A green sanctuary on the edge of the city, the Golf Club of Lebanon has been promoting the sport for almost a century. We dig into its history and get some tips from golfing champion Myrna Raad
On the green, the golf club of Lebanon
WORDS FROM A FEMALE CHAMPION
Lebanese golfer Myrna Raad inherited a passion for golf from her father. Growing up in Sierra Leone, she still remembers holding a golf club and trying to hit the ball at a very young age. When the family returned to Lebanon, they joined the Golf Club of Lebanon and after the war Raad took the game up seriously, though it wasn’t without its challenges. “When I first started with this game I was very much hooked on it. After my first year of playing I recall meeting a fellow player who said to me that if within two years I do not become a single figure player then I’ll never be a good one. That was the first challenge. The second one was the club. They did not allow me to participate in any international game until I became a single figure and when the time came they owed me this. I made sure they kept their word.”
Raad’s perseverance paid off as she became a Lebanese golfing champion with some of her career highlights including the Lebanese Championship, the first Arab Ladies Championship, Greece International Amateur, Cyprus International Amateur and, two of her favorites, The Asian Games and Mediterranean Games. “Being a female player in Lebanon was very difficult when I started. For every international competition I had to fight my way through. My rescue was my handicap (single figure). As long as there was a female category within the competition. I always had to remind them that I could participate. Now things have changed though,” reflects Raad.
Raad insists it’s essential to start learning golf with a pro, rather than picking up the sport alone, to avoid developing bad habits that are difficult to get rid of. “Golf is an amazing game. It is physical and, although people find it hard to believe, it is also very mental. It is a continuous challenge of yourself. Unfortunately it is not very popular in Lebanon. The Golf Club, though, is working hard to attract new generations into the game,” she says.