Hometown

“It is the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

Paulo Coelho

In the city of Gujranwala there are more bridges and underpasses than there are traffic lights. The city has both bypasses and overhead flyovers, yet the traffic moves here like the tangled knots of a thread. Crawling through the tide of vehicles, we finally arrive at Gujranwala Golf Club. Tucked away from the GT Road, it sits on the southeastern curve of the beautiful Gujranwala cantonment.  

Golf aside, I often head over to this golf club to meet my childhood friends. Walking on home ground, in the company of old buddies and savoring the charm of being in the BBQ capital, makes the trip all the more worthwhile. 

Three cypress trees on the eighth fairway are another beautiful attraction of this course. The cypress adorns many gardens; poets liken it to a willowy sweetheart. This evergreen beauty pays no heed to weather changes and stands tall like an arrogant, curvy blond. Waris Shah, the famous Sufi poet, mentions the cypress in his story ‘Heer.’

ھیا غضب دا کٹک قندھار وچوں ۔ اڑد بازار وچوں ۔

وارث شاہ جاں نیناں دا داؤ لگے، کوئی بچے نہ جوئے دی ہار وچوں ۔ہوٹھ سرخ یاقوت جیوں لال چمکن، ٹھوڈی سیؤ ولائتی سار وچوں ۔

نکّ الف حسینی دا پپلا سی، زلف ناغ خزانے دی بار وچوں ۔

دند چمبے دی لڑی کہ ہنس موتی، دانے نکلے حسن انار وچوں ۔

لکھی چین کشمیر تصویر جٹی، کد سرو بہشت گلزار وچوں ۔

گردن کونج دی انگلیاں روھاں پھلیاں، ہتھ کولڑے برگ چنار وچوں ۔

باہاں ویلنے ویلیاں گنھ مکھن، چھاتی سنگ مر مر گنگ دھار وچوں ۔

چھاتی ٹھاٹھ دی ابھری پٹ کھینوں، سیؤ بلخ دے چنے انبار وچوں ۔

دھنی بہشت دے حوض دا مشک کبہ، پیٹو مخملی خاص سرکار وچوں ۔

کافور شہناں سرین بانکے، ساک حسن ستون مینار وچوں ۔

سرخی ہوٹھاں دی لوڑھ دنداسڑے دا، خوجے خطری قتل بازار وچوں ۔

شاہ پری دی بھین پنج پھول رانی، گجھی رہے نہ ہیر ہزار وچوں ۔

سئیاں نال لٹکدی مان متی، جویں ہرنیاں تٹھیاں بار وچوں ۔

اپرادھ اودھ دلت مصری، چمک نکلی تیغ دی دھار وچوں ۔

پھرے چھنکدی چاؤ دے نال جٹی، چڑ

لنک باغ دی پری کہ اندرانی، حور نکلی چند پروار وچوں ۔

پتلی پیکھنے دی نقش روم دا ہے، لدھا پری نے چند اجاڑ وچوں ۔

ایویں سرکدی آنودی لوڑھ لٹی، جویں کونج ٹر نکلی ڈار وچوں ۔

متھے آن لگن جہڑے بھور عاشق، نکل جان تلوار دی دھار وچوں ۔

عشقَ بولدا نڈھی دے تھانؤں تھانئیں، راگ نکلے زیل دی تار وچوں ۔

کزلباش اسوار جلاد خونی، نکل گیا اے

Who am I to interpret such a rich ode, written in honor of such a legendary, affectionate character. Why I am in love with those cypress triplets is hard to fathom. Yet I am proud of my affection for them. 

There are certain spots, some moments, a few faces and a few thoughts that we only see with the eye of our heart. They make us feel calm and peaceful. There can be no obvious, logical reason, but we can undoubtedly feel an invisible attraction towards them. 

“I found myself.”

