KARACHI – Professional golfers from across the country who are in the city appearing in tandem three open events are confident setting up of Pakistan’s first Professional Golf Association would soon be a reality and they all believe once the pro golf get firm footing the sport in Pakistan would prosper like anything. Media here recently talked to a number of professionals who all agreed that amateur golf is just the beginning but the professional version of the ancient game was ultimate. Golf in Pakistan would not prosper without a professional golf association, they said. Money and glory is in professional golf and the amateur part was just the learning part of the whole exercise.
In Pakistan normally caddies become professional with the hope that they could make some money and ensure their old age and they leave the lush green fairways for a retired life. The trend in golf in Pakistan and else where across the world was fast changing. Now even youngsters from rich and prosperous class prefer to turn professional and earn money and fame. Pakistan’s leading and well-known amateur golfer Ali Hai who belongs from a rich family has decided to turn professional. Couple of youngsters from Lahore and Islamabad were also turning to professional golf, they informed. Professional golfers had fought hard for years to shake off the domination of some arrogant golf officials to make a break through when the Pakistan Golf Federation finally gave go ahead signal to form the PPGA.
Some senior pros vividly recall the first failed effort to set up PPGA with Hussain Haroon as its first head. But for some unknown reasons the body that had the support of the Asian professional organization suddenly was dissolved. It happened some fifteen years ago. Since then the pros were struggling for a new body, they said. They said the move to create a pro body in Pakistan gained momentum when the pros raised their voice against top officials of the PGF who supported pros of their liking while sending them on foreign trips and ignored those who had spoken openly for their right.
One of the reasons that accelerated the move for the pro body was poor prize money at various open events sanctioned by the PGF. One such open was KP where mere Rs 0.3 million was prize money for the open event. Professionals mostly not rich spent huge amount to travel from their place of residence to the match venues and when they finish low at the leader board they hardly get anything or nothing. Thus they lose hard earned money. – Nation