Rating the greens:I would say 7/10. But if I compare it to 1999, then 10/10! The course was awful before but now it’s a challenging course because the fairway is tight.
Rating the club:
Being the second oldest club in the world says a lot. It’s got a sense of British time, the trees are old, big and huge. You don’t get to see that elsewhere. Have you tried the samosas at the 10th hut? You must! I’d give this golf club an 8/10.
Rating the greens:Compared to how the RCGC greens have been in the past, I’d rate it an 8/10 as compared to a 5/10. If they keep doing what they’re doing, which obviously is working, I’m sure they can get it to a level where we can have Asian Tour events here in the future. The course is in one of the best conditions I’ve ever played it in.
Rating the club:The thing is I’ve never really lived in Calcutta so I haven’t spent an extended period of time here. But I’ve loved this place during all of the short trips I’ve had over the many years. The first time I played here was about 13-14 years back. RCGC is one of the oldest golf courses in the world so with respect to tradition and history, it’s right up there. In terms of a club, whatever experience I’ve had with respect to the dining and hospitality, it’s always been great. I love the Mutton Crumb Chop and the Grilled Fish and this is only one of the many things I like coming back to!
Rating the greens:I think, right now, the course is playing the best it has ever in the last 15 years or so that I remember playing here. I’d give the greens 8/10. Whoever has worked on this has really broken his back and I think the members are also to be credited because they stayed away from the golf course for the last 10 days. The best part about the RCGC course is that it’s a ball-strikers’ golf course, you can’t hit it left and right.
Rating the club:I’d say 9 or 9.5/10 because how many places will you come across with heritage like this? Look at the grand structure and the tapestry running down the walls and the wooden structures inside. I’m a die-hard fan of the British era, I am, and to some extent I try to live in that kind of an era. It’s heartbreaking that they don’t have any more tournaments here.... But I think this event will bring it back on course. It will be brilliant if the Indian Open comes here.
Rating the greens:I’ve played on these greens since I was 11 or 12. I would get special privilege to play; I became a member much later. I’ve seen the golf course change. Earlier, the course was all mud, it wasn’t Sand-based. It had become what we players would call the ghost track. In 2007, on the Asian Tour, just outside Bangkok, I looked at the greens and said, “It’s impeccable. I wish we had such greens in Calcutta.” Now I can say that we do!
Rating the club:This place is my second home. I’ve grown up here. I would practise for hours in the morning, sleep in the changing room for an hour and then go back to practise.
Rating the greens:I would give it full marks — 10/10! I just played the Avantha DLF Masters, which is India’s biggest tournament, and the greens weren’t as good. The speed at RCGC is on a par with the speed of a European Tour.
Rating the club:This is the first time an Indian Tour event has been organised so well. It feels like an Asian Tournament, it’s so well organised. The course being closed a week before the tournament, maintenance work on.... I know what it means for golfer-members not to be able to play for a week! This is the best clubhouse amongst all the clubhouses I’ve been to so I would give it a 10/10. The view is brilliant and it’s rich in heritage dating back to 1914. Is club ke saath mera ek alag hi relationship hai. No matter how much I say, it will never be enough. This club is special.