February 2012


Eagles’ spreads its wings!
February 2012




The green of the 9th

China Bay, Trincomalee conjures images of pristine beaches, turquoise bay, history, culture and now GOLF!

Words Udeshi Amarasinghe | Photography Menaka Aravinda

Home to Sri Lanka's fourth golf course - Eagles' Golf Links - the environs of China Bay known as Clappenburg has been transformed into a sprawling green encompassing a nine hole golf course. The brainchild of former Air Force Commander and current Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetileke and developed by Air Force Commander Air Marshal Harsha Abeywickrama under the guidance of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Eagles' Golf Links will expand further to a full fledged 18 hole golf course in the months ahead. However, this does not detract from the fact that this is one Sri Lanka's finest courses deemed to challenge the most experienced players.

Encompassing an area of 171 acres in total the golf course could possibly be the most scenic as it is lining the periphery of the bay, while intermittent lagoons add to the changing landscape. This location has entailed breathtaking views from almost all points of the course. The club house faces the bay and is located near the first tee.

The sprawling lawns merge seamlessly with the bay providing a picturesque setting. With large windows and open doorways a continuous breeze aerates the interiors. The minimalist cement finishings and timber furnishing create a relaxing ambience, while the lounge, dining area and verandah open out to each other. The 12 fully furnished cabins adjoining the club house provide accomodation for those who wish to stay overnight and their placing is such that a flight of steps from each cabin leads to the bay.

this is one of Sri Lanka's finest courses deemed to challenge the most experienced players.

Red gravel roads snake through the golf course adding to its charm. nThe location of Eagles' was previously shrub jungle, therefore foliage in and around the golf course reflects its heritage. Furthermore, remnants of a colonial past - where during World War II Trincomalee was a base of the Royal Air Force - are also present and one such element is a film hall built by the British in 1945, which is located near the green of the third hole.

in its true sense the Eagles' spreads its wings!

The tee box of the first and the green of the ninth are situated in close proximity and located near the club house. The first is a par 4 with a fairway of 385 yards, which can be reached in three. The views at each hole vary giving a diversity to this unique course. The second is a par 4 with a fairway of about 290 yards however,this is considered difficult as the fairway is narrow and there is a tendency to miss and head towards the shrubs or the lagoon. The third though seemingly easy due to its short fairway and can be hit in one shot on to the green has been made somewhat difficult with the placing of sand bunkers. The fourth is a par 5 and deemed to be most challenging with a fairway of 455 yards and spiced further with water hazards, doglegs and sand bunkers. Many are yet to conquer the fourth. The golf course also differs in that many of the greens are surrounded by miniature hill like surfaces. The sixth is situated near the entrance to the golf course and is a par 3. The fairway of the fourth and the eighth overlap and in most instances players aim for the wrong green. Though the fourth is considered the most difficult due to the length of its fairway, the ninth surpasses it in the challenges that ensue from the various obstacles. The ninth is a par 4 with a fairway of 419 yards. The tee box of the ninth is situated on a high level with a steep slope to climb. The view is magnificent.

Throughout the course water features, wooden bridges and pathways add to the beauty of the location. After the ninth is conquered, and a game of golf has tired you out a visit to the wooden cabana will treat you to the most glorious view of the Trincomalee bay and in its true sense the Eagles' spreads its wings!

 

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    A clear perspective of the Eagles Golf Links, reflecting the diversity of the terrain

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    One of the many water hazards on the golf course along the fairway of the 7th

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    The cabana atop the hill facing China Bay

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    The film hall built in 1945

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    The club house

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    The fairways of the fourth and the eighth overlap and in most instances players aim for the wrong green

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    The first putt by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the opening of Eagles Golf Links. Air Marshal Harsha Abeywickrama is also in the picture.

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    Tee-off, Chief of Defence Staff, 
Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetileke

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    At the green of the 1st. The scenic views at the various points of the course makes it unique

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    And to the next hole we go... a player and his caddy

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