Renovation work on at Beldih Golf Course on Thursday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Eyes steady, muscles taut, wrists ready for a precision swing. And then, sharp bites on the legs. If T is for teeing off and termites, make that a capital T for Terrible.
The Jamshedpur Golf, an outfit comprising tee enthusiasts of the nine-hole Beldih Golf Course and 18-hole Golmuri Golf Course for maintenance of the greens, has started to renovate the over-90-years-old Beldih Golf Course, infested with termites, from Wednesday.
The exercise, estimated at a cost of nearly Rs 2 lakh, will be over in June.
And yes, the renovation will definitely issue marching orders to termites crowding the greens.
The putting green, an area of very closely trimmed grass on relatively even and smooth ground surrounding the putting hole, which allows golfers to make precision strokes, will get a new bed of Bermuda grass (doob or Cynodon dactylon) and topsoil layers.
This apart, the 10 bunkers will also be made as good as new.
Bunkers are man-made hazards to create obstacles on the golf course such as depressions near the greens or fairway usually filled with sand. Here, the Beldih Golf Course bunkers will get new grassy collars — that is, doob grass will be planted on the edges — and fresh sand.
Termites were making merry at both the greens and collars, golfers had reported.
Besides crawling on golfers’ legs, the mites also created mud banks or mounds at several places, affecting play.
“We received complaints from golfers about growth in termites on the greens and near green collars of bunkers. Obviously, they caused problems while playing. Also, wild grass grew on the greens in patches,” said administrative chief Jamshedpur Golf and Seoul Asiad Games Indian team captain Allen Singh.
He added the renovation would be over before monsoon.
“We have targeted mid-June so that the newly planted grass grow naturally in the rains,” Singh said, adding the exercise was being carried out at Beldih Golf Course after over a decade.
Spread over five acres, the Beldih Golf Course has been a sight for sore eyes since 1922, thanks to its lush putting green and fairways. Boasting a parkland style layout, it has a mature line of trees. Its fairways have a thick tree cover.
The revamp will do more than end the termite terror, said an official of Jamshedpur Golf.
“After the re-plantation exercise, the greens will also get a good contour that will eventually increase the speed of golf balls. The pleasure of the game will be enhanced. There is no major tournament in the next two months, so we can afford to go for this revamp right now,” he said.
Beldih Golf Course hosts several amateur golf events, including the prestigious Steel City Golf Tournament, and jointly with Golmuri Golf Course, the annual Tata Open Golf, a premier professional golf tie of the country.
Which is the best-maintained golf course in eastern India?