Rumi

I was raised in Gujranwala. I saw many dreams and wove together some daydreams there—and fulfilled many of them. Wherever I’ve been, this city has always gone with me. And believe me, I’ve been around. In those days I strolled through its streets as a learner, as a dreamer and as a struggler. Today I walk its path fulfilled, grateful and satisfied. My grandparents, my mother, my daughter, my teachers, my friends who are no longer with me, who helped me become successful, may they Rest In Peace. They live no more, but through their creation, I am blessed and enjoying my life. God bless us all.

Credits 

Gujranwala Golf & County Club

Google

Paulo Coelho

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

Spider’s Tree

On the 16th tee box of Lahore Gymkhana Golf Course, I noticed some tiny webs draped on a naked shrub. This tree is Capparis decidua, commonly known as karira. In the subcontinent its fruit is used to make pickles. Unfortunately the tree was totally winter ridden, and on top of that, a bunch of spider webs were mushrooming on its branches. In the absence of leaves, the webs were trying to fill the gaps. No doubt the webs attracted onlookers’ eyes and added a lot to the ambience and overall look of the tree. In reality, I was observing a takeover in progress. Earth witnesses innumerable takeovers and replacements during each changing season. 

This planet is home to so many life forms — from dust they come and to dust they will return. 

This tree was surrounded by more evergreen trees and some lush grass. It was a perfect example of natural coexistence. On the same spot, some of these organisms are dry and some are bright. On the same soil, some hibernate while others walk free. What a sequence of survival. Instead of hitting the one wood shot, most of us began to take pics of this eye-catching corner. 

Man’s relationship with plants is nothing new. It stretches from the forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden to the burning bush at Mount Horeb. It further includes the Rose of Sharon and the gopher wood of Noah’s Ark.

Plants have always played a vital role in the development of civilizations. They were important then — but they’re even more important today as they are essential to human survival. 

The revolution began when humans learned about botany. That changed the landscape of the earth on a massive scale. Centuries of deforestation across the globe provided human beings with huge farm lands, cultivation, roads, cities and sprawling metropolises, thus replacing trees with concrete. That has already caused irreparable damage to the environment of this planet. And the practice continues. Industrialization further added to the escalating pollution levels, heightening gas emissions. And it wasn’t only the earth but also the skies that got polluted with space debris and damaged ozone. We urgently need to redefine our relationship with forests and plants. 

“Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots.”

Rumi

We took the shots and proceeded towards the greens. This small tree said so much to me in such a brief time. I am already planning to visit my family farm this spring and plant some trees and flowers. Spring is approaching soon. I invite you all to sow a seed, plant a tree or grow flowers in your backyard. We must reciprocate the carbon we contribute to this planet with newer sources of oxygen. 

Not just for the environment but also for the ambience of our surroundings, too. Our kids can hang their swings on that tree. Some birds will appreciate the shelter and someone can seek shade from the scorching sun. You may find some dancing squirrels in your backyard or perhaps even hear a nightingale sing near your window. 

“He that plants trees loves others beside himself.”

Thomas Fuller 

Credits 

Google 

Wikipedia 

Mr. Shahbaz Malik, image & research 

Lahore Gymkhana Golf Course 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

Beyond Fog Lies Lahore

Weather conditions have a strange relationship of love and jealousy with me, yet I try to keep a positive attitude towards them. Through most of my trip to the states, temperatures remained at minus. On my wedding day a strong wind arrived uninvited, and a flood stalked me on my honeymoon. I have an eloped relationship with rain, but thunder keeps hunting the bounty. Golf, travel and shades strongly resent my love affair with fog, yet I love to live in mist — both physically and in my thoughts. Clouds hide the mighty and fog provides privacy. While wind carries the dust yet, it also moves the pollen. Dew cleans the petals and storms fill the lakes. Cool breezes soothe the deserts and sunshine brings forth the light. 

Today my beloved fog beckoned to me in another way. On my way back from New York, I was taking a connecting flight from Istanbul to Lahore. This flight got delayed seven-and-a-half hours because of fog in Lahore. The situation reminded me of a quote from Rumi:

“Beyond fog lies clarity.”

