GOLF is the kind of sport where certain results require a certain amount of luck and skill. You have to know how hard you should hit, what club you hit with, how fast you swing and where you aim. No amount of skill and precision can completely control the outcome when conditions such as where your ball lies, how hard and where the wind blows, the texture of the ground, among many others, come into play.
For six-year-old Chan E. Ahn, a half-Cebuano-half-Korean junior golfer, the odds just fell into place when he not only bagged the championship for the boys’ and class A division of the 7th Oakley Golf Cup in Pradera Verde Golf and Country Club in Pampanga but also happened to score a hole-in-one during the tournament last April 29.
“It was a 70-yard shot and I just wanted to hit the ball near to the hole so I could get a birdie but when I was running towards the green I couldn’t find my ball,” shared Chan, whose interest in golf started when he was a two-year-old watching the golf channel and his dad’s weekly game.
“I was shocked and, at the same time, very happy and proud that he was able to do it at the age of six,” said Joseph Ahn, the boy’s father, who stopped playing golf to focus on personally coaching Chan. He shared a story about three-year-old Chan asking him if he could have his own golf set so he could play with his dad when he was older. “It wasn’t until last year—around the last week of April—when I brought him to the driving range. It was just for summer camp and we just wanted him to enjoy his summer vacation. After summer camp, he told us that he wanted to start practicing, so we set his training schedule to two or three times a week. We never imagined his love would continue.”
When he isn’t at the driving range, the young jungolfer has an interest in books, dinosaurs and watching videos about golf. “I started playing golf when I was five years old—last April. I love it! Especially meeting new friends every tournament. I feel happy and more motivated to do well in my tournaments. I never expected to get a hole in one. My only wish that time was to do my best and be a champion because I wanted to give it to my mom as a birthday gift,” he said.
“I can’t and won’t be greedy—to force my son into what I want for his future. Yes, we sometimes daydream that he becomes an international golfer someday, but who are we to choose and decide on what he truly wants?” said Joseph. “His mom and I will always have his back and support him no matter what.”
Chan is a member of the JGFP (Junior Golf Foundation in the Philippines) and TJGL (The Junior Golfers League). It was only this year that he started to join major tournaments. He has been awarded second runner-up at Cebu Country Club’s Southern Junior Open (Boys 12 and Under Division), first runner-up (Boys 6 Under Division) at both the PAL–IMG Academy Junior World Qualifier (where he is qualified to compete internationally) and the 2019 PAL–JGFP Junior Inter-Club Golf Championship at Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club and champion for the 7TH Oakley Golf Cup that happened in Pampanga last April.