Arjuna awardee and star Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar won the outstanding achievement as a player award at the fourth edition of the annual India Golf Industry Association (GIA) awards at the Delhi Golf Club in New Delhi on Friday. The GIA awards were held along with the 8th India Golf & Turf Expo (IGTE), South Asia’s largest golf trade show. Kapurthala-born Bhullar won the 2018 Fiji International, a European Tour event, and also holds the rare distinction of becoming the youngest golfer on the Asian Tour to achieve nine career victories on tour.

“It’s a great feeling to win this award in the midst of important people representing the industry in India. Marquee events, like the Indian Golf & Turf Expo, do a great job of getting golf professionals and authorities on one platform and is the right step towards strengthening the game in India,” said Bhullar after receiving the award. “I am sure in the days to come, this industry and the game is going to grow further. On a personal front, awards like these are the right motivation that any golfer would want early in the season. I would also like to thank the Golf Industry Association (GIA) for awarding me with the Outstanding Achievement as a player award this year,” he said.

Vijay Divecha and Nonita Lal Qureshi were awarded for their contribution to golf coaching. While Divecha has coached star golfers, like Anirban Lahiri, Chikkarangappa and Udayan Mane; Qureshi, a former Arjuna awardee, is known for her contribution to the sport in India as an international player and then as a coach to several top ladies and junior golfers who have performed outstandingly on the international circuits.

Addressing guests, Deepali Shah Gandhi, GIA acting president, and patron said, “I congratulate all the winners for their sterling efforts in promoting and popularising the game across the country. The GIA is committed to the development and growth of the game at all levels. We hope this small token of appreciation goes a long way in encouraging all the stakeholders to do even better.”

Apart from individual awards, some other prominent awards presented include the ‘First 18 Holes International Standard Golf Course Development by a Smart City in India’ to The Naya Raipur Development Authority. In Naya Raipur, 27 percent of the land is devoted to greenery and the region’s environmental policies make it the first Greenfield Smart City in India.

The Royal Calcutta Golf Club and Eco Park, Kolkata, won the prestigious ‘Best Member Engagement Programme’ award for its successful Royal Premier Golf League and the ‘Best New Nine-Hole Golf course’ awards, respectively.