■ What changes have you implemented since your appointment at Rumanza?
As this is a Faldo Signature design we have not made any changes to the course itself; however, from a golf operations perspective, we have added some pathways for golfers exiting greens, which were approved by Faldo Design.
The recruitment of caddies, with strict guidelines and a 12-week training programme, has been a big focus to ensure we have the best caddies in Pakistan. The caddies are generally very good golfers themselves, with 80% of them having single figure handicaps and a number being Junior Pakistan Professionals.
■ What is the long term ambition of the resort?
Rumanza Golf & Country Club is the ‘crown jewel’ of a wider development which includes a luxurious residential community, state-of-the-art lifestyle and sports facilities, a 5-star hotel, retail outlets and more.
The long-term ambition of the resort is certainly to provide Pakistan’s first premium golf destination, and firmly put Pakistan on the global golfing map. Hosting a tour event in the near future will be a key step in that exciting journey.
■ What local elements are included in the course design, specific to Pakistan/Multan?
The idea for the project was conceived by DHA Multanthe Defense Housing Authority). The DHA team, led by Project Director Brigadier Shoeb Anwar Kayani, SI(M), were fully focused on creating an exciting and unique golfing experience for domestic and international golf fans alike. Ensuring the course had a strong local identity was a key element of that, and something that Sir Nick Faldo and his design team have done exceptionally.Some of the elements you can expect to see, unique to Multan, include mango and citrus orchards, date palms, and the original deras (vernacular mud brick dwellings, surrounded by walls which form a courtyard). The design team also used those deras as inspiration for other features around the course.The course is an inland links-style golf course, due to the fact that the design team found sand on-site. They were also inspired by some local landscapes for the shaping and landscape treatment of the out-of-play areas.
■ Can you tell us a little bit about the Rumanza Inaugural, and why you have chosen this format of event to officially launch the resort?
Together with our event management team at Peregrine & Co, we have invited four of the best players in the world to Rumanza to showcase a level of world-class golf never seen before in Pakistan. In addition to Sir Nick Faldo,’s attendence, we have Graeme McDowell, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Charley Hull and Mel Reid. Hosting a US Open champion, a 2021 winner on the DP World Tour, two of Europe’s most successful female golfers – both with LPGA and Ladies European Tour wins, as well
as 2021 Solheim Cup winning experience, is a fitting way to announce to the world that Pakistan has begun a new era in sporting excellence.
We are also embracing two of Pakistan’s best players, providing them the opportunity to play with the international golfers. We felt strongly that we should celebrate both male and female Pakistani golfers – which is why we’re so thrilled Ahmed Baig and Humna Amjed will be joining the Rumanza Inaugural.
Combining the above, we wanted to balance the Challenge Match on Sunday amongst male and female players, as golf globally, and certainly in Asia, is booming with female participation. We hope that young Pakistani girls are inspired by how dedicated and professional the women are that are playing in the Rumanza Inaugural, and they can do the same in their own lives in their own ways – hopefully on the golf course, or wherever they direct their talent and hard work.
We also liked the concept of having male/female teams for the Challenge Match, giving them the opportunity to play together and in a fun alternate shot format. We believe strongly that innovative formats help drive incremental interest in the game globally.