Express News Service
SRINAGAR: Golf tourism is picking up in Kashmir with hundreds of golf lovers visiting the picturesque Valley to play the sport in the shades of mountains.
Kashmir has three international-standard gold courses.
Kashmir Hotels and Restaurant Owners Federation (KHAROF) president Abdul Wahid told this newspaper that golf lovers from across the country come here to play golf. Kashmir, he said, has got three world class golf courses—Royal Springs Golf Course in Srinagar, Pahalgam Golf Course and Gulmarg Golf course, which is India’s highest altitude golf course.
“Lots of golfers have visited the Valley this year. Till last year, about 100 odd golfers used to come here every year to play golf, but till July this year, close to 1,000 golfers have visited Valley only to play golf,” said Wahid.
According to him, the golfers stay here for two or three nights before they leave.
“They either play golf in Srinagar or Pahalgam, which has an 18-hole beautiful golf course. They don’t roam around. They only come to play golf,” he said.
Wahid said the arrival of golf lovers has picked up from June and every other day golfers arrive in Srinagar just to play golf.
He said playing golf in the Valley is much cheaper than in Delhi, where Rs 5,000 is charged per game.
Secretary, Tourism Sarmad Hafeez said given the quality of its courses, J&K is emerging as the golfing capital of the country.
He said the iconic Royal Springs Golf Course and Pahalgam Golf Course provide a rich and varied world class experience to visiting golfers, which is unparalleled in the rest of the country.