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SPORTS LOUNGE IMPACT: IOA forms committee to run affairs of ‘unruly’ Indian Golf Union

Shaghil Bilali

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The de-recognition of the IGU will also affect the staging of the European Tour tri-sanctioned Hero Indian Open next year.

New Delhi: After Sports Longue highlighted the Indian Golf Union’s failure to implement the National Sports Development Code 2011 (NSDC) and put its house in order, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) swung into action as it disaffiliated the golf body and formed a five-member governance committee to run the sports and oversee ‘aspects regarding golfers’ participation in the Olympic qualifiers’.

If this was not enough, the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (MYAS) led by Kiren Rijiju on Thursday also sent a letter to the IGU, informing that it no more enjoyed the government’s recognition.

IOA’s letter, a copy of which is in possession of Sports Lounge, of forming a governance committee came after almost two years it had sent a letter to the IGU about its non-compliance with Sports Code 2011. The IOA had intimated the golf body that it’s recognition was not guaranteed beyond February 2018. However, the IGU managed to evade sanctions through various means but it ultimately faced the wrath of IOA.

The IOA president Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra on Tuesday shot a letter to IGU acting president Lt. Gen. Devraj Anbu and honorary secretary Lt. Gen. A.K.S. Chandele, informing him that the IOA is taking the matter of governance of golf in its hands.
“Given the lapses in procedures and timelines, there is void in the leadership and management of golf in India. IGU has failed to resolve the impasse on reform in the last six months. Under the current circumstances, a resolution is not feasible without external supervision on reform of governance,” the letter read.

Batra wrote that after the IGU failed to hold AGM and conduct election, he and Rajiv Mehta, general secretary, IOA, met Antony Scanlon, Executive Director of International Golf Federation (IGF), in May in Australia, where the decision to form a governance committee was taken.

“Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra, President and Mr. Rajeev Mehta, Secretary General of Indian Olympic Association met Mr. Antony Scanlon, Executive Director of International Golf Federation, on 6 May 2019, at GCCEC, Gold Coast, Australia, to discuss on working together to resolve the situation. It was then agreed that a Golf Governance Committee would be formed to reform governance, liaise with all stakeholders, ensure compliance of norms and helping IGU conduct election,” the letter said.

The IOA letter said the IGU held its last election on October 28, 2016. Term of whose top officials and the council members ended by the end of October 2018.

The letter also ensured that the Indian golfers’ preparations for the Olympics won’t be jeopardised.
“Considering the significance of participation in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the Committee shall also oversee all aspects with regard to participation of athletes and officials in the Olympic Qualifier competitions/ events during the interim period.”

At present, professional golfers Gaganjeet Bhullar (Rank 48) and Shubhankar Sharma (49) are the highest-ranked Indians in the Olympic rankings, while on the women’s side it is the likes of Aditi Ashok (35) and Diksha Dagar (55). These four players would represent the country if they remain the highest-ranked golfers in the IGF standings before next year’s cut-off date for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

The five-member governance committee has Women’s Golf Association of India (WGAI) president Kavita Singh as chairperson, Mukesh

Kumar, Onkar Singh, Vir Srivastava and a nominee of IGF as its members.

The letter further said since the IGU’s AGM last year was challenged in the court and it failed to come up with a solution subsequently, the IOA lost hope on the golf body.

“The IGU had issued letter to conduct election on 15 December, 2018, which was legally challenged and the election was stayed by order of the Alipore District Court, dated 14 December, 2018, in case Misc-79/2018 (West Bengal Golf Society Vs The Indian Golf Union & Ors).

“Given the lapses in procedures and timelines, there is void in the leadership and management of golf in India. IGU has failed to resolve the impasse on reform in the last six months. Under the current circumstances, a resolution is not feasible without external supervision on reform of governance.”

Sports Longue in its reports had highlighted the IGU’s adamant behaviour towards its members and golf clubs, and failure to follow the Sports Code guidelines.
The federation got four unprecedented interim recognition extensions from Sports Ministry before it ultimately got de-recognised last month. Issues like pending court cases, army clubs having voting rights in the AGM and the active army personnel holding top posts in the state and the national federations went against the IGU. The current president of the IGU is also the Vice-Chief of Army staff.

Ministry too writes to IGU

The sports ministry’s derecognition of IGU came into effect from June 30, four days after the federation had requested it to continue recognition citing a Calcutta High Court observation. However, nowhere the Court had said that the ministry was bound by its decision, nor there was any instruction that the de-recognition must be annulled. But if IGU had any hope of a fifth extension, the ministry dashed it on Tuesday.

In his letter, A.K. Singh, under secretary in the Sports Ministry, wrote to IGU director general Maj. Gen. Bibhuti Bhushan (Retd.), “I am directed to refer to your letter dated 26.6.2019 requesting further extension of recognition to Indian Golf Union (IGU). In this regard, it may be recalled that IGU’s interim recognition was extended by the Ministry for the fourth time till 30.06.2019, subject to the conditions as detailed in letter dated 08.03.2019. IGU was also informed vide letter dated 27.06.2019 that the implementation of the court order dated 20th Feb 2019 is an internal matter of IGU and the Government does not interfere in such issues to maintain the autonomy of a National Sports Federation (NSF). It was also conveyed therein that there does not seem to be any hindrance in implementing the above mentioned court order.”

