After nearly four years, one of the most sought-after social clubs, the Karnataka Golf Association (KGA), will be opening up new memberships. The internationally-renowned 18-hole golf course had closed the processing of new membership applications after it reached full capacity. In the pipeline are nearly 1,500 wait-listed applicants some of whom have been waiting for over 15 years.
KGA currently has 3,000-odd memberships. The club offers memberships under various categories like life, permanent, associate, service, corporate et al. Membership for “commoners” and babus/government officers is processed on a ratio of 3:1 as the club is established on government-leased land.
The club was set up in 1974 on a 117-acre government land in Challaghatta valley. A fee of Rs 1 per acre per year was fixed in the 1980s, which continued till about two years ago. After the 30-year land lease expired, following a cabinet decision, the land lease was extended and the fee was hiked to two per cent of the annual revenue which is paid to the tourism department. However, even as a government order has been issued for land lease renewal, the agreement has not come through.
In the midst of the pending land lease extension papers, in the previous annual general body meeting, it was proposed to increase the service memberships by another 100. But the proposal was shot down as members demanded that the membership ratio is increased correspondingly – from 3:1 to 5:1. This was not agreed by the government.
Now, taking stock of the pending membership applications and the increasing number of waiting years, KGA has decided to process the applications.
“About four years ago, we stopped registering applications or processing the wait-listed ones. We have reached the capacity of about 3,000-plus members. Against natural vacancies, we will give memberships this year. We have around 1,500 people in the waiting list,’’ a senior KGA member who was also a part of the managing committee told Bangalore Mirror.
KGA charges an entrance fee of Rs 15 lakh plus taxes for a lifetime membership. Permanent membership is for Rs 30,000 with taxes. The service category (comprising IAS officers, Group A officers of state and central government, high court judges) costs Rs 6,000 with taxes and corporate member is for Rs 30 lakh with taxes.
One of the candidates who had applied for a KGA membership in 2003 says: “My application number has not moved in the longest time and now. I have stopped checking the status.”