In Conversation With…
Quotes are what make a story, and over the last decade with the Asian Tour, they have formed the cornerstone of Calvin Koh’s literacies.
While mastering the grammar of golf, the narrative for most golfers on Tour has always been their desire to live their dreams and be the best they can. Beyond the public relations armoury lies an honest answer.
The casual chit-chats at the players’ lounges and dinner conversations have often provided me with intriguing insights into their background and life as professional golfers.
Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman was not born with a silver spoon. In fact, it was more like there was no spoon. Life was hard, and he worked as a ball boy at Kurmitola Golf Club in Bangladesh at the age of nine.
The pittance he earned back then was ‘big money for a poor boy’.
He made his first club with a broken seveniron head stuck on a metal rod and would always stand behind the professionals while they practised and imitated their swings.
“I even sat there dreaming about how nice it would be to one day playing professionally like them,” he shared.
Money was scarce, but he was rich with talent. Siddikur said: “I had always wanted to turn professional earlier, but I didn’t have much money back then. It was only after I won the Bangladesh Amateur Open for three consecutive years that my golf club said they would support me if I turned professional.”
As fate would have it, the Bangladeshi was picked from out of 100 kids to train by his club and would go on to become the first player from Bangladesh to win on the Asian Tour at the Brunei Open in 2010.
The Olympics beckoned in 2016, and for someone who did not even know about the world’s greatest spectacle when he first stepped onto the golf course, he soon found himself thrust into the global spotlight.
He became the first sportsman from his country to qualify for the games on merit and was accorded the honour of becoming Bangladesh’s flagbearer during the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The gentleman from Dhaka has come a long way since his early days as a ball boy, but his desire to be the best he can be remains the same. “I started with a dream, and it has taken me this far. Faith, courage and perseverance made that possible too” said Siddikur.
Dreams do come true if you, like Siddikur who works and believes in them.
Calvin Koh heads the press operations and media partnerships for the Asian Tour.
Calvin Koh (right) is in conversation with Siddikur Rahman on the Asian Tour event in South Korea