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Midnight golf a hit in Ramadan

Midnight golf a hit in Ramadan
Muslim golfers have been enjoying the chance to practice their golf around midnight during the month of Ramadan, thanks to a new Wales Golf initiative.

Parc Golf Club between Cardiff and Newport opened up their driving range and short-game academy area late at night for the first time to offer the chance for Muslims to break their fast and then practice their golf or learn to play.

The combination of golf and food proved popular with 36 people turning up with a full range from professional Sahra Hassan through to some who had never picked up a golf club before.

Ramadan is an important religious holiday observed by Muslims throughout the world. It is a time of personal introspection, spiritual reflection, and increased devotion and worship through prayer and fasting, and would usually mean missing the opportunities to play sport during that month.

“This is the culmination of an idea we had a few months back about doing a project during Ramadan to keep people active,” explained Simon Lu, Women’s and Girls Golf Co-Ordinator for Wales Golf.

“We felt it was something the Muslim community would respond to and be part of our desire to see golf being more diverse.

“We see 30-40 people from the community turning up after they have broken fast. It is about giving sporting provision to those communities when they want it when they need it, that is the most important thing.

“Many of them would not have taken part in any sport during the month of Ramadan normally because they are conserving energy throughout the day.

“Then when they break fast they have the energy to burn there is usually no provision for them. 

“The team at Wales Golf has been fantastic in terms of listening to the idea and then finding the time and the resources to put this on. It has been given a lot of attention and a lot of positive energy from everyone involved.

“We hope to use this as a catalyst to get more people from the Muslim community involved in the game of golf. You can see smiles everywhere and some real talent on show, with a social aspect to it as well.”

Jalal Goni, founder of Amar Cymru (My Wales), added, “The Midnight Ramadan golf was to get people from the Muslim background into golf.

“Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims so you break you fast and then do your last prayer, we have a time slot between Sunset and Sunrise, particularly at the weekend when people are not working.

“So there is a great opportunity to get new participation in golf, working alongside Wales Golf. Today we had 36 people turn up, but it looks as though the numbers will double for next week.

“The pros have been amazing and everyone has thoroughly enjoyed it. There is camaraderie and banter, people coming to golf for the first time with their friends so they have enjoyed it.

“Golf was not considered an accessible sport for Muslim’s, it is quite affluent and not common in the Muslim communities, but this introduction to golf today has been brilliant and I think we will have more participation going forward.

“There is no pressure about hitting the ball, it is a social experience so I think we could entice a new group of people into golf.”

Those comments were backed up by keen golfer Amran Uzzaman.

“Everyone has just finished their prayers and yet they are out there. The majority have not picked up a golf club before but they are enjoying it which is exciting to see.

“Golf is such a brilliant game I am pleased they are out here tonight. My two boys played for the Celtic Manor junior team and still play now, once you start playing it is always with you.”

Wales Golf is opening up two more special late-night opportunities for Muslims observing Ramadan to maintain their links with the sports, with sessions to come on Friday nights at the Parc Golf Club, starting at 11.30 pm and running until 1 am.

For more information, call Simon on 07760 333331