KUCHING: Sarawak’s Hafiz Bin Haji Mura is an amateur golfer who fired a unique record of six holes-in-one within 15 months.
Although this feat was achieved at the Sarawak Golf Club (KGS) 17 years ago, his record has remained intact since.
Nevertheless, he is still finding it hard to secure a job that pays more than RM1,000.
The former Gemilang 2001 golfer and son of a senior Customs officer has been earmarked to become a golf professional. He attended a coaching course in a golf academy, but after a year his career suddenly came to a halt.
Haji Mura Kadir, from Kampung Panglima Seman, was the son of a “Penambang” (boat ferry service operator) and one of 14 siblings who was fortunate to have been offered a scholarship to study at University Pertanian Malaysia (UPM) followed by the Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, and Ohio State University, Columbus.
A member of KGS, his family enjoyed the facilities at the club and soon all the children were playing golf. But just as Hafiz was still honing his skills, financial problems forced Haji Mura to sell his club membership and with that his son did not have the opportunity to play as much as he wanted.
With that, Hafiz lost his main “sponsor”, his father who had to spend at least RM500 to help the young man develop his game, and his confidence. He gave up golf completely and applied for jobs, but hardly earned enough to continue with the sport he so loved.
In an interview with the New Sarawak Tribune, Hafiz who celebrated his 36th birthday on March 28, reflected on his shattered dream of becoming a golf professional when fate took a cruel twist on the fortunes of his father.
“My father who was an avid golfer is my role model. He started me off at the age of six and soon all of the family members were playing golf,” said Hafiz who graduated to become a talented junior golfer under the wing of former KGS professional Tim Bell under the Junior Golf training scheme.
In 1998 when Hafiz was 16, Hafiz was runner up in the Sarawak Junior Invitational but became champion the following year. A year later when he was in From Five, he attended a three-month course at the “Professional Golfers Career College” at Kelab Golf Seri Selangor.
Soon after attending the course, he was selected to prepare for the SEA Games with the Gemilang 2001 squad at Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur but he succumbed to appendicitis and was forced to withdraw from the squad.
It was during this time that he went on his 15-month streak of six holes-in-one at the KGS.
“My first ace was at the 208yd par-three 17th at the Demark course on March 2, 2000, followed by another ace on the same hole 19 days later on March 21. Then 10 months later in January I had a third ace on the 17th hole on the Demak course,” he reminisced.
But that was not all; he had his fourth hole-in-one at the 154yd par-three at the Santubong course on January 23, 2001 and his fifth ace on March 5 and sixth on June 10. Among his other feats, big hitter Hafiz whose drives used to exceed 350yds has sunk 11 Eagles during his short golfing career.
Haji Mura said that it was sad that after his retirement, he found it hard to make ends meet let alone encourage Hafiz to continue playing golf. However, Hafiz’s loss is the siblings’ gain — two of Hafiz’s younger sisters have earned University degrees from UNIMAS and UiTM while a third has a diploma.
Hafiz was an employee with a major corporation in Kuching but was forced to quit last year.
“I left because with a salary of less than RM1,000 it’s hard to make ends meet. I hope my luck will change this year,” said Hafiz.
Sadly, with all this talent gone to waste, Sarawak has lost yet another talented sportsman.
Note: It has been computed that an amateur golfer playing a par-3 hole has one chance in 42,952 of stroking an ace.
Three years ago Drews Lumsden of Scotland had six aces between May 2014 and April 2015. The World Amateur Association said Lumsden’s six holes-in-one had defied odds of over 183 trillion-to-one.
Below is Hafiz’s Golfing Feat:
1st Hole on March 2, 2000
2nd Hole on March 21, 2000
3rd Hole on January 23, 20001
4th Hole On: KGS February 10, 20001
5th Hole on March 5, 2001
6th Hole on June 10, 20001