Viktor Kofod-Olsen
Viktor Kofod-Olsen competing at the Dubai Desert Classic Pro-Am Image Credit: Dubai Desert Classic

Dubai resident Viktor Kofod-Olsen is dreaming of winning the Hero Dubai Desert Classic in the next ten years, with the 17-year-old already sealing the junior version of the tournament last month.

The Dane, who moved to Dubai in 2009 with his family, is the latest golfing sensation to hit the headlines in the UAE following an emphatic start to the year, which not only saw him win the Junior Dubai Desert Classic but also make a first start on the DP World Tour at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship.

The +3.4 handicapper arrived at Emirates Golf Club for the second edition of the Junior Dubai Desert Classic looking to better his third place finish in last year’s event, which welcomes the sport’s future stars, aged under 18.

He duly delivered, carding rounds of 71 and 69 to hold off Kartik Singh (144) and Mo Craig (147), who finished second and third, respectively.

As well as winning the trophy, Kofod Olsen won a Callaway Tour Custom Fit Experience, an invite to the Hero Dubai Desert Classic Star Player Demonstration, the Shubhankar Sharma Junior Invitational Final 2024 in India and entry to the Faldo Series Grand Final in Al Ain.

“Winning the Junior Dubai Desert Classic was incredible,” said Kofod-Olsen, who started playing golf when he was four years old.

“I played last year and was in second place going into the final round before finishing third, which was quite disappointing for me as I really wanted to win it. This year I had plenty of motivation to put that right, so to secure that title of Junior Dubai Desert Classic champion was huge. To play under Tour conditions, the rough being as high and dense as it was and playing a tournament under the lights was definitely an experience. To be able to say I was crowned champion at my home club is pretty nice.”

Viktor Kofod-Olsen - Junior Dubai Desert Classic
Viktor Kofod-Olsen was crowned Junior Dubai Desert Classic last month Image Credit: Dubai Desert Classic

Just two days later, the Emirates Golf Club member was making headlines once again after emerging victorious at the Dubai Desert Classic Pro-Am, teaming up with Northern Ireland’s Tom McKibbin and Emirates Golf Club captains, Frank Duggan and Fiona Berry, to secure victory in the annual curtain-raiser to the illustrious event.

If that was the icing on top of the cake, the cherry was about to be put on top.

The GEMS Wellington International student was back in school discussing his epic week when he received a call notifying him he had been invited by the Emirates Golf Federation to play on the DP World Tour’s Ras Al Khaimah Championship – an event featuring global superstars like three-time Major champion Padraig Harrington and former Ryder Cup winning Captain Thomas Bjørn.

This wasn’t just another Pro-Am appearance; this was the tournament proper.

“The Ras Al Khaimah Championship was an unforgettable experience,” said Kofod-Olsen, who is coached by Stephen Deane, Dubai Golf’s Head International Development Coach.

“I was called on the Tuesday of tournament week while I was in school telling me that I had received an invite from the Emirates Golf Federation to play. I really want to highlight that as it’s a great honour to represent the UAE and the EGF, so I’ll forever be thankful for that.

“In terms of what I learned from the experience, there were a few things that stood out to me. The first was not having a rangefinder and having to use the course guide to get my distances rather than getting the distance straight to the pin.

“I felt like that benefited me in my headspace because I didn’t really have the time to get angry at any shots because I knew I had to go to the ball, find the distance and focus on that otherwise the next shot would be completely messed up.

Viktor Kofod-Olesen
Viktor Kofod-Olsen in action Image Credit: Dubai Desert Classic

“The other thing was having a caddie, as I’m not used to having anyone on the bag. But it was nice to get the emotions out and talk to Stephen (his coach) rather than talking to myself or keeping it in if I hit a bad shot. I would explain how I felt and why I did what I did rather than having to think about it to myself until the end of the round.

“Lastly, rather than being nervous and intimidated by the professionals, I felt like the pros I played with had quite a big impact on my experience as I wasn’t too familiar with them. I think I would have been a lot more nervous had I known them more.

“I played with two really nice German guys, Maximillian Rottluff and Freddy Schott. If I was playing with the guys that I knew well and watched regularly on TV, I would have been much more nervous.”

Kofod-Olsen’s tournament came to an end after 36 holes following rounds of 77 and 76 – some going for a teenager playing on a DP World Tour setup for the very first time.

There’s no doubting the superb start to the year has made the youngster hungrier than ever to be playing events like the Ras Al Khaimah Championship every single week.

Given his tender age, he still has plenty of time to develop into a Tour professional, but it will be no easy task and a long road lies ahead in the cutthroat world of professional golf.

That being said, his natural ability and strong mindset, coupled with the expert guidance of Stephen Deane, could well pave the way to a successful career in the game.

“Now that I’ve won the Junior Dubai Desert Classic, I want to win the actual Dubai Desert Classic within the next ten years to be able to say I’ve won both events - that’s a big goal for me,” said Kofod-Olsen, who is currently in talks with colleges in the States ahead of graduating from GEMS Wellington International in 2025.

“Being on Tour and receiving my first Major invite is a goal of mine as well. I want to work hard to achieve that, make my practice count and be as efficient as possible so I can have a higher chance of achieving my goals.”