With the AB Bank
Bangladesh Open knocking on the door, the Bangladesh Golf Federation (BGF) and
Kurmitola Golf Club (KGC) are all prepared to make the country’s biggest golf event a grand success. As the current
secretary general of BGF and club captain of KGC, Quazi Shamsul Islam has played a leading role in negotiation and organisation of the event with different
parties. While he is a bit sceptical about the
possibility of rain playing
spoilsport, the organiser is optimistic that the fourth edition of this Asian Tour event will surpass its part three edition in success and significance.
What was the main challenge in hosting the fourth Asian Tour in Bangladesh?
The main challenge for us was getting a sponsor. You know we had a big sponsor for the first three years. Once the contract was over, we did not get any sign of interest for renewal of the contract from them. So we were looking for appropriate sponsors. We are grateful to the current sponsors. Even though when they came, it was a bit late as the dry season was already over and we are in the middle of wet season now. So it was a big challenge.
What is your hope regarding the event?
The Asian Tour officials are enthusiastic about it and they are hopeful about making this event successful. I hope there will be no issues.
Is the weather a big issue for this event?
It is the only sensitive issue at the moment. We have the money, we have the players, but we do not have control over the weather.
Who are the foreign players that will be coming for this event?
102 players will be coming, and they are all top-ranked players of Asian Tour for their respective countries. 47/48 Bangladeshi players will be playing, which is a good thing.
How delighted are you about getting AB Bank as sponsors?
I would say they are unlike many other sponsors. They are too polite and too gentle. They understand the commitment of the organizers. On the basis of informal meeting, they made the transaction of part of the sponsorship money. They are partners in true sense – golf partners, not just finance partners.
How government is helping promote the game?
Government has a positive attitude towards promoting all sports in the country, not just golf. We are looked after by the government. National Sports Council remains in touch with us, and they are quite proactive in helping facilitate transaction of money, providing law and order related help, etc. We have been asked to submit our requirement regarding golf training. Bangladesh Golf Academy is being activated so that we can get the best support from the government. We are going to have a simulator, gym, rehabilitation centre and other facilities.
What will be the speciality of the Bangladesh Open this time?
There will be 102 top golfers from different Asian countries this time. The event will be hosted right in between the dry season and the monsoon. And thirdly, 75 members of Kurmitola and other clubs will get the opportunity to play with the professionals in the pro-am tournament.
Say something about the spectators who would like to come and watch the event.
It will be open to all and very spectator friendly. They will, however, have to show some sort of identification to enter the club.
What role should media play in this regard?
Media should reach out to the people more. I think media is doing a good job. I would appreciate TheGolfHouse, our media partners, who are doing a wonderful job.
You are working for the last two years as the Club Captain of the Kurmitola Golf Club. What development has KGC undergone recently?
KGC is improving day by day. We have maintained the course in the most befitting manner. This year a special effort was taken to improve the quality of the grass and to maintain it. The players were quite satisfied with it. We have installed night golfing facility which is proving successful. We are producing renewable energy for that which won’t be reflected in the expense of golfers. 11 sponsors came forward and supported in this work. Besides, we have also improved the driving range where you can play at night now. The quality of the surface has been improved as well. The management system has been digitized. We have issued credit cards to the members and they can register with that, endorse their game electronically on the software, etc.