A magnificent landscape and the redesigned international standard course at East Point Golf Club are set to make Visakhapatnam a golfing tourism destination
Enveloped in a tranquil setting that undulates its way through the bordering range of Eastern Ghats, the 137-year-old East Point Golf Club (EPGC) of Visakhapatnam is drawing golfers anew, from across the country. Andhra Pradesh’s only 18-hole category A course is spread over 86 acres, and was recently redesigned as per international standards at the cost of ₹20 crore.
It was inaugurated earlier this year and declared eligible for national and international tournaments. Golf enthusiasts are now back at the golf course, with its well-maintained fairways, putting greens and tees after a long pause caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The freshly designed golf course has more challenging fairways, with new water bodies and sand bunkers. EPGC also has a new driving range for its training academy.
EPGC recently hosted a golf tournament for the Pharma Golf Association, which saw CEOs of pharma companies across the country come down to enjoy the course.
“The golf course is surrounded by hills on all sides, with the Mudasarlova reservoir adjacent to it. The natural beauty of the place makes it an ideal location. No city has such a natural golf course in the heart of the urban landscape,” says Anand M, a passionate golfer from Hyderabad who participated in the tournament for Pharma Golf Association.
The ecological system, magnificent landscape, and newly-built golf course with a modern design that is competitive with other golf courses in the country can make EPGC a top destination for golf tourism. Notably, golf was one sport that enjoyed a substantial popularity surge around the world during the pandemic.
“Major golf tournaments will attract more tourists to the city. It will create a great opportunity to showcase brand Vizag,” says Secretary of EPGC Prashant Sagi. Lined up next is the Junior National Golf Tournament, slated to be held from December 27 to December 30. “The tournament will see about 80 junior golfers from across India,” adds Prashant.
Golfers who experienced the newly designed EPGC feel that its combination of good hospitality and a beautiful course, within a sustainable golf ecosystem, will go a long way in promoting tourism in Visakhapatnam. “The newly designed course here offers great challenges for ardent golfers. I have toured across the world and can easily say that EPGC in its present form is one of the best. The hospitality experienced by the golfing community is top-notch and will go a long way in promoting golf tourism,” says Jayant Tagore, who was here for a tournament from Hyderabad.
“There is great potential to create a tourism circuit around golf, by including short tours to nearby hill stations like Araku and Lambasingi, especially during the winters,” says Seshagiri Mantri, committee member of EPGC (marketing and social).
The club was started around 1884, primarily for the relaxation of the British. Originally, the golf course was located in the area where the VUDA Park and The Park stand today. It moved to its present location at Mudasarlova in 1964, thanks to the efforts of Raja PV Gajapathi Raju of Vizianagaram and other avid golfers of that time. Today the club has 1,500 members, who are ready to welcome some competition in the fray.
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