No course for this work horse

No course for this work horse

Rashid Khan

When the government opened up golf courses a fortnight ago, there was jubilation among all professionals. Right from day one of the curbs being lifted, most top pros were seen hitting the greens with vengeance. However, for Rashid Khan, the country’s highest ranked golfer at 185, the wait to tee-off continues.

Owing to his long-running tussle with the Delhi Golf Club, which has barred him from entering the premises and the inability to travel outside of the national capital due to the various lockdown restrictions in place, the 29-year-old Rashid claims that he’s forced to continue training in the wastelands.

“I don’t have access to any golf course right now,” Rashid tells DH. “I’ve been having some running issues with DGC and things got nasty last year with police getting involved and a case in court as well. I’m still not allowed to enter the golf course. I used to go and practice at the Noida Golf Course but since it's in Uttar Pradesh, I can’t train there. I can’t practice in the Army Golf Course or the DLF because right now they are allowing only the members. I practice in some wasteland but that is no good. So for me, the situation is the same as complete lockdown,” he rued.

DGC president Maj (retd) Ravinder Singh Bedi blamed Rashid for the mess. “We cannot tolerate indiscipline and hooliganism. Rashid and his bunch of boys had been constantly creating ruckus on the course and when we barred them from entering, they started to create trouble at the gates. They would hurl expletives at members and stop them from entering the course. Even I’ve been a recipient of their rowdy behaviour on a host of occasions. We tried our best to be civil but things got out of hand with police arrest and him subsequently filing a court case. We raised him up like our own child, not just training him in golf but other life skills as well. For 20 years we nurtured him. Sad to see him turn his back on us.”

Rashid, however, said he was only fighting for his rights. “I was not allowed to play and my voice was not heard. I was pushed to the edge and that’s why things got ugly. I’m not the only one to be blamed.”