Golf History in Nepal

Golf-History-in-Nepal

Golf-History-in-Nepal

1917 Rana Prime Minister’s delegation returns from Scotland with some golf clubs. Started playing at Gaucharan, where the present T.I. Airport runway is located. G of those days were Rana Generals like, Gen Babar Shumsher and Gen Lava Shumsher. It is believed that they had 18 holes at that time, with sand and oil/tar based greens (so called browns). Some golf tournaments were initiated at that time.

Mid 1920’s The Lava cup was started in mid 1920’s

1955 The golf course at Gaucharan got shortened once airplanes started landing in Kathmandu as the runway occupied half of it’s land. Those days even King Tribhuwan and members of the Royal family used to play golf occasionally. Prince Basundhara was a keen golfer.

Late 50’s Gen Kiran Shumsher established the same golf course by naming it Gauchar Golf Club.

5/Sep/1965 Gauchar Golf Club received Royal patronage from King Mahendra; the Club was inaugurated, and since then it has been named Royal Nepal Golf Club (RNGC). Prince Basundhara became president and held presidency until 1978. Golfers in those days were mostly expatriates, diplomats and from the Shah and Rana families.

Late 60’s Dharan Country Club was established by British Gorkhas in Dharan. The course had 9 holes and grass greens (not browns).

1982 All the land of RNGC was occupied by Civil Aviation to expand the Airport. There were no golf courses in the Kathmandu valley for over a year. The only golf course remaining in the country was the Dharan Country Club.

1983 RNGC was revived in Tilganga on Pashupati Development Trust land. It had only 6 par 3’s holes and golfers used to play it thrice to complete the requisite 18 holes.

1984 Gokarna Safari Golf Club was established at Rajnikunj Gokarna in Kathmandu. Nine holes with browns (not greens) were made.

RNGC expands up to 9 holes – 8 par 3’s and one par 4.

Nepal Golf Association was established.

1986 RNGC gets land from Civil Aviation and build 6 new holes and uses 3 old holes.

1988 First Bermuda greens were made at RNGC.

1993 First Professional/International tournament was held in Nepal. The “Surya Nepal Open” at RNGC commenced and was held yearly thereafter.

Crown Prince Dipendra gave his patronage to RNGC.

Gokarna Safari Golf Club ceased to exist.

1994 The stunning nine hole “Himalayan Golf Course” was established in Pokhara.

1996 Work started on an international standard 18 hole Golf Course at Rajnikunj Gokarna

1997 Green Canyon Country Club – 9 hole par 3 course established at Fulbari Resort, Pokhara.

1998 Army Golf Course construction started behind TI Airport, Kathmandu Nepal Professional Golfers Association was Established. NPGA currently has 18 professional golfer members.

1999 Gokarna Forest Golf Resort (GFGR) opened up with Nepal’s first international standard 18 hole golf course. The Surya Nepal Masters professional tournament ups its prize money and moves the event to GFGR.

2000 Army Golf Club – 9 holes established in Kathmandu – known to the less fit as “The Commando Course”.

GFGR opens up its practice driving range in August.

Bafal Driving range opens in December near the Soaltee with lights for night practice, facilities for video analysis, and a cafeteria.

2001 Dharan Golf Club leased out and revives as Nirvana Country Club

Pokhara Golf School – driving range opens in April – 230 yards in length.

2002 Fulbari Resort remodels and lengthens their course and renames it Annapurna Golf Club.

GFGR starts expansion of Clubhouse and recreational facilities to cater to growing membership.

June 2002 Chaudhary Group opens a private 9 hole golf course in their industrial area in Nawalparasi, Narayanghat, Central Nepal. Comprises 7 par 3s and 2 par 4s.

May 2003 First Nepal Amateur Open held at Gokarna Forest Golf Resort & Spa.

December 2004 Bafal Hill Golf Center ceases to exist.

March 2007 Deepak Thapa Magar wins the Surya Nepal Masters and becomes the first Nepali Professional to achieve such feat.

November 2007 Nepal holds its first SAARC Golf Championship, and for the first time gets all golf playing SAARC countries to participate with both men’s and lady’s teams. Nepal have their best ever finishing capturing the Silver Medal (Second Position) loosing the final to Sri Lanka.

January 2008 Nepal Professional Golfers Association of Nepal ties up with Surya Nepal Pvt. Ltd to organize a domestic professional golf tour in Nepal.

March 2009 National Sports Council endorses Golf as a sport and gives an entry to fifth National Games.

September 2009 Team from R&A St. Andrews, led by Dominic Wall visited Nepal to discuss possibilities for Golf development.

Sources: http://www.gokarna.com/

Namaste

Anil Blon 

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