Royal Springs Golf Course leaves G20 delegates spellbound
Srinagar: The sprawling Royal Springs Golf Course (RSGC) on the banks of Dal Lake mesmerised the foreign delegates of the third G20 Tourism Working Group meeting.
At 8 am on Wednesday, G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant did the ceremonial tee off and teams comprising mostly delegates and senior officers played in a four-ball format in the 18-hole picturesque golf course overlooking Zabarwan mountain range.
South Korean Ambassador to India, Chang Jae-Bok and Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, RR Bhatnagar also played golf.
“RSGC is an absolutely fabulous and wonderful golf course. What a gorgeous golf course this is. This is easily the best golf course in India. There can’t be a better golf course. This is paradise, absolute heaven,” G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant said, pointing towards greens of the RSGC.
“It is a unique experience and I would suggest that all the golfers from across the world should play here just to experience what great golfing is all about,” Kant said.
The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, on its official handle tweeted: “The delegates of 3rd G20 TWG enjoyed the pleasant morning, playing golf in the scenic Royal Spring Golf Course, one of the most scenic golf courses in the world nestled in the foothills of the magnificent Zabarwan range, overlooking the Dal Lake.”
Robert Trent Jones Jr, a well-known American golf course designer, designed the RSGC in 2001.
The 300-acre RSGC comprising greens, rolling hills, forest, ponds, wilderness, marsh, is one of the biggest golf courses in Asia.
Many national and international golf tournaments have been organised at RSGC.
It has state-of-the-art facilities for golfers including restaurant, clubhouse, rest rooms and pro shop.
By virtue of several golf courses, especially RSGC, the J&K government has been projecting Kashmir as “golfers paradise”.
Officials said that the beauty of RSGC amazed the G20 delegates.
Special LED sign boards with glowing G20 signage were placed at various areas of the golf course.
“The delegates took round the RSGC in battery driven carts. They all praised the picturesque golf course, turf and its maintenance. It is a historic moment for RSGC and J&K. I hope these delegates will further promote RSGC and facilitate holding of international golf championships here,” Secretary RSGC, Mufti Fareed-ud-Din told Greater Kashmir.
Officials said that on their arrival in Srinagar on Monday, the delegates had lunch at RSCG and were all praise for its food.
At RSGC, Kant, who has served as CEO National Institution for Transforming India, NITI Aayog, the Government of India’s premier policy think tank was all praise for J&K government’s G20 arrangements.
“The local administration led by the LG has done a fabulous job of putting excellent arrangements. Every G20 member and delegate who has come here appreciated the great work. We have truly enjoyed this visit. We have been able to do a lot of hard work. We have been able to see Kashmir and enjoy the warmth and great affection of the people of Kashmir,” Kant said in a video at RSGC shared by Secretary Tourism and Culture J&K Government, Syed Abid Rasheed Shah on his Twitter handle.
Elaborating, Kant said, “Great soft power of Kashmir demonstrates great Sufi culture which blends with the philosophy of the G20 that there is ‘One Earth and One Future’ all that is embodied in Sufism of Kashmir. We are all one family and this is truly demonstrated by the J&K administration that we worked as one family to create a great experience of G20. Every delegate will go back with a fascinating memory and they will bring back a large number of their relatives and visitors, they will all become ambassadors of Kashmir.”