“I always wondered why the British, who set up a golf course in every plantation district they lived in, did not think of having one here in Chikmagalur” wondered a young A.B.Sudarshan almost 5 decades ago. Little did he know that it was written in his destiny to make Chikmagalur appear on global map not just for its famed coffee, but also golf.
Belonging to notable Aralagupee family from Chikmagalur district, Mr. A.B.Sudarshan is the second son of late Shri A.M. Basavegowda , a noted politician and Smt. Gowramma Basavegowda, famous for her philanthropic work and an active social worker who is still active in building several institutions for the well-being of people of Chikmagalur .
Mr A. B. Sudarshan spearheads the mantle of the 240 year old family coffee cultivation business. Hailing from the 7th generation of coffee growers, Mr Sudarshan studied in Bangalore in Sophia High School and Bishop Cotton Boys’ High School before finishing his BA from Bangalore Government Arts and Science College.
An avid cricketer, he was the Captain of Rana Sports Club- the oldest cricket club in Karnataka. He is still associated with the club as honorary secretary.
In 1977, he decided to take the family legacy of coffee growers forward and moved to his home in Chikmagalur. Losing his father in 1996 left him shaken, and, desperate to come out of the gloom, he decided to channelize his emotions into something that had always been very close to his heart- Bringing Golf to the people of Chikmagalur.
The plan was dismissed by many as just a pipedream, but the seed had been planted in Mr Sudarshan’s mind. While driving through the deep jungles around the Chikmagalur hills, he identified a location near Chikamagalur Kemmanagundi Road- that he felt was perfect for his mission. He connected with his friends and family members, and 51 of them came forward to help him turn this dream into a reality.
The place where the club proudly stands today was surrounded by deep jungles- known as KardiHalli Kaval- a place where bears visited. It was Mr B S Patil, a close friend and Ex- Chief Secretary to the Karnataka Government, who played an important role in supporting Chikmagalur Golf Club in the initial stages.
Buoyed by this support, Mr Sudarshan never looked back. His sincerity towards the cause motivated the master Australian golf course designer, Mr Phil Ryan to offer his services in setting up the CGC.