Once in a while, I have decided to write about my portfolio companies. I would like to start with Clover Greens, adjacent to Clover Fields, off Sarjapur Attibelle link road, Bangalore.
“A passion became an obsession. It drove 6 men who loved to play the game also build one. A course few know about, no tee times, no tailing, no waiting and you can freely try that hesitant “give me another ball shot” “. For some it is the best kept secret in Bangalore.
Clover Greens Golf Course opened for play on March 1st 2009, six years after six technology professionals dreamed of building one and embarked on a journey with no previous experience. The outcome was a 18-hole, 6000+ yards, par 70 course designed by Phil Ryan of Pacific Coast Design, Melbourne, Australia. Phil ensured the natural character of the land was enhanced and at the same time maximized its environment potential. Combined with the design principles of the game of golf, this careful environmental balance has resulted in a challenging course to play in all conditions – it offers risks, rewards and opportunities while adopting a fair line of play for the pleasure of enjoying a good round in a relaxed environment.
Clover Greens has been designed to be eco friendly. The fairway grass is all native, carefully selected from areas around the golf course. This local grass is weed, pest and drought resistant, demands water that is a fraction of conventional golf courses. There is no compromise on the turf look and feel or the playing experience. We hope all golf courses across the country realize that using localgrass is a better proposition than imported grass. Only organic fertilizer is used, this fertilizer is made from a patented technology that cures and sterilizes poultry droppings and converts them to afine powder.
For all those who would like to work on the finer aspects of their game, the just launched Clover Greens Golf Academy is the place to be. Supported by a team of pro-golfers led by Sujay Ghorpade the academy has a 2 storey driving range with 10 bays on each floor, a swing analysis room, a gymnasium, a conference room and a small snack bar.
There is more to come at Clover Greens: 165 luxury villas, a full fledged clubhouse with 40 rooms, a resort and a full fledged sports complex. Each villa will be built on quarter of an acre and compelling views of the golf course. The promoters want to keep the place quiet, they are not in a hurry to add members and the current plan is to not add more than 500 members.
Clover Greens was designed and is a golfer friendly course. The opening short Par 4 at 333 yards gives a gentle introduction to the course, with ample landing area for those golfers still warming up. It is not until the third hole, the Par 5 at 540 yards, that golfers start to feel a bit of intimidation creeping in with a mostly dry water body just after the tee box, bunkering to the left and a green
not in line of sight..
Golfers often breathe a sigh of relief as they leave green No 12 and look at the card showing the next hole, number 13, as a short Par 4 of 349 yards. They predict that it will be far easier –until they reach the tee. Sitting amongst established silver oaks (which create a ‘chute’ effect reminiscent of Augusta National), the 4th hole allows little room for error and is one of the most picturesque golf holes in India. The landing zone features a lake to the right, and the green is again surrounded by bunkers and established trees. If your drive is well-positioned, you can score well, but this little beauty can easily rattle your confidence.
The massive rock outcrop running from the north to the south across the site provides a backdrop to eleven holes, and is intimidating in its own right. Holes 1, 4 and 16 on the eastern side use the rock as a visual addition, while holes 17 and 18 to the north feature the rock as an integral part of the hole – especially hole 18, where the green sits between two of the largest rocks along the range.
On the western side of the ridge, holes 6 and 8 use the rock as a backdrop to the tees, giving both elevation and visual impact. But it is longest hole on the golf course – the Par 5, hole 7 at 586 yards – where the green sits within the rock ridge; this makes it one of the hardest holes on the card. Unlike many of the new golf courses in India, Clover has no golf cart paths – just paths from green to tee, so most of the golfers love to walk the fairways. The course was designed to feature trees and mounding between fairways, so a lot of the time golfers feel as if they are playing on their very own private golf course!
At the end of a round, sitting in the club, Belly Bunker, at Clover, you feel like part of a family – it is a club run by golfers, who want you to have a worthwhile time in this very special part of India. They cannot guarantee a great score – that is up to you – but they can guarantee a great round of golf.