Mysore, Apr. 28 (JP)- The present confrontation between the Mysore Race Club (MRC), a historic and heritage landmark of our City and its own creation, the Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Golf Club (JWGC) is heading towards a climax if you go by the recent happenings since a week. A kind of uneasy tension among golfers and the officers of the MRC was perceived this morning as the regular golfers began to troop into the venue around 6 am this morning.

In order to give a background of the unfolding events at the MRC, we are publishing some facts and figures and the background information about the Mysore Race Club:

The currently contentious golf course was laid out as far back as 1906 by the then Maharaja Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar and some 50 years later the Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadi-yar instituted the Maharaja’s Challenge Cup in 1957. It was in 1963 that the Mysore Sports Club was handed over by the Maharaja to the members and the golf course was looked after and maintained by the Club.

The Mysore Race Club came into existence on April 20, 1968 with its incorporation under the Indian Companies Act. The racing activities before 1968 were being conducted by the Bangalore Turf Club. The same year MRC took over the lease rights to the race course as well as the golf course from the Bangalore Turf Club. Meanwhile in 1971 the MRC purchased the race course from the Maharaja. And in 1976 the State Government bought this property from the MRC and leased it back to it. It was also during the period 1968 to 1977 that the MRC began paying a token sum to the Sports Club to maintain the MRC golf course. The year 1968 also saw the first golfing 'Addicts Society of South India' being born.

Thus from 1977 onwards the golf course was being maintai-ned by the MRC’s sub-committee nominated by the Main Committee till 1985. This period also saw the Maharaja’s Championship and the Addicts Society meeting, being held yearly by the MRC. Labour problems in July 1985 saw golfing being stopped and golfing staff being retrenched.

Golf was still on the minds of some and in 1985, four of the Committee members of the MRC, two ordinary members as well as two keen golfers got together and the result was the birth of the JWGC with Sardar K.B. Ramachandra Raj Urs, a steward of MRC as President.

The formation of the JWGC saw it applying to the MRC to permit its golfers to use the course during playing hours. Permission to do so came in January 1986 with the codicil that it should not hinder racing and the maintenance and upgradation would be carried out by them.

The formative years of the JWGC saw the MRC taking care of the course, trimming the greens and removing the undergrowth, 'sanding the browns' etc., making sure that this did not affect the daily working of the race course.

Then in June 1990, a MoU was entered with the MRC with a rider that JWGC would be allowed to upgrade all that was necessary to maintain the golf course and that JWGC would lay no claims on the property and that racing activity would take precedence over golfing. In June 1990, MRC also built a Golf Hut near Hole No. 1 for the use of golfers during playing hours.

The period 1995-96 saw Rs. 68.3 lakh being spent on the up-gradation of the golf course by the JWGC with the support of the MRC. The MRC contributed Rs 4.5 lakh, the government contribution was Rs 37.5 lakh and the JWGC portion was Rs. 26.3 lakh. The MRC also shared the cost of the construction of the lake by providing men and materials worth Rs. 5 lakh.

Another golf hut near the 14th Tee Box was constructed by the MRC in November, 2001. This gesture was repaid by the JWGC in the form of the JWGC Cup

In June 2005, the Director General of ATI called for a meeting with the MRC and the District Administration with the Deputy Commissioner in attendance. The suggestion was made that the golf course be shifted from the Race Club property and in that place stables built on the lines of the Bangalore Turf Club and other racing centres in the country. The meeting also saw the DC being advised to identify land and the financés involved.

Later in December 2005, the State PWD Chief Engineer suggested that horses be stabled within the race course so that the 14 acres of land belonging to the MRC could be acquired by it. MRC resisted this move as it would have disrupted golfing activities on MRC land. Following this, the government proposed that it would allot 15 acres near the Police Firing Range for the stables to be constructed but this proposal was later dropped.

This meant that from 2007 onwards the MRC has had to stable its horses at different places in none-to-good conditions—incurring some Rs. 1.25 crore for these temporary shed apart from Rs. 40 lakh for the land leased from the government.

Incidentally the MRC has also acceded to the JWGC’s demands to build water hazards, a flood-lit driving range etc., to further golfing activities.

The MRC claims it has been nurturing a sport so different from its own activities rather than allow it to die. This is not all that the MRC has done, it has contributed Rs. 659.03 lakh to the government in 2008-09 apart from giving direct and indirect employment to over 3,000 persons. This was MRC’s objective in 1968, says MRC and claims that it will continue to do so.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore