1st Chief of Naval Staff Golf Championship at Royal Palm

The 1st Chief of Naval Staff Amateur Golf Championship will tee off at the majestic par 72 Royal Palm Golf and country Club Golf Course from Friday 29th April 2011,and for three days, leading amateur golfers of the country will contest for top honors in this prestigious national golf event,endorsed by Pakistan Navy and supported by sponsors like Allied Bank,Millat Tractors,Coca Cola,MCB,Triple M and Bahria Town.This was stated by Omer Mir,General Manager,Royal Palm in a press conference at the Royal Palm yesterday and attended by Commodore Akbar Naqvi,Station Commander(Navy) Lahore,Captain Anser Mehmood,Director Sports,Pakistan Navy,Col(r) M.Jameel Khalid,Director Golf of the host club and Faisal Umer,Director Sales and Marketing of Royal Palm.Omer Mir also said that because of the prestige of this huge event and participation by champion golfers,the Organising Team at Royal Palm has gone all out to make the occasion an excellent one. The Golf Course looks a place of beauty, and the fairways and greens will definitely facilitate crisp shot making and heartening putting. Some of the notable players have already gone through practice rounds and are full of praise for the challenges of the course and the playing conditions.

In his comments Commodore Akbar Naqi stated that Pak Navy,  retains a proud track record of not only promoting sports at Armed Forces and national level but is earning rich laurels for the country in other sports, as well. As a testimony, the internationally famed names include R/Admiral Zaka Ullah, Captain Munir Sadiq, Commander Mamoon Sadiq and several others who, besides participating in Olympics, earned Gold Medals at the Asian Games. Pakistan Navy also holds an eminent heritage in the field of amateur and professional golf, and names like Tariq Mehmood and Mr. M Shabbir are deemed icons amongst the national golfers community and one of their senior officer and golfer,Commodore(r) Zafar Mehmood is currently the President of Council of International Military Sports which has 136 countries as its members.He also said that  during current tenure of office and despite heavy professional commitments, the incumbent Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Noman Bashir NI(M), has accorded a special preference to advance sports at all national tiers. It is in continuation of his vision that the 1st Chief of the Naval Staff Amateur Golf Championship is being organized at Lahore from 29th April to 1st May 2011.

Commodore Akbar confirmed that this championship will be an annual event scheduled under the aegis of Pakistan Golf Federation and will be played in categories of Amateur, Senior, Junior and ladies.As regards the Championship itself Col(r) Jameel Khalid stated that events at stake are Amateurs Gross,Seniors Gross and Net,Ladies Gross and Net and also a competition for Juniors with  the age of 18 and below.He further said that in the Main Event,Amateurs with a handicap of 12 and below are eligible to participate. The contest will span over three days and each day 18 holes will be played adding upto a total of 54 holes. The champion will be one with the best gross score. Some established players vying for honors in amateur gross are (from Royal Palm) Sardar Murad, Sohail Rana, Omer Salamat, Muhammad Rehman, Mohsin Zafar, Aamir Mehmood, Shoaib Bokhari, Wazir Ali, (from Lahore Gymkhana) Sameer Iftikhar, Khawaja Imran Zubair, Mohsin Anwar Shafiq Bhatti, DHA Karachi Waseem Rana, Zohaib Asif, (Islamabad Golf Club) Ahmed Zafar Hayat, Tariq Mehmood, Azhar Shah Bokhari, and Captain Ansar Khan. (Lahore Garrison) Lt Col Asif mehdi and Lt Col M. Shafi, (Rawalpindi) Ghazanfar Mehmood, (Sialkot) Ishfaq Lone, from (Dream Land Karachi) Sufian Dhodak and (Arabian Sea Golf Club) Sajid Khan. This sure is a pack of golfers who have their eyes on the coveted title.

In regard to senior amateurs he said that  golfers with a handicap of 14 and below and age 55 years and above are eligible to compete. Although the category is senior, we have a large number of golfers in the country that may not be young, going by the age but physically they are in extremely good trim and devoted to the game of golf, practicing regularly and with a burning desire to perform in competitions of this level. A number of skilled golfers who can be categorized as players of significance are Javed A Khan and Zahid A Khan from Gymkhana. (from Karachi) Asad I A Khan, Commander Zafar Mehmood and many others like Imtiaz Pervaiz, Brig Abdul Ghafoor Raja and Maj U D Najmi For ladies, eligibility criteria is that they must have a handicap of 30 and below. They will compete on 29 April and the competition will be over 18 holes. Some of the renowned names are the current National Champion Ghazala Yasmeen, Former National Champion Tahira Nazir and the net champion for the last years CNS amateur Net winner Tahmina Ali.

Col(r) Jameel also said that this is a great opportunity for juniors to show their mettle. Age limit is 18 years and below and handicap limit is 24. Some names of talented youngsters that deserve a mention are Haris Rehman and Nowsherwan Aslam from Garrison Golf Club. Steven Quin from Islamabad. Nadeem Aslam, Usman Ali, Mohammad Asif and Haider Ali the new Punjab Golf Association’s new find.Giving details about the Golf Arena,Col(r) Jameel stated that it is  6,820 yards long, has a par of 72, Royal Palm and is  a trend setter for golf course construction in Pakistan. It is the first golf course which has been built to the Unites States Golf Association standards and has all the ingredients of a proper golf course such as; drainage system to divert the excess irrigation and rain water back to the 8 lakes thus conserving water, Bunkers 74 in number, a computerized water irrigation system through a well laid out underground sprinkler system, preservation of the old trees inherited from the Railways Golf Course, preservation of the ecology and many more. The upcoming golf clubs such as Defence Raya DHA Lahore, Butterfield Bahria Town Rawalpindi and many others have followed the standards set by Royal Palm Golf & Country Club.The Greens are in good shape, rolling true and at medium-fast pace. They offer the player a chance for good scoring due to the holding qualities and the attractive speed. It will be important for the players to hit the right areas on the greens to avoid the speedy down hill putts due to the firm but fair pin placements.Khawaja Pervaiz,Director Media of the Tournament stated that in the amateur category players like Wazir Ali,Sameer Iftikhar,M.Rehman and Mahad Zafar need to be watched as they really have the ability to illuminate this championship with their performances from 29th April to 1st May.

From L to R Faisal Umer,Director Marketing,Omer Mir,General Manager,Royal Palm,Khawaja Pervaiz Saeed,Director Media of Tournament,Commodore Akbar Naqi,Station Commander(Navy) Lahore,Captain Ansar Mehmood.Director Sports,Pakistan Navy and Col(r)Jameel Khalid,Director Golf