Korean Golfer Y.E. Yang, Jeju’s proud son
Most of my articles seem to be about places, food, or technology, but I think it’s important to do an article about some people now and then. I am personally not a fan of professional golf. In fact after Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh, I couldn’t name for you any other professional golfers that play currently. The other two professional golfers that I can name are old (Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus). So why is it that this person caught my eye?
Well, if there’s one thing I can say about the Korean media, it’s that they love their sports heroes. And the media has been rife with the recent success of the golfer Y. E. Yang, who after defeating Tiger Woods to become the 2009 PGA champion, won the 2010 Volvo China Open. He has the distinction of being the first Asian golfer to win a major (which I assume means a major competition.) Also, because of my article on Jeju, one of my readers suggested I write something about Yang.
Yang is a native of Jeju, and he’s also a proud Korean. How do I know he’s a proud Korean? Well for one thing, we can see his hat in the photos. At the moment he doesn’t have a major sponsor, so he elected to give (for free) to KOTRA the advertising space on his visor. What’s KOTRA? It’s the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. That Mr. Yang is voluntarily wearing the name of a group that wishes to encourage trade and foreign investment in order to improve the Korean economy shows that he really cares. I have also learned that he gave free advertising space to Asiana Airlines because they were experiencing difficulties in the airline industry. That’s quite selfless if you ask me. I might have taken a different route and given free advertising space to a charity like save the children, but I am sure an improvement in the economy would be good for the whole country. At any rate, I think he’s a very kind person.
Yang is also a perfect example of diligence. Most pro golfers got into golf as children, which means their parents were probably fairly well off to begin with. Yang was actually quite poor, the fourth of eight children! He got his start in golf as a part time worker in a driving range at the the Ora Country Club in Jeju when he was 19. He has coaches now, but at first, he had to teach himself how to golf. It’s hard to fathom how someone from such a humble background could achieve so much in a sport that is generally enjoyed by the affluent.
Yang is also very generous with his golf winnings. He doesn’t only keep them for himself and his family, but he also made a donation to the elementary school that his sons attend in Texas. Also opened Harmony Golf Range, near Dallas’ Koreatown, where he sometimes mentors children… for free.
For everyone interested in golf, you might want to check out this website!