With practice becoming an “ordeal”, two-time Asian champion Rashid Khan Thursday accused the Delhi Golf Club (DGC) of discrimination, which, he said, was ruining careers of golfers coming from humble backgrounds.
In 2012, he said the DGC stopped allowing caddie-turned-players from practising at the course, one of India’s most iconic and which is located at the heart of Lutyens’ Delhi.
“This is not happening with golfers from other sections (well-to-do families). They don’t want us to play. According to them (club committee) I am only allowed to practice from 4.45 in the evening in winter, how can I practice 18 holes which requires five hours,” Rashid told reporters.
The 2010 Asian Games silver-medallist added, “I can’t eat there, I can’t use the pool, I can’t use the annexure. It is affecting my golf and affecting me mentally.”
Rashid was accompanied by former national champions Shamim Khan, Honey Baisoya, Kapil Kumar and advocate Vivek Narayan Sharma.
Seeking the government’s intervention, Sharma said the DGC is being run like a property.
“After we took up the matter with the top authorities, the government had asked for 10 percent reservations for all sportspersons, and we want that to be immediately implemented in DGC,” Sharma said.
“Another thing is that, we want the DGC to allow the players to practice without hindrance. Time slotting in a fixed manner in the 18 hole course.”
The advocate alleged that the DGC, “unfortunately”, has not shown the keenness to implement the reservations.
“For the last three years it is like they are running a private gold course, golf is an Olympic sport and has to practice really hard to do well. We don’t get all the facilities. They stop anytime, anyone – be it professional or amateur,” Rashid said.
Sharma added, “When the golfers agitated, they stopped them from entering the premises of the gold club.”
Situated on a public land, the golf club runs on government lease, which was extended by 28 years in 2012.