The Indian Golf Union (IGU) has inaugurated a national academy at the picturesque Chandigarh Golf Range.
The academy, named the National Golf Academy (NGA), is the first of its kind, according to the IGU secretary, Wing Commander Satish Aparajit.
“Nowhere in South Asia is there an academy like this”, Aparajit said. “This academy will work exclusively for producing qualified golf coaches. All the coaches who will pass out from here will get certificates that will allow them to pursue their coaching careers all over the world.”
The IGU official said that qualified coaches are badly needed as mostly untrained former players and caddies are currently teaching the sport at the lower level in India. All golf clubs in the country have been advised to employ only NGA graduates in future.
The academy, which will receive a grant of £1.5m from the R&A, was informally started in 2004 with the help of eminent golf coach Donato Di Ponzaino but had no permanent headquarters.
Courses were earlier conducted in Bangalore, Gurgaon and Noida but now the academy will be housed permanently in the city of Le Corbusier.
“We have already produced around 180 coaches, including some from Pakistan and Sri Lanka but the demand is much higher,” said Dilip Thomas of the Chandigarh Golf Range.
“This is a one week course divided into four grades. A new entrant in this course will have to start from Grade D and can finally graduate to Grade A.
Indian Golf Union www.tigu.in