Indian touring pro Arjun Atwal and golf design firm Hills/Forrest have formed a partnership to create courses across India and the Asia-Pacific region.
Hills-Atwal, Golf Design India brings together a major course design firm and one of Indian golf’s most recognisable names. A seven-time champion on the Asian Tour, Atwal has won three times in Europe, and is the only Indian player to achieve fully exempt status on the USPGA Tour.
“The Indian market is one of great potential, and it is near and dear to my heart, of course, but it’s an immature market where promises of expertise often do not match actual capability,” said Atwal,. “Hills/Forrest has designed and redesigned layouts in 20 different countries, in every conceivable climate. This experience is exactly what Indian golf development needs.”
“It’s clear to us that golf has taken on the specifics of each culture where it lands,” said Hills/Forrest president John Strawn. “In recognition of that reality, we have consistently partnered with local golf entities and individuals to make sure we understand and better serve that local golf culture.
“We are proud of our abilities to adapt and work around the world. What we bring to each, and what we will bring to India along with Arjun Atwal’s powerful brand, is a universal expertise in all phases of golf design.
The size and golfing potential of India’s growing middle class is well known. Domestic demand for the game is growing, and the UN’s World Tourism Organization reports that India hosted five million foreign tourists in 2007, an increase of 12.4 per cent over the previous year. “It’s a given that India’s golf development market will grow with great rapidity in the years to come,” said Atwal. “We have formed Hills-Atwal to ensure that it grows on the firm foundation of international-standard, expertly designed and developed projects.”