After IPL, golf premier league tees off in India

Monday, 7 January 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

NEW DELHI: Professional golfer Shiv Kapur in collaboration with a sports management firm promoter Neeraj Sareen launched a franchisee-based golf league, on the lines of the Indian Premier League on Friday.

“The idea behind the golf premier league is to create a fast-paced, franchisee-based golf competition that has a shorter format and will be telecast live.

“It will not only help popularise the game but also offer an opportunity for youngsters to play with world class golfers,” Shiv Kapur said. He said that the league will have golf legends, European and Asian superstars playing alongside top Indian talent.

The tournament will have day and night rounds and will be a 14 hole stroke-play for prizes worth US$ 4,00,000. The annual event will be organised over three days at Aamby Valley Golf Course and will feature eight franchisees.

Each team will comprise of four players drawn from the pool of internationals, Indian golfers playing in international games, Asian Tour golfers as well as young golf players from the country.

The key players who have signed up to play include Darren Clarke, Angel Cabrera, Michael Campbell, Rich Beem, Johan Edfors and David Howell. Besides Shiv Kapur, the top Indian golfers that will be playing in the league include Ganganjeet Bhullar and Daniel Chopra, among others.

Four franchisees named Delhi Darts, Colombo Sixers, Shubhkamna Eagles and Tamilnadu Pulis have already been finalised. Colombo Sixers is owned by Sri Lankan Cricket star Mahela Jayawardene and Tamilnadu Pulis is owned by Dilip Thomas.

Delhi Darts will be owned by investment firm Co-founder Madhav Dhar. Another franchisee called Gujarat Underdawgs will be run by a consortium of businessmen whose identity was not revealed.

Golf Premier League Co-founder and CEO Neeraj Sareen, who also runs Sportsmantra, said, “We are in talks with key sponsors and will soon announce our other franchisee owners as well as our television partner.”

He said that through the league they are seeking to create value for franchise owners and sponsors and will have presenting sponsor besides associate sponsors.

Sareen said later this month there will be an IPL-style auction for franchisees to be able to have international and Indian players in their teams.

The first season of Golf Premier League is slated to begin on 7 February. Kapur said once the league is established the promoters will be looking at floating more international teams.