I would amend that a little, to 

“Beyond fog lies Lahore.”

Once one finds oneself surrounded by fog, the only way to see through it is through faith. 

As narrated by Corrie ten Boom

“Faith is like a radar that sees through the fog.”

Travel itself is a great teacher. This time, it sort of introduced us to how our offspring would be traveling to other planets. Because of a long delay before our connecting flight, we ended up checking into an airport hotel called “Yotel” at Istanbul. Its small rooms are designed like a spaceship cabin. We get to experience the feeling of being in a cabin of a future spaceship. A marvelous experience. The design is so practical and the way they’ve utilized space is out of this world. As there are no windows, they a bulb had been positioned behind a plastic sheet to give a feeling of sunshine outside. How children of cave dwellers educated themselves in living standards over the millenniums amazes me sometimes. And their enhanced capacity to travel fast and far adds to that amazement even more. 

The cabin has an attached bath, TV, fridge, Wi-Fi, Comcast, folding queen bed and all we needed, yet it was still so small. Fog did disturb my schedule, but on the other hand it gave us a taste of space travel(!) and turned an ordinary flight into an imaginary time travel. I am still an hour away from Lahore. Counting on a smooth landing, I am hoping the fog will soon dissipate since a seven-and-a-half hour delay is no joke. I am so very excited to resume golf tomorrow. To have a great day with friends. There is no place better than Lahore and there are no better caddies elsewhere except in Thailand. 😀

Credits

Google

Yotel

By

Ahsan Jamil

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel.

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com

YouTube: Morning with Golf

New Year’s Eve

Leaving Manhattan on New Year’s Eve can be depressing, but this year it turned out to be a great move———and I was looking forward to it. My son had made a reservation at a golf resort at Absecon near Atlantic City. The villa at Marriott Fairways was comfy and loaded. They claim to have seven affiliated golf courses. Despite it being December & January. the weather was touching double digits in degrees Celsius. I was really keen to play the famous Bay Course at this resort, but unfortunately it was unexpectedly closed for the season.

We played at The Pines Course. As long as you avoid the surrounding pines, this is not a particularly challenging course. On the other hand, you can’t afford to take your eye off the ball. I was playing with my son and we were joined by a New Jerseyan who was a great golfer. He led us throughout the course and in fact the entire game. He began to unleash all his golf skills in a chain of birdies and pars. Sipping on his Jack Daniel’s, he just kept rolling. His game reminded me of Esa Eyaz’s. Khizar tried to catch him but remained a couple of knots behind. I managed to play my best putting — and sporadic phenomenal — shots, which kept me on the edge in the contest. We all enjoyed the game on that last day of 2021.

Atlantic City, famously known as “America’s Playground” and “Monopoly City,” is a coastal resort city known for its casinos, boardwalk, beaches and American pageants. The city on this new year, like the rest of the world, was under the spell of the virus attack. Things were a lot different from the norm.

We had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe but refrained from the roulette wheels, slot machines and blackjack tables. It was too cold for beaches — and we knew that a long time before we planned to celebrate the new year at Galloway Township.

New Year’s Eve is a great mathematical chorus regularly sung on the last night of each year. Cheering crowds used to celebrate at midnight parties throughout the world. Sydney is the first place to ring in the new year time-wise; the largest party in the world is held at Rio’s Copacabana Beach; the famous Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is hoisted to the top of a 77-foot flagpole in readiness for a 60-second drop just before the stroke of midnight in New York City; Disney celebrates at Orlando Theme Park, Florida; London’s Thames River & Trafalgar Square cheer; the people of Paris exchange bonne année kisses; Dubai is illuminated by grand light shows; and the whole world rejoices on this annual celebration. Since the spread of COVID-19, such parties have dimmed and New Year’s Eve has now evolved into a domestic party. 

Image Facebook 

Out of the five days we stayed in Galloway NJ, we played golf only twice thanks to the inclement weather. Although the days were fairly mild, fog took over south Jersey in all its veils. Being Lahoriattes, we are used to fog. But without caddies it’s not possible to play golf in low visibility. 

