Salman Aslam

Candid Schmooze

Layout Drills Freestyle and One Arm Swim Drill

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Classical Golf Swing at Whistling Straits Wisconsin

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Diving and Snorkel Drills

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On Facebook, Twitter

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On America - Canada Border

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Dandy Dressing

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Needle Iron Mountain

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Rough Lock Falls

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Sojourn to the US Dakotas

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The 2016 year was an exhilarating experience for us as we planned a sojourn to one of the most sought after tourist attractions in US mid-west Mount Rushmore, Black Hills and Devils Tower in Wyoming. The jaunt was to originate from a quaint city Eau Claire in the US state of Wisconsin. It was great sigh of relief to beat the sweltering heat of May in Pakistan and find recluse in the cool temperate climate at Eau Claire. This state of Wisconsin had an enviable reputation famous for its dairy products and cheese. In close proximity lay the US state of Minnesota famous for its 10,000/ lakes, Minneapolis Mall and twin city of Saint Paul.


On the fringes of Wisconsin- Minnesota border is the town of Rochester surprisingly rated as second windiest city of US. Renowned for having the headquarters of US number 1 hospital- The Mayo Clinic. To satiate our wanderlust we embarked on our odyssey from Eau Claire to Rochester skirting the periphery of Minneapolis on to interstate 90. This highway is ranked as the longest highway starting from Boston to Seattle over 3500 miles on the trot.Interestingly the terrain Enroute was studded with Wind Mills generating power. The first stop on our itinerary was Sioux Falls largest city of South Dakota at a driving distance of 6 hours. Speed limit was enhanced to 80 mph in this state. Next morning our destination was Wall/Rapid City another 5 hour cruise. Corn palace was an added attraction to saunter to in the city of Mitchell. Entire palace edifice built in corn really presented an enthralling sight.


Journey from Sioux Falls to Wall and Rapid City was monotonous and tedious. The landscape was rather an eye sore and dull. Wide expanses of land with no population insight studded the highway. Wall city itself a quaint town with friendly people greet tourists. Our abode was Sun Shine Inn Wall. I was always on the lookout for restaurants and hotels providing senior citizens discount. Seniors here are held in high esteem and veneration in USA. The unkindest cut of all is that this culture of senior discounts has yet to make inroads in Pakistan.


Our next destination was Badlands State Park. A park beset by sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires studded by vast expanses of prairie land. The sights of Bison prowling in the area are stunning. Apart from the prairie dogs raising their heads as we drove through this part of the area presented a lack lustre look.

Devil's Tower
Our course took us to the famous Custer State Park. This was an historic segment of Black Hills named after the Legendary Custer of the West. I was always awed by Custer’s Last stand as depicted in various movies. This was the area of great Gold Rush of 1874 triggering the Lakota wars. At the Battle of Little Bighorns in 1876 Custer’s 7 Cavalry with its 700 men were annihilated to the last man in the worst defeat for US army. Crazy Horse emerged as the hero of this action attaining a legendary status. Wounded Knee massacre was the last nail in the coffin of these tribes who were driven to their reservations for good. Our lodgings for the next 2 days were the Bavarian Inn at Custer city. It presented an amiable ambiance, German cuisine with tea and doughnuts. Indeed a memorable stay. Bavarian Inn deserves 4 stars for hospitality, food and environment.

For the next 2 days we traversed and gallivanted every nook and corner of Black Hills keeping Custer city as our operational centre. Flora of Black Hills

Include ponderosa pines, bur oak and birch. Ponderosa pines are afflicted by a beaver virus. Black Elk Peak is the highest summit at about 7200 feet. Fauna comprised Bison’s, Elk, Deer, pronghorn and Coyote. For the adventurous this area affords maximum pursuit of ones dreams in the form of biking along Michelson’s trail, hiking, trout fishing along meandering streams/rivulets riding shot gun and water sports.

Added attractions to visit are a labyrinth of cave systems Wind Cave national park and Jewel Cave near Custer are a MUST on one’s exploration list.

The biggest attraction of the Black Hills was the Mount Rushmore presidential monument. Ensconced and nestled in backdrop of the domineering Blackhill’s stands Mount Rushmore above with the engraved sculptures of four legendary US Presidents. The presidents are Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt. Sauntering on the president’s trail gives a panoramic view of the site.

