The only golf course in Afghanistan is a rock-strewn nine-hole affair in Kabul, which puts Ali Ahmad Fazel and Hashmattulah Sarwaree at a distinct disadvantage here. The two are the first players from their war-ravaged country to compete at an Asiad or an international golf event.
While the sport was introduced to the country more than 40 years ago, it is only since 2004 that the public have been allowed to play. “Our national golf federation only formed two-and-a-half years ago,” said coach Mohammad Jama Hekmati. His players are used to sand and tar-covered fairways. “The only thing we can do is play better,” he said. “Compared to China, Singapore and Korea, Afghanistan has a short golfing history,” he said.