However, despite the lower visibility and the masks on our faces, we were still able to see a great deal. With masks, most people look alike. It brings a strange equity and unique union among all. Look how a common enemy brings people together. Against the virus attack the whole world is working together. Whereas only a few months ago the female face cover was a global heated debate, suddenly governments are making face masks compulsory. One of the greatest qualities humans possess is adaptability. Once united, human beings can be the mightiest force in the entire cosmos. 

“Together we stand, divided we fall.”

John Dickinson

Credits

The Liberty song by John Dickinson 

Facebook 

Google

Hard Rock Casino Atlantic City

The Pines Golf Course Galloway NJ 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

Tarrytown

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”

Rumi

At a pandiculation from skyscrapers of New York City, under the shadow of the magnificent Mario Cuomo Bridge, on the eastern shoulder of the mighty Hudson River, sits a cute little town called “Tarrytown.” Today I happen to be in this area that was once the valley of Tappan Indians. This valley is known as Tappan Zee. Zee is a Dutch word for sea — just twenty-five miles from the heaven of skyscrapers, otherwise known as Manhattan. While walking on the greenway trail, on a beautiful sunny day like this, it seems that the tall towers of Manhattan are invitingly throwing kisses through the waves of the river. It makes me feel so on a par with those unreasonably tall structures. 

Still, their ferociousness melts into a picturesque scene from the benches of Tarrytown. Distance subdues their grandeur. An astronaut knows how tiny the planets seem from afar. Even a burning sun looks like a shining star from a distance. 

Other than anything else, snow arrived to greet us in this beautiful Hudson valley. A thin layer of white carpet welcomed us here on our first morning. Night snow sneaks in silently yet it dominates the entire scenery. Snow further adds to the beauty and the piousness of an auspicious Christmas Eve. And it’s December 24 today. The city is well decorated and the shops overflowing. The hustle-bustle of NYC & the re-emerging virus attack pushed us out of the big apple. The charm of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Sheraz Kitchen, Swagat Indian Cuisine, and the like, drew us toward Tarrytown. The flock of sheep at the food & agriculture farm at Stone Barns reminded me of the holy shepherds that led humanity out of ignorance and introduced faith. 

The Castle Hotel & Spa is another of the town’s attractions. This grand structure works hard at maintaining its relevance in today’s modern times. With no lifts or elevators, it is a struggle in itself to remain solvent. Yet our desire to become a king or queen, and to dwell in manors and forts, keep these monotonous buildings lit. And of course, it’s fun of a certain kind. 

Man has built great systems of defense, and forts have played a vital role in protecting empires and kingdoms. Even so, from the Great Wall of China to the walls of Constantinople, nothing could be wholly protected from invaders. That’s why they say offense is the best defense. Yet this prolonged the age of the civilizations that built them. Today, most castles advertise to attract guests from all over the globe, yet they were originally built to protect the valleys from the world. How tables are turned over time. Speaking of history, as a student I tried to read about this little town. A blog will not do it justice. From Indian traders of fur to flour mills, from shoe factories to world-war aircraft manufacturers, it has hosted a lot — from Indian canoes, to white man’s steamboats, to railroads — and the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge of Tarrytown has witnessed many transformations. Its relevance has continued to grow in parallel with its value in real estate and much more. 

Among the beautiful landscapes of the large New York State, Westchester has its own grace. And the Hudson River certainly adds considerably to its beauty. It’s a must-see place for those who appreciate the blending of technology and nature. Here, they walk hand in hand, like both of us on the RiverWalk. Binoculars are positioned at intervals along the path, perhaps for those who believe they cannot truly see without them. Personally, I have no need for binoculars as I see through the eye of the heart. 

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We will get there some day.”

