Nicholas Fung uses time-off from competition with coaching stint in Dubai, writes Calvin Koh

Nicholas in Dubai – at the Course; with Li Haotong and soaking in the sights of Dubai

New father Nicholas Fung is relishing the opportunity of sharing his knowledge and golfing skills to aspiring golfers in Dubai while waiting for his own season to restart.

The global COVID-19 menace may have paralysed Fung’s plans of returning to the winner’s circle for now but in every crisis lies an opportunity and the affable 30-year-old found his in the Middle East.

Fung’s passion for golf has taken him beyond the shores of Malaysia to almost all four corners of the globe where he has tasted multiple success domestically and has also won internationally.

His talents have not gone unnoticed. The Malaysian’s achievements along with his strong work ethics caught the eye of a prominent businessman based in Dubai, who approached him and asked if he was interested to conduct private coaching lessons for his clients living in the emirate.

“I’ve been blessed with this coaching opportunity in Dubai and it’s certainly very refreshing sharing my experience and golf tips with others in a country far away from Malaysia.

“I had to take a COVID-19 PCR test before I entered Dubai and fortunately, I’ve always been tested negative, avoiding quarantine. 2020 has been a very challenging year for everyone with the COVID-19 pandemic but I told myself I have to stay positive amid everything that is happening around the world,” said Fung.

While allowing him to practice and coach, Fung’s stint in Dubai has also allowed him to play the role of a proud golfing ambassador for Malaysia in Dubai. The fiercely patriotic Fung wears his heart on his sleeve and strives to give his best each time he tees up at tournaments and even in a non-competitive arena like where he is coaching now.

“I’m a proud Malaysian and whether it is representing Malaysia in match play events like the EurAsia Cup, competing as an individual on the Asian Tour or coaching, I always make sure I do my best because everyone is watching you.

“You carry the hopes of the country when you compete and you’re the face of Malaysia whenever you’re outside the country,” said Fung.

Although Fung has been a touring professional for more than a decade, the comforts of home are still sorely missed. And being a father to a two-month old daughter has also brought about new perspective for Fung now.

Fung and his wife, Suki welcomed their daughter, Hannah on August 8.

 

“Hannah is the best thing that has happened to my wife and I. It has been a difficult year for everyone but for us, we found joy with the birth of our daughter.

“If I have a choice, I rather stay at home to spend time with my family now. But it’s important to provide for my family and I just want to do whatever I can especially during this pandemic to ensure their needs are well taken care of,” said Fung.

Away from home, Fung has eased some of his loneliness by reuniting with his close friend Li Haotong in Dubai where they share a common love for hotpot and bubble tea.

“It was nice to have Haotong with me in Dubai as he was training here for his next event. We grew closer after playing together for Team Asia at the EurAsia Cup and it helps we can both bond over stuff like extremely hot and spicy hotpot!” said Fung.

Fung’s appetite for more success on the golf course is undeniably growing bigger and although his season remains uncertain for now, he is sanguine that he will be ready when he steps up to the tee in his next competitive outing.

“I’m hoping for the season to restart on the Asian Tour soon but in the meantime all I can do is stay sharp and be ready when the time comes,” said Fung.

(Calvin Koh is the former Associate Director, Communications for the Asian Tour)

 

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