This was the Fourth India Cup Golf tournament I had organised (12 December) in Buenos Aires at the prestigious Jockey Club which has two 18-hole courses: Red (Colorada) and Blue (Azul). We played in 9 holes of Red and nine holes of Blue. The Colorada is one of the top five golf courses in the country. The 2010 Argentine Open was held here. It was designed by Alistair Mackenzie, the same golf architect who designed Augusta National of USA, where the Masters is played.
The Golf Tournament was part of the IV Festival of India ( 3-13 December) which concluded yesterday. The India Festival has become a Brand in Buenos Aires. The Borges Cultural Centre where we had the handicrafts exihibition and sale by 40 Indian companies looked like Chandni Chowk of Delhi, with thousands of people bargaining with the smart Indian exporters who quoted prices ...looking at the eager eyes of the Argentines.
The winners were given hand-made trophies made in India by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts( EPCH). The raffle winners loved the Bronze statues of Ganesh and Nataraja gifted by EPCH.
There were 30 items which were raffled including Dinner coupons at the Indian restaurants, Indian handicrafts and most importantly two return airtickets to India by Qatar Airways. Four more tickets of Qatar were raffled at the India- Latin America seminar and at the Festival Gala on 5 December.
In the cocktail, we served the Chateau Hana wine made by Aziz Abdul ( my blog on himhttp://latinamericanaffairs.blogspot.com/2011/09/aziz.html#links) and Biriyani and Indian snacks from Tandoor restaurant. Mahindra Tractors were prominently displayed (among other Indian products) to catch the attention of the club members some of whom own many thousands of hectares of farms. Godrej, which has bought two Argentine companies distributed cosmetic bags with sunscreen lotion and other products. Economic Diplomacy....
The players were wearing proudly the Incredible India caps made (in style) by the India Tourist Office in NewYork.
In my speech, I could not resist the practice of my usual Latino jokes..
There are three kinds of players of golf and sex..
amateurs play 3 times..a week
professionals play 7 times..a week
married guys play 12 times...a year
This is my last Copa de la India in Buenos Aires. The memories of my golf in 65 courses in Argentina and the moments I shared with the Argentine amigos on the fairways and the 19th hole will stay forever. Argentina is the best country for golf in Latin America. Besides having the largest number of golf courses ( about 300) there is an eco system in Argentina which makes the golf experience unique. Firstly there are a number of internationally successful professionals to inspire and lots of low handicap amateurs to compete with. Secondly, the quality of golf courses and the clubs are excellent and elegant. Within 70 km of Buenos Aires there are around 100 golf courses many of which are part of country clubs where the amigos have weekend homes. Thirdly, there are a number of golf companies which organise tournaments throughout the year. The Tuesday edition of La Nacion and Buenos Aires Herald publish a Golf Agenda with the list of tournaments for each week. I have a number of enthusiastic Argentine amigos who are ready to play on any day of the week ending with ¨Y¨.