A. A. Milne

Credits

Thruway Authority New York 

Food & Agriculture administration 

Westchester county 

Google 

Wikipedia 

Images

Qadir I Jamil 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

Soil, Soul & Spoil

“When I realized Joy and Gratitude were closely connected, I ramped up my gratitude. It made all the difference.”

M. R. Dickinson  

Smog to clog, environment to employment, social distances to marital separations, traffic jams to mental blocks, and a whole lot more create hurdles in our routine. Though we may encounter many speed breakers, curves, slopes, and rivers that slow us down on the highway of life, life goes on, and so does the road. We can get through the journey either laughing or complaining, crying or smiling, cursing or praying. Choice remains with us but the travel is compulsory. We simply cannot refuse to breathe, to grow old, and to live on. Once two sperms join and become one, it is no longer the embryo’s choice to stop living. Life is a continuous process, till our time is up. 

Just as living is compulsory, so too are hardships. Rich or poor, evil or pious, uncivilized or cultured people from all walks of life come face to face with their own difficulties. It doesn’t matter much if these difficulties remain personal. Humans have grown so powerful with their technology and access to information that they are seriously jeopardizing the earth’s environment and beyond. The story of pollution on earth is no longer a secret, nor is the leftover debris in space floating around the earth. As a matter of fact, pollution has now become directly correlated with human beings. Where there is pollution, there is human presence. 

Everything else—other than the humans—across the universe seems to have been affected. Humans on the other hand dance to a different tune. They try to till, toil, tint, treat, and transform the planets according to their own will. They even plan to terraform Mars, the moon, and more.  

“The moon never begs for attention.”

Shristy Sinha 

But the earth does. Only loving hearts pay attention to the smiling moon. And only people with an awakened consciousness cry out loud for others to pay attention to the earth. The continued stubbornness to stick to the exploitative lifestyle of an industrialized society is the major concern of pollution. Instead of being grateful to the universe, we are humiliating it. And that’s not clever at all. 

“How can we be so arrogant? The planet is, was, and always will be stronger than us. We can’t destroy it; if we overstep the mark, the planet will simply erase us from its surface and carry on existing. Why don’t they start talking about not letting the planet destroy us?”

Paulo Coelho 

No doubt both desire and determination have seen human beings from caves to terraforming Mars. They are a multiplanetary species now. What’s more, they have the potential to explore, explode, and exploit the stars and moons of the cosmos. It is not an impossible task for an intelligent creature like a human to resolve the issue of pollution and debris. 

They only need to develop a desire and a will to do so. If they want a better future, it is imperative that they protect the environment of their planet and their universe. The first form of pollution they need to eradicate is the one that is in their thoughts. They have to realize that they cannot expect the planet to survive for ever unless they start to take care of their surroundings right now. The only path to survival is to remain part of the universe and become its custodians. The universe loves humans, for sure. They should reciprocate.

“Not only the thirsty seeks the water, the water as well seeks the thirsty.”

Rumi

Credit 

Twitter 

Google 

Images Eyaz Riaz 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

The Flight Beyond

“Mysticism is a possibility in every human being’s life. It just demands attention, involvement, dedication and commitment.”

Sadhguru 

Today we are on a flight of four. Two young, two seasoned. The youngsters are determined to beat the old. And the aged are strategizing to survive. The course is equally challenging for both. This flight takes off on time; meanwhile, a Boeing 777 is approaching the adjacent airport. Gliding over the golfer’s heads, the planes make their landings. The flights land regularly at the same times every day. So too do golf flights take off at the same time daily, as if something synchronizes them, even though they are both entirely different entities. There are many more flights of different kinds. Some go in search of new planets, while others explore other realms. Some flights take place inside one’s own mind. The dimensions of the brain sometimes surpass the extent of the cosmos, and inner flights usually go beyond all universes. 

Satellites are orbiting the earth. A space station sits in the impossible-to-inhabit skies. Missions are landing on Mars. Voyagers are traveling to distant stars. Man’s quest to explore the unknown is eternal. A few among us claim to have visited outer worlds both physically and spiritually. I travel to extraterrestrial worlds in my thoughts or dreams only. 

