By Duncan Mackay


November 14 - Golf is set for a major boom in India now that it has been accepted back on to the Olympic programme., it has been claimed.


The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) are to approach the Government for financial help to set up a development plan following the decision last month to readmit golf to the Games in Rio 2016 after a 112-year absence.


Suresh Kalmadi, the President of the IOA, said: "We are in touch with the Government for making golf more popular and affordable so that golf clubs allow more people to take part in the sport.


"Presently Golf is widely seen as game for entertainment and played by the rich.


"Golf has long been labeled a game for the wealthy and one of the main reasons for that is that golf clubs set high fees to cover their taxes.


"First, we want India to play at the 2016 Games and then we will aim for good results at following Olympics."


Earlier this year Jeev Milkha Singh, the first Indian golfer to become a member of the European Tour, predicted that the sport would be taken much more seriously in the country and receive funding if it became an Olympic sport.


Singh is the son of Milkha Singh, the 1958 Commonwealth Games 400 metres champion who represented India in the 1960 and 1964 Olympics and was nicknamed the "Flying Sikh".
He said: "Our population is more than a billion and I'm sure there's going to be a lot of talent out there.
"I don't think there's a public driving range in our country and there's only one public golf course right now.
"Everything is private."


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