Next on the list was Crazy Horse Monument. Etched in memory of the great Lakota warrior who decimated Custer’s 7th Cavalry at Big Horn in 1876 is the largest sculpture in the world still under construction since 1948. This monument overbears and overshadows Mount Rushmore by its size and domination. Custer State Park is a huge park which at least needs a drive through to have a tete-a tete with the animals. Bison, prairie dogs, Burros, cougars and big horn sheep romp the park at will.
Next on our list was a drive through the Needle Highway. It was a driver’s nightmare. Twisting serpentine like winding roads with a dizzying effect added lot of thrill. Needles area is famous for rock climbing and repelling. Eroded granite pillars, spires towers straddle the region adding a mystic touch.

We left Custer City for our next layover at Rapid City Coyote Blues Inn. Nestled and snuggled deep inside the coniferous ponderosa pines it was a perfect retreat to revitalize after a hectic schedule. The couple running this inn were an emblem of hospitality and good demeanour making our stay memorable.


From here we embarked on the final segment of our wanderlust. Our sojourn would be incomplete if we did not venture across to Wyoming State to visit the Devils Tower the first National Monument and Sundance with its legendary and surreal significance.


The movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid inspired us to visit Sundance. A place in the Wild West where an outlaw nick named Sundance kid gained notoriety.


Devils Tower has a special reverence and esteem for Native Americans. As per legendary folklore narration as it goes two Indian girls were being chased by a few grizzly bears. In a bid to avoid being eaten they climbed a small rock and prayed to THE Great Spirit for help. The spirit made the rock rise high to save the girls from the bears clutches. The bears made frantic efforts to climb, leaving behind deep claw marks which are seen.


Devils Tower is a laccolithic butte composed of ingenious rock formation and is an awesome sight. We decided to perambulate the entire two mile circuit around the tower periphery. This indeed proved to be a befitting grand finale and culmination of our sojourn. This would indeed be evocative of remembrances of this great trip.

The Author in USA
In the next segment our travelogue will be dilating on the trip to The Grand Canyon and White Mountains of Arizona.

More images from this trip herehere and here

The below mentioned hotels and inns are recommended for stay.

ADDRESSES:

Sunshine Inn
Address: 608 Main St, Wall, SD 57790
Phone:(605) 279-2178

Bavarian Inn
Address: 855 N 5th St, Custer, SD 57730
Phone :( 605) 673-2802

Powder House
Address: 24125 Highways 16A, Keystone, SD 57751
Phone:(605) 666-4646

Coyote Blues
Address: 23165 Horseman’s Ranch Road, Rapid City, SD 57702
Phone:(605) 574-4477

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Bear clawing to Devils Tower Wyoming

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On the Edge

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Panoramic view of Badlands South Dakota

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Punjab Open Championship 2014

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The grand finale of the PGF Golfing Calendar 2014 was the prestigious Punjab Open. Ironically for the first time the venue was shifted from Gujranwala to Raya Golf Club DHA after a long time. The well nestled and ensconced golf course itself was a challenge for all. Undoubtedly this course reigns supreme as far as maintenance and degree of difficulty is concerned. Its lightning fast greens measured by the strip meter were in range of 12. Design parameters of the course have been set at international standard.

The setting of the event cloistered and beset with a labyrinth of obstacles and merciless rough proved to be an acid test for golfers of all stature/abilities. For most it was the proverbial Waterloo. They vanquished into total disarray. 3-4 putts on greens werea common feature for even the most adept. Pin placements were treacherous coupled with massive undulations which were hard to cope with based on my own experiences. The event was spread over 4 days from 18-21 December 2014. Additional day allocated for subsidiary matches, senior amateurs and pros. By all reckoning course was well maintained as per international standards.
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More Images from Travel Through America - 3

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24TH Corps Commander's Open Golf Championship 12-15 March 2015

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This time the event was unique and epoch making. The championship was upgraded for the first time to open category after 23 years. Professionals entered the event in droves and prize money was phenomenal. It was a grand finale to the golfing calendar of 2014-15 for LGG&CC. The atmosphere was stunning and awesome. The entire cantonment was adorned, embellished and bedecked with massive posters. Club itself was emblazoned and gave an aura of festivity and carnival like ambiance. The razzle–dazzles and hustle bustle really was staggering. The entire event was programmed with clock like precision. Souvenir’s and mementos were generous which exhibited the extravaganza of the sponsors. Golf aficionados and connoisseurs really had a bash. Newly laid alfresco barbecue garden with its mouth-watering dishes was a treat for the gluttons and epicurean alike.

