JAMMU: The ‘City of Temples’ is set to witness galaxy of reputed and famous golfers as five-day Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) event will be teeing off on Wednesday at Jammu Tawi Golf Course (JTGC) at Sidhra here in the city outskirts.
PGTI—the official sanctioning body of professional golf in India, along with J&K Tourism are organising its third edition of J&K Open–in Jammu and Kashmir that will be kickstarted tomorrow morning by the Advisor to J&K Lieutenant Governor, R R Bhatnagar at the pristine Jammu Tawi Golf Course from October 4 to 7.
The total prize purse for the event has been enhanced to Rs 50 lakh this year while the Pro-Am event will be held on October 8.
The tournament is supported by Presenting Partner J&K Tourism as well as Host Venue Jammu Tawi Golf Course.
“Any place that is famous around the world definitely has a facet of golf tourism in its realm. In today’s date, golf tourism has made India a focus destination with world class facilities and Jammu and Kashmir is a very big contributing factor in this,” Dr. Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, Secretary, Tourism here told reporters at a press conference on the eve of the PGTI event flanked by other dignitaries.
This tournament, the J&K open, he said is a defining tournament to enhance and promote golf tourism.
“There are world class players that participate at this event and each and every player will get an opportunity to experience the Dogri culture including its art and cuisine,” said Shah.
CEO, PGTI, Uttam Singh Mundy, said, “The third edition of the J&K Open presented by J&K Tourism is one of the most-awaited tournaments of the 2023 PGTI season with the professionals having fond memories of playing at the magnificent Jammu Tawi Golf Course for the first time last year.”
“Tournaments such as these will go a long way in providing a boost to Golf Tourism in J&K,” he said thanking J&K Tourism and the Jammu Tawi Golf Course for reiterating their support to PGTI with the enhanced prize purse this year.
“We are excited about witnessing yet another enthralling week of golf amidst the mesmerizing surroundings of J&K,” said the CEO.
Special Secretary to Government, J&K Tourism Department, Amarjeet Singh, said, “We look forward to our continued association with the J&K Open golf tournament and the PGTI. This tournament gives us a great platform to project the UT of Jammu and Kashmir as a favourable destination for Golf Tourism for business and leisure travellers from all across the world.”
He said, “Our partnership with PGTI and the staging of the J&K Open also provides us the opportunity to showcase the outstanding golfing venues in J&K to a wider audience.”
Secretary, Jammu Tawi Golf Course, Manav Gupta said, “We are proud to host the leading Indian professional golfers at Jammu Tawi Golf Course for the second year in succession. We have worked towards providing the best possible playing conditions at JTGC and are confident that the players will enjoy their experience of playing here.”
The J&K Open also provides immense exposure for our local golfing talent who get to rub shoulders with the best professionals in the country and this exposure will go a long way in helping J&K produce champion golfers in the future,” said the Secretary JTGC.
TATA Steel PGTI Rankings Leader, Om Prakash Chouhan said, “I would really like to thank J&K Tourism for their continued support and especially for their support in conducting the latest edition of the J&K Open 2023.”
“The course is playing beautifully and it is definitely one of the best courses in the country and the work done on the course is very evident. I have special memories of playing in J&K since I won an event here way back in 2014 and I am looking forward to this week,” he said.
The field of 114 players including 109 professionals and five amateurs will witness participation by top Indian professionals namely Om Prakash Chouhan, Aman Raj, Akshay Sharma, Sachin Baisoya, Harshjeet Singh Sethie, Gaurav Pratap Singh, Karan Pratap Singh and Kshitij Naveed Kaul, to name a few.
The foreign challenge will be led by Bangladesh’s Badal Hossain, Nepal’s Sukra Bahadur Rai and Canada’s Sukhraj Singh Gill, to name a few.
The local challenge will be led by J&K-based players including professionals Bhawani Singh Parmar, Pawan Parihar, Fayaz Ahmed Langoo, Raghav Wahi and Mir Ahmad as well as amateurs Prabhnoor Singh, Umar Yaqoob Mir, Vedant Handa, Arindam Sudan and Zorawar Singh.
Jammu Tawi Golf Course is an 18-hole course, designed by internationally renowned designer Col. K.D Bagga.
The course was commissioned on 24th April 2011. This picturesque Golf Course is located along the National Highway 1A connecting Jammu to Srinagar, in a valley along the river Tawi.
The course has fairways approximately 6600 meters in length, it has two big and three small water bodies and a water channel about 3200 meters long.
The Government of Jammu and Kashmir undertook the construction of this prestigious project of Jammu Tawi Golf Course with the intention of giving a boost to Golf Tourism and grooming young boys and girls to become golf professionals.
Jammu and Kashmir is home to some of the top tourist destinations in the country. Jammu, bestowed with breathtaking scenic beauty amidst the proud mountain ranges exhibits all the qualities that make it a sought-after tourist destination. Among the most popular tourist attractions in the Jammu region are the Mata Vaishno Devi Temple, Amar Mahal Palace, Mubarak Mandi Palace and Patnitop, to name a few.
The tournament is part of J&K Tourism’s great initiative of promoting golf tourism in the region. J&K is blessed with some spectacular golf courses such as Jammu Tawi Golf Course, Royal Springs Golf Course (Srinagar), Pahalgam Golf Course (Lidder Valley) and Gulmarg Golf Club. These courses provide a heavenly experience to golfers.