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What's In... Quincy Quek's golf bag

Published on Jun 20, 2014 5:00 AM
 
-- ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

As a teenager, golfer Quincy Quek was already representing Singapore. So turning pro would seem to be a natural progression.

Not so.

He already had a place at the Singapore Management University (SMU). He had put it on hold for two years while he pursued his passion. But SMU could not hold the place forever.

Making the decision to give up that place was tough for Quek. "I don't know how long the road is going to be for golf. Or whether I will be successful in it. But with studies, I know I will get a degree after four years," he said.

Some of his teammates gave up golf after enrolling in university. Unable to take part in tournaments, they dropped out of the rankings.

"You just cannot commit if you want to juggle golf and studies," he said. He turned pro in 2009 after he completed his national service.

Golf was not his first sport. Since he was seven, he had represented the Anglo-Chinese Junior School and later, ACS (Independent), in swimming, specialising in freestyle and backstroke (100m to 400m).

His father thought golf is "a dumb sport" and preferred racquet sports such as tennis and squash.

Yet it was his father who took him to play golf when he was 10, a maiden experience for both. Golfer friends had cajoled his father to try golf by saying it would be a great experience for his son.

It turned out to be life-changing.

Quek, now 27, said of his conversion: "Golf is more interesting than swimming." In swimming, he said, a person basically swims up and down the same 50m length of the pool.

In golf, he explained, you may be playing the same course but you get a totally different experience each time you walk on the green. Many factors affect how one performs, including the wind, the terrain and one's equipment.

"It keeps you interested and that's why I switched from swimming to golf," he said. It helped that Tiger Woods won his first major that very year, which inspired the young beginner.

Quek was picked to join the national golfing team when he was just 15. He represented Singapore in tournaments such as the Putra Cup and in the SEA Games.

He had four amateur wins under his belt by the time he turned pro.

"The only thing that justified my decision to turn professional is my family being very supportive."

That, and his being young, he added.

The son of a retired businessman and a housewife, he has one sibling, sister Charlene, 33, who is a childcare teacher.

He won his first professional trophy at the 2012 Orchard Golf Championship in the Philippines.

"That win gave me the confidence that I can be successful as a professional golfer," he said.

You can catch him in action from Friday to Sunday, when he plays for Singapore against Malaysia in the second Prudential Causeway Trophy at the Laguna National Golf & Country Club.

A dozen Singaporean golfers will compete against 12 Malaysian golfers for the trophy that Singapore won at the inaugural event last year at the same venue. There is no charge for spectators.

Said Quek: "We are quite excited about this tournament, as the two countries have a great rivalry. We will try our best to retain the trophy."

By Trevor Tan

This article was first published in The Straits Times Digital Life on June 18, 2014.



FITBIT FLEX

Fitness for golfers is very important. We walk so much on the golf course that we may lose track of the energy we are losing.

I use this to monitor the number of steps I have taken, and eat energy bars when needed.



APPLE IPHONE 5 AND V1 GOLF APP

I use my iPhone and the V1 Golf app to help perfect my swing. It is like a coaching system on the go. It records and analyses my swings, so I know where I need to improve.



APPLE IPOD SHUFFLE (THIRD GENERATION)

It is sleek and simple to use. I use it most of the time, whether I am on the plane, during workouts in the gym or during practice on the golf course.


-- PHOTOS: COURTESY OF QUINCY QUEK

BUSHNELL PINSEEKER 1500

This is a rangefinder, which helps me to gauge the distance of targets, such as a point in the green that you want to hit to. You cannot use this during tournaments. But I use it during training, instead of just guessing the distance.

Background story

WHO: Quincy Quek, 27, is a professional golfer. In the national team since he was 15, he will again represent Singapore from Friday to Sunday in the Prudential Causeway Trophy tournament against Malaysia.

HIS GOLF BAG: This is a TaylorMade stuff bag, which is usually big. It allows me to put in a lot of stuff that I need on the golf course, such as balls, gloves, energy bars and rain gear.