Despite his obsession with football, how did Othman Al-Mulla become the...

, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – When it comes to Saudi professional golfer Othman Al-Mulla, you might think that golf was the sport that captured his mind from the start, but he was really “obsessed with football,” as he put it. How did he end up as the first Saudi golf professional?

Al-Mulla began playing competitive golf at the age of 16, then Al-Riyadi became the first Saudi professional golfer at the age of 32.

Football was his dream

Athlete Othman Al-Mulla is considered the first Saudi professional golfer.
Credit: Othman Almulla

In an interview with CNN in Arabic, Al-Mulla indicated that his dream in the past was to play in the Saudi national football team, as he said: “When I was younger, I was obsessed with football, playing and training through any opportunity I had.”

The Saudi and his parents agreed to continue playing football as long as he could maintain his high school grades.

However, in the summer of 2001, his grades plummeted, and he was not allowed to play football in the summer.

Despite his obsession with football, how did Othman Al-Mulla become the first Saudi professional golfer?
Al Mulla started playing golf competitively when he was 16 years old.
Credit: Othman Almulla

This opened the door for Mullah to explore golf. He said, “To fill the time, a friend suggested that I join him in playing golf.”

And sport became a hobby that summer.

Despite his obsession with football, how did Othman Al-Mulla become the first Saudi professional golfer?
The Saudi agreed with his parents to continue playing football as long as he could maintain his high grades. And when he could not, he was not allowed to play his favorite sport. This opened up an opportunity for him to explore golf.
Credit: Othman Almulla

Al Mulla’s journey to professionalism took more than a decade, since he became the youngest amateur golf player in the Arab world. He qualified for one of the European Tour competitions when he made his debut in the “Dubai Desert Classic” golf tournament in 2007, when he was 20 years old, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). He has previously represented the Kingdom in the World Cup for amateur players, ie the “Eisenhower Cup” 3 times.

‘Surreal’ experience

Despite his obsession with football, how did Othman Al-Mulla become the first Saudi professional golfer?
Al Mulla’s journey towards professionalism took more than a decade.
Credit: Othman Almulla

Since golf does not receive the same level of attention compared to other sports in the Middle East, it was natural for Al Mulla to face challenges on his path to professionalism.

One of the biggest obstacles he faced was finding the right facilities and coaches. However, the athlete considers himself lucky that he grew up in Dhahran, in the east of the kingdom, as it embraced a sandy golf course, where he was able to practice sports.

Nevertheless, he was frustrated by his desire to improve and his struggle to find the right training, and this encouraged him to move to America during his last year of high school with his parents’ approval, in order to enroll in a golf academy.

After more than a decade after starting his golf career, it became clear to the player that a lot has changed in Saudi Arabia, with some amazing golf courses across the kingdom, he said.

“It was surreal,” Al-Mulla said. “I started playing with the Saudi golf team at the age of 16, and I was missing out on going to school because of the events, and my friends and family were wondering if there was a golf team in Saudi Arabia.”

Therefore, the player expressed his joy for the change he sees in the sports scene in the Kingdom, and the wealth of sports talents in it.

some advices

And in case you love playing golf as a hobby, here are 4 tips from Mulla that make a big difference in a player’s performance:

  1. It is important to focus on key variables that you can control, such as preparation routines
  2. Practice setting a goal, and it’s not always about how much time you spend practicing, it’s your goal for that time.
  3. Control your expectations, as Al Mulla believes that many players focus on the way they should play instead of going out and enjoying the sport with all it has to offer.
  4. Surround yourself with better golfers, learn what they are doing, and it will affect the way you play

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