Spirituality, divinity, piousness, religiousness, sacredness, holiness, and inner-ness appear to be siblings. This may be so philosophically but my understanding points to something more than that. Yes, spirit! If it is indeed real, it is something wholly different from our physical body. It is not an individual entity like a body. It is something whole. We all share it — like we share sunlight or weather. 

Spiritually we are one and physically we are many. 

“The universe is a complete unique entity. Everything and everyone is bound together with some invisible strings. Do not break anyone’s heart; do not look down on weaker than you. One’s sorrow at the other side of the world can make the entire world suffer; one’s happiness can make the entire world smile.”

Shams Tabrizi

Ruach Elohim in Genesis, Roh-al-Quds in the Quran, Bhagavad Gita’s insoluble, and Confucian Po — all are flights of a sacred kind. 

Nietzsche’s Geist, Hegel’s phenomenology, Karl Marx’s historical materialism, Iqbal’s Shaheen, and Parveen Shakir’s Khushbu are flights of a philosophical kind. 

Aristotle’s drinking of hemlock and Hussain bin Mansoor’s hanging are also flights of faith. 

All such flights lead a person beyond his/her own self. Once a person develops a passion for something, develops a will, his/her faith becomes unshakable and their focus becomes unwavering! Mysticism opens its wings and a mystic flight begins to flap its wings of harmony and oneness. At that stage the whole universe squeezes into that person and he/she becomes one with the universe. What else is mysticism but oneness. 

“In things spiritual, there is no partition, no number, no individuals. How sweet is the oneness – unearth the treasure of unity.”

Rumi

Credits 

Google

Wikipedia 

Images 

Qamar Zaman

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

Coffee at the Veranda

A cool breeze is pervading my sweater and a light mist is attempting to dominate the rising sun. The red globe is in no mood to oblige the fog. A beautiful pink rose has opened its petals wide to auspiciously receive the warmth of the rising star in full swing. Small dew drops on its petals glowing like little diamonds. They further invite the red star to help them evaporate once more, so they too can enjoy soaring back to the clouds.  

At the other end, a long procession of “Mr. Majestics” (French marigolds, Tagetes patula) are getting ready to bloom, turning the whole scene yellow. 

Meanwhile, a mushroom tomb-shaped Ficus celebrates the company of marigolds that are forming a decorative curve in its honor. In the neighborhood stands a tall Araucaria, a young palm and a band of other tall trees, providing a gracious backdrop. The steep slope of the long, broad fairway offers a lush green field to which the exhausted golfers descend to make their approach shots on the beautiful ninth green. The green sits gently there, smiling at those who sit on the club house veranda. Some of them are regretting the moves they played during the round while others are bragging about theirs. 

“Love which is not, but it appears to be. Seek that which is, but is not apparent.”

Rumi

This beautiful courtyard at the Islamabad golf club hosts so much in its lap. The parking. The green fee hut. The practice green. The clubhouse. First tee of the front nine. And the ninth green. This is a stepping stone and a farewell hill combined. I always enjoy sitting on the cane chairs. One can see both the impatience and the enthusiasm etched on the faces of incoming golfers. Smiles on the lips of the winners and stress and burden in the steps of the losers. This is a common platform for hellos and goodbyes. Flights are formed and dismantled here. The fragrance of cheese omelettes and aroma of the parathas are the cherry on the cake. 

Islamabad club overall is a crossroad, a junction, where victory and loss is routine. Where friends are made and lost. Where relationships are developed and broken. Views are exchanged. Poetry is recited and jokes are traded. Some serious dudes make real life deals here. Others discuss their plans and strategies. It moves and shakes the bodies of movers and shakers across the capital. Its restaurants and quality of food are both widely appreciated and at times criticized. It also provides rooms for members and their guests and for members of allied clubs. When domestic quarrels erupt, it is the only refuge for some of the esteemed citizens of the capital. I met a housing secretary once who had been banned from his own home. 

