Brigadier General Md Sayeed Siddiki, the former secretary general of Bangladesh Golf Federation, shares his opinion regarding the Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open and overall golfing scenario of Bangladesh.
How successful was the fifth Asian Tour event in Bangladesh which was held in April?
Bangabandhu Cup is a big name in sports arena because it features the name of the Father of the Nation. As such, the fifth Asian Tour was especial in its festivity, size and prize money. A total of 150 players from 26 countries participated in this event, which had a prize purse of $350,000. No other tournament in Bangladesh draw players from so many countries. Kurmitola Golf Club experienced a colourful festivity during the tournament, drawing a good number of spectators in all four days of play.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had dreamt of a developed nation with a vibrant sporting scene. How much do you think have we been able to turn that dream into reality?
Bangladesh is steadily developing economically on the way to becoming a middle-income country. Our sports, especially cricket has got its momentum. Golf is another sport where our players have raised the flag in international arena.
The number of Bangladeshi golfers in this tournament has also increased. 49 local golfers out of a total of 150 have participated, out of which 12 made the cut for the final two rounds which is a definite improvement from previous years.
Bangladesh Golf Federation (BGF) is continuously striving to improve the skills of young players through structured training at Bangladesh Golf Academy. Regular training aimed to improve skills and pressure management of the game is paying dividends.
How much progress do you think Bangladesh has made in the golfing arena?
Well, it’s not easy to say ‘how much’ in a simple answer. BGF looks at it from a holistic point of view. Siddikur is a brand name for Bangladesh golf; and there are number of new faces playing in international circuit now. I am sure some day there will be more players who will fly our national flag at the international circuit. Very young players are learning methodical golf in the academy; surely they will play better.
Your hope regarding the next Asian tour in Bangladesh?
We are focusing on total golf for future, but it’s an expensive game and contribution from the society for the golfers’ training and livelihood is important. We need more 18-hole golf courses across the country which will facilitate regular practice of the players.
With limited resources, the BGF is hopeful of producing more success in future tournaments.