The Himalayan Golf Course was designed and constructed by Major Ram Garung, a former officer with the Brigade of Gurkhas in the British Army, over a five-year period in the 1990s. The layout was built entirely by hand – sledge hammers were used to break rocks and no heavy construction vehicles were available – with up to fifty-five people on site at any one time.
Framed by the towering Annapurna Massif, the fairways are laid out within the walls of a deep canyon that’s been created over a very long time by the snowmelt waters of the Bijayapur River, with the opening and closing holes set next to a little clubhouse on the edge of the mighty ravine, some 250 feet above the rest of the course.
Architect Ron Fream has visited the course many times and had this to say about it: “Major Ram was and is the creator. He did so much with local hand labor and catch as catch can materials, minimal finances. A few holes then a few more tees, a stone wall built to support and protect the amazing island green, another green added or enlarged.
Hand labor, limited financial resources. Move a tee to get more length, add a bunker, expand a bit of fairway. Slowly newer holes emerged. Playing from a tee to a green on common fairway then back to another green along the reverse route works when play is not intense. Major Ram had great early vision to even see a golf course in this location.”
In Volume V of The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses , author Tom Doak features Himilayan as one of his eighteen Gourmet Choice layouts in the book: “Major Ram’s course has grown from nine holes to fourteen to sixteen and even though you have to play those less inspiring opening holes again at the end to get in a complete eighteen, they are somehow more charming the second time around… you have to see this course sometime in your life.”