JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s first female golf coach has passed on her favorite playing tips to eager visitors at a ladies day event held in conjunction with the 2022 Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by the Public Investment Fund at King Abdullah Economic City, near Jeddah.
Reem Al-Gobaisi, who was announced as the Kingdom’s first female golf coach by Golf Saudi last November, told Arab News that she took up the sport three years ago after being inspired by her father.
“He had been playing golf since I was a child and he advised me to try the game. I liked it,” she said.
“My father supported me to reach where I am.”
Originally from Riyadh, Al-Gobaisi is also a professional player at Al-Nassr Tennis Club.
“But after I experienced golf, I was hooked and kind of ignored all the other sports I was playing and focused more on golf.”
Al-Gobaisi’s interest in golf grew when the sport began to be developed in the Kingdom and international tournaments started to take place.
“International tournaments opened the door for us to learn from professional golfers and to exchange knowledge,” she said.
“I see a lot of Saudi women and youngsters loving the sport already, and I think it has a promising future in the country.”
Al-Gobaisi is furthering the achievements of Saudi women in sports by coaching children and teenagers aged from 5 to 18 through Golf Saudi’s golf education programs. She also coaches women players at the Royal Greens Golf Club.
The Saudi coach cites US pro Tiger Woods as her role model in the sport and says she likes the sport because the green golf course helps her feel calm.
“Golf is a game of peace,” she said.
On the sidelines of a media tour on Saturday at KAEC, Arab News met Raghdah Al-Essawi, a Saudi national team player and the mother of golfers Lailah, 18, and Omer Al-Tulmusani, 13.
In 2020, Golf Saudi offered the golf-loving family the chance to represent the Kingdom abroad.
Al-Essawi and her daughter have represented Saudi Arabia in golf tournaments across the Middle East, including Egypt and Oman.
“We were the first women to represent Saudi Arabia on an official ladies team in 2020 in Egypt,” she said.
“My son also joined the junior team, and was the first of his age group here in Saudi, in Egypt and Oman.”
Al-Essawi said that curiosity brought her into golf as she followed in the footsteps of her children.
“My son and daughter have been into sports since they were young and have tried many different games, including golf, so I was encouraged to try it as well. We all got hooked on the game.”
Al-Essawi devotes hours to perfecting her game. “We practice a lot, like five, six times a week, as we are trying to take the game forward.”
The family moved to the UK to help improve their golf skills, but Royal Greens is still their favorite place.
“This is our home and where we feel comfortable. Now we’re playing in England, it’s different than Saudi, but we’re trying to improve our skills.”
Al-Essawi also played in the tournament’s pro-am event on Wednesday. “It was a great experience to play with the professionals and learn from them. The experience was beyond expectation.”
The final day of the tournament on Sunday will include an award ceremony followed by a press conference with the winning competitor.
Free tickets for the final day are available by registering online at www.golfsaudi.com.