Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Toufiqul Islam, the chief executive officer of the Bhatiary Golf & Country Club, believes the serene beauty of Bhatiary can offer any individual a much-needed respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. Apart from speaking about the beauty of the golf club, he elaborates on the aspects related maintenance and improvement of the course in this interview.
As the CEO of Bhatiary Golf & Country Club, how pleased are you to host tournaments like the Chittagong Open?
We are proud to host this kind of international tournament at the BGCC for the third time. It’s a good thing for BGCC and for Chittagong as well. I think the image of the city and the golf club will be elevated through this tournament.
How is your personal satisfaction regarding hosting of the event?
It is a pride for me too as we all know BGCC ranks second among the golf clubs in Bangladesh. To be involved and engaged with all the work regarding this event gives me a lot of personal satisfaction.
What is your routine in maintaining this club?
My routine is to prepare the schedule of work for everyone for the next day and plan what needs to be done. The designation of personnel is all pre-planned, and my duty is to oversee whether everything is going smoothly. Those who work are very dedicated. They worked so well that golfers could play during the monsoon season last year.
What are the challenges in maintaining this golf course?
The main challenge is to maintain the golf course during monsoon. When rain comes, silt comes down from the hills. Due to submerging, the silts shore up while sands move away from the fairway. It is very difficult to maintain during this time. So our main job at that time is to siphon out the rainwater from the course.
How do you coordinate the work of the caddies, ball boys, greenkeepers and others?
We plan these things beforehand. However, we continue supervision and set priorities on different works.
You hold various events every month. What sort of coordination is required behind hosting these events?
We get help from sponsors in this regard. We take suggestions from the sponsors and try to highlight them as much as possible through branding of various forms. The biggest advantage is that the golf club authorities get all sorts of assistance from the members and the cantonment authority. The only problem is that the club is quite far from the city so we need to prepare the logistics well in advance.
How did you get involved with golf?
I have been participating in different sports for a long time. Except for hockey, I have played most popular sports. Golf was just another sport for me. I take this game as an exercise. The enjoyment and company is a bonus.
Why would golfers come to Bhatiary?
The scenic beauty of Bhatiary attracts everyone. The guests, especially those who stay abroad, are amazed to find such a beautiful golf course amid the hills and bushes in Bhatiary. The clean air and the lush green of the golf course should be a must-visit for everyone. This place gives a respite from the busy life outside the golf course.
Any message to the people who are not still involved with golf?
I think everyone should be involved with golf. The new generation can learn a lot of things and build their physical and mental character through golf. They can learn discipline, etiquette and mannerisms from the elders at the golf course.
What are the criteria for becoming members at this club?
A person can become life member with a fee of Tk 8 lacs and one can become a permanent member with a fee of Tk 5 lacs. The whole family of the members get all the facilities that apply for the members themselves. Sons and daughters of members can become members paying 25% of the actual fee once they reach the age of 25.