With the control of the Trivandrum Golf Club all set to change hands to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) shortly, the concept of Golf Tourism will add to the charm of the state, among many attractions.
If the ambitious plans of SAI to develop the Golf Club property and set up a coaching academy for popularising the game become a reality, it will make a sea change, according to SAI director Jiji Thompson. The concept has been ideated at the government level, thereby facilitating the quick transfer of the property spread over 25 acres as lease holding to SAI from Golf Club, with which the government was having a running dispute.
“SAI is keen to develop the golf course and the proposed coaching academy here on a par with international centres and add facilities which are needed to make it a tourist attraction. It will be a first step towards promoting sports tourism in the state as well,’’ he said, adding that a floodlit facility would also be installed in due course in the golf course. At present, the Golf Club also boasts of facilities for swimming, badminton and indoor games.
“If there is enough infrastructure, sports tourism will pick up,’’ he said.
“Once the golf course is developed, players can come from all over the world. There are ample facilities for different sports and games as well as stay at LNCPE, Karyavattom also,’’ he said.
“The facilities available in coaching academies in places like London is quite amazing. India needs such facilities,’’ Jiji Thompson said.
SAI has charted out plans to popularise golf by removing the elite tag and evolve a system to attract youngsters from schools and colleges towards the game.
“The Governing Board of SAI is meeting on December 14, which will, in turn, come up with a plan of action,’’ he said.