10thEdition of the Sara Futura Karnataka Golf Festival

Sara Futura Group to be Title Sponsors of Karnataka’s Largest Amateur Golf Tournament

Karnataka Tourism today announced the 10thedition of the Sara Futura Karnataka Golf Festival (KGF), the southern Indian state’s largest annual amateur Golf tournament. The 10th Sara Futura KGF will be held at the Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) course in Bengaluru on September 20-23, 2018. The four-day tournament will also serve as the Official Qualifier for the World Amateur Golfers Championship (WAGC), scheduled in Johor, Malaysia, in October.

Close to 500 golfers are expected to participate at the 10thSara Futura KGF. Around 100 outstation golfers from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolhapur, Ramgarh, Kochi, Chennai, Dehradun, Chandigarh, Mysore, Pathankot, Lucknow, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Kolkata have also confirmed their participation.

The 7219 yard par 72 Peter Thompson designed KGA course is considered one of India’s finest and has recently hosted the Take Solution Masters 2018. Local boy Viraj Madappa won the Asian Tour event, his maiden victory in the Asian continent’s top professional Golf tour. Apart from the KGA and the picturesque Prestige Golfshire course in Bengaluru, other courses in the state’s hill destinations like Chikmaglur, Coorg as well as Mysore have also made Karnataka a great golf tourism destination.

The multi-faceted Sara Futura Group, owners of such popular brands such as Florsheim, RUOSH & Barbeque Nation will be Title Sponsors of the landmark 10th KGF edition. Patrons visiting the city will not only get to enjoy their favorite game on a championship course but with golf clinics for beginners conducted by Golf professionals, lavish lunches, fashion brand and signature cocktail launches, lucky draws, gift vouchers, bouquet of prizes and a championship dinner all lined up for them, they are sure to experience quality family time as well.

Sharing his thoughts on the occasion, Mr. Anil Kumar T.K., I.A.S, Secretary Tourism, Government of Karnataka, said, “This is a momentous occasion for the city of Bengaluru, and a testimony to the popularity of the Karnataka Golf Festival that it completes a successful decade long journey. I congratulate the organisers for conducting such a successful event for so long, which has become a “must attend” for amateur golfers all over the country. He added, “Karnataka Tourism has always been in the forefront of promoting and supporting the game of Golf and through it Golf tourism in the state. Patrons and tourists can now also experience the pleasure of playing their favourite sport in the many picturesque and world- class golf courses in the state including the KGA, besides other attractions in the state. I welcome all stakeholders and participants to the Karnataka Golf Festival on behalf of the Government of Karnataka and wish them all the best during their stay in the city of Bengaluru.”

Speaking on the association, Mr. Kayum Dhanani, MD of Sara Futura Group, said, “ It is a privilege and an honour to be associated with the Karnataka Golf Festival. Apart from being a truly globally popular sport, Golf is also associated with the good life and that is what we want tourists coming into Karnataka to experience. That is what The Sara Futura Group in essence also stands for. We are excited and look forward to the participants enjoying their stay in the city and may the best golfer win.“

Rishi Narain, former Asian Games Gold medalistin Golf and MD of tournament hosts Rishi Narain Sports Marketing (RNSM)said, “This is a moment of great pride for us and for the city of Bengaluru. It has been a fantastic decade long journey and heartening to witness first hand the growth of the game in Karnataka. It is no surprise that some of India’s top golfers today hail from the city or the state and reiterates the fact that the future of Golf in Karnataka is in safe hands. We would like to thank the Government of Karnataka and the state tourism ministry for lending their constant support to the KGF and helping to establish it as one of the country’s largest and most popular amateur Golf tournaments. We would also like to thank the Sara Futura Group for showing great vision and coming forward to support the growth of Golf and tourism in the state.”

Bengaluru’s reputation as a golfers paradise is growing by the day. Apart from the Asian Tour Take Solution Masters, this year also saw for the very first time, an Asian Development Tour (ADT) event, the Louis Philippe Cup, being hosted at the Prestige Golfshire course. It is no coincidence then that Anirban Lahiri, India’s only representative in the world’s top most professional golf tour- the PGA tour of the USA, calls Bengaluru his home. Recent winners on the Asian Tour like Rahil Gangjee and Viraj Madappa also shifted base to the city in the recent past. Aditi Ashok, the only Indian woman to win on the Ladies European Tour, also hails from the city.

The 10thSara Futura KGF will be played across five handicap categories and one winner from each of the five categories will go through to represent India at the WAGC.  The WAGC, considered the most prestigious amateur golf tournament in the world, founded by legendary Swedish ice hockey, football and golf star Sven Tumba, had among its patrons, golf legend Arnold Palmer. It also has as Chairperson of its Advisory Board, Annika Sorenstam, a legend of women’s golf.

Golf has seen remarkable growth in Asia and according to a 2017 report by R&A, a governing body of the sport globally, over the last two decades alone, countries like Thailand (240 courses), China (383) and India (267) have now become among the top 20 countries for golf courses found around the world.  According to the same report, the continent also has 14% of the world’s golf facilities and as many as 32% or nearly one-third of the world’s new golf projects in various phases of realization.