Indian state forecasts growth after hosting Challenge Tour

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Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi

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Gaganjeet Bhullar of India won the 2011 Gujarat Kensville Challenge, held in his homeland.

AHMEDABAD, India – After the successful staging of a European Challenge Tour event earlier this month in the state of Gujarat, the local golf industry now has some momentum behind it.

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi said: “It is a great achievement for Gujarat golf. The state not only hosted an international tournament to perfection but also got the (European Tour’s) approval for the next two years.”

If the Gujarat Kensville Challenge, won by Gaganjeet Bhullar of India, is a shot in the arm for the sport in general, there is more good news in store.

“Many more (regional leaders) have been signed during the Vibrant Gujarat summit for (more) development of golf courses in the state,” Modi said.

Ahmedabad already has five operational golf courses, one under construction and one in the pipeline. There are golf courses in surrounding cities Vadodara, Bharuch, Vapi and Rajkot, as well.

So what is it that is giving golf the flight in Gujarat?

“Golf is one sport which has many spheres to it,” Modi said. “Golf helps understand the human psychology more than any other game. A round of golf on the course is also a very good workout for young and old alike. But more importantly, no game is more closely associated to business than golf. So in a state where entrepreneurship and business acumen are in the DNA, golf can’t be away from (the Gujarat masses) for long.”

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