Lahore to Lyallpur
The veranda at Gymkhana Golf Club is where we often congregate to appreciate humor, boiled eggs, and French toasts. We flock there with full fervor to crack jokes, enjoy mockery and satire. It is where we plan the extracurricular activities of our golfing cult. The group decided to take the game to another city, through a golfing tour to Faisalabad.
We made it to Serena Hotel on the dot where a grand dinner awaited us. We engaged in conversation on a variety of topics. Many of the golfers revealed their true colors during that discussion; flipping further pages of their personalities that we had never read before. We are a group of early birds at Gymkhana CGC. Doctors, engineers, businessmen, and more. Although we belong to different walks of life, we fly together for the same game. We hold golfing parties occasionally but this was an entirely different experience. The cruise out of the city, a ride on a scenic freeway, tunes of my taste, anticipation to see a happy bunch, a dinner party, and a journey to a golfing destination made every mile worth the while. The most amazing part of it was breaking the chain of routine and doing something new.
Lyallpur is a nine-hole course. A bit congested but challenging. I can tell you one thing about this small course, don’t take it at face value. What it lacks in size, it makes up in difficulty. It can level any bragger back to his or her place when they least expect.
The golf course neighbors the famous Divisional Public School on one side and an international cricket stadium on the other. Lush green fairways border straight lines of tall poplars. Greens are fast, tricky, and a bit deceptive. Particularly the green at nine. Its green sits on the bank of a hazard and the ball slides right back into the water if dropped directly on it.
While playing, the grandiose stadium was prominent and no matter where we looked from the floodlight towers would not stop staring at us. Something about cricket amazes me. Billions are spent on cricket stadiums in cities across the country and millions are exhausted to maintain them. All while the residents play cricket in the streets and cannot even step inside those stadiums that are reserved solely for special occasions. What a service to the citizens of this country by the cricket board and ministry of sports. And they claim golf is a rich man’s game although the government does not spend a penny on it. As the cricket stadiums sit inaccessibly idle for months, golf courses are utilized all year round.
Coming back to my trip, the most wonderful part was a ‘chatathon.’ All golfers on this trip are jovial tolerators to witticism and pleasantry. All of them keep funny stanzas handy. One who happens to be a dartboard at times doesn’t mind the onslaught from all directions. It could be anyone’s turn at any time. The understanding and forbearance to each other’s humorous sorties is the essence and charm of this group. It is proof they have big hearts and it shows the broadness of their great minds. I am lucky to know these ambassadors of decency. They may be quarreling over a given put on the course but would leave all differences there or then and move on to the next tee with clear hearts. Faisalabad or wherever I can accompany these people anywhere. Some of them lost while a few won but it didn’t matter anymore. As a matter of fact, this game soared beyond the horizons of defeat and victory. And that's what fun is all about.
Golfer, Author, Entrepreneur, Poet, Blogger, Wanderer