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Even Golf Is Booming In Bangalore
RICK LIPSEY
May 28, 2007
Having started from scratch, the game is catching on among the upwardly mobile citizens of the city that's synonymous with India's economic ascendancy
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May 28, 2007

Even Golf Is Booming In Bangalore

Having started from scratch, the game is catching on among the upwardly mobile citizens of the city that's synonymous with India's economic ascendancy

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"There is hope," says Amit.

Bangalore's Leela Palace is a $500-a-night, 256-room hotel fit for a maharaja. I visit for Sunday brunch with some bankers from Goldman Sachs, who also play a lot of golf.

"A friend and I were paired with this 80-year-old guy at KGA, and he was barking all day," says Chris Oberoi, 30, a vice president at Goldman Sachs. "He thought my friend and I were too loud and didn't know the proper etiquette."

As we fill our plates with lamb kebabs, coconut almond fried fish and fennel-scented crab salad, Oberoi fills me in on his plans for the Goldman Sachs office in Bangalore. Named Crystal Downs after the legendary course in Frankfort, Mich., the building is in the Embassy Golf Club Business Park, adjacent to the 2nd and 3rd holes at KGA. "I want to build a putting green on our 1,000-square-foot roof terrace," says Oberoi.

Back at the table Ritesh Gadhiya, a 33-year-old tech executive at Goldman Sachs who spent eight years in the U.S., describes his passion for the game. "Indians are addictive, which is why we love golf," he says. "I was mesmerized the first time I hit a shot--at a pitch-and-putt in New Jersey. I was hooked right away, so I went home and subscribed to Golf Channel. Now I hit plastic balls around our house, and I'm teaching my daughter."

"How old is she?" I ask.

"One and a half," Gadhiya says.

? Joe Passov (a.k.a. Travelin' Joe) unearths golf's hidden gems at GOLF.com.

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