SSP Chowrasia (left) tees off in the practice area for pros at the new driving range at The Tollygunge Club. “A golfing facility of this standard is important for upcoming players. The set-up is of international standards and I particularly like the fittings room. Whenever there’s a swing problem or I need to fix my club, I will come here,” said India’s first European Tour winner, who picked Viraj Madappa as the boy to watch out for. “Viraj is playing very well — I think he’s going to be a top player,” added SSP, with wife Simantini and golfer-friend Gaurav Ghosh (below)
“We’ve put everything in an organised way and packaged it. The Viraj Madappas and Tutul Alis have been products of the equipment we already had. But what used to happen earlier is that we would take out equipment costing Rs 6 lakh for a class and pack it up. Now, we have everything in one place,” said Indrajit Bhalotia, the man behind the project. “Around 1,000 people are using the facility per month and we want to double or triple that figure. Pros like Ranjit Singh and Divyanshu Bajaj have come by and even SSP Chowrasia admitted that he was surprised. When I called him over, he said, ‘Okay, one more driving range’. But when he actually saw the range, his eyes popped out! I’m sure even (friend) Arjun Atwal’s eyes will pop out!” added Indrajit.
“When you drive into the club and see the range (adjoining the parking area), the first feeling is of awe and ‘what is that?’ The good thing is we’re sure to see a lot of talent from Calcutta because in order to do well, you need world-class facilities,” said Tolly golf captain Hemant Malik.
16-member team of teachers
33 bays including two coaching bays
Sports Science Facility, which has sports psychology, sports nutrition, biomechanic training, yoga for golf, a mini-theatre for theory classrooms and a library of golf books
Golfers can wear the K-vest, a vest with sensors that allows them to compare swing patterns with the world’s top PGA and LPGA players
A repair and fittings centre where you can tailor-make your equipment or repair it
Timings: 5.45am to 9.30pm everyday
Fees: A lesson costs between Rs 300 (entry-level coach) and Rs 1,200 (senior coach) for half an hour. Monthly packages range between Rs 900 and
Rs 3,500 for eight classes.
Text: Karo Christine Kumar
Pictures: Rashbehari Das