Categorized | Meet the Golfer

Meet the Golfer: Jordan Irawan

By: Simon Reynolds

Jordan Irawan © Taufik DL

Jordan Irawan © Taufik DL

 

Meet Jordan Irawan, a young Indonesian golfer with big ambitions. Jordan has won several high profile International Junior Golf Tournaments, including the Enjoy Jakarta Junior World Golf Open 2011 and the 2002 ASEAN Schoolboys Golf Championship. He recently played with top Asian and International professionals at the CIMB Niaga Masters at Royale Jakarta. He will be playing at the Enjoy Jakarta Junior World Golf Open 2013 at Pantai Indah Kapuk on the 4th–7th June.

HI JORDAN, CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?

Hi, my name is Jordan Suryan Irawan. I am 17 years old. I was born in Suryakarta (Solo), for the last 10 years my family and I have been living in Bandung.

WHO WAS YOUR INSPIRATION TO TAKE UP THE GAME OF GOLF?

My father has always been a very passionate golfer. My earliest memories are going to the driving range as an eight-year-old with my father and my younger brother. At first I would just watch my father hit some balls, but very soon I was eager to try myself. From the very beginning I really enjoyed it, and found it enjoyable. From an early age it was my favourite hobby.

AS A YOUNGSTER PLAYING GOLF, WHO WERE YOUR GOLFING COMPANIONS?

Growing up in Bandung, several of my friends would come to the driving range and have fun. As I started to improve and play on golf courses, I would play with my father and younger brother. He was a handy golfer himself, but unfortunately he had a bit of an accident, breaking his left arm. Since then he lost his motivation to continue playing.

Recently, some of my old friends have rekindled their interest in the game and one of my friends recently spent his summer at a training camp in the States. Since returning, our games are much more enjoyable and evenly contested. It is inspiring to have good local golfers around you and it motivates to keep practising to improve. It keeps me on my toes and stops me from getting lazy.

WHO WERE YOUR GOLFING HEROES GROWING UP? WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE PROFESSIONAL GOLFER TODAY?

Firstly, I love the ‘Big Easy’, Ernie Els. His swing and his temperament are a joy to watch, he makes the game look so effortless and pure. I enjoy watching golf on TV and study YouTube videos to analyse other players’ swings. There is such a wealth of knowledge available on YouTube, for studying golf swings as well as footage from golf tournaments to be inspired by.

Secondly, Tiger Woods has always been a huge inspiration to me. His energy, his confidence, and his positive style of play, and watching how he wins tournaments, have made me realise the importance of mental strength during tournament golf.

However, my recent favourite is Rory McIlroy. I love his swing, and similar to Tiger he is an aggressive golfer, and very exciting to watch. It has been disappointing to see him struggle this year, but I’m sure he will bounce back and be competing in tournaments soon.

WHAT ARE YOUR DREAMS AS A GOLFER?

I’m still 17, my coach and I both agree there are still plenty of areas of my game which need improving. I plan on entering Asian Q-School in 2015. After the Asian Tour I’d like to compete on the European Tour.

My ultimate dream is to win a major; the Open Championship in the UK is the ultimate for me. Of all the majors, The British Open is my favourite major, as it seems to be the most complete test to the golfer: wind conditions, links golf, unpredictable weather. All kinds of challenges.

WHO IS THE COACH WHO HAS BEEN HELPING YOU DEVELOP AS A GOLFER? HOW OFTEN DO YOU MEET WITH YOUR COACH?

For the past six months I have been working with the coaches at the David Leadbetter Academy in Jakarta. I travel to Jakarta, usually once a week to train with my coach Phillipe De Busschere, who I have committed to for the foreseeable future. We have made great plans for my future development and to take my game to the next level. I have the full backing from my family and coach and we both know what I would like to achieve in the future.

MASTERING THE GAME OF GOLF TAKES MANY HOURS OF PRACTICE AND DEDICATION, WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX AND UNWIND WHEN YOU’RE NOT TRAINING/PLAYING?

I like to play my guitar when I want to relax. I am not planning on making any music videos soon, but I enjoy playing for fun. I have to admit, I also spend some time playing video games. After all, I am still a teenager so it’s okay right! I play futsal regularly with my high school friends, and I support Arsenal football club.

YOU RECENTLY PARTICIPATED IN THE CIMB NIAGA INDONESIAN MASTERS, WAS THAT YOUR FIRST TIME COMPETING IN A PROFESSIONAL TOURNAMENT? WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE?

It was my first high calibre Asian Tour Event, however I have finished 2nd twice during Indonesian PGA Tour events. I have also finished 13th in an ASEAN Tour Development tour event last year.

My highlight during the CIMB Niaga Masters was the opportunity to play practice rounds with the champion Bernt Weissenberger. My coach Phillipe De Busschere is Bernt’s coach so we played 18 and nine holes prior to the tournament at Royale Jakarta. It was amazing playing with him, and to witness what it takes to perform at the highest level.

I took the opportunity to ask lots of questions and to ask for advice. The most important was simply the importance of the short game, and how it keeps you out of trouble, or make a good round excellent. Also, Bernt is such a consistent ball striker, often on the short grass. My consistency still needs to be improved, both in ball striking and accuracy. I missed too many fairways at the Masters.

INDONESIA IS BLESSED WITH SOME FANTASTIC GOLF COURSES, WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE GOLF COURSE TO PLAY AT?

Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK) is my favourite. I always play well there; I guess because I have won there in the past, it seems positively nostalgic. The condition of the course is always perfect, and it has great facilities. I’m excited about playing there once again in the Enjoy Jakarta World Junior Golf Championship on the 4th–7th June.

FINALLY, GOLF INDONESIA WOULD LOVE TO VISIT YOUR HOMETOWN BANDUNG. WHICH COURSE DO YOU RECOMMEND TO PLAY THE MOST?

It would have to be Giri Gahana Golf Club at Jatinangor, just outside of Bandung. Bandung has several top quality golf courses, but to me Giri Gahana really stands out as my favourite.

YOU’VE POSTED SOME IMPRESSIVE SCORES OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, HELPING YOU WIN SEVERAL TOURNAMENTS. SO FAR, TO DATE, WHAT IS YOUR LOWEST GROSS SCORE?

I shot 67 at Ciputra Golf in Surabaya. I was playing very well that week. All parts of my game seemed to be working in unison, and I felt super confident. It was an awesome feeling. I went on to win the ASEAN Schoolboys for Indonesia there.

WHAT KIND OF MUSIC IS CURRENTLY ON YOUR IPOD?

At the moment I am listening to lots of Hip Hop. The likes of Jay Z, Eminem, Kanye West and Drake are on my MP3 player. Listening to Hip-hop gets me into a good place. I also like listening to Maroon 5.

About Simon Reynolds

Simon fell in love with the game of golf at an early age. Watching Happy Gilmore when he was 12, Simon was hooked, and to this day thanks Adam Sandler's genius in the film for his passion for the game. His golfing hero is more refined and mature these days, and he continues his spiritual quest to model his golf game on Ben Hogan's perfect golf swing.

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