tete-a-tete with WG Cdr Dhankar

GII. Which is your favorite Golf Course and why?

WCD. Delhi Golf Club.

Centrally located, well managed by an elected committee of experienced Golfers and management executives on tenure basis and overseen by three jealous neural rats as committee members. Course is challenging, professionally managed by qualified green keepers. The greens also get upgraded by professional designers. The F&B is high quality and reasonable.

GII. For how long have you been playing Golf and what initiated you into this game?

WCD. Started playing in 1970. Played as low as-4. Represented IAF in Inter-Services regularly between 1976-1990. Won the AF championship in 1983-84 and a large number of Corporate tournaments while at ITC Classic.

Just love for sports. University level Football and Swimmer.

GII. Which Golf Course you have witnessed during Development Phase?

WCD. (a)  The most prominent is ITC Classic. Joined the project at Earth work/Shaping stage and saw it through grassing, Landscaping planting, Irrigation system and over as GM Course, machinery maintenance promoted as VP course ops management till 2007.

        (b)   Airforce Golf course Hindan Ghaziabad. Took over as Hony. Secy cum Captain of a nine hole course in 1988, saw the scope for improvement. Designed an 18 Hole course, took Army’s help for machinery built the Second Nine holes within one year and opened to play. It is a regular Venue for Inter-Services Golf ever since. Improved the Bar, lounge and other facilities to match.

          (c)  Designed and built a nine hole Golf Course at Haryana Police Academy at Karnal.

          (d)  Designed the Airforce Golf Course at Gandhi Nagar, Ahmedabad.

          (e)  Helped design and construct Airforce Golf Course at Gurgaon.

          (f)  Helped Haryana Govt to pick a designer to upgrade the Panchkula Golf Course.

GII. Your favorite Golf Course for Hospitality & Management.

WCD. (a)  Delhi Golf Club.

           (b)  ITC Classic.

GII. Which all Golf Courses (past and present) you have been associated with?

WCD. (a)  Secy. AF Golf Course New Delhi.

           (b)  Secy and Captain AF Golf Course Hindan.

            (c)  Chief Course Manager, Delhi Golf Club.

            (d)  ITC Classic Golf Resort.

            (e)  Karma Lakelands/Unitech Golf Course Manesar.

            (f)  Unitech Grande Noida as head of Golf project.

          (g)  Helped Rambagh Golf Course Jaipur in upgrading their Maintenance Systems and quality and trained the staff) for over five years (Honorary capacity).

        (h)  Helped Army Golf Course Jaipur (Hony.) again to upgrade their course Maintenance Systems and trained the staff.

GII. Where do you see the Golf Industry after 5 years.

WCD. Keeping in mind, the costs involved in land, equipment, design and development, the progress is bound to be very slow. If I am not wrong, not more than 20-25 good golf courses have come up in 20-25 years. ie one golf course per year. Compare this with USA. It was 1000 golf courses per year at peak demand.

GII. Give us an example of when you thought ‘outside of the box’. How did it help?

WCD. a.  Air Force Golf Course Hindon.

          b.  Flooding of holes No. 9 and 13 every monsoons.

         c.  Rain water harvesting at Classic golf Resort, resulting in phenomenal improvement in Water Table.

GII. A tough situation when your expert advice to the management led to an improvement in your Department/Company.

WCD. Delhi Golf Club had chronic water logging problem on holes No. 9 and 13 till 1993 when I joined them. Saw the problem. Diverted this water through channels into the jungle area dug big holes to let the water go into Mother Earth. DGC wells also had saline water, liaised with Oberoi Hotel management to divert their waste water to DGC tanks to improve the quality and quantity both.

b.AF Hindan had no funds and even annual Audit had commented adversely. Things improved within one year through sheer proper management.

GII. What is your advice to patrons and colleagues of Golf Courses to help them in increasing their revenues.

WCD. (a)   Improve quality of golf courses to attract more Golfers.

           (b)   Improve F&B (affordable)

         (c)   Encourage economy and improve maintenance procedures to enhance the life of machinery.

         (d)  Have set SOPs in place and ensure their implementation by regular checks and if needed, their revision.

          (e)  Proper documentation.

GII. Seeing the current trend, do you feel Golf can be as favorite as Cricket in India.

WCD. It can be. Provided :-

          (a)  Golf club memberships are easily available and affordable.

          (b)  Golf equipment (sets and machinery) are home manufactured cutting on costs.

          (c)  Unfortunately, there can not be gully golf like gully cricket.

GII. How many years you feel it may take to reach that level.

WCD. Decades, till the B class cities have their own golf courses.

GII. How can we grow the numbers of Golfers in India.

WCD. Give the golf sets to small town kids and playing areas. Till the mid-80’s, Delhi had only one championship course, today there are half a dozen.

GII. What excites you on a Golf Course?

WCD. The morning breeze, chirping of birds, odd mongoose, porcupine or a jackal running across the fairways.

GII. Favorite 19th Hole Drink.

WCD. Beer after a good or not good round of golf with friends and family members.