New Delhi:If you want to watch a round of golf on the PGA tour in America you would have to pay about Rs 900, while in Europe you would have to pay double of that.
However, for India's first European Tour event, the Indian Masters, you pay nothing at all. It's free entry to watch the likes of Ernie Els, that's a first for a major golf tournament anywhere in the world.
So if you had kept aside some cash for your ticket to the event, now is the perfect time to take your family for a surprise outing.
"It's ridiculously expensive, I rather watch it on television than spend almost Rs 2,000 for a single round. It's India's first European tournament and rather than promoting golf, this is a step back."
That was the reaction of disappointed golf fans when they heard that watching the likes of Ernie Els, Colin Montgomery and Darren Clarke at the Indian Masters in Delhi would cost them dearly seven and a half thousand rupees if they watched the entire event or about Rs 2,000 for a single day. Obviously the organisers relented.
"It's a great initiative on their part and I am sure a large amount of people will see it. It's a rare opportunity for so many people to come and watch leading players of golf in the world," said Wg Cdr Aparajit, Vice-President, Indian Golf Union.
The Indian Open last year was definitely a crowd puller and now with no gate fee even at the Indian Masters, the may have to get prepared for a mad rush which of course, will pose its own share of problems.
"Even the layman on the street thinks, let me go and see what's going n. So they become huge logistical problems in terms of management on the course in terms of the work the marshals have to do because these people don't have any golf etiquette, they don't know where to stand what to do and where to go," said Nonita Lall Qureshi, teaching professional.
The Delhi Golf Club is preparing for the crowds and golfers. Apparently the organisers were insistent on staging this tournament at this venue even though they had to pay Rs 30 lakh to the club to host the event, a small price to pay for what is un-officially called the busiest golf course in Asia.
"It must be the busiest course globally not just in Asia. We play about a hundred thousand rounds each year. I need to get this audited and then move Guinness to see if we can establish this as a record," said Ranji Chaudhary, Captain, Delhi Golf Club.
However, the far better record that the club might want to boast of is an Indian winner of the first European tour event in India.