I wonder how busy those people are who ignore the veranda at the golf club and instead walk straight to the parking lot after their round. The P.G.A. should at the very least make it mandatory for golfers to partake in a glass of lemonade or a cup of tea or coffee here. A brief rest is so needed after a round — before we hit the steering wheel and the overcrowded roads. 

The entry to and exit from the club is also a wonderful experience. After the check post, beautiful lawns stretch out in front of the building. A host of different flowers receive and see off the incoming and outgoing members. Lines and lines of seasonal flowers wave and bow to them. They smile and dance in your honor. Of course one may opt instead for a session at  the gym, or the polo club, or the tennis court, or the squash court, or some other facility. I mostly opt for the beautiful golf course, which makes me forget anything else exists. Lost in the expanse of the fairways, I always become inspired to write more. My vision broadens even further at the lush green fairways, and the poet and author inside me awakens in appreciation of what nature is reciting through its sunshine, plants, flowers, fields and hills. The air whispers songs of creativity and the clay under my feet makes me feel so humble. 

People of affluence and authority usually end up playing in the hands of flatterers and give in to their arrogance and egotism. The riders of automobiles and airplanes usually forget their eternal relationship with the land instead are inclined to become rather arrogant of it. Like most capitals of the world, many residents of Islamabad often lose touch with the beauty of the earth  and become high headed or idealistic. 

Golf is a humbling sport that involves a lot of sand, pond, dust and dirt. Defeat and disappointment regularly feature. There is no better way to remind ourselves that we are dust and to dust we will return. 

“Bring anger and pride under your feet. Turn them into a ladder and climb higher.”

Rumi

 Credits 

Google 

Islamabad Golf Club

Images

Qamar Zaman 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

Bunker to Bunker

“Golf without bunkers & hazards would be tame and monotonous. So would life.”

B. C. Forbes

On a smoggy November morning I am heading towards P. A.F Skyview GCC at 6:30 am. My flight is already waiting at the first tee of front nine. The chauffeur, who is also my caddy, is jamming on Nusrat Fateh Ali’s tunes & my head is humming on the beats of Tabla & Sarangi. I am happy as a parrot. No worries in the world—and I’m expecting a wonderful round since I spent an hour on the range yesterday. I practiced my chip & bunker shot over and over. Can’t wait to tee off. 

The course is a bit crowded today. Ours is the next turn. Joining me in the flight are Mr. Sajid, a friend from Montessori to date, Mr. Eyaz, my cousin, and Mr. Fezan, a rather young golfing enthusiast. Nice crew and staunch players. Sajid and I are paired together. Fezan’s tee shot flies near or over 275. Eyaz is also a hitter. Sajid and I, on the other hand, are mediocres, though we can put on a great show when we are together. We would keep our game going, winning or losing hole after hole. I tried to lay up on the fourth fairway. There are two deep bunkers—one on the left and one on the right of this green—and a deep ditch to the back. 

As a result of my approach shot, the ball crept slowly into the left bunker. The white sand in these bunkers looks cool from the outside. Its appearance changes as we descend into it. I tried to play a very professional and controlled shot. Instead, I hit a clean shot that sailed over the green and plunged into the bunker on the right. Over-confidently I had hit a wrong shot, and bunker shots are rarely forgiving. The bunker on the right is deep and a bit wall-like at the edge of the green. Anyway, I followed it and decided to hit a punch shot. Even though the ball glided beautifully across the green, it continued to lean into the right bunker again. Embarrassed, I positioned myself on the same sand again to negotiate with my ball once more. This time, the summit of the ball and sand wedge proved to be fruitful and the ball rolled ever closer to the hole. I ended up with a triple bogey, with everyone—including my partner—laughing exuberantly at the turn of events. Golfers tend to put aside all decency on occasions like that. After all, I had given them the perfect opportunity to laugh out loud.

