Jack Nicklaus to Roll Out Golf Courses in India

Nicklaus Design, the golf course design company founded by the famed golfer, has inked a deal with Vancouver-based Royal Indian Raj International Corp. (RIRIC) to create golf courses in India, beginning with one about to break ground near Bangalore. The project is the flagship for RIRIC’s series of new master planned towns, all of which all feature Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses. Other features of the new town near Bangalore will include “luxury elite” housing, a polo ground, and a private school.Nicklaus Design currently has projects under development in 45 countries. The company has been involved with 325 courses open for play in 32 countries. Of that total, Jack Nicklaus has designed, co-designed, or re-designed 262 courses worldwide. The Bangalore RIRIC course will be Nichlaus’ second project in India and its first in almost a decade. “All together, eight courses are planned,” Kenneth M. Corey, vice president of marketing and operations with RIRIC, told CPN this afternoon. “The Bangalore master-planned town will be about 1,136 acres, but other developments, such as our 5,000-acre site in Mumbai, will be larger.”According to Corey, the demand the golf courses in India has far outstripped the supply. “There are only about 250 course all together in India, and not all of those are international standard,” he said.The privately held RIRIC, which also has offices in New York, London and Bangalore, invests in various businesses on the subcontinent, including infrastructure development, broadband communications, and residential and commercial real estate development. Last year, the company entered into an agreement with Choice Hotels India to build about 12,000 limited-service hotel rooms under the Clarion, Comfort Inn, Quality and Sleep Inn flags.