For the first time in 20 years, Swat will be holding a national golf tournament featuring 200 players from across the country, starting today in Kabal.
Among the 200 participants, 54 professionals, 27 senior professionals, 45 amateurs and seven senior amateur including other players will vie for the prestigious title.
The venue for the event is the Cedar Golf Club, which, according to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Golf Association Secretary, Colonel (retd) Shahadat, was constructed by the then crown prince Miangul Aurangzeb in 1964.
“Tournaments and matches used to be played here regularly and players from across the country participated,” he said. “However, since 1992, no match or tournament has been organised here.”
The Cedar Golf Club has the largest golf course in the province with a spread over 122 acres.
According to the club’s officials, the course deteriorated during the three years of militancy in Swat, however, rehabilitation work done by Pakistan Army and the district’s administration brought it back to its best shape.
“The course is now ready for all kinds of golf events. It has a pleasant environment,” he added.
He said he hoped to organize a golf tournament in Swat every year.
‘Event will boost tourism in Swat’
Syed Imtiaz Hussain, Deputy Commissioner Swat said that the tournament will help boost the tourism industry in Swat.
“It will send a positive message to the international community about peace in the valley. There is no threat to tourists,” he said, adding that people from across the world can come and enjoy the serenity and natural beauty.
Asad Ali Buneri, an international golfer agreed with Imtiaz.
“Organising the golf tournament proves that peace in Swat has returned and life is on the track of normalcy,” said Buneri, adding that the golf course in Kabal is the best one.
The tournament will run till August 31.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2013.
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