He further wrote, “It has, therefore, been decided that the request for extension of recognition of IGU can only be considered after it complies with the directions as laid down in this Ministry’s letter dated 08.03.2019.”

What golf fraternity can do now

The de-recognition by the ministry and disaffiliation by the IOA is a huge blow to the IGU, which for last two years failed to convince its members to come under the same page. Even though the IOA has formed a committee which will oversee the election process, it will be almost same members from the current IGU set-up, who are likely to be part of future federation. So, for now, the IGU officials should look back, acknowledge their faults, sort out pending court cases and resolve all the issues with its members. The flared egos in the federation have taken them to hit rock bottom. It’s time to keep the disagreements away, work for the unity and take golf to the grassroots.

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Delhi Golf Club & Jindal Stainless Foundation team up to make golf accessible for all

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New Delhi: Delhi Golf Club (DGC) on Monday  announced its association with the Jindal Stainless Foundation (JSF) to facilitate mainstreaming and adoption of Golf. The JSF grant will be used for two-pronged support. The first initiative aims at providing golf training to caddies’ children, staff, and other sportspersons, who are striving to upskill themselves, to promote golf as an attractive and a remunerative sport. The other initiative will focus on upgradation and maintenance of green complexes at DGC.sports news headlines

Commenting on the development, Chairperson, JSF, Deepika Jindal said, “Golf is a growing sport in India; however, accessibility to this sport remains a challenge for aspiring golfers. There is tremendous interest for this game among youth. With this initiative, we want to enable talented and aspiring players. Such opportunities will help bring down the entry barrier to this sport, which currently is a detrimental factor for golf’s growth in the country.”

Collaboration and support from organisations like JSF will help materialise DGC’s plan for upgrading its infrastructure.

Sharing his view on this partnership, President, DGC, retired Maj R S Bedi said, “The new greens and the surrounding complexes will make DGC as one of the best golf courses in the country. The new model of the golf course will present more challenging playing conditions and will be a nurturing ground for budding golfers across all sections of the society. I am confident that DGC will now be able to bring up a new crop of talented future professionals.”

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Rory Hie triumphs at inaugural Classic Golf & Country Club Championship

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Rory Hie
Rory Hie celebrates after his victory.

Gurugram: Indonesia’s Rory Hie made it a start-to-finish effort at the inaugural $300,000 Classic Golf & Country Club International Championship 2019, winning his maiden professional title by a two shot margin from the field.

However there was much to cheer for the Indians as a bunch of young stars finished in prominent positions with four of them featuring in the Top-eight.

As Hie shot 68 to finish at 21-under, Rashid Khan, in the hunt till he mishit the 15th tee shot, carded 69 to reach 19-under and tie for second alongside Korean Byungjun Kim (67).

Rashid’s bogey on 15th, coupled with Hie’s birdie on the same hole ended the Indian’s chances as the Indonesian playing in India for the seventh year in a row, made no mistakes and parred the last three holes.

“It was always my dream to walk up the 18th green with a two-shot lead and that’s what happened,” said Hie who won his first pro title since joining the paid ranks in 2008. He was once ranked No. 6 amateur in the world.

India’s newly minted pro, Aadil Bedi (66) in only his seventh Asian Tour start, logged his career-high fourth place at 18-under.current sports news

Aman Raj (66) equaled his career-best and Abhijit Chadha (71) achieved a new personal best on Asian Tour. Both were Tied-fifth at 16-under.

There were further celebrations in store for India at this Jack Nicklaus-designed course with India putting on another six players inside top-20 for a total of 10 among the top-20.

Veer Ahlawat (66) and Karan Pratap Singh (67) were Tied-13th at 12-under and another four Kshitij Naveed Kaul (67), Karandeep Kochhar (68), Shivendra Singh Sisodia (68) and Viraj Madappa (69) were tied-17th at 11-under.

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Hie maintains slender lead at Classic Golf & Country Club Championship

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Rory Hie.
Rory Hie in action on Saturday.

Gurugram: A birdie on the final hole, though this time it was on the 18th, for the second day running helped the tenacious Indonesian Rory Hie stay ahead of the field at the $300,000 Classic Golf & Country Club International Championship 2019 on Saturday.

Though it was Hie who held the lead for the third straight day, the upper half of the leaderboard still continued to be crowded by Indians.

Rashid Khan, a two-time winner on the Asian Tour, handed in a 6-under par card of 66 on Saturday for a three-day aggregate of 200 (68-66-66). He was one shot behind Hie, whose 199 had rounds of 64, 68 and 67.

Completing the top five were Chandigarh golfers Abhijit Chadha, placed third on 15-under 201 (68-65-68) and Asian Tour rookie Aadil Bedi in fifth along with Thailand’s Kosuke Hamamoto on 12-under 204.

Between them in sole fourth place is Byungjun Kim of South Korea on 14-under 202.

It was the third straight day in the pole position for the 31-year-old Hie and it leaves him well-placed to push for a breakthrough win on the Asian Tour, though he will have to contend with the resurgent Rashid, who has a PGTI win here six years ago, though he missed the cut at another domestic event in February this year.

Hie said, “I just played golf, I didn’t think about my golf swing, everything was pretty positive, I was looking at where I wanted to place the ball. I always had a positive attitude towards every putt, it doesn’t matter if it’s a par putt or birdie putt. Right now I’m just really happy with the kind of golf I have been playing.”

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