Taking a cue from previous matches tourney was held over 4 days. Thus the clogging of tee timings was avoided. Pace of play was swift with no hold ups. Procedure at par 3 call holes was stringently observed. There were no hiccups and snags. Special events for junior golfers were also staged to bolster golf amongst the young aspirants. Talent hunt needs to be geared.
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Alfresco Barbecue Garden At LGG&CC Lahore

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Garrison Golf Club at Lahore has made deep inroads into the world of gourmands. Setting is phenomenal and breath-taking. In the backdrop of a picturesque blue lagoon, shrouded with blue lights cascade the water front is an ambiance par excellence. Crystal blue waters of the lake further bolster the awesome aura. Gazebos offer exquisite family dining with a soiree setting. Atmosphere is homely and cuisine offered is buffet and barbecue right from the pit. Redoubt provides a panoramic view of the course all around. Easily accessible with massive parking bays available make it an attractive spot for epicureans.

This outlet has really invigorated the rather dull atmosphere infusing lot of night dining and an ideal environment for family bon Viv ants. Waiters were dressed immaculately. Service was super-fast. An assortment of dishes was offered which really were mouth-watering, aromatic and appetite quenching.Managed by the burly and efficient F&B Manager Khurram was true image of the natty gritty involved in the resounding success of this feature? Connoisseurs grading on a Michelin scale 1-10. Food quality and taste eight. Service seven. Crockery setting and display a staggering eight on the scale. Ambience and aura stole the limelight with an enviable nine. Overall atmosphere an eight stands justified. Most importantly the prices are more than reasonable.
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More Images from Travel Through America - 2

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More Images from Journey Through America

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Instructor Certification

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Compendium on Swimming Pool Rules, New Projects and Management Suggestions

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1. Eligibility / Criteria for Following Appointments:-
  1. Captain: Should be proficient swimmers well conversant with rules and etiquettes.
  2. Honorary Secretary
  3. Vice Captain
2. Swimming Pool Expansion / Renovation. Following suggestions are submitted:-
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All Pakistan Garrison Golf Open Tournament

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The premier golf tournament was held under aegis of LGG&CC from 1-3 December 2014 at the pristine, manicured and immaculate golf course. The star studded field attracted top professionals on the countries elitist golfing circuit. The event was spread-eagled over 3 days. The event attracted nearly 80 professionals. Other categories were amateurs, senioramateurs, ladies and senior pros.Another underlying feature was a match for the juniors as part of a talent hunt venture. Additional attractions were a subsidiary match and a senior officer invitational. Main sponsors of the event were Honda which offered a glittering Honda City for an ace.

As anticipated the professional category contest was gruelling, neck to neck and ended in a nail biting fashion. Only 11 players in the field played sub-par rounds. Matloob and Shafiq Masih recorded lowest score of 66 on day 2. Eventually it was Shabbir of Islamabad who stole the limelight by breaking away from the chasing pack with a scintillating display of golf par excellence. Attained the unique distinction of playing all 3 rounds sub-par. Munir, Shafiq and Matloob of Garrison were close at his heels wilted under pressure against cool demeanour of the champion. Aggregate of 205 -11 was the winning totalin a hair splitting photo finish. His team mate from Islamabad Muhammad Munir clinched the runners up slot at -9. Sole 3rd place was bagged by Shafiq Masih at -7. Matloob from Garrison also displayed his dexterity with a solid round of -6. Rest of the field displayed erratic and lackadaisical performances. Champion displayed deft touch a finesse around the greens by saving pars. Hit thundering drives in the fairways. His iron play was awesome hitting maximum greens in regulation. Green reading and Putting was calibrated and meticulous which made the difference.
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I Work for Golf

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Golfing Attire, Etiquettes and Faux-Pas

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Golf is one game which places emphasis on dress code, rigid adherence to decorum and etiquettes. Antecedents and origin of golf can be traced to the 15th century. Golf was initially played on the gusty wind swept link courses of Scotland. Owing to vagaries of inclement weather and harsh winters dress was knickers tucked in stockings, tartan and tweed coats and ties with starched collars. Three piece suits were also than in vogue. Those were the heydays of Vardon, Tommy Armour and the likes of them. The golfing accoutrements in those days were the spoon, brassie and the nib lick.

Golf gained immense popularity in the late 19th century with it brought about a major shift in sartorial elegance. Technological advancements and sophistication in golfing arsenal placed greater demands on players. With it ties and suits were replaced with T shirts, trousers and shorts of outrageous colour combination. Presently tour players on the circuit are conspicuous by their riotous and bizarre combination. Players like Daley, Poulter and many more don multi-coloured trousers.
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