like Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa, golf is gaining popularity in India although it is still restricted to big cities.
In the state of Manipur, IGAR (South) at Mantripukhri has developed a beautiful golf course as a part of its 'Mantripukhri Environment Park and Training Area (MEPTA)'. Popularly called 'Mantripukhri Greens', this golf course under HQ IGAR (South) has developed into a golfer's paradise in a very short span of time. Manipur Golf Association (MGA) is proud to be associated with MEPTA.
The modern game of golf originated in Scotland as early as 15th century where it was played on Mussel burgh Links, East Lothian, Scotland which is certified as the oldest golf course in the world.
The world's oldest golf tournament in existence, and golf's first major, is The Open Championship, which was first played on 17 October 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club, in Ayrshire, Scotland.
Introduction of golf in India dates back to foundation of India's Royal Calcutta Golf Club 1829 and is usually regarded as the oldest outside the United Kingdom. The Indian Golf Union (IGU) was founded in 1955 to take over responsibility for Indian Golf, which had previously been largely in the hands of the Royal Calcutta Golf Club. The sport was still dominated by amateurs at that point, but most of them were now Indians. In 1964 the Indian Open (open to both amateurs and professionals), was established and it soon became the leading golf tournament in the country. India currently has 196 registered golf courses out of which more than half are with military bases.
Golf is played in an area called golf course which consists of a series of holes, each with a teeing ground, fairway, rough and other hazards, and the putting green. The levels of grass are varied to increase difficulty, or to allow for putting in the case of the green.
While many holes are designed with a direct line-of-sight from the teeing area to the green, some holes may bend either to the left or to the right. A typical golf course consists of 18 holes, but nine-hole courses are common and can be played twice through for a full round of 18 holes.
Every round of golf is based on playing a number of holes in a given order. A "round" typically consists of 18 holes that are played in the order determined by the course layout. Playing a hole on a golf course is initiated by putting a ball into play by striking it with a club on the teeing ground.
Once the ball comes to rest, the golfer strikes it again as many times as necessary using shots until the ball reaches the green, where he then "putts" the ball into the hole. The aim of the game is getting the ball into the hole in as few strokes as possible. The underlying principle of the rules is fairness. As stated on the back cover of the official rule book: Play the ball as it lies, play the course as you find it, and if you cannot do either, do what is fair.
Golf clubs are used to hit the golf ball and have been arranged into three basic types. Woods are large-headed, long-shafted clubs meant to propel the ball a long distance. Irons are shorter-shafted clubs with a metal used for a variety of shots from virtually anywhere on the course, but most often for shorter-distance shots approaching the green, or to get the ball out of tricky lies such as sand traps.
The third class is the putter, designed to roll the ball along the green and into the hole. A maximum of 14 clubs is allowed in a player's bag at one time during a stipulated round. The choice of clubs is at the golfer's discretion, although every club must be constructed in accordance with parameters outlined in the rules.
All players are given a handicap which is a numerical measure of an amateur golfer's ability to play golf over the course of 18 holes. A player's handicap generally represents the number of strokes above par that the player will make over the course of an above-average round of golf. The lower the handicap, the better the player.
Mantripukhri Greens is a 18 hole par 72 golf course with a beautiful and mesmerising landscaping. Naturally flanked by hills on the sides, it offers a breathtaking view to every visitor. It also has a well laid out walking plaza for a non-golfer. Under the patronage of Major General U K Gurung, AVSM, YSM, IG AR (South), the course has transformed into a top class facility.
Since last year, it has hosted a large number of golf tournaments. Now, the layout of the course is imaginative and it tests the skills of a golfer at all times. The greens are still evolving and do challenge the putting caliber of a golfer. In all, the Mantripukhri Greens live up to the expectations of every golfer.
The first Governor's Golf Cup was organised at Mantripukhri Greens in January 2006. Since, then the tournament is being organised every year at the Mantripukhri Greens which witnesses participation of various skilled golfers from the state.
This year, tournament is being played over two days on 16 and 17 March 2013. The annual tournament shall witness a number of participants from Mantripukhri Ecological Park and Training Area (MEPTA), MGA (Manipur Golf Association) and RSEPTA (Red Shield Ecological Park and Training Area).
His Excellency Shri Gurubachan Jagat, the Governor of Manipur has kindly consented to be the Chief Guest. Lieutenant General AK Sahni, SM, VSM, General Officer Commanding 3 Corps will also grace the occasion. The presence of such eminent personalities in the Governor's Golf Cup will ensure the promotion of the sports in the state. It will encourage the young and old alike to pick up this elite sport and excel in it.
A lot has already been done by Assam Rifles to promote the sport in the state and with this year's Governor's Golf Cup it once again reassures people of Manipur that it will continue to lead the state in its all-round development. With so much of patronage and support being extended to the golfers, the day is not far away when a Manipur golfer would make all of us all proud at the national level.
* M Rachandra Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer a Dy IGP (Telecom) Manipur Police is an avid golfer
This article was posted on March 18 , 2013
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