Dubai: New Delhi will host the European Tour golf tournament for the first time in 2008.
The $2.5 million (Rs 10 crore) Indian Masters will be played in New Delhi from 7-10 February, promoters and organizers announced on 11 June.
The tournament will be sanctioned by the European Tour and the Indian Golf Union. The selection of venue for the prestigious event was after seeing how big golf had become in recent years in India and given New Delhi’s golf courses which match global standards, the choice was clinched.
“Golf is fast becoming extremely popular in India,” said Mohamed Juma Buamain, chief executive of Golf in Dubai, the promoter of the event.
The news was welcomed by Jeev Milkha Singh, the highest ranked Indian golfer at No. 58 in the world. “This is great news for Indian golf,” he said. “I think it is also an acknowledgment of the superb results posted by Indian golfers across the globe. A tournament of this stature is sure to catalyze exponential growth of the game back home.”
India has traditionally hosted Asian PGA Tour events. With India’s booming economy, several new golf courses are in the pipeline. European Tour chief executive George O’Grady said. “We are seeking to expand our tournament portfolio into new territories and we believe that the Indian Masters offers huge potential on this front.”
So while getting memberships to golf courses will still be an expensive proposition and the game the domain of the elite few, one can take heart from the fact that golf networking is getting big in India with international tournaments choosing to organize events in India.