VISAKHAPATNAM: Golf tourism is set to get a big boost in Visakhapatnam as the East Point Golf Club (EPGC) at Mudasarlova Park has been declared eligible for national and international tournaments. The golf course has been expanded to 6,900 square yards to qualify for hosting professional golf tournaments as per the international standards.
The EPGC expanded the golf course at a cost of Rs 14 crore after the government allotted 13 acres of land to it. "Vizag golf course surrounded by hills is a beautiful and ideal location. No city has such a natural golf course and they are generally located on hill stations like Ooty," said Indian Golf Union president Lt Gen D Anbu (Retd).
The IGU president said on an average they are organising 70 big tournaments in the country and they can shift some of them to Vizag. "The golf course will be a model for others under Atma Nirbhar Bharat as it has been designed and developed indigenously," he said.
Former EPGC secretary TS Varma said more golfers will visit Vizag to play both IGU and invitational tournaments henceforth. Now, they can host amateur and Indian senior men’s and women’s tournaments. A Bengaluru- based architect has redesigned the golf course.
Golfers from Chikmagalur Club, Bangalore Club, Karnataka Club and Bhubaneswar Club visited the EPGC after renovation and they are very much impressed by the Vizag golf course, Varma said, adding that they are trying to remove the false notion attached to it that it is a rich man's sport.
He said they urged the IGU to host an amateur tournament and south zone tournament in Vizag. The Women Golfers Association is also keen to host a tournament in Vizag. As of now, inter-club tournaments with Hyderabad Golf Club are going on and Karnataka Golf Association is trying for affiliation for inter-club tournaments.
"Major golf tournaments will attract more tourists to the city and it will go a long way in promoting brand Vizag," he said. At present, most of the golfers are business class people and IT professionals apart from navy personnel. The EPGC was started in 1884 by the British. The golf course was then located at the present site of VUDA Park and nearby star hotel.
In 1964, the club was relocated to Mudasarlova when PVG Raju, Raja of Vizianagaram, who was a golfer and the then minister, helped the club acquire the present 100 acres of land on a 99-year lease at an annual rental of just Rs 500. In 1974, it was developed as an 18 hole course. Later, it has become a professional golf course.
Rs 14 crore spent on expansion
The East Point Golf Club (EPGC) has spent Rs 14 cr for expansion of the golf course at Mudasarlova Park. For the golf course expansion, 13 acres of land was allotted
EPGC started by British
The EPGC was started in 1884 by the British. The golf course was then located at the present site of VUDA Park and nearby star hotel. In 1964, the club was relocated to Mudasarlova