TheGolfHouse team, during a recent visit to Chittagong, met up with the Shaheen Golf and Country club’s President Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman, BSP, BUP, ndu, afwc, psc. Here he speaks with TheGolfHouse editor Nazrul Hosen Ayon about his personal golfing experience as well as recent club activities and aspects of the game.
How do you feel at being associated with the Shaheen Golf & Country Club as its president?
I started playing in 2000 when I did a staff course in Indonesia. But I had a long break from golf even though I was a member of KGC. But since coming to Chittagong, I got interested. I am feeling after becoming the president of Shaheen Golf & Country Club. The spirits and response of members and golfers is encouraging me more to be involved with the game.
Which aspect of golf attracts you?
The golf club members are usually very gentle. They all come of their own volition. I like the gathering of the golfers and members.
What development activities have been undertaken at the Shaheen Golf & Country Club recently?
Earlier, only three or four holes were playable throughout the year as the rest of the nine holes used to get submerged during monsoon. But last year we carried some development work including improving drainage system and field quality so now golfers can play round the year. We also increased the challenges of the game by making new bunkers and hazards with suggestion from members. People like it very much.
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This golf club is famous for its scenic beauty and ambience. Tell us briefly about this aspect of the club.
The best thing about this golf course is the scenic beauty. You get the touch of maritime environment, the river view, the cool breeze and the planes landing and taking off nearby. A soothing temperature always persists here which the golfers enjoy. You can land nearby and instantly tee off at our golf course or end your day’s play to catch a flight from the airport. You won’t get that anywhere else in the country.
Golf is a family game. So should the spouses and kids be more encouraged to come and play golf?
Earlier, people used to think that golf is a game for the elderly. But here what I felt is people of mid-age and juniors are also very keen to play golf. A golf club can offer a good family environment, and if young generation get attracted to golf, they can lead a decent life. They can learn discipline from the game which will be a lifelong lesson for them.
What are the membership policy/criteria for this golf club?
We encourage people to become members at this golf club. We offer various amenities and facilities to the members. Recently we have signed an MOU with NOVOAIR so that all our members will get 10% discount on NOVOAIR flights. We have plans to set join hands with any nearby hotel so that our members can board there at a discount. We have plans to expand our scope and turn it into an amusement park so that people can spend good family time here.
What would be your message to those who are not yet playing golf?
I would ask them to come and play golf. I think youngsters will get benefitted by learning etiquette in such a fine healthy environment. By involving with golf, an young men/women shall able to come out of virtual world and have the real taste of real life. If we can attract the young generation, our country will be benefitted. In fact I have asked young officers also to become members of the club.
What type of programmes does the club take for caddies and ball boys?
This club gives free education to ball boys as we feel they should not remain illiterate. We also provide caddies and ball boys with training opportunities. We reserve prizes and gifts for caddies in some tournament. There’s an opportunity of taking them into roster of regular service for the caddies. We have 12 caddies and ball boys who are now Air Force employees.
What are the future plans of Shaheen Golf & Country Club?
Our aim is to take the club to the international standard. Besides, we want to offer a complete entertainment package alongside golf at this club. We have done the ground related work and increased our facilities. We have a swimming pool, Gym, a luxurious suite, a restaurant with the view of landing and taking off aircrafts. We are working on how to improve further on the amenities. We encourage suggestions from our valued club members. In Sha ALLAH we are very hopeful to make this golf club an unique one in Bangladesh.
What is your impression about TheGolfHouse?
I’m impressed by the magazine. Qualitywise, informationwise and contentwise it is really good. I wish that you continue promoting golf and golf clubs. I wish you best of luck.