We’ve been working in India for over two decades now and it’s been an incredible experience right from the start. We’ve had some ups and some downs but on balance, it’s a fantastic place and we’re very lucky to be designing golf courses and resorts in India. Perhaps the best thing about our industry across the world is that people get excited about what we do and what we can achieve in terms of the end result. It’s easy to be interested in resort design whether golf related or not because people, in general, love going on holiday. The Indian people are no different. Passion, a great attitude and the positivity behind some of our clients is an inspiration. Sure, it doesn’t always work out the way they planned and sometimes, projects can be stopped by the smallest things but the vision displayed by the likes of JP Gaur of Jaypee Group or Faiz Rezwan of Prestige Constructions is incredible.
Our journey in India started with Aamby Valley City in 1995 where we were brought in to remodel an existing 18 hole design which was partially built. We were asked to report on its status as a championship venue. Following that report, the developers decided the course needed a redesign to enable large scale tournaments and to achieve a level of quality previously unseen in India. As well as the golf design, IDG designed much of the surrounding property, the clubhouse and PGA academy. Aamby Valley went on to win a multitude of awards including being voted the best course in India by the Indian PGA as well as a string of International Property Awards including “Best International Golf Course 2012-2013”, Rolex “World’s top 1000 courses” and in one year alone being awarded seven Asia Pacific International Property Awards.
Since Aamby Valley, we’ve been involved in over 30 projects across India from tented safari resorts through townships and hotels all the way up to 3300 acre industrial masterplans. During that time we’ve worked for some of the largest developers, government bodies as well as a host of private developers.
A small selection of these Indian Clients & Projects
Jaypee Group: Formula 1 Sports City
Unitech: Unitech Grande & Uniworld Redesign
DLF: DLF Golf Club Consultancy
Prestige Constructions: Prestige Golfshire & Prestige Augusta
Sahara India Pariwar: Aamby Valley City Golf Course & Architecture
Carnoustie Group: Carnoustie Spa Resort, Sikkim Butterfly Hotel, Film City offices and many concept golf masterplans.
MTDC: Seaworld India
We’ve also been involved with Sports Cities, Marinas, Tennis Resorts with Jimmy Connors, Sports Complexes and townships across the country – too many to list here!
Following the success of the Johnnie Walker Classic tournament in 1994 for which we were hired as consultants, we were then hired by DLF to deal with their preparation for their hosting of the 2008 Johnnie walker classic at the DLF Golf Club in Delhi. Working with Aakash Ohri (GM at DLF Golf Club) for two years, Bob Hunt advised on the tournament preparation by implementing an agronomy & maintenance programme to achieve the results they did. Needless to say the Johnnie Walker tournament was a complete success that year!
Another one of our greatest successes in India has been Prestige Golfshire near Bangalore. Sitting below the majestic Nandi Hills the famously difficult championship course winds through 225 luxury villas, Marriott hotel and conference centre and returns to one of the most spectacular clubhouses we’ve seen. IDG were retained for resort masterplanning, golf course design, landscape architecture, roads design as well as golf business consultancy and construction inspection. Prestige Golfshire has been winning awards and commendations such as Best Golf Development in India at the Asia Pacific Property Awards and Best Mixed Use Development at Cityscape. Since then, Prestige Group have refined their model and gone on to build a smaller 9 hole golf village named Prestige Augusta where a stunning 9 hole short course is under construction.
This is one of the greatest things about working in India. Long term friendships are formed and the association with the project continues. Whether it is golf course design in India, resort design, architecture or landscape design, we can’t wait to get back out there. Amongst others, there is a great project in Gujurat which we’re looking forward to getting on the ground. Watch this space!
Jon Hunt :: Group Director