When Sir William Cruikshank acquired 100 acres of land just outside what was then known as Calcutta in 1895 and founded the Tollygunge Club, I wonder if he envisaged that over 115 years later his vision would remain as one of the most unique golf destinations in the world.
The golf course that meanders its way through century-old trees, before finishing at a clubhouse building over 200-years-old is full of charm and a grace rarely experienced in modern golf. For travellers, Tollygunge Golf Club champions the experience of what the game was like in India 100 years ago.
Rambling old buildings, beautiful restaurants and bars and a kaleidoscope of non-golfing activities await the golfer staying at Tollygunge. Originally a Royal Park named Bara Bagh, the site has a history dating back to the mid-1700s. But it is now, with Kolkata a city of 15 million people, that this park environment has cemented its presence as an oasis he second largest city in India.
Affectionately known as “Tolly” the club offers equestrian sports, tennis, swimming, squash and a health spa as well as its famous golf course (which) is short and tight and features idiosyncrasies that reflect a bygone era of golf design. Double greens, quirky bunkers, shared fairways are all part of the experience that makes a round of golf great fun at Tolly.
The above passage is a brief edited extract from Golf in India by Phil Ryan and Paul Reeves, published in 2011, and we think it captures the true essence of Tollygunge. Phil and Paul are directors of Pacific Coast Design, which has been updating the green complexes at Tollygunge in recent years.