She Hong Kong’s leading golfer, the first ever to qualify for the LPGA Tour competition 2018
Tiffany Chan is a professional golfer from Hong Kong. Tiffany after receiving a scholarship to Daytona State College in the US was twice the National Junior College Athletic Association champion. She represented Hong Kong in the Espirito Santo Trophy (World Amateur Team Championship) in 2010, 2012 and 2014, and the Asian Games in 2010 and 2014. In 2016, won the Hong Kong Ladies Open on the Ladies Asian Golf Tour. She was the first Hong Kong golfer to play at the Olympics in Rio in 2016. She turning professional in 2017. Tiffany Chan is the first-ever Hong Kong golfer to qualify for the LPGA Tour competition 2018.
When and where does your passion for golf come from? How did you understand you wanted to become a professional golfer?
I used to grow up next to the only covered range in Hong Kong, so it was all by luck. My parents were trying me to find something to do on the weekend and I loved to running around and they just make me try and that how a start to play golf. I have an older sister, she is nine years older, we started together. I just fall in love with golf.
Who influenced you and who was your source of inspiration?
I would say my first coach who’s from Scotland, Garry Forrester. He worked in Hong Kong at the public range that I was in. He spent so much time with me, even if I had just started. I really like him because he thinks that I’m really talented and he gave me a lot of confidence and I grow a lot that years. That’s how I get taught by him. I became a Hong Kong National team member in the junior squad. He was coaching me for free, most of the time when I was a kid. I really appreciate it. He used to spend more time on me, than with the other kids. He left Hong Kong and after 10 years I went to Scotland and I visited him.
Tiffany Chan is the first Hong Kong female golfer to qualify for the LPGA tour, top-level competition
Can you tell us something about the challenges and sacrifices that you experienced at the beginning?
I think the most challenging part is that in Hong Kong we didn’t have enough golf place for us to play in. So I always played and practiced on a regular range without playing much on the golf course. Later, after I went to the States at 17 years old, I started playing on the range. So I never had any sort of game practice.
What do you love most about playing golf? What are the greatest rewards?
I think the greatest reward is to know a lot of people, to travel the world a lot. You have to do a lot of daily life activity and golf even in difficulties make you still keep working and not give up. And that what I love about it!
I meditate a lot, especially during tournaments. You just try to not think for 10 minutes. Having those 10 minutes to do nothing is very important for refreshing your mind.”
What inspired and motivated you to keep going during your beginning and is still pushing you after all this time?
Sometimes you work so hard for results and when you have the results you want to work harder. So it’s like a relationship. It never stops. When you try to stop working harder, you don’t have results and you feel down. You have to work harder and you get results and then you try to work harder again. I think being a golfer, first of all, you have to love golf. I really like it. So that’s my biggest motivation. That’s how I get to play professionally three years ago.
Besides passion, determination, sacrifices to achieve the technique and will, what are the main and most important qualities for a golfer?
I think being able to manage your time well, it’s very important for a golfer. Because we spend six, seven hours a day to practice or even during a tournament. So during a week, you spend six days on the golf course, seven to 10 hours a day. You really need good time management because we not only practice in golf, we have to work out, like many other athletes, also when we travel. So having a good time table and time management is really important for us.
Can you share with us any meaningful story or moment from the backstage of your career?
I always watched professionals on TV or on the Internet. And three years ago when I first got my two records, I actually started to practice next to them and play with them. It felt pretty amazing because I never thought that I could have done it, being the first Hong Kong female to do it. Being able to play on tours is amazing. This is a feeling I will never forget. Well, now I feel easy. Now I feel better because it’s my third year and we are friends. So I don’t feel that anymore. But I still remember how I felt four years ago.
She sacrificed a lot, tracking her progress: routine, fitness, health, self-discipline investing her time in what she has to do better as a world-class athlete.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you have given yourself, when you started playing?
I went to college in the State. I would say, a piece of advice “Don’t give up your education. Because you have a long career ahead.” And to me, education is a big thing. Not only studying textbooks but learning how to deal with people. I learned a lot in those four years living by myself in the States. Doing a team, it something that’s so valuable that you can’t learn at home or anywhere else. For me, going to college, playing golf was a big thing. I know some girls turning pro at a really young age. They get successful young, but you still see a lot of girls that graduate been successful. I think it’s really important for growing as a person.
Photos courtesy of Tiffany Chan
A special thanks to Jeremy
CHINA-UNDERGROUND. Ciao! My name is Dominique. I’m Italian and I’m proud to be a mix. My father was an Italian chemical engineer and high school teacher, with Greek and Polish heritage. My mother is Haitian, she was high school language teacher, with Dominican, Spanish, French, Portuguese, African and Native American heritage. Being a mix makes me appreciate to want to understand different cultures and lifestyles. I grew up in Italy, lived few years in Haiti, travel around main European capitals, lived seven years in China, six in Spain and UK. Traveling makes me feel that we can learn something from every situation in every part of the world.