Now we understand that it takes a lot of motivation (not to mention determination) to embark on the long haul down NH4 to Sriperumbudur, just for a game of golf. But Hyderabad-based group IVRCL, has gone all out to make sure that their project, Edgewater Golf, located just a few 100 meters away from the Samsung factory, is worth the drive. For starters, it will be the city’s first 18-hole course spread over 160 acres. Second, it will be dotted with a total of nine water bodies, including South India’s first ‘island’ putting green. And third, it will be surrounded by Aavisa, a township of deluxe, premium and luxury villas called Samten — perfect for those who plan to spend the weekend (or more) on the green. “We are creating a 700 acre golf commune. It will have residential, commercial, hospitality and education projects with the USP of the 18-hole championship course,” says G Nagarajan, VP of the Aavisa project by IVRCL.
With nine of said 18 holes ripe for the ‘putting’, and enthusiasts talking about their recent games at the course, we dragged ourselves to the township one Friday evening, to see how things were shaping up. Since some of us don’t know the first thing about swinging a golf club, manager Gaurav Syal allows us to tag along as his team heads out in a buggy to change the location of the holes for the weekend. “We change the location of the holes every Friday,” he says, as we watch them work the hole cutter and patch up the previous hole like it was never there. The weekend will see around 100 golfers a day, putting their skills to the test on the currently Par 36 course. “Right now, around 90 per cent of our guests are Korean and Japanese golfers. The other 10 per cent are Indians, some of whom are also villa owners,” Syal shares, pointing to the 6,000 square feet luxury villas surrounding hole numbers seven and eight, as our buggy passes by.
Their current tee off timings are from 6.30 am to 9 am and around 12 pm to 2 pm in the afternoon on weekends (no tee off time on weekdays). And with summer only getting better (read hotter), they might have to look at slight timing adjustments. But thankfully, the seven man-made lakes dotting the first nine holes help cool the situation a bit. Averaging around 40,000 square meters wide and six meters deep, these water bodies, apparently teeming with catfish, have already attracted a lot of birds (take note watchers) — we sight a flock of cranes, a few Grey Francolins and sparrows, and the occasional Kingfisher too. Sadly, this also means that balls once lost in the lakes, will have to be written off to these feathered friends. With the tour ticked off our list, we head to hole number one, for a quick lesson in swinging!
A nine-hole game costs Rs. 1,700 on weekends and membership starts from approximately Rs. 1.5 lakhs per year. Details: 22256332
— Ryan Peppin