Sport - Golf - Keun Jegal
South Korean, Keun Jegal Image Credit: Keun Jegal

Keun, great to meet you and be paired up together as we make our way down the first hole here at The Track, Meydan. How long have you been in Dubai?

Well, I’m from South Korea originally. I moved to the UAE with my family in December 2012. I used to work for LG Electronics in the MENA Regional Headquarter. But now I’m a property consultant.

Had you played golf before coming over to Dubai?

Yes. I had learnt golf in Seoul, South Korea by a coach before coming over to Dubai.

Golf is such a popular sport in Korea! The younger generation thought that golf was a sport for older people, but after Covid19, their thoughts changed about golf to a sport that could be played outdoors with friends.

If you’ve been here since 2012, you must’ve played a fair few of the courses in the UAE?

I've been to all the golf courses in Dubai! I even used to play in Shajah, Ajman and Abu Dhabi.

These days, I usually go to Arabian Ranches, Trump International Golf Club, and here The Track, Meydan at least twice a month.

Sport - Golf - Keun Jegal
Keun plays golf at least twice a month Image Credit: Keun Jegal

Somedays I do still go to Shajah and Ajman when I’m with colleagues.

But my favourite golf course has to be either Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club or the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estate. They are pretty incredible.

Have you had golf lessons in the UAE?

Personally, I haven’t had a golf lesson in the UAE. Most of my Korean friends though have lessons at the Emirates Golf Club because there is a Korean coach which makes the language barrier easier sometimes.

But still, I think golf lessons are important because you can learn the basic posture. However you don't have to learn it through a coach because there’s so many other ways to pick up the game through social media and YouTube for example.

Dubai's golf courses are an oasis

It’s a sport that is booming here, what do you find makes the UAE so good for golf?

Dubai's golf courses are like an oasis! People find the golf course’s very enjoyable as you see the green grass in this desert city. Then when you are on the golf course you can feel peace of mind and let your stress go away with the ball. It’s amazing really.

Sport - Golf - Keun Jegal
Keun Jegal Image Credit: Keun Jegal

And do you have a handicap?

Currently my handicap is 24. The best it’s been is 17. It’s not easy to be a single player! But you never know, I hope to be soon! Need to practice!

You said you have a few Korean friends who play at Emirates Golf Club. Is there a large number of Koreans who play golf in Dubai?

100%! Definitely! If you want to see Koreans in Dubai, just go to any golf course! Haha! We love it!

When you aren’t busy with work as a property consultant, do you find it’s a popular social sport?

Of course. Golf, which is usually played in groups of four, is a very social sport. You can share a lot of stories while playing and exercising during 18 holes together which can take around 4 hours.

I’ve made a lot of new friends from all over the world while playing golf. I even used to play tournament golf with colleagues as it’s great for networking, especially in my industry.

Sport - Golf - Keun Jegal
Gulf News' Harry Grimshaw alongside Keun at The Track, Meydan Image Credit: Keun Jegal

Finally, why do you personally play golf and what makes it so special for yourself?

Golf is such a good sport in that you can exercise while looking at the green grass and being outdoors. It’s one of the best ways to beat the hot summer here in Dubai is to play golf. Even like today with us! Haha! People must think we are crazy.

Of course, you need to have stamina to overcome the heat, that’s where golf buggies come in handy. But I really do love playing golf.