Pahalgam, Kashmir



Pahalgam has a nine hole golf course at 2400 meters above the sea level. The course is a an expanse of relatively large plain area in a relatively narrow valley. The locals would refer to this Golf course simply as the 'plateau'.

There is a golf club on one side of the plateau. Light refreshments, as well equipment and golf caddies could be rented out from there. The flat hill gradually rises up to corn fields, finally into a hill. Portions of the plateau have been occupied by the military in the days of insurgency, leaving it out of bound of normal tourists.

The plateau really rises just before the confluence of the two rivers from Aru and Sheshnag. Consequently, a short hike down on the two sides descends into the roads, further on quickly into the rivers. On one side the Deer Park.

Mine-golf could also be played at the Pahalgam Club on hourly basis. The equipement could be rented from the club.

The following information is current as of June, 2006:

Pahalgam Golf Course - Highest Green Golf Course In The World

Holes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Yards 365 122 400 353 164 133 305 187 357 2386
Par 5 3 5 4 3 3 4 3 4 34
Stroke Index 1 9 2 3 7 8 5 6 4

Local Rules:

Out of bounds: The ball will be deemed out of bound if it lies outside the perimeter fence of the course.

This has been marked as GUR in the course. Play is optional at the GUR.

Free Picks: May be dropped within one club length without penalty.

Fabulous view of the Lidder 'Pahalgam' Valley from the photography point at the entrance to the Pahalgam Golf Club.

A view of the now burnt-down Pahalgam club from a side of the Plateau

The Golf Course

The Club House for rentals and registration

The rules and rates as prescribed by Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA) [June, 2006]

The green hut, with some very old hands.

Grand Mumtaz Reorts - in condo style living for short term rentals, coming up fast on a side of the Golf Course (promoters are Burza family, of the Pine-n-Peaks, and Heevan)

Tee time: Crowds throng Kashmir golf courses

Fayaz Bukhari
Friday, April 15, 2005 (Srinagar):

The snow has melted, the sun is shining, and it's the best time to play golf in Kashmir.It's been 15 years since the Pahalgam Golf Course was used, thanks to militancy and security problems. But now things appear to be looking up, with an aggressive tourism policy.
A group of golfers has come to Pahalgam all the way from the UAE, and it's a trip they consider well worth the effort.
Paradise on Earth
"The golf course here is fantastic, and the scenic beauty is amazing. We are very impressed. But at the same time maintenance of the golf course needs some more work," said Sudesh Agarwal, Chairman, Indian Golfers Association, Sharjah.
By organizing golf trips, the government is making efforts to attract elite tourists back to Kashmir. These tourists abandoned the place with the outbreak of militancy.
However, all the guests agree that things were now more peaceful.
"It is a very beautiful place, and the situation is very different from what we saw on TV a few days back. It is definitely a pleasant and safe trip, we have not seen anything t make us feel insecure," said Ali Bagash, a UAE-based golfer.
Fruitful efforts
It's clear that last year's aggressive marketing is paying dividends, as large numbers of foreign and domestic golfers are making their way to Kashmir.
In-fact, the Royal Springs Golf Course is all set to host the MPs golf tournament later this year.
"In August we will have a golfers group coming through JKTDC. They have said that 80 foreign golfers and many from the country will come and play," said Ghalib Mohiddin, Secretary, Royal Spring Golf Course.
The effort will clearly go a long way in bringing back the glorious days of Kashmiri tourism.

The Golf Scene in Kashmir

The most scenic golf course is in the natural environment created against the dramatic backdrop of Zabarwan mountains at Chashma Shahi, The Royal Springs. These were the source of soft, sweet water prized by the Mughal Emperor Jehangir, around which he built and exquisite walled garden - the Chashma Shahi. The legendary garden overlooks the Golf Course which also contains four the Royal Springs.

Golf at Royal Springs, Srinagar is a truly transcending experience for the golfer and natural lover alike. The Golf tournaments are also organized.

