Team work won us the award — Errol Johnston
Victoria Golf and Country Resort had its moment of glory when it was awarded the prestigious award of ‘Beat Golf Course in the Sub-continent’ by the ‘Asian Golf Monthly’ at a colourful ceremony held at the Golden Horse Palace Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last week.
It is their third award in 11 years. It first won this award in 2005 and repeated it last year and retained it this year.
It was great team work, said the Australian-born General Manager and golfer of repute Errol Johnston. All of us, including officials and workers worked hard under the guidance of the management to win this award.
The Victoria golf course was once a coconut plantation of about 550 acres in extent owned by the National Livestock Development Board. The late Mark Bostock, a former Chairman of John Keells, earmarked this for a golf course to provide a boost to tourism and golf.
The course was designed by reputed golf architects from the United Kingdom, Donald Steel & Company in 1997. The spadework and development was carried out by former planter, cricketer and ruggerite, Tony Witham, with the help of the workers. The line room settlers living within the course were resettled in modern cottages with 40 perches of land and the youth of the area were also provided employment in the complex in various capacities.
The golf course was formally opened in 1998 and one of the initial tournaments to be conducted was the Donald Steel Trophy, together with the Eberts Pot. Since then it has made giant strides, conducting many international tournaments, including the Sri Lankan Golf Classics, Golf Festival, SAARC Golf Championship and the worlds second oldest golf championship - the 121st Sri Lankan Amateur Open Golf Championship, last year.
Located in a beautiful setting, the course is ranked among the 100 ‘Most Beautiful Golf Courses in the World’. Playing golf at Victoria is not only exciting, but also challenging. It has three holes which are over 500 yards long. The sixth hole is truly spectacular, standing 100 feet above the fairways, which gives a commanding view of the golf course below and the waters of the Victoria reservoir beyond it. It requires nerves of steel, precision, coupled with accuracy and direction to come to terms with it.
The course is well maintained by the Course Manager, Maheel Bulumulla, using all his skill and expertise.