It doesn’t matter what game we are playing, sloppy moves always take their toll. Lack of concentration is fatal. On top of that, bad posture is without a doubt unforgiving. I was more attentive to the embarrassment than I was to the shot. That’s what led to my destruction in these bunkers. I could so easily blame the designer of this hole, or the depth of the bunker. The fact is, I played a shallow shot from a difficult bunker. The sooner we realize our faults, the better things get. If we are brave enough to identify and admit our mistakes, our true learning begins. 

“The fault is the one who blames. Spirit sees nothing to criticize.”

Rumi

Credits 

Google 

P.A.F Skyview GCC Lahore 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf

Bridges of the 9th Green

“As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.”

Rumi

We enter tee No. 1 at P.A.F Skyview GCC Lahore via a wooden bridge. Once we cross this beautiful bridge, we are welcomed by a beautiful, yet narrow and difficult, course. Take my word for it! I would add that the round at this club is undoubtedly a steeplechase. The designer of this club must have been an equine and agile player. He translated that game into a golf course here. The incorporation of water hazards, careful placement of bunkers and restrictions of (OBs) over the boundary, make it purposefully challenging. This course is also known for its wooden bridges. They are symmetrically placed at various points, connecting one freeway after another. The impingement of landing airliners is another obstacle that originates from the skies above. First, these aircrafts bring noise overhead, and the tail wind follows soon after. I wonder whether planes are also bridges connecting us across continents. It’s interesting how a small pond of rainwater on the course can represent a mighty ocean. 

Atlantic and Pacific aside! I will describe hole number nine—essentially, it’s water and bridges. Its profile reads Par 4, 420 yards, handicap 7 and a dog leg. The right tree-line boundary of this fairway is OB. Straight in front of the tee in the landing zone is a water hazard. And there is a deep water trench around the narrow island green. The fairway is sloppy and deceiving. It gets more so the nearer one gets to the green. In fact, it’s one of the naughtiest holes among the first nine. Pros try shortcuts, hitting over the midway hut—the ball flying  high above the adjacent green of hole No. 5 and tee No. 6, all in an attempt to reach the pin in just one or two shots. I have witnessed most of them later regretting this approach. Regulars, meanwhile, tend to lay up before the water hazard around the green. Most of the time, neither seem satisfied with their plan or its execution. Very occasionally, a few happily cross the famous bridge, which I have named “the judgement day bridge.” The only one without a side fence. 

Many of us decide on a particular path in life, and then we end up regretting our choices, especially because we usually want the easy way out, yet there are no shortcuts to success. We can also take the beaten path, but that can feel too basic. It’s always best to find that middle ground—one where we can enjoy the journey but also settle for the destination. Problem is, golfers are well known for their greed. 

Some cross the judgement day bridge buoyantly, while others do so with a heavy heart. There are many wooden bridges on this golf course. Each one has its own story to tell. Today, I will stick to the bridges at the 9th green. There are three bridges on this green. One brings a golfer onto the green from the fairway, otherwise known as the judgement day bridge, and the second exits to the clubhouse. The brief stay between them sums up the tale of the front nine. The third one connects the 9th green to tee No. 1. It also has a couple of benches attached—somewhere the disappointed golfers can reflect back on their performance. Or even pause in honor of the winners. 

This tiny island and its surroundings form the heart of this club. The anecdote that begins with the first steps of an enthusiastic golfer on the first bridge concludes on the last one that exits to the clubhouse. The unforgettable round between these two crossovers narrates a span of significant experience. We may encounter many bridges throughout life; the moral of the tale lies not in where it takes us, but how we carry ourselves. This tale of satisfaction and disappointment reflects the memory and skill of golfers and their handicaps. The pros and the amateurs alike. 

In fact, this tee, fairway and green is a true test of patience, examination of skills, and attitude (the litmus test) for each golfer. If patience is a virtue in real life, it’s the fundamental ingredient of golf on these fairways. 

“If light is in your heart, you will find your way home.”

Rumi

Credits 

P.A.F Skyview GCC 

Google 

Rumi 2014 App

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com 

YouTube: Morning with Golf