Did you think that the best golf courses existed only on the hills of Kodaikanal, Ooty and Coorg, and in cities like Bangalore and Delhi? Then get set to discover what Hyderabad has to offer, more so when AP Government is planning to shell out big bucks to promote golf tourism in the state.
The 18-hole Bison Army Golf Course at Bolaram is the oldest (founded in 1888), and is one of the most prestigious golf outings. This is maintained by Indian Army, and the prestigious Andhra Pradesh Golf Championship is played here. Even though it is stationed in the outskirts, golf aficionados make a bee-line here to tee-off. Non-members can tee for Rs. 150 per session (for Indians), and foreigners are charged Rs. 1000 per session. Monday is a holiday, and there are facilities like a club bar, hotel, golf shop, motor trolleys and buggy’s for hire and snack bar.
EME Golf Course near to Bison Army Golf Course, is another 18-hole course, and is also maintained by the Indian Army. This is in a beautiful setting, with 9 natural and 6 artificial ponds. Club membership is still restricted to army personnel, but civilians can play for Rs. 100 per session. The Artillery Golf Club is a 12-hole golf course near Golconda .This is also part of the defence force, and club charges are Rs. 200 for non-members.
The South Central Railway Golf Course at Tarnaka is a 9-hole course. This is a great place to learn golfing. Almost all golf playing paraphernalia can be rented out here for Rs. 100, and they charge Rs. 150 per session.
The Hyderabad Golf Association is a well manicured 3-hole course, squeezed between the historic Golconda Fort and Qutub Shahi tombs. This is a real hang-out for city golfers, and charges are Rs. 60 per session for non-members. The course is closed on Tuesday’s, and playing gears can be rented here for nominal rates.
All these clubs have professional coaches to guide you through the game. There are shops here where you can buy professional equipments, changing rooms, caddies to assist you, cafeterias and trolleys etc. A few of them have bars, where golfers sip on great cocktails and unwind with friends. Most of these clubs have a dress code, so please check the rule books before you venture out in the greens.
Hyderabad’s poshest golf course, so far, is the Duabai based EMAAR group’s “Boulder Hills Golf & Country Club” - a world class leisure and residential community, with an eighteen hole golf course interspersed with rocky outcrops. The 192 acres championship golf course is designed by the famous third generation golf course architect Peter Harradine. Membership is, however, through invitations only.
You can buy some cool golf accessories at Planet Sports, but stick to well known brands like Etonic and Wilson. For around Rs 20,000 you can get a decent golf kit. A 36-course golf course sponsored by Country Club is coming up in the outskirts, and another one by AP Golf Association at Gachibowli is getting ready for tee-off.
So get set for a swinging tee-time!
(* Prices are subject to change.)