Lieutenant General Sabbir Ahmed retired from Bangladesh Army as its Chief of General Staff last year. He took to golfing about two decades ago after having enjoyed other sports such as tennis, squash, basketball and volleyball. Now working with Orion Group as a director, the veteran makes time on holidays and weekends to go to the Kurmitola Golf Club to keep his passion for the game going. It also helps that he works for a company that is actively involved with promotion of golf as well as other sports.
Q: Last year you retired from Bangladesh Army as CGS and joined the Orion Group. How has the transition been so far?
A: The transition has not been difficult because this is a natural process. Everyone has to retire at a certain point of time, and the sooner one gets adjusted, the better. I always try to get adjusted as fast as I can.
Q: How different is your work now from what it was before?
A: The previous one was in the military profession and the current one is the business profession. The demands and requirements of these two works are different. Every profession needs its own type of approach. So there are differences between the two professions, but I’m adjusting to the new environment rather smoothly.
Q: Tell us about your first golfing experience.
A: I was in Savar as the second in command of a unit at that time, which was probably in 1999. First time I didn’t make much of an impression, but later I started liking the game.
Q: Were you interested in other sports before taking up golf?
A: I used to play basketball, volleyball, tennis. I used to play squash too. At a later stage, I took interest in golf and started playing the game.
Q: Can you make time for the game though?
A: Not on a regular basis. I do try to play golf on weekends and holidays, and see my good friends and spend a quality time. A walk on the course can give some respite from the busy life.
Q: What was your first iron?
A: It was a seven.
Q: Your favorite golfing destination, at home and abroad?
A: I like the Bhatiary Golf Course. I like playing there. I haven’t played much on foreign courses; only in Brunei and USA. Those are also good courses too.
Q: Your favorite golfers at home and abroad?
A: Of course Siddikur Rahman is my favorite at home. I used to like Tiger Woods too.
Q: Does golf run in your family?
A: No. My wife tried, my children tried at certain points of time. But they have not continued.
Q: What is it about the game that attracts you most?
A: The environment, the green, the fresh air, good people and laughter.
Q: Your worst nightmare on a golf course?
A: Getting the ball into the bush was disappointing. There are no nightmares as such because I never played with any expectations.
Q: Most memorable experience in golf?
A: After playing for just a week in Savar, I got the prize for nearest to the pin, hitting with a three-wood. I don’t know how it happened. But that’s a good memory.
Q: Recently night golfing facilities have been launched at KGC and AGC. What’s your view on this?
A: It’s a good initiative for us especially, because at the end of the day’s work, we can play some golf there now.
Q: Do you have any message for those who are interested in golf?
A: Stick to the game, keep your head down and play well.
Q: TheGolfHouse is promoting the message that golf will be the second biggest sport in the country by 2025. Do you think it is achievable?
A: I think if we all try, we can achieve the goal. And we are all inspired to make this happen.
Q: Do you think private companies should come forward to patronize the game?
A: Private companies are coming forward. We, the Orion Group, are sponsoring golf and golf events at the Kurmitola Golf Club.
Q: Orion Group is helping junior golf by sponsoring BAGC tournaments. Will this be further enhanced now that you have joined the company?
A: It’s not because of me, rather the company policy is to support and promote golf as part of its endeavor to promote sports in general. We are also promoting roller skating.