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You are certain to miss it if you are not looking for it – that little board, with flowing greens making for a breathtaking backdrop, which announces the little-known fact that the Kodaikanal Golf Club course is the world’s only certified organic golf course.
The man behind the remarkable achievement of turning the 18-hole course, which is spread over 100 acres and fringed by a mix of forest and a stunning view of the plains from an altitude of over 7000 feet, organic, is understated about it. GS Mani, better known as ‘Cheese Mani’ after he turned Kodai Cheese into an iconic brand, says he’s glad to have got the opportunity to do it.
“I learnt about biodynamic agriculture of the (Dr. Rudolf) Steiner school under Peter Proctor when they opened a chapter here in Kodaikanal and that’s when I realized that biodynamic form actually enhances the micronutrient levels of the soil. I decided it would be good to implement it in the golf course,” says the 66-year-old Mani, who has been the secretary of the golf club since 1991, barring the year that he spent in Switzerland learning to make Gruyère cheese. Also the superintendent of the course, Mani began with the biodynamic practices on the course in 2004.