Date: Fri 08 Feb 2013

Golf Premier League launched at Aamby Valley Golf Club, India

Open winner Darren Clarke, two-time major champion Angel Cabrera, Michael Campbell, and Rich Beem are among the big-name golfers taking part in the 3-day 'Golf Premier League', a new franchise-based tournament, to be played at the Aamby Valley Golf Course, designed by EIGCA Senior Member David Hemstock, in the Western Ghat mountains of India between Mumbai and Pune, with televised play starting on Friday 8th February.

Aamby Valley GC
Aamby Valley GC, 10th Hole
Aamby Valley GC
Aamby Valley GC

The organisers are hoping the event will match the resounding success of cricket's Indian Premier League, which subsequently gave rise to similar Twenty20 ventures in Australia, and elsewhere, with the "snappy" format attracting new fans to golf if all goes according to plan.

The floodlit evening tournament will feature eight teams of four players battling it out over 3 days, with three stroke play rounds of 14 holes, to be over within 3 hours, and finishing on an 'all-or-nothing' Par 3 hole. This format is aimed to catch the maximum number of viewers after office hours.

Each team comprises two players who have made a mark at international level, an Asian Tour star and an upcoming Indian player, selected at an auction held in Mumbai last month. Darren Clarke Clarke fetched $55,000 and will play for Uttarakhand Lions, a team co-owned by India's Test spinner Harbhajan Singh. Cabrera was snapped up for $55,000 by the Maharashtra 59'ers, who also have tournament organiser and Indian professional Shiv Kapur on their side.

Said Clarke; "I was not sure this could be pulled off. But here I am, with so many fine players from across the world. And the course is absolutely superb. Such lovely views."

Course Designer, David Hemstock, has been supporting the management team with preparation of the course. Colonel S K Sinha, who was with David from the beginning of the design and construction process in 1997, is the manager of the golf course and 5,000-acre resort site, owned by the Sahara Group.

David is currently working on a new 18-hole championship course fi northern India for the PEARLS group, main sponsors of the GPL.

"There is a novel and pragmatic view of golf emerging from India in particular, with shorter and quicker forms of the game being actively progressed. There are many prestige golf developments going on in the country, but also a desire by developers to fit practical golf facilities into their scheme" says David. "These are Par 3 courses, sub-5,000 yard layouts, and even a 5-hole course requested by one recent client. It's good for golf".

This item also appears on the 'Grow the Game of Golf' website www.growthegameofgolf.org/news/ which is is partnered by an influential team of golf organisations of which EIGCA is a member along with The European Tour, FEGGA, PGA's of Europe, CMAE, EGCOA, GEO, EGIA and the PGA of Australia. Our main goal is to encourage and inspire golf clubs and other golf organisations to help develop the game, particularly at grass roots level.

Picture Gallery

Aamby Valley GC, 1st Hole
Aamby Valley GC, 10th Hole
Aamby Valley GC
Aamby Valley GC
Aamby Valley GC, David Hemstock far left
Aamby Valley GC
Aamby Valley GC
Aamby Valley GC
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