The Sri Lanka Golf (SLG) is registered under the Ministry of Sports Sri Lanka and recognized by the R&A as the sole Governing Body for Golf in Sri Lanka.
Golf is one of the oldest sports to have been played in Sri Lanka having its roots during the Dutch rule of the 17th Century. It is well established that the Dutch word “Kolf” refers to a stick which was shaped to hit Kolf balls in a game which was later to become the National Sport of Scotland as Golf.
Excerpts from some writings of Edmund Reimers, the late Government Archivist during British rule in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka): … the keeper of a Hostelry had died a few days before, and his widow, with typical Dutch caution, had proceeded immediately to get the ‘loose’ goods inventoried…
The Hostelry itself had a large back garden which had a miniature golf course called the kolf-baan…
Amongst the items in the shed off the golf course in the garden were 21 golf balls and 19 golf clubs…
Mr. Reimers, who himself was a golfer, overwhelmed by his discovery, composed the following lines, which was published in a leading newspaper of the day with a caption Golf – a la Hollandais.
“The weakness we often impute to the Dutch
Is giving too little and asking too much
But the little they give you’ll gladly admit
Is sometimes – not often – a really good bit;
E.g., golf, who’d have thought that jolly old threesome
On the dunes of Bruges so open and freesome
Was the direct ancestor of golf in Ceylon?
Colombo that is. Why share what you’ve won
By true right of inheritance straight from the Heer
Who in seventeen-seven odd kept such excellent cheer
In his place in the Fort, Mom, Roskammer, Deventer
Rhinewine and French ditto and Knyp and ‘Genever’?
And other good things besides both liquid and solid
Who hurried or strolled to bar or the links
For a game of Dutch ‘kolf’ or a couple of drinks.”
However, it was the British who formalized the sport in Sri Lanka during their rule in the 1870’s. Golf has been formally played in Sri Lanka for over 130 years, and the island is home to the second oldest National Amateur Championship in the world. The Royal Colombo Golf Club is the second oldest Royal Golf Club in the world outside Britain, having being established in 1879. The Nuwara Eliya Golf Club established in 1889 is situated in the hill country has the oldest golf course in Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lanka (originally Ceylon) Golf (SLG) which was founded in 1946 initially to manage the National Amateur Championship now spearheads the movement to advance golf in the island.
As provided for in the SLGU Constitution, the elected Council of SLGU is made up of Office Bearers and Council Members representing their member organization.
Establishing and Governing the Rules of Golf
Member clubs of SLGU are golf course operators and fundamentally exist to facilitate the sport of golf and conduct competitions. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in Scotland is recognized worldwide as the “Home of Golf” and through a specially formed company known as “The R&A”, established and governs the Rules of Golf.
The R&A does not officially answer rules queries from individuals and clubs who are not members of the recognized controlling body for golf. The SLGU being the sole recognized controlling body for golf in Sri Lanka therefore, coordinates all matters concerning the rules of the game or disputes by interpreting the rules arising out of any officially recognized tournament conducted by the SLGU or its member clubs
National golf tournaments and events require the sanction of the SLGU. To represent Sri Lanka, golf players need to go through a process of selection. National Selectors are nominated through the SLGU for approval by the Ministry of Sports. Trials are conducted by the SLGU and the National Selectors chose the representatives approved by the SLGU and ratified by the Ministry of Sports.
Golf clubs or golf courses which operate without being a member of the SLGU will not be officially rated and therefore they will not be able to host National Championships.
Official Handicaps for Amateur Golfers
Golfers who are not affiliated to the SLGU will not have any official status. A golf course operator that is not affiliated with the SLGU will not have any recognition for its members.
Worldwide recognized Ranking System
Any golfer in Sri Lanka wishing to obtain worldwide recognized ranking points must play in Ranking Tournaments officially recognized by the World Golf Ranking bodies through the SLGU.
SLGU Responsibilities – Increasing Quantity and Improving Quality
The SLGU has the responsibility of “Growing the Game” by increasing the number of golfers taking up the sport in Sri Lanka whilst improving the standard of quality of golf being played by Sri Lankans.
International and National Golf Championships and Official Ranking
The SLGU today conducts the following annual International and National Golf Championships
In addition, the SLGU gives recognition to golfers to represent Sri Lanka in International Championships.
Facilitate Training in all aspects of the Golf Industry
The Golf Industry requires trained and suitably qualified professionals and volunteers. The SLGU facilitates conducting of Rules Schools, certification of golf Trainers, and even obtaining the services of recognized foreign coaches to conduct training camps for beginners and even top professionals from time to time. Other aspects of the golf industry which the SLGU is in a position to assist is in providing appropriate training for repair of golf equipment and golf course design and maintenance.
In addition the SLGU will soon be the conduit for Golf Tours where a player or group of players can arrange a paradise tour with golf. Where depending on your requirements a tour package to include at least 3 days of golf on 3 different courses, inbetween you can enjoy the varied special attractions of Sri Lanka as per your preferences, these include safari’s, beaches, dolphin and whale watching, culture and heritage, tea country and other sights to ensure a fun holiday.