Giving a push to the golfing industry, the 8th edition of Indian Golf and Turf Expo (IGE) 2019 will be held from April 26-27, 2019 at Thyagraj stadium, Delhi.
With over 50 domestic and international exhibitors, there will conferences by eminent speakers, golf simulators to hone golf skills, putting and snag golf competitions and more. Deepali Shah Gandhi, President, Golf Industry Association (GIA), promoters of IGE, said that the star speakers would be Peter Walton, President & Chief Executive, IAGTO – The Global Golf Tourism Organisation; Bruce MacPhee, Senior Agronomist, and Mike Orloff, Managing Director, Golf Industry Central. With participation of over 500 delegates and around 37 golf clubs, IGE is also supported by the Ministry of Tourism.
Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, highlighted golf tourism as a potential booster, “Across India, we have 45 world-class golf courses. Delhi-NCR is already a hub, as is Bengaluru. With more golfers coming in, longer stays could be on the cards and thereby rise in the sector with more subsidiary industries also getting a rise. It also means more development in other cities. The addition of turf experts is a welcome move as it gives a boost to other sports such as football and polo where quality turf is critical.” Billa is a golfer himself, sighted at the Delhi Golf Club regularly.
Good turfs are needed to bring football out of the ruralscape to cities, stressed Shaji Prabhakaran, President, Football Delhi. Samir Suhag, Resident Player Cum Coach, La Pegasus Polo Centre, welcomed the turf experts as “the grass takes a beating by the strong studs”.
Stressing upon the potential, Rishi Narain, former Asian Games Gold medallist and MD, RN Sports Marketing, stated, “The Golf Industry Association has set a target of generating revenue of INR 100 cr in the next five years through golf tourism.” With over 240 golf courses in the country and almost 150,000 individuals players, the country has attracted investment of over INR 5,000 cr till now.
Champika Sayal, Secretary, WGAI, suggested that with the lack of space in cities, existing DDA sports facilities could be developed to aid these sports.