By Madan G Singh
In the North East of India lies the city of Shillong. In the earlier composite state of Assam, Shillong was the capital. But after the creation of the state of Meghalaya, the city is this states Capital. Much of the development of Shillong took place during the days of the Raj. The English in particular loved the place as it reminded them of Wales, with the result that a lot many Englishmen made Shillong their home.
Shillong is located at a height of about 5000' in the lush Jantia hills. It is 104 km from the city of Gauhati and the drive takes about three and a half hour. The city itself is picturesque with a lovely lake and a Golf course. The golf course is part of the Shillong Club which was established by the English, during their sway over India.
The golf course is one of the most beautiful in India. Nestled among the winding hills and dales, the golf course is unique by itself. It has a 18 hole golf course which is very well maintained. The greens are excellent and playing a full course game can be a challenging experience.
The course was initially a 9 hole course, which was set up by the British civil service officers in 1898, thus making it one of the oldest courses in India. The course was expanded to it's present 18 holes in 1924. The course is perhaps the only one that can be termed a natural golf course in entire Asia. The course is covered on all sides by pine and rhododendron trees that makes playing golf here a pleasure. The longest hole is the sixth that covers 594 yards.
Another feature of the course is that this perhaps is the only course where a fair amount of caddies are girls. These sturdy Khasi girls are tough and will carry your golf set to any part of the course with ease. The difficult part is your own fitness, which must be of a high standard to negotiate obstructions in the form of bunkers,trees and rain which falls regularly here. Aftre all the wettest place in the world, Cherrapunji is only 55 km away. In addition the streams that cross every fairway is a challenge by itself.
The sun rises early in this part of India and in case you wish to play a game you will have to be early. In addition the sun sets early and thus you will have to play your game ere the evening shadows lengthen and it becomes difficult to sight the ball.
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