Bangkok Post

Home sweet home for players


SINGAPORE: It’s a Sunday afternoon on the golf course, usually a day where the chase for sporting glory is often foremost on the minds of players.

But with a virus that cares little about the movement on the leaderboar­d, that forced the lockdown of countries, closed borders and grounded planes, those Sunday aspiration­s and golf clubs have to be put away for a while.

The Covid-19 is virtually changing many aspects of everyone’s lives. But amid these unpreceden­ted times, a beacon of joy has shone through very brightly.

Those golfers, who yearn for family and home comforts whenever they are away, will find this time truly liberating.

Away from the media glare, greeting the public and handling the pressures on the golf course, players like Gunn Charoenkul of Thailand have finally found the time for peace and bonding with the people that matters most to them.

“While I hope to go back to the golf course soon, I’m also enjoying my off season now and the time spent with my family is priceless,” said Gunn, who welcomed the arrival of his baby daughter Vera last month and is relishing his new role as a full-time father.

India’s Anirban Lahiri, the 2014 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, is also enjoying his time away from the golf course.

“I’m staying fit by working out, keeping myself updated with the news as well as playing some computer games. Above all, I’m enjoying my time with wife and my daughter, who is absolutely amazing to play with.”

Even though the virus has upended the golfing world and sapped the morale and opportunit­ies of golfers, the benefits of being housebound can be far-reaching.

For Indian player Rahil Gangjee, who staged one of his career’s greatest comeback by winning the Panasonic Open Golf Championsh­ip in 2018, it could even mean unearthing a future golfing star.

“I spent the last couple of days playing golf with my friend’s 10-yearold son who is showing a lot of promise. So who knows? Those two intense sessions of four hours with him each day may have unveiled a star,” said Gangjee.

“I also decided to stay in Kolkata with my mom. So, she has company and I also have company [and great food]!

“If I sit and do nothing I will put on weight, so I train and work out. But of course, I also watch a lot of Netflix.”

The coronaviru­s pandemic has left many with time on their hands as tournament­s are being postponed and golf courses closed.

But as they combat a faceless enemy, it is the comforts of home that ultimately provide sanctuary and safe haven for globetrott­ers like Shubhankar Sharma, another Indian player.

“As a profession­al golfer, one does not get much time with the family, but right now this is a good opportunit­y to spend time at home with them and catching up with a good read,” said the 2018 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion.

 ??  ?? Thai golfer Gunn Charoenkul and his daughter Vera who was born last month.
Thai golfer Gunn Charoenkul and his daughter Vera who was born last month.

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