A Change of Mind - Golfing at Eagleton

Trip Start Jul 01, 2008
Trip End Aug 15, 2008

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Where I stayed
Eagleton Golf Resort

Flag of India  , Karnataka,
Tuesday, August 12, 2008

We spent a long weekend in Chennai visiting relatives, and doing a lot of shopping. A lot of shopping. It was wearying, and I was beginning to tire of the incessant air pollution and the constant negotiations with taxi vendors on cab fares. In short, I needed a vacation!

One of my hopes on this trip was to play some golf with the kids. In fact the service apartment we had in Bangalore was purposefully chosen as it was adjacent to a golf course, KGA (Karnataka Golf association). I had harbored visions of going to the course every day and hitting some balls, or maybe even playing 9 or 18 holes with the kids before venturing off to work. Unfortunately, that vision never materialized.

First of all, the service apartment, while being a stone's throw from the course as the crow flies, was a good 1.5 miles from the course entrance. Secondly, the KGA course is private. I had circumvented this issue by finding a mutual friend who was a member so that I could play as a "guest", but the logistics of managing this were onerous. Thirdly, the KGA course is a piece of crap, veiled in the cloth of country club exclusivity. The course is undergoing renovation, so only the back nine is open. The 10th tee is adjacent to a sewer river - enough said. After paying off some guy, we were allowed to use the driving range, but even that was under renovation so they had placed a big net a mere 30 feet in front of where you tee off. Also, they are not very amenable to letting kids play on the course, demanding the all players have a "handicap card". Geez, I don't even have a handicap card. The final insult came when a rent-a-cop security guy refused to allow me to traverse the course's parking lot on foot because I was not a member. The security guard was treated to a 15-second salvo of American english expletives.

So to finish out our 6-week adventure, I scheduled 3 days of downtime at another golf course, Eagleton. Eagleton is about 30km outside of Bangalore, and is a PGA standard 18 hole, 6632 yard, par 72 course. 75.00 rating, 132 slope from the blue tees. Attached to the course is a resort with spa, large swimming pool, badminton and squash courts, gym, etc. Also you have the option of buying your vacation house in an adjoining housing community if you are so inclined.

It was 3 days of heaven. All the meals were included, so there was nothing to worry about there. Also, cans of Kingfisher went for Rs. 50 ($1.25) - I wasn't sure I was going to be able to escape the place! I hired a golf instructor for myself and the boys for Rs. 12000 ($300). Basicaly for $100/person, we got morning and afternoon lessons, and all the balls we wanted to hit at the range. The instructor also fixed a couple of problems with my swing. Even Lata hit a few buckets! The instruction terminated with a round on the course on the last day. We played the back nine, which was very pretty and had a couple of water crossings. Each of us had a caddy which cost Rs. 200 ($5) a piece including tip. I had never played so much golf over a span of a few days - all of our fingers were quite calloused and blistered!

This was a great way to finish the trip, and we have since returned back to the US with our brains full of great memories. This also represents the last blog post for this trip - thanks for riding along!
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