Why this Dubai boy admires ‘The Scientist’ of golf – News

Ayaan has already collected more balls than he can remember at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic

Ayaan Khan poses with his autograph book. — Photo by Leslie Wilson Jr

By Leslie Wilson Jr

Published: Sat 28 Jan 2023, 10:13 PM

You can always find little Ayaan Khan somewhere near the player’s locker rooms collecting golf balls and autographs from any obliging golfer. And there are many.

Ayaan has already collected more balls than he can remember at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic, but he says he will be back for more tomorrow.

“Golf is my dream. I hope to better my game and perhaps one day become professional,” he says in all seriousness.

Quite a strong boast if you are only 12 years old. But then, Ayaan is not your average pre-teen.

He already plays off a single-digit handicap and has won tournaments for his age group in Dubai.

It was not long ago when Ayaan swapped his plastic golf clubs for a bag of Ping junior clubs, which he puts to good use at his home club at the Earth Course.

“I’ve played at most of the courses in Dubai but the Earth Course, which was designed by Greg Norman, is my absolute favourite.”


“I like courses that challenge me and push me to the limit and that’s what the Earth course does with its water hazards,” he says. “There are courses that are easy and some that are difficult, but I like the ones that really challenge me. I love being challenged.”

A seventh grader at the Ambassador International School, Ayaan, who was born in Dubai to parents who come from Mysore, a southern city in India, brushes up on his golf at the Claude Harmon Golf Academy at the Els Course.

Among the 40-odd autographs that he has collected in one of his many autograph books, Ayaan says his favourites are by Bryson DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open Champion and 2019 Dubai Desert Classic winner, and that of Brooks Koepka, a dual Major winner.

“Bryson has to be my favourite golfer,” he says of the American golfer who known as ‘the Scientist’ for his scientific approach to the sport.

“Rory (McIlroy) and Tiger (Woods) are great but Bryson is special. I like the fact that he can hit the balls the longest, which is something I aim to be doing when I grow up. I think when you are strong off the tee it puts you in a better position to aim for a birdie, which is what golf is all about. Isn’t it?”

Given the confidence and passion that he has for golf, Ayaan is a name to remember. Sooner than not we’re probably going to hear of a lot of this likeable Dubai youngster in the future.

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