Aivot Golf & Sports Management signs with Lobb + Partners. Supplied

International golf course architects Lobb + Partners has been hired as a strategic partner for the design of multiple golf destinations across India with the PGA of America by Aivot Golf & Sports Management Private Limited, a newly founded organisation created by a group of Indian/American investors.

Golf has a long history in India — the subcontinent’s first course, Royal Calcutta, was established in 1829, the first in the world outside Scotland (before golf had even spread to England or Ireland), and in the modern age, there are approximately 300 courses across the country. But large-scale golf development has been slow to take off in India, despite the historical and cultural fit, because fragmented land ownership has made it difficult for potential developers to acquire suitable properties. Aivot, along with its partners, has ambitions to fix this, and transform the development of golf in India.

After signing the partnership agreement at the newly opened PGA of America headquarters in Frisco, Texas, L+P founder and principal Tim Lobb said: “As a team we aspire to create world-class golf courses, academies, and outstanding hotel and residential amenities alongside them. This is massively exciting for Indian golf, and we are overjoyed to be involved.”

The golf facilities will be PGA-branded, and are planned to include a mix of courses, academies and training centres, where Indians, whether previously exposed to golf or not, can develop their skills and enjoy the game. A substantial number of developments are planned across the subcontinent, in cities and regions including Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Delhi and the surrounding National Capital Region, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Lucknow. The Mumbai, Goa and Hyderabad projects are slated to be first up.

“The Goa project will be a resort — ideal for an area that is a major tourist destination — but some of the others, nearer to major cities, will be integrated golf communities,” says Lobb. “Aivot is a very forward thinking and talented group aiming to achieve something new for golf in India.”

Aivot’s CEO Alok Tiwari says: “Our plans are hugely ambitious — we are trying to create a hub for innovation and excellence in golfer development for India. As such, we naturally need partners who provide the absolute best quality support available, and we are confident that, in the PGA of America and Lobb + Partners, we have just that.”