CHANDIGARH, NOVEMBER 16: The sprawling greens of Chandigarh Golf Club came alive on Saturday with stories of exemplary valour and sacrifices made by the bravehearts of Indian defence forces in their line of service for the motherland.
More than 175 distinguished war veterans of the three armed forces, besides officers from civil services, descended in Chandigarh to participate in the Invitational Golf Tournament, organised as precursor to the 3rd Military Literature Festival (MLF) to be held here in the City Beautiful from December 13 till 15.
The MLF, turning three this year, is the joint initiative spearheaded by the Punjab Government, led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, and the Chandigarh Administration led by V P Singh Badnore, in collaboration with the Indian Army.
The specially curated Golf tourney was amongst the scintillating array of competitions and activities being organised to build up momentum prior to the much anticipated gala event next month. Decorated battle hardened veterans from across the country had been invited for to tee off together and share stories of camaraderie and hardships endured during service years, besides tales of heroic deeds spanning over their professional careers.
The Double Peoria Full Handicap Stableford category, under which the competitions were held, witnessed war seniors fiercely vying for honours turning the championship into a battlezone sans bullets with no-one willing to cede an inch of advantage. The slab was spread across 0-9, 10-18, 18-24 handicaps for the 9 holes category.
Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore had formally inaugurated the Festival earlier this month from Patiala. The contribution of Indian warriors in the iconic battles of Kohima and Imphal is the focus of the Main Festival in December, which will highlight the battle accounts and valour of daredevil soldiers who recorded their names in the annals of rich military legacy.
Earlier, the Special Principal Secretary to Punjab Chief Minister Gurkirat Kirpal Singh alongwith the Chief of Staff Western Command Lt. Gen. Gurpal Singh Sangha inaugurated the event with ribbon cutting before teeing off.
Lauding the initiative taken by the MLF, General Sangha said it would certainly provide a healthy platform to the retired defence fraternity to go down the memory lane and share their nostalgic moments.
The main MLF essay would see distinguished invitees include war historians, writers, scholars and defence experts lighting up the stage with their sharp insights and explanations on the various facets of intricate military warfare at the compelling panel discussions to be held during the main event.
The Golf event will lead towards a spate of engaging events to be held in city, including much awaited Marathon and Bird Watching Workshop tomorrow, another essay of two day Military Carnival kicking off from November 30, followed by Bravehearts Motorcycle Ride on December 7.
Naresh Gulati won with 24 points with Brigadier Avtar Singh finishing runners up with 22 points in the Men's 9 holes category. In Women's category, Gudi Malhi with 28 points (BB9) was adjudged winner followed by Jyoti Gosal with identical score. In Handicap 0-9 slot, Tinu Bajwa was adjudged best with Colonel PJS Atwal finishing second. Both scored 35 points with Bajwa edging ahead on (BB9) count
Colonel IS Bains took the top position with 35 points (BB9) leaving behind Ravibir S Grewal.
Vice Admiral HS Malhi won in the Handicap 19-24 category with 33 points to his name.
In other prizes to be grabbed, Mrs Shona Singh netted the ‘Best Gross Ladies’ prize with Brig. HPS Dhillon securing the 'Best Gross Gents' award.