Dad inspiration for SEA Games golf gold winner

May 23, 2023 - 08:46
This is the first time Việt Nam has had a representative winning a gold medal since golf was included in the SEA Games programme in 1985.
Lê Khánh Hưng competes in the SEA Games 32. — Photo


HÀ NỘI — Following golf from a young age under the guidance of his father, Lê Khánh Hưng, 15, has helped Việt Nam win the first individual gold medal in golf at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

This is the first time Việt Nam has had a representative winning a gold medal since golf was included in the SEA Games programme in 1985.

Emerging from 2022 with many achievements in some major golf tournaments, it was only when Hưng became the Lexus Challenge 2023 champion and the SEA Games champion that he really got the hearts of Vietnamese golf fans. And on all his journeys, there is always an important companion – his father, golfer Lê Văn Lân.

“Since Hưng was about seven years old, I took him to the golf course to practise golf," Lân said. "Of course, it is impossible to be poor to play golf. But it doesn't cost too much.”

Initially, Lân mainly self-taught professional skills for his son, besides support from several coaches.

But Lân gradually realised that his method did not provide a stable foundation for his boy. He then decided to take Hưng to a golf training centre in HCM City when he saw his son playing better and better and achieving high results in many national tournaments.

Lê Khánh Hưng’s family at the SEA Games 32. — Photo

From the role of leading and stimulating talent, Lân became a "full-time" caddie for his son. In events, Lân only advised and encouraged and did not impose achievements or put pressure when Hưng failed.

“I personally feel that I am the most suitable caddy for Hưng at the moment," Lân said. "For me, the feeling of holding my son on the last golf hole is very special and extremely happy. I think pressure is part of the game, and it's important that we feel happy when we experience and accompany each other on every journey of life and conquer the heights of golf."

Hưng is very happy to have his caddie.

"My dad always understands, loves and creates all conditions for me to develop golf," Hưng said. "I'm so happy to have him as a caddie. On the course, we are like two friends."

At the SEA Games in Cambodia, Hưng was under mental pressure in the first four holes. However, with the direct support of his parents on the field, he revived his spirit and improved his competitive mentality.

"After each goal deviation, I looked at my parents to have more determination," the SEA Games champion said.

He is ready to sacrifice for his son, but Lân does not want Hưng to feel protected.

"At tournaments, I always let Hưng wash his clothes by himself," Lân said. "I also don't let him enjoy too many things, and I always remind him that his parents had to work very hard to let him play golf. Above all, I want to raise my son to be a self-made person.”

Lê Khánh Hưng and his teammates at the SEA Games 32. — Photo

Thanks to his talent, Hưng has been sponsored for equipment and competition costumes. And now the SEA Games gold medal helps him officially enter the journey of a professional golfer. A journey is for both him and his father.

Hưng plans to go to the US to study high school and practise golf in Florida to improve his skills.

"I have received a scholarship of US$100,000 from a high school in Florida," Hưng said. "I will study in high school in the US and plan to study and practise at a golf academy here."

Hưng expressed his desire to meet the legendary American golfer Tiger Woods and invited him to Việt Nam to enjoy Huế beef noodle soup. — VNS