As month's go, April would have to be one of our favourites. We're buzzing now that the golf season is well under way in many parts of the world, and, of course, it's the month when the world's best head to Augusta National.
That's not all though... April also marks the second instalment of our newest blog feature - the Hole19 Golfer of the Month.
April Golfer of the Month | Riedwaan Awaldien
It's not uncommon for people outside the sport to have a misconceived idea of golf before they hit a single ball in anger. That's one of the prime reasons we fell in love with Riedwaan's story. It reminds us that golf can reel you in... just when you least expect it.
It's a tale of camaraderie, and of passing a blossoming love for the game down through the generations.
Over the years, Riedwaan has transitioned from scoffing at the thought of ever taking up golf to now driving over 100km just to play a round with his buddies. Now that's dedication!
Check out his story below.
As an avid high-intensity sportsman, I used to look down on golf as an old man's game and even smirked at the idea of it even being called a sport.
After several attempts and listening to a gazillion golf stories from my father in law, he eventually persuaded me to whack a few balls at the range and then, later on, play a few rounds in Cape Town, South Africa.
I was hooked after our very first round.
These days, I find myself well and truly addicted. Now I often relay golf stories to my kids about my early experiences in the game.
I play golf for the thrill, the challenge, that one great shot in the whole round that draws you back, the banter amongst friends, the constant improvement, seeking perfection that will never come... and generally trying to be a better golfer - or better than my buddies at least.
For me, playing golf is like being in love; my wife better watch out!
So we're a ragtag group of expatriate golfers (several Malaysians, 1 Turkish and 2 South Africans) based in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, who travel 115 km every Friday morning to play 9 or 18 holes on a sand course in Jubail, Whispering Sands.
We're all about the same age group and handicap, and there's always a friendly rivalry during every round for longest drives, best scores, who spends the most time in the rough etc.
We take plenty of photos and videos that we upload onto our WhatsApp group as jokes or bragging rights.
The regulars are...
Ikhwan 'Rory McIlroy'
'Smooth sailing' Syahril
'Long drive' Mau
Necdet 'Phil Mickelson'
Zakaria 'Mulligan man'
Feroz 'Lekker' and...
'Always-in-the-rough' Riedwaan (Yours truly)
Being a technical golfer, I started searching for golf apps, and when I happened upon Hole19... I was hooked (poor choice of word, I know).
I think several of us are now using it for scoring and strategy. I sometimes use it to plan a round on a course I'm playing - or hope to play one day. I also recently upgraded my subscription and am getting used to the other features on offer (shot tracking etc.)
Our season will end within a week or two, when mid-summer temps can reach 120F (49C)!!!!
Naturally, we are trying to get as much golf in as we can before it gets too hot.
Come the new season, my personal goal remains the same... stay out of the rough as much as possible and, of course, beat all my friends.
A very worthy Golfer of the Month, we're sure you'll agree. We could literally feel Riedwaan's love for golf bursting through as we read his story.
Riedwaan, we wish you and your buddies all the best for your future rounds later this year when the temperatures drop a little! As always, Hole19 will be there to guide you every step of the way.
WANT TO BE OUR NEXT GOLFER OF THE MONTH?
To all of our Hole19ers, make sure you keep logging those rounds and, who knows, the next Golfer of the Month could be you. Finally, if you have a story you'd like to share with the community, please fill in the form here.