The 2nd AJGL Golf Match was held at Bahria Garden City Golf and Country Club (BGCG&C) Islamabad.
Despite forecasts of heavy rain, 60 passionate young boys and girls, aged between 5 and 18, ignored the weather forecast and participated with full enthusiasm. Their commendable dedication speaks volumes for the future of golf in Pakistan. Credit for instilling this spirit in our young golfers at the grassroots level must be given, unreservedly, to the remarkable team consisting of its Founder – President Munazza Shaheen and his hands – Patron Dr Asma Afzal Shami. Working under the patronage and support of the Paron – in – Chief, Lt. General (Retd) Mian Muhammad Hilal Hussain, the former Chairman of PGF, they have collectively achieved an incredible level of success in putting Project AJGL on such a sound foundation in a short span of time. term of office 3 months.
It may be recalled that the AJGL first appeared on the ‘Golfing Landscape’ of Pakistan when nearly 100 Under 18 Junior Golfers participated in the Inaugural Tournament held on 1-2 October 2022 at the Lahore Garrison Greens. The aim of the AJGL is to act as a nursery for the discovery, cultivation and production of our nation’s future golf champions. It is worth mentioning that Munazza, its President, is the only Pakistani who has earned the distinction of being qualified as a Level 2 Referee from a foreign institution and has the honor of being the Head Referee of the 5th PGF International Women’s Golf Championship held in 2022 in Islamabad. After studying the Junior Golf Leagues of the USA, Malaysia and Thailand, she has set two basic operating principles for her AJGL, namely, firstly, to divide all golfers into categories based on age, and secondly, to make them compete based on aggregate score only. He also wants to help develop their golf potential through a combination of three related aspects, ie. skill development with professional guidance, mental preparation through golf psychology and organizing frequent matches to improve their competitive spirit and develop their ability to withstand the pressure of competition.
In the 2nd AJGL event, young golfers from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Lahore participated in four age categories. In the Birdie Girls category (4-10 years old) Zoha Zeehan won 1st place, Aleena Khan took second and our little Korean Taehui Kang won 3rd prize. Among the Birdie Boys, Zalmay Amin from Peshawar won the first position while Abdaal Khan was 2nd and Fazeel Ahmed 3rd. The prizes in this Category were given by Mrs. Yasmin Mubarik who has the distinction of winning the National Championship four times. In the Girls Eagle category (10 to 14 years) the 1st position was secured by Ramin Amin from Peshawar, while Amna Malik and Sara Amin were 2nd and 3rd respectively. Among Eagle Boys, Shahmir Ahmed stood 1st, Musa Khan got 2nd and Wajahat Anwer 3rd prize. The awards were presented to them by Cmdr Muhammad Ilyas, Chairman BGCG&C. In albatross girls category (14 to 18 years) Zarmina Khan won 1st position, Shazmina Khan was 2nd while Meerab Rizwan was 3rd. Among Boys Albatross, Basil Rehman was 1st while Irtaza Hussain was 2nd and Muhammad Darmal won 3rd position. In addition, some relatively older golfers, ages 18-24, were invited to compete in a special elite division, with the goal of serving as role models for younger golfers. In this category Arooba Ali won 1st prize in girls while Jasia Tassawar was 2nd. Among boys, Osama Musa was ranked 1st while Muhammad Hashim won 2nd position. The prizes in the two senior categories were presented by Chief Guest Gen Hilal, Chief Patron. It must be mentioned that Basil ur Rehman from Peshawar won the distinction of first “Hole in One” of AJGL.
In his Chief Guest address, General Hilal aptly lauded two distinct aspects of golf that had achieved a credible level of success during his tenure as PGF President. First, she singled out the achievements of Dr Asma Afzal Shami, the former President of Ladies Golf, PGF, stating that; “…..within a short span of four years, along with her lady colleagues, she changed the stature of Ladies Golf in Pakistan, bringing the from the previous ‘affiliate category’ to the unimaginable ‘International Level’, culminating in the historic 1st PGF Ladies International Golf Championship in which seven foreign teams participated. She was further credited with persuading the Golf Foundation to establish seven Women’s Golf Championships in the PGF Annual Golf Calendar. He also praised Munazza Shaheen for conceiving the idea of AJGL and then taking the strategic decision of partnering with Dr Shami to ensure its practical implementation in such a short span of time. Describing it as an invaluable initiative that has filled a serious existing gap in our golf development, he said; After receiving a comprehensive briefing from Ms. Munazza Shaheen, let me say this without holding back, this idea of AJGL it is very well researched, well structured and certainly not a shot in the dark. I have full faith in this partnership of Dr Shami, who has proven her skills in Ladies Golf on the administrative side and Mrs. Munazza Shaheen, an IT expert and distinguished umpire, on the technical side. Within a few years, Inshallah, AJGL will produce our best golfers ready to compete at National and International Levels!”
In the end, Dr. Shami and Munazza Shaheen, both praised the excellent role played by the Secretary BGCG&C, Brigadier General Saeed Dar. To quote Dr Shami. “This event could not have been possible without his wholehearted support and valuable advice. We are especially grateful to BGCG&C for their generosity in being such a gracious, sole sponsor of this race.