LAHORE-The Ace Junior Golf League (AJL), a first of its kind in Pakistan, is all set to ‘Tee Off’ here at the Lahore Garrison Greens today (Sunday) with almost a 100, under 18, junior golfers having registered for the inaugural match being held on 1-2 October 2022. 

This is an unprecedented number that has excelled even the AJL Management’s most ambitious dreams. In the words of Munazza Shaheen, who is responsible for conceiving and developing the AJL as her brainchild, “It has made all the back breaking hard work that went into the successful completion of the ‘challenge ridden journey’ from conception to reality, really worth it.

The gratifying level of this response indicates the high level of interest amongst our younger generation in the game of golf. If properly handled, this has the potential of transforming the future of golf in Pakistan.”

Munazza Shaheen further stated: “We, at AJL, will endeavour to capitalise on this by combining professional coaching, focused training, psychological preparation and arranging frequent competitions into our League structure. We are confident that this could enable the AJL to act as the nursery for discovering, nurturing and eventually producing our Nation’s future golf champions who can make their mark, both within Pakistan and at the regional level. 

“We intend to support this through the judicious use of social media platforms for introducing their potential and achievements to the golfing world at large. In addition, we plan to use technology to create a much needed ‘ranking system’ on our Web Portal to overcome a serious existing deficiency in our national golfing structure.” 

Appreciating the basic concept of this initiative, Gen (R) Hilal President PGF, stated, “The Ace Junior League is a brilliant initiative and a giant leap towards development of golf in Pakistan at grassroots level. Youth is our future and it is this most useful level that this league aims to work on. 

The sheer determination of laying the groundwork for junior and beginner golfers is worth all the appreciation it deserves. The league is going to be instrumental in helping the children to build their career in golf and use it to enrich their lives and the golf scene in Pakistan.”

It is worth mentioning that over 40% of the registered participants are young girls, the youngest of whom is only 5 years old. Equally important is the fact that the AJL Management Team is comprised entirely of passionate lady golfers. The inspiration for this has come from the resounding success of the recently-held Ghazala Ansari Challenge Cup and the 5th PGF Ladies International Championship, both of which were also conducted exclusively by women. 

Dr Asma Shami, Chairperson Ladies Golf, PGF stated, “This is another, very appreciable feather in Munazza Shaheen’s cap. She first shone on the Ladies Golfing circuit by earning the distinction of becoming the first Pakistani lady to qualify as a Level-I Referee. 

“The PGF honoured her achievement by appointing her as the Chief Referee of the 5th PGF International Ladies Golf Championship held earlier this year in Islamabad. Now she has very successfully converted her brainchild of developing Pakistan’s first Junior Golfers League into a reality. AJL is much needed proverbial ‘breath of fresh air’ in Pakistan’s golfing environment,” she added.