KARACHI: It was a rare sight. Lt Gen Mian Hilal Hussain played 12 holes with local golf officials and later met various others for a detailed discussion aimed at finding ways and means to take the sport forward.
It was a rare sight because seldom has any past President of the Pakistan Golf Federation (PGF) opted to reach out.But Gen Hilal, who took over as the PGF President from Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam last November, intends to make it a regular practice.
On his recent visit to Karachi, General Hilal played a round of golf at the Defence Authority Country and Golf Club and later held an informal meeting with officials of the Sindh Golf Association (SGA) and members of the PGF Executive Committee representing Sindh.
That Gen Hilal means business was evident from the fact that the meeting continued for about two hours in which the PGF chief took note of various suggestions and also spoke about his own plans for Pakistan golf.
“I’m not here just with a vision. I’m here to do something concrete for Pakistan golf. My aim is to quickly do my homework and then start implementing plans that can help this sport to make much-needed progress in our country,” he said.
Golf certainly needs progress in Pakistan both in terms of players and facilities.It has become a fast-growing sport in Pakistan especially after the trend of adding golf courses to luxury housing colonies picked up in the country in recent years.
But the standard of the sport has become stagnant, at best. No Pakistani player has made his presence felt even at the Asian level since 1999 when Taimur Hussain won the Myanmar Open — an Asian Tour event.
At the amateur level, Pakistani players end up as, more or less, also-rans in international events.And with no substantial junior development projects, things are unlikely to change for Pakistan golf unless concrete measures are taken by PGF, the game’s governing body in the country.
“That’s what we want to do. We want to target achievable goals and then go after them with all our resources because that’s the only way forward,” Gen Hilal said.The PGF President is well aware of the fact that lifting Pakistan golf out of its current state will be a big task. But he seems up to it.
“We will knock at every door. We will go to the government, we will go to private and public sector. Pakistan golf needs support and we will get it,” he said.Gen Hilal also urged all stake-holders to come forward and play a role for the cause of Pakistan golf.
“We should improve our courses. We should improve the standard of our players, coaches, referees. For that we will need to give it our best shot.”Asad I.A Khan, President Sindh Golf Association (SGA), extended an all out support on behalf of SGA.
“The SGA will be there to support any initiative taken by PGF to bring progress in Pakistan golf,” said Asad, who is also Vice President of the PGF.Gen Hilal told the participants of the meeting that the PGF is counting on the provincial golf associations to play their due role in the uplifting of Pakistan golf.Also present in the meeting were Commodore Ghazanfar Abbas, Brig Tariq Rafique, Brig Qasim Changezi, Col Zahid Iqbal, Humera Khalid, Ismail Ahmed and Asadullah.