TAIPEI (The China Post) — The scorching sun, murmurs in the background, hundreds of pairs of eyes, and of course, the tiny white ball that determines your fate were all pressures professional golfer Lu Hsi Chuen (呂西鈞) had to face and conquer.
Born on Dec. 10, 1953, the professional golfer represented Taiwan at the Asian Pacific golf tournaments, obtaining victory after victory.
According to Lu, his best achievement as a professional golfer was when he won the Asian championship three years in a row-the only consecutive championship in Taiwan.
Actually, beneath all that glamour, Lu traversed numerous obstacles from childhood till
adulthood. When he was a young boy, his family had financial setbacks that caused young Lu to constantly find ways to assist financially and pull his family out of poverty.
According to Lu, the person that inspired him the most during those difficult times was his uncle, Lu Liang-Huan (呂良煥), one of Taiwan’s legendary professional golfers. One of his uncle’s greatest achievements was when he came in second during the British Open in the Royal Birkdale Stadium, and shortly after, the French Open Championship in Biarritz.
Inspired by his uncle, Lu decided to start working as a golf caddy when he was thirteen.
Working as a golf caddy allowed him to examine the golf swings of every player and learn from what he observed. However, it wasn’t until his late teen years when Lu decided to go the professional route.
According to him, when he went to pick up his uncle from the airport after his second-place win at the British Open. That tremendous achievement aroused his ambition of
becoming a first-class player.
Training to be a first-class player required unshakable determination, ample time, overflowing energy, and, most importantly, a productive practice routine.
Accordingly, he woke up at 5 a.m. every morning for a three-mile jog, had a quick breakfast, and started his everyday practice by hitting some golf balls for 3-4 hours at the practice range.
Then, after lunch, he would work on his short game and longer distance hitting. All in all, he spent a good 10 hours or so each day practicing golf.
After a while, Lu’s talent and dedication towards golf paid off, and he was able to move
steadily from minor to major standing golf tournaments. With success climbing, Lu started to garner a name for himself, leading to additional external pressure.
To prepare for the golf tournaments, he would make sure to be in his best physical condition by eating food and warming up to get his blood flowing.
However, because golf tournaments usually last for hours, so mental preparation and stamina are crucial. Being able to visualize the result helped him remain calm, he recalled.
He would try to identify every scenario that might occur and be mentally prepared before it happens. He advises young golfers not to carry on the negativity from the previous hole onto the next one.
After a major victory, Lu awarded himself with a big juicy burger and coke. However, he never let his wins get to his head because he had to keep calm for the next game.
Unfortunately, the year 1997 would mark the ending of Lu’s professional golf career as a
a significant leg injury forced him to withdraw from the tour group early in 1998 after winning the last tournament in 1997.
According to Lu, he was actually planning to retire around that time
because he was getting into his early 40s, which wasn’t considered young anymore for
prominent professional golfers.
However, Lu’s passion for golf pushed him to continue
running in this field by becoming a professional golf coach.
He explained that he loves to share his experiences and the ups and downs he had in golf tournaments with others. The golf industry encloses the need for a sense of responsibility and the education of young people.
Additionally, Lu remarked that Taiwan needs more great names to add to the long history of golf. As a professional golf coach, Lu also served as the national coach of Taiwan from 2000.
During the three consecutive Asian Olympics Games, the team has won gold, silver, and bronze medals. Lu describes his coaching style as one that is garnered explicitly for each student.
He believes that because everyone’s physique is different, their swings are different and
individual. Therefore, he doesn’t treat every student with the same standards.
Because he has played professionally before, he feels that he can relate to his students and their situation more.
Lu’s main advice to the young Taiwanese golfers that aspire to play golf well or even
professionally is as follows: “To do well or win, one needs to develop a thorough groundwork; hours and hours of practice is inevitable. But what’s more important is inner belief and determination.”