The Royal Palm Golf & Country Club (Royal Palm) is located on the site of the former Pakistan Railways Golf Club which was founded in 1927. Today completely remodeled and landscaped, the Royal Palm bears little resemblance to its past. Widely regarded as one of the subcontinent’s best golf courses, the Club itself has set a new benchmark for others in the region to attempt to emulate both in concept and execution. The Pakistan Railways leased this property in September 2001 to the consortium now named Mainland Husnain Pakistan Limited (MHPL).
Spread over 140 acres of land and just a few minutes away from Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam, this expanse of rolling greens and stately old trees offers a serene backdrop for the pursuit of playing, pleasure, business and social interaction. Every aspect of this prestigious club has been designed by experts in the field, making it the most exciting country club in Pakistan.
PAKISTAN RAILWAYS GOLF CLUB
On a bright spring morning in 1912, a man stood upon the high railway embankment near the Mayo Road (now called Shahrah-e-Allama Iqbal) Level Crossing and gazed upon the TRIANGLE – the area formed by the forked (Lahore-Karachi and Lahore-Delhi) railway tracks and the Canal – wondering whether it could be done, for his mind had conceived the idea of constructing a golf course on this broken ground covered with a wild tangle of bushes and Pampas grass(sirkanda) where jackals, hares, partridges and snakes abounded and where huge areas of saltpeter dust would have to be subjugated into ‘fairways’. This bold enthusiast was one Mr. S.N. Nulty, Permanent Way Inspector of the then North Western Railway.
The course originally consisted of four holes only, but more variety was packed into these four than, perhaps, could be found anywhere else. Apart from the terrain, the bushes, elephant grass and somewhat too natural configuration for the ‘fairways’, at least one snake could be encountered on to hiss at the wrong moment and ruin a shot. By 1914, the course had been further cleared of jungle and extended to nine holes, but the War years saw a stoppage of activities at the Club and it was not till 1928 that it awoke to full life and began to attain the dignity and status of possessing a standard full length 18 hole course, measuring 5,930 yards, with a total par of 70.
The creation of Pakistan in 1947 brought in its wake numerous problems for the club also. The non-Muslim members having left, the membership dropped considerably. The position of finances was therefore bad; maintenance of the course was consequently not up to the desired standard; and the over-all picture was rather gloomy.
At this critical juncture, a band of zealous golfers stepped in and took the affairs of the Club in hand. Gradually, they organized the finances and started paying attention to the proper maintenance of the course. Due to their untiring efforts, things began looking up. The Club Pavilion was renovated and improvement of the course re-started. The barren patches and the areas on the course affected by saltpeter were gradually eliminated through concerted efforts over a number of years. During this period not only was the course redesigned, but it sand ‘browns’ were, also converted into ‘greens’ for which a pipeline was laid all over the course. In addition, a large number of saplings were planted on both sides of the fairways and at strategic points. Its length too was increased to over 6,000 yards and the total par to 71.
1955 was a memorable year in the history of the Club. A new club -house was constructed on a new site on the mound located somewhat in the center of the course. A number of additions and alterations were carried out to the Clubhouse in order to provide requisite facilities to the golfers. The Club also boasted of a standard-size swimming pool for its members and their families.
In 1987 on the directions of the late President of Pakistan, General Muhammad Zia-ul Haq major reconstruction of the clubhouse and the course was undertaken by the Railways Department. It hosted some of the major tournaments in the country until 2000 when it was decided to construct a state of the art of a golf course on the existing flat and wide fairways.
2001 to Date
Royal Palm Golf & Country Club
In 2001, Pakistan Railways had awarded a consortium now called Mainland Husnain Pakistan Ltd. (MHPL) the prestigious Railway Golf Club to reconfigure, develop and operate the facility and create the ultimate golf & country club in the region with world class amenities. The club was renamed as the Royal Palm Golf & Country Club.
Today, the Royal Palm Golf & Country Club is a modern oasis located in the heart of the city and is fast emerging as an integral part of the landscape of urban Lahore. Established since 2002, Royal Palm Golf & Country Club is regarded as on the premier golf clubs and leisure complexes in the sub-continent. The club is an iconic part of the development of the city, reverberating a sense pf Pakistan’s commitment to set global benchmarks has become a destined reality.
The Club is spread over 140 acres of land and is situated minutes away from the Shahra-e- Quaid-e-Azam (The city’s main artery). A soothing retreat, in the heart of the business district, Royal Palm has been created for those who seek excellence in sports, recreation and social activities. The expanse of rolling greens and stately old trees offer a serene backdrop for the pursuit of playing pleasure and leisure for the entire family and for people of all age groups. Besides family fun, the project also offers a conducive environment for business and social interaction.
The two tiered; driving range is undoubtedly the best learning and practicing facility in the region. A night-lit range, with state-of-the-art gadgetry can transform your regular game to be the one you dream of.
An adequately equipped pro shop offers rentals, equipment, footwear and even apparel for the unprepared or slightly impulsive! The shop has a wide range of products which include the best brand names in the world.
The club now has a membership of approximately 2000 family members comprising of the nation’s leading businessmen, decision makers of prominent business houses and representatives from multinational corporations from different industries and trade, along with young trend setters of the country, and expatriates managing some of the top global brands currently operating in Pakistan. The families of all members similarly enjoy the rich host of services blended with top quality facilities resounding in the actualization of the good life.
Every aspect of this prestigious club has been designed by experts with proven expertise and extensive depth of knowledge in their respective fields. The blend of foreign and local knowledge is set to deliver nothing less than a world-class facility and an exciting experience for people from all walks of life.
Royal Palm also provides the unique ability to provide sports hospitality packages to corporations looking to initiate team building exercises or to organize sports events that reach out to their respective target and niche demographic market. This offers a duality in the opportunity for product and service partners to gather, and for distributors and potential partners to appreciate the viability of the brand, while naturally enhancing its visibility and increasing the equity behind the brand’s product range and its recall value.
Royal Palm has progressively gained a foothold as an ideal venue for product launches and press conferences, and is the preferred venue catering to the unique hospitality requirements for globally distinct FMCG brands, Telecommunication and Education providers, and pharmaceutical corporations and media conglomerates operating in Pakistan.
Widely regarded as today’s urban face of Lahore, The vision is alive for Royal Palm Golf & Country Club to become an ambassador for Pakistan inviting world culture and business networking within an oasis of leisure, sport and hospitality.