KD Bagga to design course in Rajasthan, India


by Robert Vasilak

The dean of India’s golf architects, K.D. Bagga, has been tapped to design the centerpiece of “a Dream Project that’ll define how India will love to live tomorrow.”

That’s how Panchsheel Clonizers Pvt. Ltd. describes Panchsheel Park, an 800-acre community that’s taking shape in suburban Jaipur, India’s “pink city.” Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan, and Panchsheel Park is being built along one of its fastest-growing arteries, the expressway known as National Highway No. 8.

Panchsheels Park will feature what’s been described as the first “international-standard” golf course in Rajasthan, a K. D. Bagga-designed layout that will serve as a training center for Jeev Milkha Singh, India’s best-known and most successful professional golfer.

This isn’t the first time that Bagga and Singh have aligned for a golf venture. Bagga has roughly a dozen courses to his name, the best-known of which is Kensville Golf & Country Club, a championship-length track in Ahmedabad that carries Singh’s “signature.” Kensville’s course, generally considered to be among India’s best, is the first in the nation to wear the name of a home-grown pro.

While Panchsheel Park’s course won’t be similarly signed, its developers obviously believe Singh’s presence will attract home buyers eager to rub shoulders with the first Indian to play on the Asian, European, and U.S. professional tours.

Anil Kuchhal and Shankar Lal Sharma, the principals of Panchsheel Clonizers, say the course will be “serene and picturesque.” If you’re wondering exactly how they believe India “will love to live tomorrow,” their community implicitly defines it as a place that includes houses, a resort-style hotel, shopping areas, retail and commercial areas, an amusement park, a cricket academy (cricket is India’s most popular sport), a school, a hospital, and “round-the-clock securities.”

Panchsheel Park is probably the most high-profile project with which Bagga has been associated. “Colonel” Bagga, as he often calls himself, took up golf design after retiring from the military, where he was a civil engineer, and has dedicated the autumn of his life to a mostly thankless task: making golf in India a people’s sport. He describes his work as the “mad passion” of designing and building “affordable, easily sustainable, and more accessible golf courses for the masses.”

Though he’s now in his 70s, Bagga doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Just months ago, he opened Jammu Tawi Golf Course in Sidhra, and he currently has at least two courses in planning or under construction: a nine-hole course in suburban Ahmedabad (Shantigram Golf Course) and an 18-hole course in Sindhudurg, Maharashtra (Maneri Mountains Golf Course).

In addition, he’s hoping to win the commission for a new course that may soon be built in the mountains of Jammu & Kashmir, the northernmost state in India.

This story originally appeared in the World Edition of the Golf Course Report, in a slightly different form. For a sample copy of the World Edition, call 301/680-9460 or write to WorldEdition@aol.com.


I read with interest your article above where you refer to 'International Standard Golf Course'. I have heard this talked about before for other courses and asked around as I am unaware of such a Standard being commonly accepted and used - what does it mean and what makes an 'International Standard' Golf Course? The EIGCA have no idea what this standard means nor do they use or endorse it? Golf Today have never heard of the description "nor do they think it has any official standing or meaning to bodies such as the R&A or the USGA" says Stuart Barber from Golf Today - As you have printed this then you must know what this means I guess? Can you enlighten me please? Best regards. Steve Marnoch Director and Senior Designer golfmarnoch Limited International Golf Course Architects

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