|The Flying Dutchman cup
Jorhat, Sept. 6: The Flying Dutchman, unlike the mythical ghostly galleon that is believed to be a portent of doom, will resurface at the golfers’ green at the historic Jorhat Gymkhana Club here as a portent of hope and of revival.
The club authorities are planning to revive the historic golf trophy, introduced by the then KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
Every Royal Dutch aircraft — renamed KLM Airlines — has the “Flying Dutchman” marked on its body.
Flying Dutchman has also inspired the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean, which portrays the legendary ghost ship.
“We are looking for sponsors to revive this historic golf tournament. We are also in touch with the Assam tourism department,” Nagesh Singh, the golf secretary of the Gymkhana Club, told The Telegraph today.
According to ocean lore, Flying Dutchman is a legendary ghost ship that can never sail into port, doomed to sail the oceans forever.
Sailors believe that the phantom ship foretells doom.
A trophy by the same name is still played for in Europe with prize money of 1.8 million euros. Over 50,000 spectators are likely to witness the 93rd edition, scheduled to start from September 12.
|Laxman Singh’s name engraved on the trophy
Hardip Singh, a member of Jorhat Gymkhana Club, said the particular trophy, with one of its handles broken, was lying on the shelves of the club for a long time.
The trophy was introduced in 1959 with names of the winners engraved on the cup.
“It was probably played till 1968 with one Lakshman Singh winning the cup that year. There is no record as to how that handle of the cup was broken,” he said.
Hardip said there had been a plan to send the trophy to Calcutta for repairs but the plan did not work out.
Nagesh Singh said the tournament for the particular cup would be revived with the original cup.
“The trophy has such historical importance that a broken handle will hardly matter,” the golf secretary of the club said.
Assam Tourism Development Corporation has been showing a keen interest to promote golf in the state to give tourism a boost and is looking for tie-ups with the tea gardens.
The tourism department is also planning to invest in developing golf courses, while tea garden owners will carry out maintenance.
Most of the golf courses in the state are located near tea gardens.
A poster of KLM Royal Dutch
Airlines. Telegraph pictures
The Jorhat Gymkhana Club golf course is the second oldest golf course to be made outside the British Isles and Royal Calcutta Golf Club in 1876.
The nine-hole golf course was expanded to 18 holes with the help of the army and the nearby tea gardens in 1995.
The 6,036-yard, par 72 course is affiliated to the Indian Golf Union, the governing body for golf in India.
Golfers compete for beautiful silver golf trophies for tournaments that began as early as 1902.
One such cup, the Beg Dunlop Cup is a 2.5kg silver cup with names of all the winners engraved every year from 1903 until 1965 with a few gaps thereafter.
The Ruston Cup (1954), Craig Cup, Lamprell Cup (1945) are some of the major tournaments played here where golfers from all over the Northeast compete.