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The founder of an organisation aiming to introduce Muslims to golf has claimed the game is “too restrictive” for newcomers to feel comfortable.
Amir Malik set up the Muslim Golf Association (MGA) in 2019 with the aim of getting a new demographic more involved in the sport.
Since then the organisation has expanded, with hundreds of people taking part in events across the country.
But Malik believes there are still too many “unnecessary restrictions” preventing people getting involved in the game.
“It can be too restrictive,” he told bunkered.co.uk.
“The game doesn’t discriminate and there are too many unnecessary restrictions which make people feel uncomfortable about getting involved.
“All I’ve tried to do is make it more palatable and accessible to people who don’t feel comfortable.
“What we’ve done is unprecedented and we’re a relatively small organisation – imagine what the powers that be could do with everything at their disposal?”
MGA events have enjoyed huge success, growing from a single golf day to an entire series, and the body is now placing particular focus on encouraging women to take the game up.
But Malik warned the industry “has to change” in order to avoid a huge drop-off in participation.
“Participation in golf was on a huge decline. Covid almost resurrected it because it was the only sport you could play in lockdown,” he added.
“If you remove that, what has changed? People have a bit more thirst, but if the old ways of thinking don’t change, in a year or two we’ll be faced with the same problem.
“People are becoming more conservative with their finances and golf can be expensive. For me, the industry hasn’t done anything to change itself. The same attitudes and same thinking are still there, and that’s a problem for golf.
“The game itself doesn’t need to be changed but the industry needs to be disrupted – you’ve got to change the way of thinking because it’s very short-sighted.”
To read a feature-length interview with Amir Malik, pick up issue 195 of bunkered – available now via all good retailers.
For more information on the Muslim Golf Association, click here.
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