Wait and watch
Holder of numerous domestic titles and the only Omani to have featured in the Oman Open - European Tour, Azaan al Rumhy is staying positive, thankful for the time he has with family and to improve his swing
Q - Were you looking forward to many tournaments that got cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic?
The Oman Amateur Open and OHI Amateur Open were scheduled March-end. I was looking forward to these two big events. Outside Oman, the Nomura Cup - Asia-Pac-ific Team Championship in Singapore was slotted for June and the World Amateur Team Championships - Eis-enhower Trophy was to take place in Hong Kong. I don’t know what will happen to these. The Asia Pacific Amateur Championship is an individual tournament that I’ve taken part in every year since 2014. This was to be held in October in Melbourne, with the winner getting a spot in the Masters, which has been postponed.
I was really looking forward to this year, especially after the announcement of the Oman Golf Association. We were expecting a permanent national coach, and there were many plans to develop the game further in the country. Now we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
Q - How are you coping with social distancing and being stuck at home?
It’s been very challenging. It’s a big change in everyone’s lifestyle. On the positive side – we’re spending more time with family and even having three meals a day with them. But we need to discipline ourselves – wake up early and start the day in time, not be lazy and oversleep. I try sticking to a strict plan.
Q - How are you keeping yourself occupied?
As soon as I wake up, I try to go to the gym. We have a gym at home, which is nice. I spend 30-60 minutes doing stretching and mobility exercises, which I have seen in professional golfers’ and fitness coaches’ Instagram accounts. These are exercises that are good for the body and hopefully will help imp-rove my swing and game.
After the gym, I try to do some work for the businesses I run – restaurants and swimming pool construction company. After lunch until sunset, I practise short game golf shots around the garden. Me, my brother, my son and even my father… we give ourselves targets to hit shots and have a game among ourselves. We create a competitive feeling which is nice and fun in the family.
Q - How are you making the best of this situation?
I’m taking this opportunity to watch old golf tournaments. I spend time watching Tiger Woods’ final round at the Masters last year, which he won, and such other videos and programmes, sometimes on YouTube. I also watch tips from coaches to help my swing and improve my game.
Q - How do you think you will have changed at the end of this pandemic?
I will be more hungry for the game and very excited to be back. The last round of golf I played was on March 14, which is close to a month now. I don’t think I’ve ever been away from the game for so long, except perhaps may be for injury. At the end of the pandemic, I’m going to be very relieved to be back on the golf course.