by Abdullah Qazi / August 2, 2010
Last updated: June 5, 2011

The sport of golf is not popular in Afghanistan. There are no well known golfers from Afghanistan, and the sport is mostly played by a few rich Afghans, foreigners and Afghans who live abroad and come to Afghanistan to visit family or to do business.

There is only one golf course in Afghanistan, it’s a nine-hole course located in the Kabul Golf Club. The club was founded in 1967. People who have played in the course describe it as a dry, green-less, rock-strewn, and scrub filled course. Most players need ball finders because of all the brush and undergrowth. There are plans to upgrade and fix up the course, but for now, it is nothing like you would see in a traditional golf course.

Kabul Golf Course

The sport was non existent during the rule of the Taliban who viewed most sports, if not all, a waste of time. After the fall of the Taliban, Mohammad Afzal Abdul reopened the Kabul Golf Club and today you can see a charity tournament occurring from time to time. Sports like football (soccer) and cricket, are very popular in Afghanistan, so its unlikely golf will really take hold in Afghanistan. Afghanistan will probably not produce a Tiger Woods any time soon, but there are Afghans like Mohammad Afzal Abdul who have hope. He told a western newspaper back in June 2010 that he teaches around 100 to 110 boys the sport every week.

Mohammad Afzal Abdul

History of Golf in Afghanistan (Major Events)

Early 1900s – During the reign of Amir Habibullah, golf is first introduced in Afghanistan.
1967 – The Kabul Golf Club opened.
1978 – The Kabul Golf Club was closed down.
1993 – The Kabul Golf Club was reopened.
1996 – In September 2006, the Taliban capture Kabul and a major restrictions were placed,  the Kabul Golf Club was closed down.
2004 – The Kabul Golf Club reopened – nine-hole golf course located near Kargha.
2010 – Afghan golf team (Ali Ahmad Fazel and Hashmatulah Sarwari) makes Asian Games debut in Guangzhou, China.
2011 – (June) – Afghanistan’s Golf Federation announced construction of new professional golf field in Kabul.

Video: Al Jazeera report from August 2007 – “Playing the bunkers at Kabul’s golf course”