Play starts with the long par 5 bordering a lake. An easy par 3 and a tricky par 4 lead onto the deceptive 4th hole, an uphill par 4 which looks straight forward enough but is perhaps the most most difficult on the course. Having surmounted this challenge the golfer may feast his eyes on the down hill fifth par 3 green. At the tee, (the highest point on the course) the splendid vista that revels itself may take the golfer's concentration array when it is needed most! The 6th and 7th holes are a relief for the average golfer before the dog leg eight par with its temptation to the ambitious golfer and  the lake side ninth brings him in to the Club House for a much needed drink.

The Kashmir golf Club of Srinagar: With well laid out bunkers, difficult hazards, this professional 18 hole course is laid out between chinar and pines and is the venue of many tournaments. The course has common fairways and a par of 70. Srinagar offers an exclusive opportunity for golf enthusiasts to play through an extended summer, from April to November. Spanning an expanse of 250 acres in Srinagar, the International Lake Front Golf Course, designed and laid out by the world-renowned golf architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. ll, scheduled to open very soon, guarantees to be a golfer's heaven.

Ridiculously inexpensive and in magnificent environments & A very good local club has extremely low fees, club hire and coaching. This is an excellent course for the experienced, with a superb setup for beginners. A day at Gulmarg will put you on the world's highest 18- hole golf course again. Gulmarg , with its rarefied atmosphere,is natural all the way. As the ball is hit, it 'whisties' its way to the next hole. The turf, since it lies buried six to eight feet under snow for five months of the year, is soft. The greens have a combination of moss and a thin variety of grass, and natural slopes, which are fast to play on. The high altitude and thin air carries the ball farther. golfing at gulmarg's 18-hole course, with a par of 72, is a unique experience. Equipment are available on hire and temporary membership is offered at a nominal charges.

Kashmir offers a unique opportunity to play golf all through the summer – from April to November – in invigorating surroundings, where the wind whispers through enormous trees of chinar and stately pine.

In the verdant golf courses at Srinagar and Gulmarg, you will be able to play for longer hours than you can in the plains because of the lower temperatures – Srinagar’s highest temperature seldom goes above 35°C. The layout of both the courses, too, will delight the golfers. Srinagar has an 18-hole golf course with common fairways, and a par of 70. This course is open throughout the year, unless snowbound in winter

The course at Gulmarg is like nothing you’ve ever seen or imagined before. Situated at an altitude of 2,650 m, it is the highest green golf course anywhere in the world. The layout of the course too is strikingly different from most golf courses– the land slopes and inclines along the complete area of the course, which has a par of 72. There is history at Gulmarg for those interested. The club, started by the British who used Gulmarg as a holiday resort, first opened its doors in 1904, and a charmingly written book traces its past. The J&K Tourism Development Corporation (J&K TDC) now manages the Club.

If you plan to play golf regularly during the entire duration of your stay in Kashmir, a temporary membership can be availed, which will enable you to use the course for as long as you are here. Naturally the membership entitles you to use the clubhouse restaurant facilities. You can hire a golf set and balls for the day from the pro-shops at Gulmarg. Should you want to brush up your play, or simply to learn golf for the first time, there are competent trainers at both clubs.

Gulmarg Golf - A 'Look Back'

Golf is a way of life at Gulmarg. At an altitude of 2,650 m, in the heart of the world famous resort, is its rolling golf course, the highest in the world. The historic Gulmarg Golf Club was started in 1911 by the British who used the place as a holiday resort. Since then it has seen over four score years of tournaments of both amateurs and professionals, of men, women and children.

The origin of Gulmarg as the Golfing Mecca of India goes back to the late 19th century when a 6-hole course was made in 1890-91 by Colonel Neville Chamberlain - the greens were known as browns in those days. By 1896, three more holes in the nullah, below Raja Sir Amar Singh's house, were added. In 1901, the Maharaja of Kashmir donated land at Gulmarg for laying out a golf course, which came to be known as the Upper Golf Course. In 1915 a 9-hole course, also known as 'Rabbits Course' was also built. There was a separate 6-hole course for children. By the 1920s the resort was totally covered with golf courses: two 18-hole courses, the ‘Upper Course’ and the ‘Lower’ and one 9-hole middle course, which was more famous as the ‘Rabbits Course’.

