Need to maintain golf courses: J & K CM

The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed ordered formulation of a Concept Plan for maintenance, operations and marketing of existing golf courses in the State so as to make them self-sustained assets.

The Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, playing golf at the Royal Spring Golf Course in Srinagar.   -  NISSAR AHMAD

The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed ordered formulation of a Concept Plan for maintenance, operations and marketing of existing golf courses in the State so as to make them self-sustained assets.

“The State needs to borrow expertise on creating golf resorts, laced with clubs and villas that will promote high-end tourism. We need to create an institutional mechanism to involve expert consultancy in making J-K a global golfing destination,” he said.

The Chief Minister was speaking during a high-level meeting called to review progress on existing and upcoming golf courses in the State.

Laying stress on proper maintenance of golf courses, Sayeed said golfing has an exciting future in the State, given the God-given gift of natural landscape and lush green meadows.

He asked the Tourism Department to develop golf resorts on play-and-stay basis so that the courses which are under-utilised, are able to generate revenue and become productive assets.

The State has four existing golf courses at Srinagar, Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Sidhra while new courses are proposed for Sonamarg, Yusmarg and Aharbal in Kashmir and Sanasar and Jai-Bhaderwah in Jammu Division, an official spokesman said.

Emphasising upon making golf courses fully operational, the Chief Minister described Gulmarg Golf Course as a heritage treasure and directed Secretary Tourism to revive golfing activity at one of the oldest courses in the State.

He handed out instructions for laying golf course at Sonamarg, Yusmarg and Jai-Bhadarwah, which have natural contours in landscaping, by the end of next season so that a major golf circuit is created, the spokesman said.

As a season-ending exercise, the Chief Minister ordered Secretary Tourism to invite all leading golfers of the country for a promotional tourney at Royal Springs Golf Course, the State's best known golfing destination.

He stressed upon creating a golfing academy where the sport can be taught to school-going children.

RSGC is hosting a series of events to boost golfing activity.

The Chief Minister was informed that RSGC has taken an initiative to train young school kids to master the sport. Out of 340 children, 30 have been adopted by RSGC for advance training.