4 min read
At Home with Tiffany Chan
The EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open was due to take place in May, so instead we caught up with Tiffany Chan, EFG Global Sport Ambassador and golfer to tell us more about life, the competitive world of professional golf and aiming high for 2020 and beyond.
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What got you into golf in the first place?
Golf wasn’t actually a popular sport when I was growing up, but I was a very active child and happened to live near a public driving range. I went there when I was about 6 with my Dad and was totally hooked, even though there’s no history of golf in my family. I had to rent a man’s club and my hands would be blistered at the end of the day, but once I started, I found I couldn’t stop playing. My parents were hugely supportive from an early age and gave me a self-belief that has formed the basis of my professional career.
What makes a good golfer?
A clear vision and a goal; and it doesn’t matter what age you start. You don’t necessarily have to be Tiger Woods, just have your own perspective and a passion to be the best you can be.
What are the values needed to succeed on the golf course?
Be positive, honest and true to yourself. Also, the team you build around you is very important. I’ve been very lucky in that EFG has been a key factor of my support system since I was on the Hong Kong Junior Development Programme which was then supported by the EFG Young Athlete’s Foundation and today I am EFG’s Global Sport Ambassador. For a company to believe in you from such an early age is incredible and without that investment from EFG, I certainly wouldn’t have had the opportunity to realise my sporting dreams and reach my potential.
Normally, you would have just finished competing in EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open. How are you coping with coronavirus?
It was a novelty originally, as it’s the first time I’ve had a proper break since turning professional in 2017! I had been away from home so much thus I’m enjoying being in such close proximity to my friends and family but after a while I do get a bit restless. I need routine in life and have a few techniques to keep me focused. I use a planner to outline what I want to achieve on any given day.
What does it mean to participate in the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open and what makes it so special?
It's always special to play in the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open. It’s Hong Kong’s premier golf tournament and it’s at my home club, so winning the tournament in 2016 as an amateur in front of my friends and family was definitely a career highlight. It gave me a lot of much needed self belief at a crucial stage in my career, so to win it again for a second time as a professional is big goal of mine.
What are you most proud of in your career?
Qualifying for the LGPA Tour. Although once I’d achieved it, I immediately set myself another goal, so currently it’s the prospect winning a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, even if that means I’ll need to keep motivating myself for another year.
How are you keeping yourself motivated?
Physically, I do home workouts with my trainer from the States that focus mainly on weights, yoga and stretching. Anything that uses your legs and glutes is good for your golf game and I’m finding the intensity tough. Mentally, it’s been good to have a break from the pressure of being on tour and I’ve had to adapt my mindset accordingly. I meditate on tour as find it helps calm any nerves and keeps me positive.
Any tips to our employees or clients looking to improve their golf?
Golf is a very good activity for people of all ages. Even if you can’t get to a course at the moment, do some putting at home or practice your swing in front of the mirror, even without clubs, and use your reflection to improve your position and technique.
What are your passions outside of golf?
I can’t say I’m into cooking but I definitely like eating! I watch a lot of movies and love a good drama series like ‘Killing Eve’, I think I’ve got through about 60% of Netflix’s content whilst on lockdown.
What was the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Never set a limit to your goals.
Who is do you look up to in life and why?
My parents. Without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am and certainly not a golfer, especially as when I was growing up becoming an athlete was considered a poor substitute for a professional career and no-one would have thought Hong Kong could ever produce a professional golfer. They got the balance right, pushed me when I needed it and encouraged me to do my degree at the University of Southern California, but always stayed supportive of my ambitions and dreams.
What would you like to be doing career wise, if you were not a golfer?
I’m sure I’d still be a professional sports person as I have always been so active, so maybe I would have ended up swimming, running, or playing badminton.
Is there anything you have learnt during lockdown?
I have a new found sense of appreciation for my friends, but also competing on the circuit, fellow golfers and whole community on tour. I miss it and can’t wait to get back.