The Gulmarg Golf Club

The first Golf championship was played at Gulmarg in 1922. The Nedou's Cup was introduced in 1929. In 1930, ‘The World’ beat Scotland. The same year saw the D.P. Vasu Championship for Women and the Children's Golf Competition. In 1931 the women's foursomes played at Gulmarg on the Lower Course. The Northern India Amateur Golf Championship was played from 1947 to 1953. After the troubled times of 1948 when golfing had come to stand still, the J&K government took over the maintenance of the now 18-hole course. Enthusiasts welcomed the revival of golf in Gulmarg in 1954 when many events, such as Duncan Vase, O.P. Vase, Civil Cup and Nedou’s Cup tournaments were held. Peter Thomson Associates of Australia redesigned and laid out the golf course to fit it with its natural beauty, by changing the location of greens and making it more challenging. The Northern India Championship was played at Gulmarg till 1989 when it had to be shifted to the Delhi Golf Club due to problems in the Valley.

Gulmarg, with its rarefied atmosphere, is natural all the way. As the ball is hit, it 'whistles' its way to the next hole. The turf, since it lies buried six to eight feet under snow for five months of the year, is soft. The greens have a combination of moss and a high variety of grass and natural slopes, which are fast to play on, and the thin air carries the ball further. Golfing at Gulmarg's 18-hole course, with a par of 72, is a unique experience.

A hundred years of golf in Srinagar

The Kashmir Golf Club has all the luxuries fitted that make playing golf a memorable experience. It is spread over 52 sprawling acres of lush land adjoining the Maulana Azad Road, the City’s main avenue. Its president, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, is himself a keen golfer.

The Kashmir Golf Course at Srinagar

The Kashmir Golf Club at Srinagar. With well laid out bunkers and hazards, interspersed between chinars & pine is a professional 18-hole course and has been the venue of many tournaments. The course has common fairways and a par of 70. Srinagar offers an exclusive opportunity for golf enthusiasts to play through an extended summer, from April to November. While the plains are boiling, Srinagar's temperate climate allows the golfer to play longer hours without getting tired.

Associated with history of Kashmir Golf Club is its famous pro man of many golfing facets, the 98-year old Ghulam Mohammad. In 1930, he was the first golfing professional in India. He has trained hundreds of aspiring golfers during his long career as a golfing pro. Ghulam Mohammad started life as a fore caddy in the early years of this century. Later, he went on to play to a scratch handicap for 30 years. Through time, he trained famous golfers of India: the late Billoo PG Sethi, the late Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir, the late Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed and J.S Pathak. He has also trained Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah who began playing golf since the age of 12, and today is living up to his teacher’s name. According to Ghulam Mohammad, "golf is like an addiction. You can’t have enough of it."

International Lakefront Golf Course, Srinagar.

Spanning an expanse of 250 acres in Srinagar, the International Lake Front Golf Course, scheduled to open during the season of 2000 - 2001, guarantees to be a golfer’s haven. This project is being designed and laid out by the world-renowned golf architect, Robert Trent Jones Jr. II, who has built 500 courses all over the world, including in Bangkok and China.

The course will have a clubhouse, which in no way will interfere with the skyline. 50,000 trees are being planted at strategic points along the course. These are essential ingredient of every challenging golf course - after all to get a hook or a slice is complimentary to every golfer. The layout of the trees will give the player an opportunity to prove the worth of his swing. Bunkers, sand traps, water hazards are all thoughtfully planned. The sprinkler system and imported grass used play their part in holding the ball on the green. This picturesque course of international standards is sure to raise the spirits of the golfing population.

Copyright About Us | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©2004