Golf has not been a famous sport in India but has been present since time immemorial. With the advancement of technology and our adaptation of the Western Culture, Golf has become a very big part of the upper class and the upper middle class of the society. It has become a sort of a status statement for many.
The Royal Calcutta Golf Club is the oldest Golf Clubs in India. It is also one of the oldest in the world outside of Great Britain (The Royal Blackheath in London 1766) and the second oldest outside of Scotland’s Royal and Ancient, St. Andrews which is said to be the home of Golf. Established in the year 1829, it is also known as royal and is the most associated clubs to Golf in the country. The Golf club was originally called Calcutta Golf Club; the title of “Royal” was awarded to it in 1911 after the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India.
It is currently located at Tollygunge. It was initially located close to the Calcutta Airport, from there it was moved to the Maidan and finally in 1910 to its current location. Till the year 1866, the club was strictly meant for Gentlemen. Ladies were allowed on one condition that they would use the course only during the day. Post applying this condition, the decision was voted 43 against 13 and passed. The golf club was built over a paddy field, thus it is completely flat. The different committees over the year made a number of mounds and planted many trees to beautify the location. Despite this, the most attractive feature of the club is its strategically placed water tanks and natural water hazards.
Greens at the Royals are very tricky due to their undulation and as per modern standards are quiet large. From a certain angle they do look easy but it requires season players with good long and medium iron. Most of the memorabilia connected to the history of this club, is stored in its club house and very well preserved. No records were preserved until 1847, but post that everything has been neatly preserved and maintained. The most notable of the collection is the silver Cashmere Cup which was presented to the Royal and Ancient St Andrews in 1885.
The present club has a 18 hole Golf Course and also maintains a Lawn Bowls Pavilion in Maidan, Kolkata. The membership price to which is Rs 2900 today. Apart from Golf, it offers tennis, Restaurant and bar, Indoor Games and a nice swimming pool too. The most suitable time to play here is from October to March.