Dubai: UAE-based Golf Professional Zenia Elise Wivou is returning to the game after a long break due to injury and the self-taught 28-year-old is looking forward to going on Tour again soon and is finding a real support at MyGolf Dubai, where she is training indoors before embarking on her next tournament in Ladies European Tour Access Series in Malaga, Spain. Zenia talks about her love for the sport and her future plans. Excerpts from the interview…
Zenia, tell us a bit about yourself?
I just turned 28 years old, originally from Fiji, born in Sydney and raised in Ras Al Khaimah for the last 27 years.
How and when did you take up golf?
I started out playing tennis, my family are all into sport. When Al Hamra Golf Club in Ras Al Khaimah opened up, they had an Open Day for local youngsters, both boys and girls, to turn up and try the game. I used my tennis skills and picked up a junior 3 wood and just smashed balls on the range. The then GM Chris White, spotted my talent and encouraged me. My dad was also a golfer and then we started playing together and ventured out onto the golf course from the age of nine. I fell in love with the game immediately.
When did you turn Professional?
I turned professional in 2018 and then I had knee surgery a year after that, I was recovering for a while and then Covid hit us all. From 2018 to 2020 I was working in the UAE golf industry in the Membership Department at the Trump International Golf Club, Dubai. That is where I found my way back into the game and decided to take golf up again full time when I recovered. I played on the Sunshine Ladies Tour just nine months after my surgery and I struggled a bit but it was great experience. I now have my Ladies European Tour Access Series playing privileges and I am looking forward to going on Tour again soon.
Where do you play and practice in Dubai?
I found this really great indoor golf facility called MyGolf Dubai at Dragon Mart2 in Dubai on social media with some top of the range Golfzon golf simulators. I also play and practice at Dubai Hills Golf Club. But with the summer heat, I am essentially fully based at MyGolf Dubai for practice as well as playing some of the world’s top golf courses we can play on the simulators; it is cool air, a nice cafe with some great coffee and the staff are all so friendly. It is currently a hidden gem and I recommend all golfers to make a visit, you will not be disappointed.
Who has taught you?
I am essentially self-taught with my father’s support. I was always naturally athletic with a good hand-eye coordination. He was an engineer by profession and took a PHD in biomechanics, all about the golf swing, and he set up some electronic sensor pads to replicate a Pro’s swing for comparison with my swing and it really helped. I was essentially his hamster in a pilot scheme.
What is your schedule for the summer?
My summer plans at the moment are to train here for a couple of weeks before travelling to Spain in Malaga for my second event on the LETAS. I have seven more events this year on the LETAS, before I go off to the LET Qualifying School.
There are many Pros based in Dubai. Have you met up?
I have played in a couple of Pro-Ams in Dubai, where I have met the local Pros. Fellow Dubai-resident Kristyna Napoleaova from the Czech Republic is a good friend and has been helpful in my transition onto the LETAS. It is good to be around with like-minded golfers.
— Zenia Elise Wivou is an Ambassador for MyGolf Dubai based at Dragon Mart 2, Dubai. For further details visit www.MyGolfDubai.com