Delhi Golf Club League a battleground for past and present stars

Asian Tour winner Gaurav Ghei (extreme left), Lt Gen Balbir Sandhu (retd), chairman of tournament committee and Digraj Singh Marwah at the announcement of the Delhi Golf Club League on Wednesday.
Asian Tour winner Gaurav Ghei (extreme left), Lt Gen Balbir Sandhu (retd), chairman of tournament committee, and Digraj Singh Marwah at the announcement of the Delhi Golf Club League on Wednesday.

The Delhi Golf Club League, a brainchild of the golf committee of India’s second oldest golf course, will be played at the par-72 Lodhi Course from October 14-31.

The League, powered by Vredestein Tyres, will feature 18 teams locking horns for supremacy. Each team comprises 18 players supported by one mentor and coach.  The tournament will be played on a four ball, better ball matchplay Format.

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“DGC as an institution has given India 14 Arjuna Awardees and numerous champions, something we are proud of. This legacy and vision to continue nurturing champions drives us to create and support events which enable talent development and the DGC League is a step in that direction” said DGC president DGC Manjit Singh.

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“For a golf club, it is essential to have both competitive spirit and camaraderie amongst the members. The DGC League has several strong elements which bind the community together and we are already seeing that happen” said Lt Gen Balbir Sandhu, chairman of the tournament committee and driving force behind the League.

Some of the biggest names in the golfing world who have honed their skills at the Delhi Golf Club, are involved with the League at different levels, including four Arjuna Award winners, Shiv Kapur, Ali Sher, Nonita Lal Qureshi and Amit Luthra.

Gaurav Ghei, the first Indian golfer to qualify for the Open Championship 1997; Vivek Bhandari, winner of the Honda-Siel PGA Championship ’97; Arjun Singh, winner of the Wills Masters ’98; Asian Tour regulars Chiragh Kumar, Naman Dawar and Amandeep Johl; leading WGAI professionals Meher Atwal and Ayesha Kapur, and top coaches Brandon de Souza, Jasjit Singh and Ajai Gupta are part of the League.

“I have been a product of the DGC system and feel very privileged to have had an opportunity to learn my golf here. And now this opportunity to give back to the club, its members and juniors some of the knowledge I have gained over the years” said Ghei, who took the golfing world by storm with his chip-in victory in the Gadgil Western Masters in 1995.

The League will be played in two stages – a round robin stage followed by a knock-out stage. During each playoff match, each team will field 7 pairs (14 players). One pair from each team will play against a pair from the other team in a four ball better ball matchplay format with all the players playing off 75% of their original handicaps.

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The 18 teams have been divided into 4 groups. After the round robin Stage, 2 teams from each group will qualify for the knock-out stage starting with the quarter-finals. The finals will be played on October 31.

The 18 teams in the fray are ‘The A-Team’, ‘Sterling Swingers’, ‘Baale Golf’, Eagles & Birdies’, ‘K Devils’, ‘SwingKKings’, ‘Shiva Motocorp. Land Rover’, Bajaj Foundation’, Tee Birds’, The Pioneers’, ‘Ocean’s 20’, Team Coca-Cola’ ’24 Lions’, ‘TEEm EDC”, Athletic Drive’, ‘BMW-Deutchemotoren’, ‘Delhi Tigers’ and ‘Radvin Birdie Machine’.

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